Olympic Arms OA-93 AR-15 Pistol

5.56x45mm / .223 Remington

uses standard AR-15 magazines

Unlike most AR-15 pistols, the OA-93 does not have a buffer tube, resulting in a more compact package.

above: stock images from the Internet Movie Firearms Data Base OA-93 page,

since I haven't gotten around to taking pictures of the actual OA-93 for sale here yet.

UPDATE: Scroll down to bottom of ad for range report and photos.

I am not the original owner, and have not yet fired this -- although I intend to if I can find the time to get to the range before posting this ad publicly. This OA-93 was manufactured in 2008.

The OA-93 is in very good condition, and does not include any packaging or accessories, except for one 30-round magazine.

The owner's manual is available from the manufacturer's web site ( click here ) or from

On page 19 of the owner's manual, it states

The recoil rod locking nut on this OA-93 is different than described in the manual, and can be removed with an 11mm wrench.

On the right-side of the receiver, behind the ejection port, is an attachment point for a sling. This is not shown on any of the pictures, although I'll take some photos and post them here later.

My understanding is that the best technique with a sling is to push the OA-93 as far forward as possible, letting the tension in the sling stabilize the pistol.

WARNING: DO NOT attach a stock to an AR-15 pistol without following the proper NFA (National Firearms Act) procedures, which includes a $200 tax.

DO NOT attach an AR-15 pistol upper receiver to an AR-15 rifle lower receiver witha stock without following the proper NFA procedures.

I'm not sure what the exact penalty is, but it probably includes a lot of federal prison time.

The Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms & Explosives can answer any questions about this.

See their FAQ at or e-mail their National Licensing Center at

Owning the OA-93 in the pistol-configuration as-sold here is perfectly legal, and does not require any paperwork or registration under Colorado state law.

An excellent overview of the OA-93, with lots of explanatory photos,

Brief Review of the OA Series of Weapons

The OA-93 family of weapons history stems from attempts to make a lightweight and handy version of the M-16/CAR-15. The OA-93 was the first version and was introduced in 1993. The pistol was designed in both a civilian arm (the OA-93OSS) and a law enforcement model (the OA-93). These saw respectable sales, especially the law enforcement model which garnered some popularity with SWAT units across the United States. However these weapons were only used in certain tactical situations because it is felt that these weapons present too much power in a handheld pistol (thus resulting in possible over penetration of a suspect. The passage of the 1994 Crime Bill however required Olympic Arms to perform modifications to the basic design to continue selling them.

The first revision to the OA-93 was the OA-96 in which a 30-round ammunition well is pinned and welded in place as such it cannot be detached. In addition, the OA-96 has a button in the rear which opens the upper receiver and can then be loaded via stripper clips. The original OA-93 has continued to be produced but in a different configuration, with the biggest change being that of an added forward handgrip (this model uses detachable box magazines).

A second answer to the Crime bill is the OA-98. This pistol is unique in that it is made using a detachable magazine but the pistol itself is rather unusual in that it is greatly cut away to reduce the weight to under the 50-oz to allow the OA-98 to have one more "evil" feature removed to be compliant with the 1994 Crime Bill. An additional answer to the crime bill is the OA-93TG which is an "Any Other Weapon" which is an National Firearms Act registered weapon like weapons like machineguns and short barreled rifles.

Following are photos and details of each of these weapon systems.

Read the whole thing. It should answer most of your questions about the Olympic Arms OA-93.

AR-15 Specifications

Receiver Material. 7075 T6 Aluminum Forged Receivers Machined By Olympic Arms

Receiver Finish. Black Matte Anodized Receivers, Parkerized Steel Parts

Action. Gas Operated Semi-automatic Action

Upper Type. OA Operations flat top

Front Sight. None

Handguard. Free floating aluminum tube w/ knurled surface

Barrel. 6.5", button rifled, 416 stainless steel

Chambering. 5.56 NATO

Bore. Long-life non-chromed bore

Twist Rate. 1x7

Muzzle. Phantom flash suppressor

Stock. None

Length. 17"

Weight. 4.46 lbs

Unique to Olympic Arms is the OA Operations System which incorporates the recoil system into a flat top upper receiver eliminating the need for a buttstock.

The OA-93 was the FIRST AR-15 pistol.

The OA-93 also includes:

    • Flat top with picatinny rails.
    • Free floating handguard with knurled surface.
    • Phantom flash suppressor.

$1,202.50 MSRP

below: the upper-receiver assembly is available separately for a little over a thousand dollars from JS Gun Parts,

but it will require the "OA-93 Receiver Adapter" (above) if installed on a standard AR-15 receiver,

since standard AR-15 receivers have the opening for the buffer tube.

Some OA-93 Videos From YouTube

(none of these are mine)

The OA-93 entry at the Internet Movie Firearms Data Base ( )

What is interesting is that in most (if not all) appearances of the Olympic Arms OA-93, there is a small buffer tube attached to the lower receiver, a feature that is NOT part of the OA-93 system. In order to allow the pistol to function fully-automatic, a small tube had to be added to the rear of the lower receiver in order that there was room for a full-auto bolt carrier to cycle within in the pistol. The tube itself has nothing to do with the recoil sping assembly which was still housed along the operations rod atop the barrel. Contrary to some reports, movie armorers never had had difficulty making the OA-93 cycle blanks. As a matter of fact, it cycles so well and so fast that it had a tendancy to burn out the gas tubes in short order.

below: Will Smith in "Bad Boys"

below: Willem Defoe as Navy SEAL John Clark in Tom Clancy's "Clear And Present Danger"

below: the Human Tank in "Lethal Weapon 4"

below: Antonio Banderas as El Mariachi in "Once Upon A Time In Mexico"

below: "Spawn"

below: "Strange Days"

below: "The Long Kiss Goodnight"


I don't have a case for this yet, since most pistol cases are too small, and most rifle cases are too big.

Ace does make a regular AR pistol case and a more discreet rectangular AR pistol case, which were about $30 at the Tanner Gun Show (I should have picked one up).

The 5.11 "Select Carry Sling Pack" looks like it would be useful for CCWing the OA-93 pistol.

It is designed to be carried like a bicycle messenger bag, with a quick-open compartment for sub-machine guns, and is available at


I got this in a trade earlier this year, so I don't know how many rounds the previous owner(s) fired. But here is my experience with this firearm:

SEPTEMBER 15, 2012

1. 20-round magazine : Wolf 62 grain HP : 20 rounds fired with no failures of any kind

2. 20-round magazine : Wolf 62 grain HP : the first round fired, and then failed to extract

SEPTEMBER 21, 2012

3. 30-round magazine: S&B 55 grain FMJ : 25 rounds fired with no failures of any kind (the magazine was loaded with only 25 rounds)

4. 20-round magazine: Wolf 62 grain HP : 20 rounds fired with no failures of any kind

5. 20-round magazine: Wolf 62 grain HP : 1st and 2nd rounds fired, but failed to extract. The next 18 rounds were fired with no failure of any kind

TOTAL: 86 rounds fired. 3 empty cases, or 3%, failed-to-extract: all Wolf. This is a known-issue with Wolf ammo; see below.

Of the 61 rounds of Wolf ammo, 3 empty cases, or 5%, failed to extract.

Except for the three failures to extract, there were no other problems: no failures to eject, no failures to feed, and no failures to fire.

If I take this to the range again before selling this, I will update this section. If so, I will try to get some more non-Wolf ammo for testing.

Until then, I believe the failures were ammo related, and not due to any problem with the firearm itself.


When the empty case was stuck in the chamber on September 15, I had no way to extract the stuck case on-site. I brought the gun home, and having no luck with a plastic cleaning rod nor wooden dowel, I removed the stuck case with a 3/8" 3/16" brass rod. Naturally, I had the brass rod with me when I returned to the range on September 21.

Empty cases getting stuck in the chamber is a known-issue with Wolf ammo. For example, see

"The Ammo Oracle"

"This usually isn't a problem with brass cases, but with steel cases, especially lacquer-coated case, stoppages are more frequent. This is likely to due with the difference in expansion/retraction properties between brass and steel."

"ComBloc Ammo FAQ"

"62gr Wolf Black box - A higher incidence of failures is associated with this particular combination, but has not been root-caused."

"The Box-O-Truth"

"I see no reason not to shoot Wolf for fun."

There are too many forum discussions and YouTube videos about shooting Wolf ammo in an AR-15 for me to list here.

I've shot thousands of rounds of Wolf without issue, but when this happens, it seems to happen hard. About 10 years ago, I had the old-style Wolf ammo, with the laquer coating, seize up one of my AR-15s (.223), a 1911 (.45), and a Ruger KP-90 (.45), with the empty case stuck in the chamber.

The Wolf ammo used here was purchased in November 2008. A friend of mine recently had the same issue with his Bushmaster XM-15 using ammo from the same case, after firing several magazines without any problem.

My personal opinion, after using Wolf in 5.56x45mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP for 10 years, is that it is fine for plinking, due to its lower cost, but I wouldn't trust my life to it. I'd also bring a brass rod to the range when plinking with Wolf, just in case. DO NOT use a steel rod, as it can damage the barrel.

These tests were for functionality, and not accuracy, since I do not have any type of scope or sights on this pistol. At 15-yards, I was able to keep 50% - 75% of the rounds on paper. You may have noticed that none of the movie characters above had any type of scope or sights on their OA-93s, and were able to hit their targets without any problem.

Sept. 19, 2012 OA-93 at 15 yards with no sights and no scope. The paper is 14 inches x 14 inches.

Of 65 rounds fired, 45 hits were on the paper, with an additional 5 - 6 cutting the left edge of the paper.

Below are photos of the actual firearm for sale.

I'll try to take some better pictures when I have time.

The lighting in my house is not good for this type of photography,

and if I tried to do this outside where the light is better it would probably frighten my neighbors.