Let's discuss the AMT Backup in 9mm


December 21, 2003, 07:05 PM
Anybody have good or bad experiences with an AMT Backup in 9mm?

I'd like to get a Kahr MK9 Elite 2003, but none of the gunstores in my area have any Kahr's much less that model.

There's an unfired AMT Backup 9mm with two mags at the gunstore for $299. Gunstore guy says they can do $275. If I can get them to eat the tax as well should I get it?

They also got a P3AT for $299, but that's high and they just feel so flimsy not to mention I'm not a big fan of .380, but they're so small and light!! Hard to get a good grip on though and not real confidence inspiring.

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December 21, 2003, 11:22 PM

December 22, 2003, 11:26 AM
I think I'm gonna buy the AMT today. Anybody think that's a bad idea? Any serial numbers to look for? Are the South Dakota guns better than the Kali ones? I think this one says Kali on the slide.

December 22, 2003, 12:03 PM
A few years ago, AMTs were not well thought of. I had a Backup in .22LR I bought in 1985 or so just because I liked the way it looked. Never shot it much but can say the trigger was horrible.

I believe the "original" AMT went out of business and the product line has been reintroduced by somebody else. Maybe they're better now.

December 22, 2003, 12:09 PM
AMT has been out of business for at least a couple years now. They were bought by somebody else, but I guess they couldn't repay the loans on their equipment (or something like that) according to the gunshop guy.

December 22, 2003, 12:14 PM
AMTs are still not well thought of. AMT was in and out of business several times. AMT, IAI, Galina. I probably missed a few. Currently, nobody is making their designs. All machinery and even the blueprints for the guns were even sold when the company assets were auctioned off. Far as I know this was done piecemeal (nobody got all of it). If you really want it go get it. $275 out the door in new condition is not that great (200-250 would be better). Just keep in mind that there will be no product support available and precious few parts. If it breaks and you want it back in service, having a 'smith custom make your parts is about the only thing you can do or you might find another one and keep it as a parts donor. The design should be able to handle 9mm ok. IIRC they even made a model in .400 Corbon. The South Dakota guns, I believe, are Galina. I've seen a few and they look about the same. Probably the California guns were best as most were made when the original owner was still alive. After he kicked the bucket, seems things went south quick.

I have a backup .45 that I bought shortly after they were introduced. It's always done very well, although the trigger pull is abominable. Many, many other people have not had similar experiences.

December 22, 2003, 12:50 PM
There's another variable I forgot to mention. Another gunshop close by has an Autauga .32 that I believe is new. They want $329 or more I think. I know CDNN has these pistols for $199 + shipping. I was thinking of mentioning this to them and hopefully talking them down to $250 or so.

This would be much smaller than the AMT and better for pocket carry, but Autauga is also out of business and they have a small problem with the firing pin denting the primers when rounds are chambered. And I'm not thrilled with .32 ACP.

December 22, 2003, 01:10 PM
AMT=another way of saying POS.

December 22, 2003, 01:53 PM
AMT=another way of saying POS.

What AMT models have you had problems with?

Andrew Wyatt
December 22, 2003, 02:14 PM
every amt i've had the misfortune of coming into contact with has been problematic.

December 22, 2003, 02:37 PM
Had an IAI .40 in the early 90's that wouldn't hit the broad side of a barn---literally. Well---that's when it wasn't jamming.

It shot a foot to two low at 7yds or less. The rear sight ran out of upward adjustment----then I lost the screw.

Owned it for exactly one month----till I traded it for a just introduced Ruger P-90--which was a very good gun.

December 22, 2003, 11:38 PM
Ive shot a couple of the DAO Backups....one .380 that I would have loved to get as a pocket gun. The trigger had been gone through and was very very slick......and it made the gun much more accurate.
The 9mm I shot was reliable but still had the trigger, like all 20#'s of pull, that people dont like. I cant say I blame them.
After watching a 45 Backup being shot........I just passed. It looked more punishing than my 357 Snubs with full house loads.

I wouldnt say they are ALL POS! But youre taking a chance with it to be qutie honest.......................

Shoot well.

December 22, 2003, 11:49 PM
About 15 years ago I had a .380 backup, single action, made in CA. It was a decent gun. Had a couple of jams, but that was with the cheapest gunshow reloads I could afford at the time. It would throw brass right at your head with a two handed hold.

Other than that it was good. It seemed well made, and I don't remember the trigger as being too bad.

I'd still have it if it hadn't been stolen.

December 23, 2003, 04:23 PM
Well, got me an Autauga .32 at my favorite gunshop today!

I showed the $199 CDNN advertisement to the owner. They had one marked down to $299. It came with two mags and it was right there for me to look at. The CDNN one only comes with 1 mag and shipping is extra + transfer fee of $15. He said he could go $250. I looked it over and said SOLD!

Wow, these are neat guns. Solid and excellent fit and finish. As nice as the Seecamp sitting next to it, only it didn't have the polish. But I didn't really want that anyways. 12oz's unloaded!!! It's so much nicer than those flimsy Kel-Tecs I don't even know where to begin. And the magazine latch is designed so that it can't be unlatched in the pocket. It's even better than a heel mag release in that respect.

I'm happy! :)

On a side note, anyone got an Uncle Mike's #2 pocket holster they want to sell? I shouldn't have sold mine. Thought I would never own a pocket gun this small.

December 24, 2003, 01:16 AM
You're probably better off. The AMT backup guns had probably the best reputation of the line, but that's not saying much. I take that back, the Lightning, which was a copy of the Ruger Mark II had the best rep. The .45 Govt. model I had was accurate, and had many nice features you pay extra for, but was the most unreliable POS I've ever owned. It was traded in for loss on a Colt Mark IV, and I've NEVER been sorry.

December 24, 2003, 01:27 AM
Hmm, I'm sure I probably won't be buying that AMT now. Next pocket gun on my list is a Kahr MK9 Elite 2003 when I can find one. I do like the heel mag release on the AMT though, but it's just a tad to long (5.75") for pocket carry and I don't have to worry about loading a Kahr MK9 up with NATO 9mm and um if something breaks the company isn't out of business and I'll actually be able to get parts. I guess the only reason I was looking at the AMT was for lack of better options. The Kel-Tecs (barf :barf: ) and Beretta Tomcats were the only other options besides the Autauga.

There's a fine line for me, if it's too big for pocket carry than I'm not interested unless it's a full size. I just don't see the point of "compact" guns. BHP/1911 sized guns are just as easy to carry as compacts IMO.

December 24, 2003, 07:19 AM
I think you did the right thing passing on the AMT.
Unless it was the DAO model, it isn't safe to carry with a round chambered.
(Kind of does away with the whole "backup" thing, doesn't it?)

Apparently you've had a KelTec that has left a bad taste in you mouth, huh?
I've owned several, and still have a couple. Once we got the bugs worked out, they've been great guns.
The P3AT didn't have any bugs, by the way.
For light weight carry guns, they are hard to beat.
To each his own, but they are light years ahead of AMT in every area.
Trigger, accuracy, reliability, weight, etc.

If it's just polymer guns that you don't like, I can relate to that.
For some reason, I've started to like alloy/steel guns much more, and polymer guns less.
My Kahr PM9 and KelTec P3AT are still the two most frequently carried guns, though.
Until lighter, alloy options come along.
(The Colt Defender is closing ground fast. :) )

Good luck with the Autauga.
There were problems with some of them with the mag dropping out when firing. Give it a good wring out before you carry it.

That gunshop seems firmly on the "high" side.
Are there any shops around with better prices?

December 24, 2003, 11:33 AM
It is the DAO model. I'm not aware of a single action AMT Backup that is larger than .380.

No, I just don't like polymer guns, the cheap flimsy Kel-Tecs I just cannot warm up to no matter how hard I try. Not even the P11.

As far as the Autauga's magazine falling out during firing...looks about impossible to me, it fits very snug and the release is not that easy to manipulate.

There are only 3 gunshops around here, 1 is a sporting goods store so they've pretty much got the monopoly on guns. That's why I do alot of transfers.....usually they don't have what I'm looking for and the stuff they do have is overpriced.

Sean Smith
December 24, 2003, 11:51 AM
I shot an AMT Backup .40. Pure crap, and the slide bit me. :eek: Saw somebody try to shoot an AMT Automag III and fail. Don't think much of AMT.

December 24, 2003, 02:16 PM
A friend of mine bought the AMT .45 backup and it was the WORST gun I have ever shot, and I've had the pleasure of shooting quite a few. The trigger was so bad that the pain of shooting it made it unbearable after the first few rounds. I strongly suggest that you get something else.

December 24, 2003, 07:34 PM
Had a 380 backup, that was fairly reliable with the right ammo, but the trigger pull was just nasty. Then a couple of years ago my dad bought me and my brother each an AMT Longslide. My brother's was great, very accurate, never a problem with feeding or ejecting. Mine was another gun completely, like they were made by different companies. Wouldn't feed anything but hardball, and that wasn't even a sure thing. And 6 inch groups at 25yrds was about as good as it got.

December 24, 2003, 07:56 PM
On another note related to AMT, I had an Automag II in .22mag. Most impressive fireball. Not much good for anything other than noise making and flash. Was reliable as long as you used the factory recommended Winchester .22 mag. Something to do with the type of powder used to load that ammunition. Choked something fierce on CCI brands. Sold it b/c I couldn't justify the (relatively) high cost of ammo for a .22 and it gave me headaches when I shot it (this is using both 31db NRR muffs and earplugs).

AMT had a lot of promising stuff, they just didn't finish the guns or allowed subpar specimens to leave the factory and therefore couldn't satisfy people who would have bought their guns.

As far as the Autauga goes, the company is out of business but I thought that I read somewhere that the owners incorporated a new company that would repair the guns, but wouldn't make new pistols (for some reason I want to say they're making rifles now). Maybe poke around on this board or TFL and see if you can surface this info. It might come in useful if you have a problem.

December 24, 2003, 09:06 PM
OK, I found a thread that discusses Autauga and subsequent ventures.


Bottom line is that if something breaks, you'll have to find yourself a good gunsmith.

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