NormanKeith -


Automag pistols were produced in the 1980s by the gun maker and designer Harry Sanford who was responsible for the invention of the 44 Auto Mag in the 1970s. They were manufactured under the direction of Harry Sanford in his companies "AMT (Arcadia Machine and Tool)" and "IAI (Irwindale Arms Inc)". Harry was an Inovative genius with a passion to master the use of stainless steel in the production of handguns in magnum cartridges that are incredibly fun and impressive to shoot.
The Auto Mag was made famous thanks to Clint Eastwood in the "Dirty Harry" movie "Sudden Impact" (1983).  The .44 Auto Mag (.44 AMP) cartridge was developed by cutting down .308 Winchester or .30-06 cases and die forming, then internally reaming them to accept the .44 bullet. It was a 240grain bullet moving at around 1400 fps. Barrels were made for the Auto Mag in .357 AMP and .41 JMP. I'm looking forward to finally getting hold of an Auto Mag (right now it's just an item on the "bucket" list) and when I do I'll do write ups on it's complete history.
                                                                                                                                                    Thanks to Walter Sanford for the use of his father's picture and his outgoing support in giving us all AMT historical facts.

The Auto Mag and the AutoMags, what they are and are not.

I have collected the AutoMags II, III, IV, and V and will eventually break down and aquire an original 44 Auto Mag. I'll also be sharing info on my 1911 based AMTs, the Javelina 10mm, 45 Hardballer, 40 Skipper and the Ruger clones, the 22 Lightning and Baby Auto Mag.
These handguns are not thought of as a basic self defense weapons. As a matter of fact when researching them you will probably find opinions of them covering both ends of the spectrum on reliability and function. The AutoMag II was the only model that could fit concealed requirements because it was thin in design and besides the 6.5 inch was produced in 3.75 and 4.5 inch barrels.

What they are is a collection of masterpieces in their design, the cartridges they fire, and the fun they are to shoot. They are great for hunting and target/plinking shooting fun and they will make you friends and acquaintances at any shooting session. They will be coveted in collections for what they are with the same type of affection given to Luger and Mauser collections.

My goal here is to over time fill these pages with data on each of my AutoMags and give a review of firing, reloads, factory ammo, fail to feeds, anything done to correct them, video, and any other fun and useful information I can come up with to share with all of you that have or are interested in developing the same admiration that I have for Harry Sanford and his fire breathing masterpieces. So, bookmark me and be patient. I hope you find it informative.

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The Baby Auto Mag
1 of only 1000 made. This scaled down replica of the Auto Mag was produced on the "Lighting" frame in the .22 Long Rifle cartridge.


The Lighting (.22 LR)

 The Lighting, just like the Baby Auto Mag above was a clone of the Ruger MkII and like the Ruger was chambered in the 22 Long Rifle cartridge.

 I'll complete this write up soon.

The AutoMag II (.22 WMR)

AutoMag II .22 WMR - Left side

AutoMag II .22 WMR R

 The AutoMag II was the first auto loading hand gun manufactured that would cycle the 22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire cartridge.

 It is a delight to fire. Besides being extremely comfortable to hold and a natural pointer the AutoMag II launches a 12" orange sphere of fire when it is shot. It gives an impresive report and a comfortable but confident recoil. Someone will always be coming over to watch and ask about this pistol when you are firing it at a range.

AutoMag III (.30 Carbine)

AutoMag III (.30 Carbine) Left side
The hunting and camping trips that this pistol has been on with me on are to many to count. It's just as fun to shoot as the AutoMag II and it's one of those guns that seem to hit what ever you are aiming or pointing at.

AutoMag III (.30 Carbine) Right side

 The .30 Carbine round (like the .22 WMR in the AutoMag II) puts out a fireball that is seen in the day time. The grip is long and sizable due to the length of the cartridge but the recoil (though substantial) is comfortable.

 When firing the AutoMag III, I think most people would have the thought of "perfect balance" going though their minds as they are regaining their shot picture for the next round and their senses are recovering from the report and fireball. This one is a true masterpiece that has taken deer, hog, and one alligator that came into came and turned into breakfast burritos at camp one morning. (sure, put the tents up at the bank of that pond down by the creek).

AutoMag IV (.45 Winchester Magnum)

AutoMag IV (.45 Winchester Magnum) Left side

The AutoMag IV in the .45 Winchester Magnum cartridge is a beautiful pistol to fire.Other examples of handguns in the round are the Desert Eagle and the Wildey which both have very large grips in
AutoMag IV (.45 Winchester Magnum) right sidecomparison to all of all AutoMags The grips on the AutoMags are comfortable. Although the AutoMags III, IV, and V are large they fit your palm and leave you with a better sense of control when they are fired. The AutoMag IV was produced in the 9MM Magnum cartridge also.

I have owned this AutoMag for years but as of this writing (July, 2010) I have only had an opportunity to put 20 rounds through it and there were no malfunctions of any kind in that shooting session. The .45 Win Mag fired in the pistol is impressive with a solid boom, feel, and the sounds of it rechambering. It really doesn't have an exsessive or over powering recoil. It'a a sexy gun that I can't wait to post every kind of data that I can on.

AutoMag V (.50 AE "Action Express")

AutoMag V (.50 AE Action Express)

The largest of the AutoMags, the .50 AE cartridge fired in the AutoMag V with it's ported barrel is the closest thing I can imagine to firing a real cannon from your hand. It's actually the only firearm that I have fired that has ever come close to scaring me in being uncomfortable to shoot.

AutoMag V (.50 AE Action Express) right sidePushing a 300 grain bullet at 1466 fsp (example quoted from Speer reloading) the the recoil of this pistol delivers a shock to the senses. The one session I had with it made everyone that was with me tell me to put it back in the case after the third shot because of what I must have looked like while firing and recovering from the recoil not to mention the incredible percussion and shock wave of this round.

I am looking forward to fine tuning this AutoMag both mechanically and by mastering the perfect load to reload for it. This is the only AutoMag of mine that has malfunctioned when firing and the failures were in the form of the next round standing up with the slide closing on it and even having a second round completely fly out of the magazine when another turned sideways with the slide slamming on it. The ammo I used on the pistol came from a trusted local reloader/manufacturer that loads to factory specs but I don't have statistics for it.

The next time this AutoMag V is fired I will be reporting on what load criteria and any work to it was needed to make it fire reliably and we'll compare the load data to original specifications. 

The 1911 framed AMT's

Skipper (.40 Smith & Wesson)

HardBaller (.45 ACP)


Javelina (10mm Automatic)

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