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AMT 380 Backup. Good Deal?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by christcorp, Feb 10, 2010.

  1. christcorp

    christcorp Well-Known Member

    I know this is a generic question that will garner many different opinions but; I have a friend at work who can use a little money. He wants to sell me his AMT 380 Backup for $75. I know it works, because last year he asked me to do a cleaning on it and to test it out. He hasn't shot it since last summer, when I did the shooting. It went through 2 boxes of FMJ without a glitch.

    It's relatively old.... possibly the last 80's. Don't know for sure. It's a Single Action only. I've looked on gunbroker for a price; saw them for about $300-$350??? Go figure??? I definitely wouldn't pay that kind of money for it. Especially for a caliber that costs a premium and is difficult to find. I've heard over the years from: 1) They suck really bad.... 2) They are really good..... 3) It's a hit or miss, all depends on which one it is. I don't normally go for the cheaper questionable guns except for experimenting. E.g. I've played with bryco, jimenez, davis, etc.... I won't own one. I've played with Hi-Point, and I trust it. But I don't know much/anything about the AMT.

    I figure for $75, I'm helping someone out, and not really risking my money. The gun has to be worth at least $75???? What ya think?????
  2. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    If you know it works, it is easily worth more then $75 bucks.

    Some of them didn't work so hot though.

    Since you have already tested this one, what are you waiting for?

  3. aHFo3

    aHFo3 Well-Known Member

    My uncle has one that I was able to inspect, but not fire. It seems like a solid firearm. I'd jump on it for $75! My uncle has a cool holster for it as well. It is like a bifold wallet that snaps around the gun and fits in your back pocket like a wallet. I think it will even fire inside the wallet holster (insert 007 sound here).
  4. christcorp

    christcorp Well-Known Member

    I'm not a big fan of the 380. Not because there's anything wrong with it; just that I've never needed such a round. I carry a 9mm Makarov the vast majority of the time. I also carry a 32acp; and some times a 45acp. I'm of the crowd that believes that shot placement is everything. After that, the bigger the hole, the more blood loss. The main reason I don't care too much for the 380, is because of the cost and availability of ammunition. But I am helping a friend out. So I'll probably go ahead and buy it.

    It will probably sit in my safe and never get used. I'll probably tear it apart and give it a real good cleaning and lube. I'll test fire it to make sure it still shoots good. Then I'll probably never touch it again. I guess it could be good trading material at the next gun show. I can't believe that gunbroker's has these going for $350. Including a SAO like the one I'm picking up. So, for $75, I guess it's OK. Thanks for the input.
  5. Nasty

    Nasty Well-Known Member

    If it's a friend...I'd offer him a fair price, not take the $75 desperation price.
  6. christcorp

    christcorp Well-Known Member

    I appreciate the thoughts. "Desperation" price is not an accurate statement. I said he could "Use" some money. He has his projects, toys, etc... like most of us do. It's not like he "Needs" money to pay rent, food, etc... I'll give him the $75 for it, because that's what he's asking for it and I'm willing to pay that. We're older adults, 50's, not some young 20's with a wife and kids, and ignorant about money.

    Anyway, thanks all for the comments. Seems like something worth picking up. If for no other reason than as an investment for my next toy. Thanks again.
  7. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    it is worth picking up just for the novelty of owning an out of production gun. there is quite a history to the AMT/OMC company.

    i'd pay $75 for it, just as i paid $50 for a Beretta 21A...it was just cute

    MICHAEL T Well-Known Member

    yep give him 76 and ask for any ammo he has in380.

    I would buy at that price
  9. christcorp

    christcorp Well-Known Member

    Yea; I think his said he had a box of Winchester Silvertips. But personally, they are not my favorite ammo. They jam a lot in almost everything I've shot them in. I'll probably just shoot those for fun. With traditional blow back guns that I have that are small caliber, I prefer to use either Powerballs or Hornady Critical Defense. They give the best feeding of FMJ and the expansion of HP. But a free box of silvertips is definitely worthy of plinking with.
  10. jem375

    jem375 Well-Known Member

    I had a 380 backup and got rid of it when it wouldn't go through a piece of tin when I shot it... the gun worked fine but I didn't like the caliber.. I own a 45 ACP back up and it works fine..
    By the way, don't you mean DAO?
  11. RonBernert

    RonBernert Well-Known Member

    I had a .380 backup I bought new a few years ago, and sold it to a friend's wife a few years ago and wish I hadn't. Great little gun, really concealable, fired every single time.... $75.00 would be a steal! Buy it!!
  12. christcorp

    christcorp Well-Known Member

    No Jem, it's a SAO. It's single action. Not Double Action.
  13. verdun59

    verdun59 Well-Known Member

    I've said it before but I'll say it again..."RUN, do not walk away from that gun."
    Or send me the $75 and I'll send you a picture of one and a copy of some of the correspondence I had with one of its companies.
  14. pingpingping

    pingpingping Well-Known Member

    Mine sucks
  15. christcorp

    christcorp Well-Known Member

    Well, as I said, I shot it last year after doing a major cleaning on it for him. Went through a couple of boxes of ammo with any problems. Certain hp ammo I can imagine being a problem, but all in all I know it works. And while I do appreciate opinions, I tend to not pay much attention to extremes. Sort of like the olympics and throwing out the highest and lowest score. If someone said it was the greatest gun in the world, I would put that in the same category as the person who says to run as fast as I can away from such a gun. Because neither person is correct. No gun, meaning all of their pistols, are the greatest in the world. And none, meaning all of their guns, are the worst. Every gun manufacturer has some bad ones come through. Some more than others. The main consensus I've seen with the AMT backup 380 is that it's a hit or miss situation. If you get a hit, then it's a really good little gun. If you get a miss, then nothing you do to it can make it work right.

    If I followed the "run away" opinion on guns, I don't think I'd own any guns. On this forum alone, you can find people who think glocks are the worst POS of all guns. Some think the SigSauer is a terrible gun. Same with just about every manufacturer. Of course, there's also the group that somehow thinks quality is directly proportionate to price. I.e. If it doesn't cost $400+ then it's junk.

    Now, if those who don't like the AMT Backup 380 has some specifics about it that I should be aware of, then I'm definitely interested in your perspective. But I know first hand that this pistol operates satisfactorily. At least through the 2 boxes of ammo that I put it through. And obviously, some people must like them, if they are going for $250-$350 on gunbroker. "Assuming someone is buying them".

    If I hear 10 negatives and no positives, I would reconsider. But there seems to be a more positive vs negative consensus. For $75, I help a friend who wants the cash, and I have a good chance of having a gun that I can find a use for or have as trading material at the next gun show. (I never sell guns to local dealers).
  16. sig228

    sig228 Well-Known Member

  17. christcorp

    christcorp Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the link Sig. Seems that his report confirms generally what I've also found. It's a hit or miss. If you get one that's reliable, great. If not, you're screwed. I know this one shoots reliably. Other reports I've seen is also like what xavier discovered. The original SAO (Before it was AMT; also known as OMC, were indeed really unreliable. As well as later on, their DAO. Well, fortunately, this one is neither. It is a Single Action Only, but it is from later on in production and not the OMC line. And it doesn't have any of the DAO issues obviously.

    If I had never shot it before, I'd be really concerned. I was looking to see if anyone mentioned slides breaking, firing pins breaking, ALL guns this or ALL guns that, type of situations. But it seems that the issues that people have had, are indeed isolated; and this one seems to fall into the 50/50 batch that did well.

    A few months ago, when I originally was going to buy it, my friend mentioned that he had some feeding issues with the gun. That was one reason he wanted to part with it. But after I showed him why you shouldn't stagger stack a magazine with different types and brands of ammunition; as well as what a limp wrist is; he realized that the gun worked pretty good. "Also, the major cleaning and lube job didn't hurt". While he never really shot it much, it would sit in his safe for years upon years without cleaning or lube. Then he'd wonder why it didn't shoot too well 5 years later when he simply took it out and shot it. It took me 15 minutes to break it down, clean it, lube it, and put it back together. Not one jam.

    Anyway, looks like I'll probably pick it up from him. It's not like it cost anything. I spent more than this on 200 rounds of .223 ammo yesterday. Thanks again for all the input.
  18. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    You trust a Hipoint but doubt an AMT?......hmmmmmmmmmmm you must not be old enough to remember the 70s and 80s.....
  19. christcorp

    christcorp Well-Known Member

    I trust a hi-point because I bought one and tried it. Unlike many people who give opinions of guns they've never owned or shot. Other than the 2 boxes I put through this AMT, I know little to nothing about them. Hence the reason for asking questions. I believe that besides god and family, knowledge is the most important thing in the world. And you gain knowledge by asking questions and learning. And after I buy it, and have put a few hundred rounds through it; like I did the hi-point; I will be more able to express an opinion.

    I guess I don't understand why you are trying to compare two totally unrelated principles here. Unless of course you're in the category of people who automatically think Hi-Point is crap? The difference between the 2 are quite obvious. Talk to all those who own or have shot Hi-Point, and you will find that the overwhelming 90%+ of people say it's a very reliable and dependable gun. From my limited research on the AMT, it appears that it's a 50/50 split on what people think.

    As for my age; I'm "Probably" as old or older than you. I say "Probably" because I doubt there are many over 70 years old (They can't spell internet); or too many UNDER 15 years old. (They can't afford guns). So that leaves 15-70 yeas old. And I'm 50, so that puts me in the upper half. Again, never had an AMT. Heard of many; hardballer and such; but never had, owned, or shot one other than this one with a few rounds. So I prefer not to give opinions on something being good or junk unless I've own one.
  20. hhersh

    hhersh Well-Known Member

    I'm 73 and CAN spell "internet"

    Your post is an insult to all of us ( and we are legion)who are over 70. I have been shooting longer than you have been extant on this planet, you Twerp:cuss: Also, no matter how you deny it, you are taking advantage of a friend in need. The gun is worth much more than $75.00. Why don't reveal that fact to him and see if he still wants to let it go for that price...I would HATE to have "friends" like you. I definitely would not need any enemies.:fire:
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2010

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