I recently had the pleasure of attending a factory tour and product demo for Inter Ordnance (IO), located in Palm Bay, Florida.
If you haven’t heard of Inter Ordnance, or IO Inc., they manufacture various models of AK-47s, AR-15s, a couple variations of 1911s and are working on more… Many of their AR/AK variations are 100% American made, with some having a combination of Domestic and Imported parts (mostly imported furniture).
History / Overview
Inter Ordnance has been around for a while and has a bit of tattered past. You can dig up what you want, but I’m going to focus on the new and what I’ve seen thus far. They started out as a military surplus importer and then started importing and manufacturing their own firearms.
Inter Ordnance recently moved to a new location in Florida, they were previously based out of North Carolina. As stated by their owners, Uli Wiegand and Ramzi Kheireddine, while they were in the Carolinas they had personnel issues, quality control issues, among various other issues. With their move to Florida, they are hoping for a fresh start; totally revamping their processes for quality control, tapping into the Aerospace industry for highly skilled employees, and creating a call center for product support.
In their new location, the machining, building and testing of all of their products has been streamlined and is tracked using modern software. Every gun gets inspected by a QC professional (who is tagged on the firearm), then before they leave the owners take a second look to make sure everything looks and works how it should.
So they seem to be really working to improve their products, their image, and to make sure every customer gets a great product as well as a great ownership experience.
One thing I can tell is that the owners and staff are very passionate about their business and are really pushing to do the best that they can and provide the best experience they can.
IO currently offers 7 AK models, the AKM247, AKM247C, AKM247E, AKM247T, M214, M214 Nano and M214S. Of those models, they also offer 3 California legal variations, the AKM247, AKM247C and AKM247T.
Overall, the AKs seem to be really well built, reliable, and pretty darn accurate (for an AK). They seem to have good tolerances, but do require a little break in (IO says about 60-100 rounds). The ones I shot were definitely smooth, and worked quite well.
AKM247 / AKM247C / AKM247E / AKM247T
The AKM237 line is Inter Ordnance’s main AK line, they offer multiple variations on the same chassis.
The standard AKM247 comes standard with a bolt hold-open safety latch, recoil buffer, 100% new parts, integrated heat shield in the front furniture, extended magazine release, a fully heat-treated receiver, and of course the life time warranty.
They are also starting to use black nitride coated barrels for improved accuracy and durability (I’m a big fan of black nitride and the more modern types of coatings available these days).
The AKM247C, uses the same features as the standard AKM247, but uses wooden furniture. The wooden components are imported, but everything else is made in the US.
On the more “tacti-cool” models, like the AKM247T, they are offering things like short quad rails as well as included side attachments for optics.
M214 / M214 Nano / M214S
The M214 line of AKs that IO offeres are their more “customized” models, the M214 has an extended quad-rail, scope rials, and an upgraded trigger group, as well as all of the bells and whistles of the AKM247 rifles.
The M214 Nano is a small little AK, with a 7in barrel weighing in at 5lbs. It’s an interesting little monster. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of rifles turned into pistols, they are just not my cup of tea, so to speak. But this thing is definitely pretty entertaining. If you are in the market for an AK pistol, definitely check it out.
And next up the M214S, yeah, the “S” stands for Sniper… An AK sniper rifle, sure why not… This was actually pretty fun to shoot. It’s smooth operating, pretty minimal recoil; you can stay on target through glass when firing, etc. But unfortunately the one at the range wasn’t sighted in, so I couldn’t really tell too much about accuracy. But it’s definitely an interesting concept.
IO currently offers 2 AR models, the M215 A Frame and the M215 Low Profile. These ARs really seem to be price point style guns. They are lower price, not super tight guns. But they do shoot well; I put 20 or so rounds through one, and it shot well. More or less it works like a standard AR-15 does… Nothing special about the trigger, nothing really crazy about how they operate, they just go boom. So if you are looking for a good entry level AR-15 to take out to the range, they are worth a look.
A couple of the guns in the picture are peoples personal guns that they brought (that have a lot of additions on them).
Inter Ordnance is also working on a 1911 pistol, the “Venom”. This seems to be pretty standard no major frills 1911 that I interpreted as a pet project by owner, Ramzi Kheireddine. It is still in development as far as I can tell, but once they are finished it will be interesting to check out how well they work and how reliable they are.
In handling the pistol, it was a little “blocky” and rough around the edges. Also, the trigger wasn’t what I would call smooth and felt to be 5+ lbs. It just didn’t feel finished yet, we were told it was a bit of a prototype, but it seemed to be an early prototype. Also keep in mind, I think this is going to be a price point style gun, not something designed to complete with the likes of Kimber, Springfield or Colt, but more of an entry level 1911.
Factory & Quality Control
Inter Ordnance’s factory is a large space, with a lot of storage. Their machine shop is smaller, but contains everything they need to push out up to 5,000 AK rifles a month when running at maximum capacity. They use all of the standard CNC machines and modern machining processes in their manufacturing process.
As I stated earlier, IO had quality control issues, but they have taken a lot of steps to try and correct any possible quality issues. They use custom jigs, specialized tools, and processes that tie a person to the product. So they know who built, checked and approved or scrapped every firearm. Holding everyone accountable to make sure that no bad products make it out the door. And even after every gun has been moved through the QA processes, the owners personally inspect the guns to make sure that everything is in order. I don’t know if a personal inspection is something that will last long term, but they are doing it now, as well as overseeing every step of the process to make sure everything goes and continues to go smoothly.
Inter Ordnance offers a 100% lifetime warranty, for the life of their products. I was quoted that this warranty extends for the life of the products, not just for the first owner.
This is a great warranty, and the people at IO really stand by it… If there is ever anything wrong, you can call, or send your weapon in, and they will make sure everything gets fixed and is in working order.
The bottom line is that I was really impressed with the quality, care and pride everyone that works for Inter Ordnance shows. If you are in the market for an AK, definitely check them out. And I’m exited to hopefully get a couple guns for a more through T&E. But from what I saw, and got to shoot, I was impressed.
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