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 Post subject: Automags
PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 1:44 pm 
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I don't recall seeing anything about Automags on LTW. I have seen them asked about on other forums, and a lot of the info in responses was skimpy or just plain wrong (They are recoil-operated, not gas) . I'm no expert and wouldn't even call myself a collector, but I have owned a couple for several years now and have learned some things...both the easy way and the hard way.

I have two. Both are TDE guns. One is chambered in .44 AMP (AutoMag Pistol) with a 6-1/2" barrel, and was made in North Hollywood, CA. The other is a .357 AMP with an 8-1/2" barrel, made in El Monte, CA.
You may see some crud on the guns in these pictures. I shoot them.
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While probably the most "exotic" guns I've owned, they are pretty run-of-the-mill as Automags go. For something made for such a short time, and with production never really getting going before moving the factory, there are a lot of variations.
The guns were designed by Harry Sanford, who is probably best known for later running AMT. The guns were made under at least four maker's names, and in at least three factories.

The first were made by the Automag Corp in Pasadena, CA. Excepting truly limited models, the "Pasadena guns" will usually sell for more money than other varieties. They were basically hand-made, and have the best appearance. On the other hand, later models benefitted from upgraded materials changes as they occurred. "Production" got going in late 1970 or early 1971, depending on the source. It's not that important because this company soon folded, as it cost more to make the guns than they sold for.

The next figure was TDE, which stands for Trust Deed Associates. As you can guess, this was not a gun company. Instead, it was an operation that invested in oil leases that were thought to be unproductive, and other lost causes. Knowing this, buying the Automag operation seemed natural.
Production began in North Hollywood, CA, using some Pasadena-made parts, with newly manufactured parts phased in as needed until they eventually made complete "North Hollywood guns".

Then another move, this time to El Monte, CA.

Enter High Standard. There are some High Standard-marked Automags. These were supposedly all made by TDE in El Monte.

At some point, the guns were marked "TDE/OMC", then just "OMC". All info I've seen is really fuzzy here about when and why this occurred, and even who OMC is. Outboard Marine Corp is one I've heard.

Arcadia Machine and Tool (AMT) formed somwhere in here, and the last Automags were AMT marked. It's the opinion of many that very few parts were made after the existence of AMT. Guns were assembled from parts. There are plenty of AMT-marked barrel extensions (upper receiver) out there, but they were probably marked long after they had been made.
This was about the end of the line.
All of this happened roughly between 1970 and 1975. With all of that change taking place in such a short time, it's a wonder they got any guns built.

When production ended is debatable, and it depends on your definition of "production". Most sources claim 1975 was the last year, but there is evidence that guns were shipped out under AMT at least as late as 1980. These were no doubt "parts guns", but it still counts. The Dirty Harry movie "Sudden Impact" which features an Automag came out in, I think, 1983. There were at least two guns put together for that movie.

Enough history. Let's talk about the guns.

They were unique, and there still is nothing quite like them. Then again, when I look them over, I see very little, if anything original to the design. I can see parts of several different guns- from High Standard .22 target pistols, to the Browning M2 .50 cal MG.
It's the combination of features that's unique.

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They are recoil-operated. Upon firing, the bolt, barrel, and barrel extension move rearward together for a short distance. The barrel extension has a sort-of T-shaped lug that rides in a matching track in the frame. It is also guided back by Walther P38-ish recoil spring rods- one in each side of the frame.
Once the barrel/extension/bolt come back around 3/8", a part in the extension called the accelerator contacts the frame and pivots around itself,. "kicking" the bolt back from the extension. The Browning M2 .50 has a similar part, working a similar way.

Picture showing amount of travel when bolt starts to unlock:
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It has a six-lug, rotary bolt that reminds me of an M16 bolt. It is slotted for a Bolt Rotating Pin at the rear of the frame. This slot is cammed at the back, which causes the bolt to rotate around this pin to unlock when the accelerator throws it open. The bolt continues back like most other semi-autos, then is returned forward by the twin recoil springs. A long skinny firing pin runs the length of the bolt.

Pictures of the bolthead:
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In this next picture, if you look closely toward the rear of the bolt (RH side of pic)you can just see the Bolt Rotating Pin. It reminds me of an M16 bolt cam pin.
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This cycling of the bolt happens pretty quick, and the cartridges are fairly heavy (as auto pistol rounds go), so the magazine has a rather stiff spring. Otherwise, the magazine could not keep up with the action.

But it does cut the recoil, or at least spread it out. Recoil is a subjective thing, but I find it a lot easier to shoot than a 44 Mag revolver, or a Contender. It's like the "slow push" that is often described, but it's the best description I can use here.

You may notice that the barrel on the 44 is ribbed, but the 357's barrel is plain. That is due to weight and the recoil-operated action. Although the 357 barrel is 2" longer (8-1/2" vs 6-1/2") they weigh the same. The barrel and barrel extension assemblies have to weigh the same for the gun to function properly. If you see various caliber and length custom Automag barrels, you will also see a variety of plain, ribbed half-length ribs, and barrel contours for that reason.

It's an easy to shoot gun, and only part of that is due to the dampened recoil. The trigger is very good. I've been told by those familiar with both guns, that the trigger appears to be based on the High Standard .22 auto pistol trigger. It is adjustable for takeup and overtravel. Overtravel is adjusted by a set screw through the trigger face. Takeup is adjusted via a screw in the top of the frame, accessable when field stripped.

Fieldstripping is easy, but can be painful if you don't know a couple of tricks. First, verify chamber is empty, and insert an EMPTY magazine. Cock hammer. Pull bolt open, which is locked open by magazine. The takedown lever is on the LH side of the frame, fwd of the trigger. It is pivoted clockwise/down. The barrel and barrel extension can now be slid forward off the frame, completing field stripping.

The reason for using an empty magazine to actuate the bolt stop is because your hands will be full overcoming the string recoil springs, then finding and actuating the slightly small bolt stop. Cocking the hammer first will make opening the bolt easier. I sliced my hand open on the sharp-edged rear sight wrestling it open the first time.
In addition to heavy springs, it is a tightly-fitted gun, which makes opening the bolt even more difficult.
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The controls are located similarly to the 1911. The bolt stop is where a 1911 slide lock is. The magazine release is in the same location, snad so is the thumb safety. The thumb safety will also act as a slide release. By pushing it down past the "fire" position, it will move the bolt stop down. It is actually the easiest way to release the bolt.

The sights are a nice attempt. The front is a then-fashionable red-painted ramp.
The rear is a good design, but is made out of unfinished stainless steel. It shows up very well, but would be better if black. It is adjustable, and, according to the manual, each click offers 1 MOA correction. The screws are hex head, so it would be more convenient if they were slotted.
On the other hand, two supplied allen wrenches will handle every screw on the gun- adjust sights and trigger, and remove/tighten the grip screws.

Ballistics.
If you read the old articles, the Automags were cannons. I've read articles fom the early 70's where they got 1600 fps or more with 240 grain bullets. I'm sure they did.
The writers of those articles also cracked a lot of bolts, broke bolt cocking pieces, and spent some money on other parts.
If you have an Automag, use recent data for reloading. The old data is interesting, but it's also kinda scary. There were some chronographs outside of labs then, but there weren't many pressure testing dvices in private hands.
There is plenty of recent data available, but you may have to look. Hornady included the 44 AMP in their manuals for quite a while, and maybe still do. Hodgdon has data. There are other sources.

While the old articles claimed otherwise, the 44 AMP is basically a .44 Magnum. It may be capable of more, and the .30-06 or .308-based case can surely stand it, but the gun may not. Parts can be had, but the major ones, like a new bolt, are very expensive.

It's usually written that the Automag requires a full-power load for proper function. That's about right with mine. My usual load fires a 240 grain bullet at just over 1400 fps. It's about the minimum to function with a little leeway for a dirty gun.
I think it's enough.

The .357 AMP is perhaps more interesting ballistically. It is the 44 case, necked down. I've seen data that launch 158 bullets to 1800+ fps, and 125s at 2000. Actually, I've seen higher, but it's probably scary stuff.
I'd like to work with my 357 more, but haven't done it yet.

Original CDM 44 AMP cartridge and reformed 357 AMP case:
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What Are They For?

Well, that's hard to say.
They would be fine for hunting. Better than a Contender? Maybe not. They sure aren't easy to scope. The accuracy is there, though. My "light" load averages 1.7" at 50 yards from a Ransom rest (Yes, they do make inserts for the Automag).

I have used the 44 in Bowling Pin Matches, and it did just dandy....for a while. It needs plenty of lube to function; and that lube, combined with the slow burning powders used (which leaves particles all over) creates a pste after a few magazines that will gum up almost any gun.
It sure took the pins off, though! And shot to shot recovery was easy.

What are they for?
Just because, I guess.
Heck, I think they look good. I guess that's enough reason.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 4:40 pm 
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Barry, that's a very interesting and well written column....also some great pics of two beautiful weapons! I was always curious about the Automags, but never read much about them, and was too young when they were in production. Thank you for this review!

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:35 am 
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Thanks for the great post Barry. It brought back many memories from my childhood. My father started me in shooting when I was 9. One of the first gun books I ever had was a Gun Digest from about 1972 or 73 and one of the main articles was on the Automag, the gun, making brass (you had to make brass from cut down .308 cases), and loads. When I was 11 I got to shoot a handgun for the first time and my dad's friend who took us pistol shooting showed up with a 6-1/2" barreled .44 Automag he was carrying concealed in a Yaqui slide holster! I was too intimidated to try shooting that Automag, which I regretted because I never had a chance to shoot it again. Back then I wanted to own one someday, but that dream went by the wayside when my interest turned to 1911s!

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 11:18 am 
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Thanks guys. Glad you liked it.
Sorry for the quality of the pictures, but I'm not much of a photographer. Or a writer.

A couple of additions:
-Top ends are easily switched. That's handy if one wants to try different calibers or barrel lengths. But it also drives some collectors nuts, since the only markings on the grip frame is the serial number. The more interesting info like the maker's name and address is on the barrel extension (upper receiver). Conceiveably, one can take a spare barrel/barrel extension (which were sold seperately) with "rare" maker and/or address markings, and mount it on a rather common frame...creating a "rare" gun.
The serial number is the only way to tell when or where the frame was made. I have a table of that info *somewhere*.

-The grips on the 6-1/2" 44 are not factory stanadard. They are laminated grips that Lee Jurras sold in the '70's. The black plastic grips on the 8-1/2" 357 are factory. I just thought I'd mention it.
By the way, I find the factory grips slimmer, and more comfortable to my hand.

-As I mentioned above, Ransom still offers grip inserts for their Ransom Rest. In addition, Wolff still lists some springs for Automags, and Starline is making 44 AMP brass.
That brass is a blessing, as forming it from .308 or .30-06 brass is no picnic. Although loading dies are available from RCBS and Hornady, if not others, the only source of the forming die set I know of is RCBS, and they are not cheap. I wish that Starline brass was available when I bought my forming dies.

-Watch those trigger adjustments. You can have too much of a good thing. Mine was fine at the settings I had it in when being fired handheld...but...
You haven't lived until having an Automag go full auto in a Ransom Rest.

-There is a lot of info out there, but the two best sources I found are the two-part articles by Ken Lomont in the 1977 and 1978 Gun Digest, and, the old Automag newsletter. I got lucky and found a near-complete set of that newsletter. It has been invaluable to me.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 14, 2006 7:59 pm 
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Barry- your last post jogged my failing memory. The Gun Digest I had was the 1977 edition with the Automag article.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Jun 15, 2006 3:18 pm 
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Barry,
Thank you for the great write up. The first time I ever heard about the .44 AutoMag was from reading the Mack Bolan series of books in the mid eighties. I have unfortunately never seen one in person and have always been intrigued by the design. It is great to see picures of the two you have and hear your thoughts on them. More pictures would be great.

Thank you,
Scott


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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:15 pm 
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Zaskar24 wrote:
More pictures would be great.


Really? More blurry pictures of my dirty guns?
I was thinking the 44 needed cleaning pretty badly, so I took some more pics as I stripped it down in case anyone wanted to see some Automag guts.

Here's some with it assembled-

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In that last picture, you might see the two Allen screw heads below the barrel, just off the centerline to the right and left. Here's a closer look:
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Those "screws" are actually the heads for the recoil spring guide rods. Between and below them, you can see how the barrel and barrel extension ride in a dovetail-like track in the frame.

Speaking of Allen head screws, the Automag uses several. The guns came with a nifty little bag containing two Allen wrenches- a 5/64" and a 3/32"- which handled any screw on the gun.
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The larger 3/32" wrench fits the recoil spring guide rods, and grip screws.
The smaller 5/64" wrench fits the sight adjustment screws, the trigger adjustement scrws (takeup and overtravel), and fits the magazine catch lock.

Automags also came with a small oil bottle bearing that same logo. They were missing from my guns, and I haven't ponied up the bucks to replace them.
Those oil bottles were cute, but kind of a curse. The vapor from the oil they contained would break down the foam in the gun's case over time. If you look at many Automags in their original cases, you'll see quite a few with crumbled foam interiors, or none at all. My .44's case was filled with fine black dust that turned out to be that foam. It was everywhere, and took a while to clean off, and out of, the gun.
So if you get one, and the oil bottle is empty, don't fill it if you plan on keeping it in the case!

On to disassembly-
Take that 3/32" Allen wrench and remove both recoil spring guide rods.
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With both of those out, the bolt can be pushed back (push from the front, while holding the cocking piece's ears straight). The cocking piece will want to rotate on it's own because the bolt contains a coil spring that twists against the cocking piece. When the cocking piece is connected to the guide rods and kept from rotating, that spring tries to rotate the bolt closed (clockwise).
With the bolt fully to the rear, allow the cocking piece to rotate on the bolt, which will disengage it from the matching lugs on the bolt, and pull it off.

Bolt cocking piece rotated to removal point:
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In this blurry picture, you can see the coil spring in the rear of the bolt, and the cocking piece below on the table:
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That cocking piece, although apparently cast then machined, looks like it would be expensive to make.

Pull the firing pin straight out the rear of the bolt. Like an M16/AR15, the bolt rotating pin won't come out until the firing pin does. Unlike the M16/AR15, the firing pin has a retracting spring. Don't lose it.
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The bolt rotation pin comes out toward about 10:00. I always want to call it the bolt cam pin, but their nomenclature is a little "different". For example- what I would call the disconnector is called the "bolt safety tappet".

With that pin out, the bolt is free to come forward and out of the gun.
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And that's about as far as I go. Beyond this, you get into the fire control mechanism and I'd rather not.

I took the grips off for cleaning this time also. These are the accessory Lee Jurras grips (which were, I think, $30.00 back when), and I find it interesting that some of the pencil marks from laying out the pattern can still be seen, although I doubt they are visible in the pic.
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The magazine release comes out like a 1911 (with an Allen screw mag catch lock). In fact, it looks like a 1911 magazine release. I popped the mag relaese catch out of a handy 1911 and compared the two. The Automag catch almost fit the 1911. A couple of file strokes would do it. The 1911's catch (Kimber) fit into the Automag and caught a mag, but I don't know if it would hold the mag long when firing. I gueess it might work in a pinch.
Mag catches compared:
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The 1911 catch is at top, Automag at bottom.

And with the parts scattered:
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Here's a view of the fire control system with the grips off from the LH side:
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The RH side:
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I tried to take some pictures to show the grip width compared to a 1911. Some "magnum autos" have huge grips, but I don't think the Automag is too bad. The Jurras laminated wood grips are wider than the stock panels, but are more rounded in profile so fit some hands better.
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I measured, and was surprised:
Width, at middle of grip: Factory Automag grips- 1.240"; 1911- 1.265"; Jurras grips- 1.332".
Depth (front to back) at middle: Automag- 1.990"; 1911- 2.010".
Based on the mic, factory Automags have a slightly smaller grip than a 1911. But it doesn't feel as good as a 1911. If you look at the Automag grip, the top rear, where the grip safety is on a 1911, curves up and back at a more gentle curve than a 1911. This makes it harder to get a "high grip" on the Automag, as it tries to wedge the hand down.

Here are some more just general pictures:

Rear sight-
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Reciver markings-
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Roughly 16,000 ft-lbs (or several flying bowling pins) at the ready-
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 17, 2006 7:50 pm 
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Barry,
Thank you for the additional pictures. One day after a whole bunch of other things get crossed off my list of things to do I will seriously look for an AutoMag.

Out of curiousity, and not meaning to hijack the thread. How do the AutoMags compare to Wildleys in fit, finish, shootability, etc.? I only ask because I see it as a lower cost alternative to an AutoMag.

Scott


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 18, 2006 8:43 am 
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Are Wildeys less expensive than Automags? I really don't know, as I haven't kept up with the prices of either, but would think the difference would be slight.

In fit and finish, I think you can find good and bad examples of each gun. How they compare may depend on what two guns you happen to find.
Supposedly, the earlier the Automag, the better the fit and finish. But on the other hand, my 357 Automag is newer, but I think finished better. I think Wildey's had their ups and downs over the years too.

Regarding shootability:
I've never had a Wildey, but it seems like a lot of Automag owners have had both Wildeys and Automags (and LAR Grizzlys, and Desert Eagles, and...). From what I see and hear, the Automag is more "shooter-friendly".
According to people who have shot their Wildeys much, they spend a lot of time fiddling with the gas adjustment. I've heard of some guns being more forgiving, but mostly I hear complaints about how sensitive they are. There are a lot of tales of finally getting it at the right setting, then it needing changed if the load changes slightly or even opening a different box of factory 45 Win Mag ammo. Some tell of it not working when another person shoots it and having to adjust it for them.

The Wildey is unique in that it is double action (I was not aware of that for a long time). I've never heard anyone say they have a good DA trigger on theirs. And, like most DAs, the SA trigger suffers. I guess the trigger pull weight is usually OK, but the takeup and/or overtravel can be pretty long.

The Wildey grip is more flat and deep (i.e.- a 2x4), like the Deset Eagle.

I'm not overwhelmed by the .45 Win Mag, and would prefer the 475 Wildey chambering. However, I would think you're probably looking at expensive components for the .475. Now that Wildey is supposedly chambering for it, and Starline makes brass, I would think the 44 Automag might be the way to go. But then, I like the 44 AMP round anyway, and would like a carbine so-chambered. Never mind that a 44 Mag carbine would do the same thing, I still want it.

Neither gun is really good for scope mounting. The Automag needs a custom made mount, and you have to be careful of weight on the recoiling barrel for function. That recoiling barrel is rough on scopes also. I understand Wildey sells a mount that goes on the rib, but that rib is aluminum, so I don't know if that's the best idea, either.
I read a really bad sounding report on the Wildey mount that could turn me off Wildeys entirely. In addition to being screwed into the aluminum rib, the supplied screws were wrong, and the gun's rib was angled gto one side so that had the scope been mounted to it, there would not have been enough adjustment in the scope to zero it. I hope that was case of one bad gun meeting one bad mount, rather than representative.

Naturally, I'm biased toward the Automag. But, anyone I know (or heard of) who had both an Automag and a Wildey traded away or sold the Wildey first.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 7:46 pm 
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You just made me cry, Barry. I had an early Pasedena/North Hollywood switchover ( A frame with a N. Hollywood marker upper ) that was gorgeous. I could never take pics that did it justice.

What an AMAZING gun.

Well, now that the tears are drying up, I think I'll read the full piece you wrote. :(

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PostPosted: Sun Oct 15, 2006 8:02 pm 
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The actual last run of the .44 Auto Mag was made in the year 2000...believe it or not. A run of 1500 hundred guns was puportedly to be made ( I am NOT sure of the final numBer ) by a company called "Galena Industries". I know that some WERE delivered to primo Auto Mag collectors but again, I have no idea how MANY were finally produced.
Galena Industries vanished from the face of the planet soon there-after.

The Auto Mag was one of the most amazing firearms I have ever owned.

It's greatest weakness is that it was created so far ahead of it's time that there was little demand for it, except in silhouette circles....but even that sport came along too late for the .44 AMP. As you can see from Barry's photos, the AMP is a PRECISION piece of equipment, loading for it is a VERY taxing venture. Again, the Dillon 550 had not happened upon the scene yet and Starline wasn't producing for the private sector either, so reloading was a huge chore. Yet another RING of the death knell.

As you can see, the Auto Mag is very intricate and is best suited to CNC and advanced casting production. The magazines for the Auto Mag were nearly an afterthought and just barely suffice. Again, if you think of magazine manufacture in the 70s....well, there wasn't a whole hell of a lot of it. Still, at the time and as far as the rest of the gun is concerned, a lot of Auto Mag design and technical work came out of the AeroSpace sector and so did the components. Even today, the Auto Mag would be a chore to make....YET IT COULD BE DONE BETTER NOW THAN IN 1973.

In a world of Tacticool and Plastic, the gun world is screaming secretly for a handgun of grace, class and sophistication....not that the 1911, the Glock or other such guns aren't important...but sometimes that just isn't enough. The .44 Auto Mag is the gun that would fill the niche.

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Last edited by desertmoon on Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 4:57 pm 
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Well said.
The part about the magazines is something I never really thought about, but is an excellent point.

I never knew if they made that last run of Automags or not. I remember seeing them announced, but that was all I saw. I think they were supposed to be about $2500, weren't they?
I looked at that, and thought that if I didn't already have mine, and wanted one, I'd probably rather just get an old one. But I would like to know if they made any improvements on them.

I thought it was a good opportunity for Galena to sell some parts but never saw that they did, so maybe they never materialized. Then again, Galena is apparently gone, so may not have made many wise business decisions anyway.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:36 pm 
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Barry, according to the last bit of info I had ( a brochure that I sold with my Auto Mag ) they were to be made exactly like the early Pasadenas.....or better. The one fellow I know who had one had not fired his and I imagine he wasn't going to as he had a collection of shooters.

I oft imagine that if I won the powerball, this is the gun I would have to make again. I work for a large Automotive company ( TRW ) and work with and study some pretty amazing manufacturing techniques. I also have a huge number of folks that I could glean in order to start a very QC concious / Hi Tech manufacturing base. Too, I know AMTs old tooling guy. 8)

I really think that the Auto Mag is a profitable gun NOW...but not in 1973...the issue is that you POSITIVELY have to have the startup capital to purchase the proper equipment to do the uppers, the charging handle, the recoil rods and the bolts and cam pins. These are the heart of the system. I would simply contract Wilson to do the mags.

LOL....in conjunction with another Auto Mag collector, I redesigned the follower assembly to improve feeding but we never did build any...LOL, I still have my concept drawings someplace....I never did have them done up professionally and this was the ONLY thing I didn't sell when I sold my North Hollywood.

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Last edited by desertmoon on Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 12:34 pm 
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Yes, I suppose a lot of the parts were harder and/or more costly to make in the early 70's than now. The cocking piece at the bolt's rear always looked complicated, and expensive, to machine to me and a good example of something that could benefit from more modern manufacturing methods. I could think of more, but that one always stood out to me.

If you, or someone, makes them again...put some black sights on it, would you?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:29 pm 
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Barry in IN wrote:

If you, or someone, makes them again...put some black sights on it, would you?


Melonite conversion over stainless steel, and a white, Smith and Wesson outline....I promise. :D

Was thinking that the Auto Mag would sell well in black also.

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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:00 am 
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Barry!!!

It's been something like 3 years since we last conversed in this thread. I just wanted you to know that I am still at work trying to win the powerball so that I can accumulate the necessary startup capital.....

didn't want you to think that I had given up the dream!!!!!! :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 10:49 am 
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As I recall, the gunsmith who taught me the trade once looked into working on an Automag. Despite being the smartest gun guy I have ever known, and a brilliant gunsmith at the genetic level, he passed on the project.\\

Apparently it was a Rube Goldberg of the highest order.


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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Thu Feb 19, 2009 1:42 am 
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Patrick Sweeney wrote:
As I recall, the gunsmith who taught me the trade once looked into working on an Automag. Despite being the smartest gun guy I have ever known, and a brilliant gunsmith at the genetic level, he passed on the project.\\

Apparently it was a Rube Goldberg of the highest order.



They were definitely NOT conventional. There was an attemtp to simplify the production toward the end of the original runs but the results were less than spectacular.

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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:07 am 
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I haven't checked in here for a while.

I wouldn't say the AutoMags were Rube Goldberg-like (especially compared to other "magunum autos"), but like DesertMoon said- they weren't exactly your average gun.

Like many supposedly radical designs, I'd say it was more a blend of conventional/familar designs than a case of doing anything new and different. Other designers have taken a similar route, but didn't always choose to borrow the best or most suitable systems. I think the ones used in the AutoMag were pretty appropriate for the task at hand:

-I always thought the bolt was M16-like. I recently got an M1941 Johnson, and would now say it resembled the Johnson bolt more than the M16's. The multiple lugs gave it the locking area it needed, and only required a small amount of rotation to lock or unlock. Less rotation needed less "power" diverted from running the bolt. At least, that's the theory.
-The trigger mechanism reminds me of a High Standard .22. As an H-S fan, I can't criticize that at all!
-The recoiling barrel and "barrel extension" (upper receiver) remind me of some Browning designs like the A5, Remington M8, and 1917/1919/M2 MGs. The AM used a fairly heavy barrel, so that weight may as well be put to work.
-The accelerator is very Browning MG-like. It gives the bolt a little "kick" to seperate it from the the barrel at that point in recoil travel. It's simple, adds no weight to speak of, and does the trick.
-The P38-type recoil spring arrangement is something I have doubts about. I'd wonder about the two springs giving uneven forces, but it probably does OK and I don't know where else the recoil spring(s) would go in this gun.

Regardless of whether there is a need for them, I just don't see many ways of making a .44 Mag-class semiauto pistol. I don't know if the Wildey system is the way to go as it looks more complicated. The Desert Eagle seems simpler, but I don't know if it is by much. The LAR Grizzly is an enlarged 1911, which may be OK but I have to wonder about making that big a leap. The AM is a fairly simple gun for what it is.

There were two main problems with AMs that I know of, and I can't blame the gun for one of them. The first was some rough finishing at times, and the other was caused by people hot rodding them.
Some guns were rougher than others, and polishing of areas like the inside of the recoil spring tunnels can make a big difference. One of my magazines was much rougher than the others, and wouldn't work very well until I helped it out some.
Breakages happened when people tried to see how far they could push it in loading ammunition. I have a lot of articles on them from the 70's, and some of the load data is scary. I'm sure some just had to go beyond that too. It's always been said they required full power ammo to function, and I guess some people's definition of "full power" means: "all they can get from it". I've only heard of guns being wrecked with these H-bomb loads and not people, so I think that's rather impressive about the gun.

DesertMoon- Good luck in that lottery.


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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 8:35 am 
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Thanks for the information you have provided on this forum.

I purchased a High Standard .44 AMP Model 180 sometime in the late 1980'S.
I can only recall shooting it two or three times and it has been sitting ever since, I'm not even sure if I can find the magazine(s) for it.

I'm considering selling it and would like to know if you have a recommendation on how you would go about it.

Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 3:08 pm 
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If I were selling one, I suppose I'd just use an auction site like Gunbroker.
They bring what a buyer is willing to pay, which sounds obvious, but there aren't that many AutoMag shoppers when it comes down to it. The easiest way to find a buyer would be an auction site, and I would think you would do OK money-wise.


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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Sun Jan 24, 2010 7:40 pm 
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Thanks for the imput. I beleive that is pretty good advise.


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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 2:51 pm 
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Still working on the lottery, Barry!

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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2013 7:39 pm 
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Barry...seven years later....

STILL WORKING ON THE LOTTO!!!

:mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:42 pm 
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Hey Barry.....

Ten years later.....still no luck. You need to keep the fingers on BOTH HANDS crossed for me!!!!!

LOL! We've had this going for TEN YEARS!!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:24 pm 
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Thanks for bringing the back up. Missed it earlier. I like guns!!!!!

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The only guns I like are those with triggers..


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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Thu Oct 27, 2016 7:23 pm 
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Tonyt wrote:
Thanks for bringing the back up. Missed it earlier. I like guns!!!!!


This thread ain't over yet.

Stay tuned.

:wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 8:10 pm 
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Soon!!!! Soooooooooooon!!!!

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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:38 am 
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Have you guys seen this?

http://www.automag.com/


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 Post subject: Re: Automags
PostPosted: Sat Sep 23, 2017 9:10 am 
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Ned, I have a sneaking suspicion that Barry in IN and Desert Moon are all over that like stink on.... Well, you know. :lol:


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