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AMT .380 Backup Questions

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by TheFrontRange, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. TheFrontRange

    TheFrontRange Well-Known Member

    (I posted a similar question a couple of days ago over at www.sigforum.com but wanted to see what input readers here might have...sorry for the duplication if you've already browsed this one...)

    I've just inherited an apparently unfired AMT .380 Backup DAO that belonged to my late father-in-law. This gun was purchased seven-plus years ago as best I can tell. It came in the original box with the manual and other papers and one magazine...the magazine was loaded with JHPs.

    Like I said, I doubt my father-in-law ever even fired this piece. This gun will be a keeper for sentimental reasons if nothing else. I'd like to actually use it, but I can't see any material advantage this thing has over a good .38 snubby. The trigger pull appears to be longer than on my old Crosman Model 38T pellet revolver. It looks like the web of my shooting hand is going to get walloped by the slide, plus upon early inspection the gun would not even feed properly when hand-cycled. The very last round out of the mag was the only one to chamber. Maybe this is due to mag spring tension after all these years, I don't know.

    Based on a search of the forum, I quickly found that these pistols enjoy a less-than-stellar reputation overall. I haven't found evidence of any fan websites like www.AMTusers.com or anything like that! :)

    That said...does anyone have any further feedback on this model? In particular, take-down concerns me. The manual is less than encouraging on the prospect of disassembly (to quote from page 10 of the manual: "It is not necessary to disassemble the BACKUP DAO for most normal cleaning and lubricating.") I'm not dealing too well with that...I don't feel good about a weapon that I can't take apart and perform typical cleaning / lubes on...any tips or hints that anyone can offer there? Also, what about magazine availability?

    My current plans are to hopefully strip and lube the pistol and take it to the range on my next outing, maybe just try to get 50 rounds of FMJ through it and see what happens.

    Thanks for any and all input!
  2. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Well-Known Member

    The AMT back-up's can be decent or junk, depends on how the builder was feeling that day. That said, don't condemn it until you've run some rounds through it.

    Teardown is a pain: you have to drive out pins and pry out parts. I have the .22 Back-up, but it is different so I can only tell you they really aren't meant to be broken down.
  3. carebear

    carebear Well-Known Member

    When I owned mine I was employed by an indoor range. When you have padded vice jaws handy, disassembly isn't quite so bad.

    Dunk-it was ok too. :evil:
  4. mchgnmike

    mchgnmike Well-Known Member

    I have the Single Action model. I like it because I can conceal it in myback pocket and draw very quickly from my back pocket as well. Granted I did take liberties with a file and emory cloth to melt the edges a bit, well a lot. Still to me it is a keeper.

    You mentioned the trigger pull being less than desirable, resembling an airgun revolver. Well that is because that long hideous trigger pull is your safety like on a revolver. Shoot a couple of hundred rounds through it, it might smooth up.
  5. TheFrontRange

    TheFrontRange Well-Known Member

    Thanks all for the replies...and for some reason I've always been skeptical of the Dunk-It process, but this gun just might be IDEAL for that!!!

    Thanks again...I'll be taking her to the range before too long!
  6. mjrodney

    mjrodney Well-Known Member

    The Front Range wrote:

    "....It looks like the web of my shooting hand is going to get walloped by the slide...."

    And that brought memories of my own AMT Backup in the early 80's.

    The web of my hand still bears a scar from the first round I put through that thing. :p

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