OA 93 Series


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Olympic Arms: OE-93, OE-96, and OE-98

Want Additional Information?  See OA-93 Patent and OA-93 Owners Manual!

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.

OA-93 Pistol

Please note:  I really could use a series of photos of the OA-93 pistol.  If anybody would care to share images, please drop me an e-mail!

Photo above shows OA-93 pistol upper above an OA-93 Carbine upper mounted on an OA-93 Pistol receiver.

OA-93 Carbine

The OA93 Carbine is based on the OA-93 Pistol design. The addition of a folding stock makes this weapon light, versatile, and compact while delivering a potent round. Options can be custom added to this rifle to allow import into some countries such as colors, removal of flash suppressors, etc. Features include:

bulletButton cut 4140 steel heavy barrel, 1x9" twist
bulletFlattop upper
bulletVortex flash suppressor
bulletWeight: 7 lbs 8 oz
bulletLength, stock folded: 28"
bulletLength, stock extended: 38" 




Photos Above provided by Pb-Rx of AR15.com forums


OA-96 Pistol

Photos above provided by loknlode of AK-47.net forums

More OA-96 Images

Note the magazine release button and the rear takedown pin in photo above!


Overview:  Olympic Arms OA-96 AR-15 Pistol

A BATF-approved post-ban pistol based on the original OA-93 design. The 30-round ammunition well is pinned and welded in place and cannot be detached. The unit has a button in the rear that "shotguns" the upper open and can then be loaded via stripper clips or singly as you would a standard AR magazine. Features include: Button cut heavy barrel, 6.5" OAL, 1x9" twist Aluminum free-floating handguard No buffer tube Weight: 4 lbs 3 oz Length: 15 3/4"

OA-98 Pistol

Photos Above provided by Belial of AR15.com forums

Overview:  Olympic Arms OA-98 AR-15 Pistol

The OA-98 is a post-ban crime bill complaint AR-15 pistol that is able to use any mil-spec AR-15 M-16 style magazine.  All weight has been removed in non-critical areas to ensure safety and strength. All lower parts are standard AR-style parts, and are interchangeable with other standard GI (non-Colt) parts. The upper is a modified component that contains the same OA-series recoil system as the OA-93 described above and it eliminates the need for a buffer tube or standard recoil system of any type. There is virtually no recoil due to the gas-op OA style system, but it still packs the punch of the .223 Remington rifle cartridge. Features include: Button cut light barrel, 6.5" OAL, 1x9" twist No buffer tube Detachable magazine Uses standard AR lower parts and bolt Weight: 48 oz Length: 15 3/4"

OA-93TG Pistol

If you have one of these AOWs and I can get you to send me a few better pics, please e-mail me!

Overview:  Olympic Arms OA-93 TG AOW

The OA-93 TG was first introduced in 1998 as another replacement for the OA-93 pistol design that was affected by the 1994 Crime Bill. The OA-93 TG is an NFA firearm that is classified by the BATF as an "Any Other Weapon", and must be purchased by a Class III dealer (dealer of machineguns). The weapon is transferred on a Form 4 (same as a machinegun, short barreled rifle, etc.),. Features include: Detachable magazine Forward pistol grip 6.5" 4140 CM barrel Aluminum handguard Vortex flash suppressor Flattop upper Weight: 4 lbs. 3 oz. Length: 16"


The OA93TCP is based on the OA-93 Pistol design. The addition of a folding stock makes this weapon light, versatile, and compact while delivering a potent round. Options can be custom added to this rifle to allow import into some countries such as colors, removal of flash suppressors, etc. Features include:

bulletButton cut 4140 steel heavy barrel, 1x9" twist
bulletFlattop upper
bulletVortex flash suppressor
bulletWeight: 5 lbs 11 oz
bulletLength, 18 1/2"
bulletLength, 28 1/2"


Other Resources:

Following is a copy of a letter from BATFE to Olympic Arms related to the OA-96 pistol.

From: "Thomas A. spithaler" <info@olyarms.com>
Subject: Oly Arms OA-96 Authorization letter
Date: 1998/12/09
Message-ID: <74m4te$fp0@xring.cs.umd.edu>#1/1
Approved: gun-control@cs.umd.edu
X-Trace: cronkite.cs.umd.edu 913217265 1287 (9 Dec 1998 15:27:45 GMT)
Organization: Olympic Arms, Inc.
NNTP-Posting-Date: 9 Dec 1998 15:27:45 GMT
Newsgroups: rec.guns
X-Complaints-To: abuse@cs.umd.edu

In response to several requests of recent, following is a copy of the letter received from BATF giving approval for the production of our OA-96 (fixed mag) version of our AR-15 pistol.

Just FYI, the OA-93 was the original Olympic Arms pistol that does not incorporate a shortened buffer tube assembly as the recoil system is housed in the upper unit.

Thanks to all those who inquired for their patience.

Thomas A. Spithaler
Sales & Marketing
Olympic Arms, Inc.

July 22, 1996

Olympic Arms, Inc.
620-626 Old Pacific Highway, SE
Olympia, Washington  98513

Dear Mr. Spithaler,

This is in reply to your letter dated July 16, 1996, with which you submitted a sample of a semiautomatic pistol that your firm plans to manufacture. You ask if the weapon would be classified as a semiautomatic assault weapon.

Section 921(a)(30)(C), Title 18, U.S.C., defines the term semiautomatic assault weapon as a semiautomatic pistol that has the ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of -

(i) an ammunition magazine that attaches to the pistol outside of the pistol grip
ii) a threaded barrel capable of 'accepting a barrel extender, flash suppressor, forward handgrip, or silencer;
(iii) a shroud that is attached to, or partially or completely encircles, the barrel and that permits the shooter to hold the firearm with the non trigger hand without being burned;
(iv) a manufactured weight of 50 ounces or more when the pistol is unloaded and
(v) a semiautomatic version of an automatic firearm.

Examination of the submitted sample, serial number "XXXXX", indicates that it is a .223 caliber semiautomatic pistol designated Model OA96. The firearm has the same general configuration as the Model OA93 pistol previously produced by your firm. The receiver is based on the AR-15 design and has been manufactured with no provision for a magazine latch.  An
AR-15/M16 type magazine has been permanently affixed to the weapon by means of steel roll pins welded in place and an epoxy type adhesive that has been flowed around the magazine body where the magazine enters the magazine well. The pins are located in the rear of the magazine well in the upper and lower areas of the front portion of the opening for the trigger finger. As modified, the weapon does not have the ability to accept a detachable

Based on the above examination, the sample as submitted is not a semiautomatic assault weapon because it does not have the ability to accept a detachable magazine. Please be advised that this determination is based on the sample as submitted. If the design, dimensions, configuration, method of construction, method of affixing the magazine or materials is used are changed, this classification is subject to review.

It is suggested that you notify purchasers of this firearm that if the weapon is modified to accept a detachable magazine, the resulting firearm would be a semiautomatic assault weapon as defined. Section 922(v)(1) of the cited chapter makes it unlawful for a person to manufacture, transfer or possess a semiautomatic assault weapon.

The sample is being returned under separate cover. trust that the foregoing has been responsive to your inquiry. If we may be of any further assistance, please contact us.

Sincerely yours,


Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch

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