Amt ????


January 9, 2003, 09:19 PM
What can ya'll tell me about the AMT Backup in 380. There is one for sale for $169. It appears to be in very good condition. GOOD OR BAD, I need some info here. Thanks Serial number A-42599

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January 9, 2003, 09:29 PM

Poor quality control, you might get a good one, but I heard there were good Yugos also. ;)

Kahr carrier
January 9, 2003, 10:29 PM
Amt is subjective sometimes you get a good one and sometimes a bad one .If you get a good one there great. Buyer beware.:)

January 9, 2003, 11:05 PM
I used to have a Amt Backup 22lr . And all i can say is Beware ...
The gun had problems from new to broken in . It Jammed on average from 2 to 3 rounds per magazine . Even with Stingers a
very hot 22 it didnt solve the problem . The gun was taken to a gunsmith and still falied to work right . Then finally after about 1,000 rounds the gun started to fail to fire , and then on top of that later begin to only shoot 1 round at a time , and the case
would not eject by itslef . I also know someone else who has a 380 , the one you mentioned about getting , and it was pretty much the same story it jammed very often . My advice would be
to look for another 380 , even a cheap brand like Davis performs better than the amt backup . AMT imo is a horrible gun company.

Mike Irwin
January 9, 2003, 11:26 PM
Single action or double action?

If single action, I'd stay away from it.

The early guns had SERIOUS safety flaws, in that the safety was "off" after the lever had moved less than 10% of its entire length of travel.

Double actions are an entirely different kind of craps shoot.

Bottom Gun
January 9, 2003, 11:37 PM
You may need to use a fence stretcher to pull the trigger if it's like the one I used to have. :rolleyes:

January 10, 2003, 12:18 AM
MADDOG, I have an AMT Backup (DOA) in .45 ACP. Mine does not function well. It will fail to feed one out of every 5 rounds. I have a friend who has the same model that has not had any problems with his gun and has tried many types of ammo. I would suggest trying the specific gun before purchasing it. AMT and it's buyer Galena are no longer in business so if the gun does not work you have very few options for parts.

As Bottom Gun eluded, the DOA trigger is stout. I do not find this a problem. The AMT Backup is not a taget gun. I can shoot decent 7 yards groups with this gun.

January 10, 2003, 09:13 AM
As far as AMT goes, let me just say that during the last 40 years well over 300 guns of various makes and models have passed through my collection. Only two stand out in my mind as truly BAD guns. One was the original 380 Backup (SA) and the other was the 45 Backup (DAO). Both were such total POS that throwing them into the Atlantic Ocean could be considered environmental pollution.


Sean Smith
January 10, 2003, 09:17 AM
BAD. Avoid at all costs.

Marko Kloos
January 10, 2003, 10:24 AM
If it says AMT on the slide, there's a 50/50 chance that the gun will be either trouble-free or not run at all. The AMT Backup seems to be the worst offender of the line. Some other AMT models run OK, or can be made to do so.

January 10, 2003, 10:38 AM
I only have experience with the AMT 45 Backup

:fire: :cuss: :fire:

January 10, 2003, 11:48 AM

January 10, 2003, 01:47 PM
I have a AMT back-up 45ACP now and it works just fine, will shoot any bullet weight with no problems, and I used to own a 380 back-up which I traded to my brother-in-law who is a LEO and wanted a small handgun to carry into court in an ankle holster and that one worked great also or otherwise he would not have traded for it....... buy it.........

January 10, 2003, 02:15 PM
If you want a good little .380 - Bersa and Firestorm are inexpensive and they hold up quite well. I have one, my Sister does, and the guy I work with also has one and none of us has had a problem.

Firestorm and Bersa are the same almost - only the Firestorm has rubber wrap a round finger groove grips, and sights like a Glock......

Something to think about.

January 10, 2003, 05:41 PM
I purchased a brand new AMT .380 backup in 1989 or so, based on a positive review from a gun magazine. It was the original single-action model.

That gun had the worst bite of any I've fired before or since. Fortunately, I was lucky to get it to chamber and fire more than two or three rounds per magazine. I tried to sell it at a gun shop, but I was told "we don't buy those, they don't work". I finally sold it to a friend that thought he'd fix it witha throught job. Good riddance.

Keep in mind, this gun's safety was only a trigger block.

Don't buy it.

January 11, 2003, 12:02 AM
I have an early .380 AMT single action backup. The positives are the gun is still one of the smallest .380's you can buy, VERY concealable. Mine also has no problems feeding and firing. Its a nice little carry gun, but it does have some drawbacks.

The negatives....even the gun's owners manual recommends NOT carrying the weapon with a round in the chamber. The firing pin is NOT blocked, and the hammer (concealed in the body of the weapon) will be cocked back, ready to fire. My safety lever broke at one point, but at the time AMT was still in business, so they sent me a new safety lever.

I once diassembled the firing "block", which required punching out a retaining pin. Never did that again...once the pin was out, I had to go to Ace Hardware to get a new pin. Just used spray cleaner from that point on.

Since the gun is not backed by its manufacturer anymore, I would not get it, even though mine has been "ok". There are superior products on the market now. Still...I must admit, when the weather is very hot, and you are just wearing shorts, it is great to have a .380 small enough to just slip into your pocket...

Mine may be great, but others may be bad...

There are superior choices, even if not in .380. The KelTec in .32 looks superior in design to the AMT.

(I also replaced the screws in the grip with regular sloted ones...they had some weird hex screws in mine. Another trip to Ace Hardware)

I take it this is NOT going to be your first gun, correct? If it is, there are MUCH better choices...

January 13, 2003, 10:00 PM
I've had an AMT .380 DAO Back Up since '94. It has fed both ball and JHP reliably. It is the smallest gun I have in a decent caliber for self-defense, but I usually only carry it when I can't conceal my G27.

It does have a very heavy trigger pull and is difficult to disassemble for thorough cleaning.

January 14, 2003, 12:14 AM
Since Kel tec plans to annouce a .380 next month, I would just get that...lighter, and actually backed by a company that is in business...

Heck, may even have to get one myself...

January 14, 2003, 02:44 AM
Junk..maximum, complete junk!

H Romberg
March 31, 2003, 09:08 PM
I must have gotten lucky!:D
the one I picked up today burned through 2 full boxes of PMC hardball without one malfunction. Had to buy it despite the bite it puts on your hand. It's the smallest .380 I've run across, and it came with a whole bag of spare parts. I'll remember to stick with 5 rounds though, since it's a SA model. Thanks 4 the heads up Mike. I checked out the safety, and it disengages just past the half way point. Scary. Anyway, we'll see how it handles HP's tomorrow. Friggin thing's a nightmare to strip for cleaning.

April 1, 2003, 12:47 AM
At $169, that AMT 380 is about $170 over priced! If it was thrown in with a trade or came along w/ some cash, maybe! It would depend on the main gun in the trade, what I was giving up & how much cash!

April 1, 2003, 01:10 AM
It is really a shame that AMY made such horrible guns, because all of their guns were (in theory) pretty neat...

They had neat designs...they should have just contracted the designs to a better manufacturer. I really liked the idea of the 22mag autoloader that they had...and the 380 backup seemed like a neat sort of gun to have around...if it only worked.

April 1, 2003, 01:55 AM
My dad has an AMT Backup in .45 and it has never jammed! I have heard bad things about them but I have SEEN good things. It also has softer recoil than a Glock 36 and is not totaly inaccurate. I think it is a good small all SS .45. The DA trigger is really heavy.

I don't think they are junk, I think AMT has good designs but I have heard about the spotty QC from other people besides those that post on forums. A co-worker of mine told me that AMT is the one gun that he would not buy at any price after his bad experiences with his, I don't know which model but I suspect it was a 1911 because he liked those.

I think you are going to get mixed opinions, but for that price I would pass, you could get a Kel-Tec or a Bersa for a few bucks more and they are better guns.

May 19, 2008, 08:01 PM
Its funny I was reading this threat to figure out how to disassemble the one I've had for 20 years. I put it away a number of years ago in favor of my Taurus 9mm Millenium which took its place. Recently I decided to carry it in my cargo pocket because the Millenium ankle holster was starting to chafe my leg and the Taurus is bigger.

I never had problems with the backup other than spraguing it open to clean the barrel. It fires nicely. Mine's the single action with the grip safety.

I do not carry it with one in the chamber and assume that it would be dangerous to do so even if the safeties all worked AOK which they do by the way.

If you shoot a box of ammo through it, the web of your hand will feel the sting no doubt. But its small and compact design makes it theeeee smallest 380 you can carry just about.

Its heavy though. But a couple of spare mags on the other side makes up the difference.

May 19, 2008, 08:05 PM
Had a .380 backup.

All stainless and beautifull shape.

Had a 947 pound trigger.

Sold it.

Claude Clay
May 19, 2008, 08:10 PM
omc 380.....was finer than fine. that was 30 years ago in a galaxy far far away

May 19, 2008, 10:14 PM
Driving out the roll pin to dissassemble the thing is a real PITA and is definitely a con, but other than that, I still stand by my original reply!

Nothing like resurrecting a five year old thread! :confused:

Thanks for the memories!

BTW, I still carry that AMT regularly. :D

May 20, 2008, 01:35 AM
I find AMT/IAI/whatever else they called themselves to have even poorer QC than Spanish or Brazilian guns if that tells you anything.

A shame as some designs are innovative and/or lookm nice.

My bud says AMT= Always Made of Trash

May 20, 2008, 02:21 AM
I always took a buddy to the range when I was going to shoot my 380 AMT. Took both of us to pull the trigger.
True story, dad got me and my brother AMT Longslides, sequencial serial #'s. Mine was the most inaccurate single shot pistol I've ever owned. Finally traded it to a friend for a can of soup and half a sandwich. He hasn't spoken to me since. My brother's runs just fine. It's one of his favorite 45's and he collects 1911's. Go figure.

May 20, 2008, 03:43 AM
FYI High Standard has picked up the AMT pistols, both the Automags and the Backups- I owned an Automag III that was a joy to shoot, IF you wore hearing protection. The flame this thing would shoot out was awesome, of course that was just wasted powder, but it was an amazing light show.

May 20, 2008, 09:46 PM
I had a mid 1980's 380 SA Backup. It was one of the two pistols I was ever glad to get rid of. It never did run right.

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