Olympic Arms: OE-93, OE-96, and OE-98
Want Additional Information? See
OA-93 Patent and
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.
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.
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:
Photos above provided by loknlode of AK-47.net
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"
Overview: Olympic Arms OA-98 AR-15
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"
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
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:
|From: "Thomas A. spithaler" <email@example.com>
Subject: Oly Arms OA-96 Authorization letter
X-Trace: cronkite.cs.umd.edu 913217265 1287 22.214.171.124 (9 Dec
1998 15:27:45 GMT)
Organization: Olympic Arms, Inc.
NNTP-Posting-Date: 9 Dec 1998 15:27:45 GMT
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.
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOB.ACCO AND FIREARMS
WASHINGTON, DC 20226
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
(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
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.
Edward M. Owen, Jr.
Chief, Firearms Technology Branch