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AMT backup

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by .380awsome, Sep 11, 2008.

  1. .380awsome

    .380awsome Well-Known Member

    hello can anyone tell me some opinions on the AMT backup .380 ,i really have took a liking to it .
  2. SouthpawShootr

    SouthpawShootr Well-Known Member

    Most people will tell you they are POS. Some will say they're decent. This company definitely had a QC problem. Seems like the anti-thesis of the old adage that every manufacturer puts out a lemon once in a while. With AMT it is more like "every once in a while, they put out a good gun." I have a .45 Backup. Quite a bit different than what you're contemplating. Mine is satisfactory and if you get a good .380 Backup, that's the best you'll be able to say, unfortunately. I'm convinced these designs could be a success, just not in AMT's hands.
  3. nj.piney

    nj.piney Well-Known Member

    i had an early 380 backup, with the thumb safety. it was reliable with ball ammo, but everytime i took it out of my pocket the safety was off. i couldnt trust it . sold it. plus you needed a pin punch and a hammer to disassemble it.
  4. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Well-Known Member

    I have one of the later DAO models. It's been reliable so I guess I got a good one. The only 2 downsides are it's heavy for it's size (compared to the new plastic 380s), and the trigger pull on the DAO models is extremely stiff (which is probably on purpose since it has no external safety).
  5. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Well-Known Member

    I've got an early .380 and a later .45 DAO. Both are reliable with quality full-power ammo and proper handling. They don't appreciate my reloads, though.

    The safety on my .380 is a bit stiff, but it shows signs of having been worked on. I've had no problems with it. The .380 is actually painful to shoot, between its short, narrow backstrap and sharp, square corners.

    Bottom line: both guns are adequate for their purposes, but I would not seek either one out.
  6. benderx4

    benderx4 Well-Known Member

    You know, Ruger makes a pretty nice .380 called the LCP. I know they're hard to find, but pretty soon they will be plentiful and sell for less than $300. Good luck with that AMT.
  7. KarlG

    KarlG Well-Known Member

    I have the 45 ACP Backup. Strangely enough, it is scarey accurate. I mean tack driving. The reliability of my gun is marginal though. Even with ball ammo, I cannot seem to get 25 rounds in a row feed properly. I have a friend who has the same model and has never had a failure with any ammunition.

    As other have said, either your gun will work or it won't. The company consistantly produced guns of inconsistant quality.
  8. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Well-Known Member

    Labor day weekend I shot one, it wouldn't make it through a magazine without FTF. One sample does not a sound opinion make, but I'd shoot one before buying it.
  9. JesseL

    JesseL Well-Known Member

    I've got a single action AMT Backup .380 in the safe. I hate it.

    The safety is in an awkward spot. The trigger has the most godawful pull I've ever felt (even compared to a Nagant revolver). It looks like it was machined with a flycutter that was worn out when Strom Thurmond was young. The hammer is so weak it sounds like it couldn't detonate nitroglycerin. If it fires, and you don't grip it carefully the slide will devour the web of your hand. The extractor doesn't.

    I'd sell it, but I don't want to unleash its awfulness on anyone else.
  10. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Well-Known Member

  11. wditto

    wditto Well-Known Member

    sorry, the folks that bought High Standard don't produce pistols, they import pistols made in the Philipines (RIA) and have their name stamped on....none are stainless, and as of yesterday, there were no "AMT" copies produced
  12. MillCreek

    MillCreek Well-Known Member

    I still have four AMT DAO Backups (2 9 mm and 2 .380) in my safe that I bought new back in the 80's. All of them have been ultra-reliable and shoot accurately. All of them require adequate lubrication for good functioning and the .380 is a pain to detail strip. They were considered the bees knees back in their day: among the first compact, snag-free, DAO stainless pistols in reasonable calibers.

    And I have actually seen in the flesh a new AMT DAO Backup from High Standard: it was rollmarked Houston, Texas, on the side, so I assume that High Standard does have them out in the sales channel.

    PS: Now that I think about it, I also still have a AMT Lighting II pistol with a 10 inch bull barrel. I mounted a scope on it for grins and that setup is scarily accurate. AMT stopped manufacturing them rather quickly after Ruger filed patent-infringement litigation.
  13. Sir Aardvark

    Sir Aardvark Well-Known Member

    I have a .380 DAO Backup.

    It has been reliable, and although it is not a gun I would consider for concealed carry, nor be the first gun I reached for when it hits the fan, I would still trust my life to it if I had to.

    I have had one issue with mine where the slide battered the frame just behind the barrel. I had to remove the mushed-up metal with some hone stones and polish it up again - this did not effect its reliability because I caught it soon enough, but, if let go, it would probably have caused the slide to bind.

    I also had 2 factory "finger-rest" magazines split open along the seam, rendering them useless - I had to TIG weld them back together.

    Things I like about the .380 AMT DAO Backup:

    -Stainless Steel

    Things I don't like about the .380 AMT DAO Backup:

    -It's a .380
    -It's too heavy! It was fine for its time, but better products have been introduced since.
    -The 14+ pound trigger pull - my wife can't pull the trigger, it's too heavy of a pull.
    -It can't feed hollowpoints like Winchester Silvertips.
    -The confusing print on the slide that say "9mm Kurz". Most people don't know what this means (it's German for "9mm short") and someone could actually try to stuff a 9mm parabellum in the chamber thinking that it is the correct ammo.

    All in all, there are other handguns out there that would be my choice before one of these - the reputation for reliabilty has been pretty spotty for AMT, with some years the company making good product, and then with other years the company making poor product.

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