AMT 45 cal Backup


Crystal River Charlie
May 30, 2007, 05:56 PM
Hello All,
I came across a AMT Backup in 45 acp. Like new condition with factory
box, 2 mags. and paper work. was wondering if any one here has owned one
and what do you all know about it.
Thanks in advance,
C R Charlie

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May 30, 2007, 06:25 PM
Get ready for the flames. These guns, as with most of AMT's product line, were hit and miss with regard to quality and reliability. Sometimes, you run across one that works. When you get one of these (and I have one) you realize that, though it is heavy, it excels in its role as a hideout/CCW piece. When you get one that gives you grief, they're the worst POS on the face of the planet. Reliability is the chief complaint from most people. In my view, this design has alot of potential but AMT either couldn't or wouldn't fully develop it into what it could be.

The gun has an extraordinarily heavy trigger. Most estimates are in the 20lb range largely b/c most hobbyists who have triggerpull gauges don't have one heavy enough for accurate measure. It takes a good amount of strength to rack the slide and chamber a round. It's sensitive to even the thought of limpwristing.

There are complaints about accuracy, but you have to realized that this is more likely due to the heavy triggerpull in concert with the gutter sights. This gun lacks conventional sights, instead having a gutter milled in the slide to act as rudimentary sights. Given the purpose of the gun, I think this sort of sight is apropriate.

AMT is long gone, but supposedly High Standard is making them again, along with parts for the old ones. I haven't seen one of the new ones, though.

If the gun you're looking at is a real good price and you don't mind the possibility that you may have to mess around with it to get it working reliably, get it. They're very, very small for the caliber and flat too. I would guess price on a used one should run in the $175-200 range. Maybe $250 for a really pristine example.

May 30, 2007, 06:31 PM
I'd try very hard to shoot a box or two through the gun before buying it. They've got their place when they work. A set of Wolf spirings should help with reliability if you can manage that for the testing.

May 30, 2007, 06:38 PM
My backup was a jamomatic with anything but round nose ammo, even after a ramp polish, had an occasional ftf with round nose.Sold it first chance I got.

May 30, 2007, 06:46 PM
They are ammo specific. Like most of AMT products they have, shall we say, some feeding problems when using most anything other than FMJ. Accuracy, if you know how to shoot one is good. Price is always a factor, how much do they want for it?

May 30, 2007, 07:19 PM
I liked the concept so much that I bought one in 40 S&W about 10 years ago. It worked OK for a little while but then became so unreliable I traded it in for about a third what I paid for it. There are much better compact pistols available today. Save yourself some money and aggravation and avoid the AMT.

Crystal River Charlie
May 30, 2007, 07:36 PM
I traded about $150.00 non firearm related items for it.
C R Charlie

May 30, 2007, 07:42 PM
$150 in merchandise for like new? Then you got a very good deal. Get a couple of different kinds of FMJ rounds and take it to the range to see what it will do. Truly you never know until you shoot it. They seem to favor ball ammo.

May 30, 2007, 08:23 PM
sounds like ya got a good deal.mine will feed anything at first it had light strike issue but a little work and its fine thing about it its impossible to flinch or jerk the trigger its just too dang heavy takes all your strength to pull it

May 30, 2007, 08:28 PM
I had a AMT Backup .45. I bought it about 4 years ago when I was looking for a concealable pocket gun. My criteria then was .40 cal or greater, as small as possible and a single stack magazine design if possible. The Back-up fit my needs perfectly. The one I had fired fine without any jams but its accuracy past 10 yards sucked.

I ended up trading it in a couple years ago when Kahr came out with their PM40. I love the Kahr and think it is a much better gun (smaller, more accurate, lighter, etc.) but it also has a much higher price tag.

May 31, 2007, 09:10 AM
Mine’s somewhere off the Miami coast and about 6000 feet down. If you find it, you’re welcome to it. Total piece of junk!


February 20, 2014, 03:11 PM


February 20, 2014, 05:17 PM
I shot one many years ago...belonged to a co-worker...and the thing that stands out in my mind is the heavy trigger pull. She said it always functioned, but the trigger pull made it very hard to hit with.

When we shot it off a bench the sights were well regulated for 230 FMJ ammo at 7 yards.

The thing to avoid is trying to lighten the trigger pull. That heavy hammer spring is part of what keeps the action locked, upon ignition, to allow the pressure to drop to safe levels

February 20, 2014, 05:41 PM
I bought one upon arriving in FL in (94, while waiting for my guns to be shipped by NYPD to Jupiter Chief of Police. I thought it was extremely cool at the time, and had never seen a large caliber gun, 45, that size. It shot very well , no ftf or fte, excessive trigger pull. I don't think it could have been less than 12-15 lbs. I decided to give it to Firearms Plus in Ft. Lauderdale to do a trigger job on it. That was the end of it, for a few rounds it was great, then it stopped working, they obviously removed too much metal from some ware. I got rid of it to them, and moved on.
I could actually shoot it well, "no one else could" , who tried it at the time. But it was ridiculous to try and string together more than one shot in 1 1/2-2 seconds. The sound was also deafening.

February 20, 2014, 08:26 PM
I've owned mine for decades. I did have the lock works polished up by a good smith. The trigger is heavy compared to some, but since it is smoother it isn't noticeable.

Never had any reliability issues other than what one normally expects during break in. And that's likely why the developed a reputation for malfunctioning. It is not pleasant to shoot. It takes several hundred rounds to even start to break in a semi auto. I figured most folks shot a magazine or two thru them, they hung up once or twice and they gave up.

I put an initial 400 rounds of cheap 230 gr ball ammo thru it. Then went to JHPs and had no issues. So, if your's is "like new", shoot it, clean it and shoot it some more before making any decisions.

By the way, I frequently carry mine and have complete confidence that it will perform when needed.

February 21, 2014, 02:17 PM
I had an AMT Backup .380 with the SA trigger. Trust me when I say that some of them work, the rest are lemons. AMT got a really bad rap back in the 70's and 80's for reliability, namely since those who loved them kept them. And those that hated them sold them. The one I owned was one of the amazing ones, never had a failure shooting FMJ ammunition. HPs were another matter. So don't be discouraged if you buy the .45 and it jams on HP, just try some Pow R Ball or Lawman, something with a closed tip.

Make sure you look up a detailed field trip manual/exploded parts diagram for yours. These weapons do not field strip easily. I could do mine with a screwdriver, cut Q tip and a wooden spoon. I gave mine a thorough cleaning before I ever put a round in because of the age of these firearms. I found what looked like a human canine tooth under the internal hammer.

DT Guy
February 21, 2014, 02:21 PM
I found what looked like a human canine tooth under the internal hammer.

Errr.....I feel like I need to go clean my mind out with soap after that one.


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