AJ Ordnance “Thomas” at the Backup Gun Match

Today, I’m taking the AJ ordnance “Thomas” .45 to the Backup Gun Match to try it out on the clock. The Thomas was designed as a concealed carry pistol, with no external controls and a long revolver-like double action trigger in lieu of a safety. It actually performed better than I expected, especially on the plate rack in the last stage. The fixed barrel makes it a mechanically quite accurate pistol, but the trigger and sharp recoil impulse make it difficult to realize that potential accuracy.


    • I’ve often wondered if the heavy trigger pull might have been intentional. It tends to encourage (if not demand) a FIRM grip, which would help ensure that the lockup system works as designed.

      If I were you, I’d give it a good cleaning and set it aside as a conversation piece. I seem to recall that one of the reasons they went out of production was breakage issues in the lockup system

  1. Wait – YouTube had this video yesterday, dated June? Am I just living in an alternate timeline?

    Ian, I once had a jacket that would conceal my SUB-2000. Are rifles allowed in the BUG match?

  2. Truly living up to the channel name Ian, I am seeing so many guns here that I have forgotten from when they were new, and I was young.

  3. Hi, hope you and yours are safe and sane. Interesting gun. Did you have it checked out before firing?like your site very much.

  4. Ian took another one for the team! First a black eye with the 1918 Chauchat and now a sore hand with the AJ Ordnance Thomas .45.

  5. And also, a slightly bruised head from large-caliber guns.
    There’s nothing you can do.
    Some devices are not very friendly.
    Therefore, the work of the guntester is always associated with some health risk…

  6. I guess the soreness is beside the point. This isn’t meant to be a gun that’s fun to shoot or that you take out to the range.

    It’s a small, concealable last ditch kinda gun. It’s the gun you pull out as a last resort, and for that it seems to do the job quite well.

    Personally, I’d just go for a 9mm or .32 instead, but I guess some people just gotta have that big .45 cartridge.

    • According to https://patents.google.com/patent/US3857325A
      …such safetys” are ordinarily relatively easy to operate, in emergency situations the split-second delay even the simplest of them requires may prove to be the difference between life and death for a law enforcement officer.

      One object of the subject invention is to provide a small compact firearm which has no hammer to be cocked, and therefore does not rely on accessory safety devices for protection against so-called accidental discharge.

  7. Interesting. I have both a Rock Island Baby Rock in .380 and a Llama III-A in .380. They are both the same size, but the Baby Rock subjectively kicks much harder, since it is straight blowback, and the III-A is locked breech. Glad I’m not the one shooting a compact blowback .45!

  8. Couple of links

    An interesting gun.
    But the evil recoil and long trigger spoil the whole impression.
    Lame ergonomics, an obvious consequence of a lack of experience in this area. Although in general, technically, the design is quite viable.

    However, this is already so obvious.

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