The A-O is a
reproduction of the Model M1A1, which is a model variant specifically
designed for paratroopers who required a shorter weapon. The original
Inland manufactured the M1A1 back in the day. These are rare and quite
collectible, and we imagine a collector would be loath to fire a
valuable specimen. In our opinion, the A-O makes a great stand-in for
the original. Like early original M1A1s, the A-O had no bayonet lug, and
the stock was close to the originals, even down to the brass
rivets that attached the leather cheek rest to the wire stock.
The sights were per
the original, a simple flip-up aperture with two settings, one for 150
yards and the second for 300 yards. Windage was drift adjustable. We
preferred the sights on the Inland because they were easier to adjust,
but this sight set-up on the A-O is historically accurate, if
thats more to your liking.
The stock does not
lock in an open or closed position. A detent keeps the stock in
position, and when we fired using the stock, we could easily knock it
out of the open position. Again, this is a feature on this older design.
The rest of the stock was plain walnut. The pistol grip was thick and
filled the average-size hand. The stock was made of a heavy-gauge wire
with a flat unpadded cheek rest and a steel buttpad. The stock folded to
the left side of the rifle, and like on the originals, the left side of
the stock was milled out and the buttpad pivots to the side so the stock
folds flatter against the wood under the receiver.
Elsewhere, the A-O was
a close copy of the original M1A1 produced in 1942-43. The rear sight,
folding stock, no bayonet lug, and flat-milled bolt top are period
correct. The rear sight on the A-O is the simple drift-adjustable sight.
The A-Os stock and sight dont actually sync up. The low-wood
stock is a feature of Carbines built in 1944. The rear sight is from
earlier models. Thats nit-picking and is not a game changer by any
means, if youre looking at this rifle as a portable shooter.
easily, but we needed to make sure with both Carbines that it was fully
seated. When we loaded a magazine of the Hornady Critical Defense ammo,
we expected a similar jam as we had in the Inland, but that did not
happen. The A-O chewed through all the ammo with no exceptions. Looking
at the feed ramps of both rifles, we noticed the A-O was more polished
and finished. We suspected the extra polishing on the A-O allowed it to
feed the Critical Defense ammo better than the Inland. We used the two
15-round magazines that came with the Carbines and the 30-round magazine
interchangeably and had no issues with either rifle. Pressing the
magazine release on both the Inland and A-O allowed the magazines to
drop free. On the last shot fired, the bolt locked back, open, due to
the design of the magazine follower. This allows the user to lock the
bolt back by pulling the bolt fully rearward and pressing the bolt
hold-back button - a handy feature.
With the stock folded,
we fired from the hip and found it quite easy to walk in hits on clay
pigeons set out on a bank at 25 yards. The A-O was also light enough
that we could shoot it one handed.
Our Team Said:
The A-O was extremely fun to shoot and quite accurate. The folding wire
stock is not as stable as the wood stock, but it offers a smaller
package to carry. As a home-defense rifle or truck rifle, the A-O is a