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Amt Back Up 380 Acp

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Pharaohawk27, Dec 4, 2007.

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  1. Pharaohawk27

    Pharaohawk27 Member

    Nov 30, 2007

    Hello everyone, I'm a new member here, glad to be joining The High Road forums.

    I recently inherited a bunch of short and long guns from my father.
    This was one that he used to carry in the small of the back in and inside the pants Uncle Mike’s number 10 holster.
    He was mostly a revolver man, and this is the only semi-automatic pistol that I knew him to own. I would like to know more about this piece as I haven’t seen it in any catalogue.

    I do remember shooting it in the country house where we had a range of sorts, when I was ten years old.

    The legend in the slide is a little confusing for me, as I grew up hearing my father call all common pistol calibers ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol).
    This one is marked as “CAL 380 9mm KURZ”
    The name is "BackUp" made in Irwindale, CALIF.
    It has a circle on the slide's left side and on the frame's right side with the letters AMT.
    The frame is marked with Irwindale, CA, and the slide on the right is marked Stainless MADE IN USA.


    The pistol takes five cartridges in the magazine. One of the magazines (I have three) has a little finger extension.
    The magazine catch is at the bottom of the grip (European style). I have seen the same catch in .25 caliber Browning pistols.
    This one has a long grip safety and an internal hammer. The sights are quite small, but their visibility had been enhanced with some white compound that looks like liquid paper (or white-out).

    The pistol was fully loaded with one in the chamber and five Winchester ball ammo in the magazine. The one in the chamber was also Winchester, but a silvertip with a big hollow point. The absence of more silvertips in the magazine tells me that my father probably didn’t trust the silvertips with their mini-flying ashtray hole to operate properly from the magazine.

    The pistol fits tight in the inside-pants holster. There is another holster for it in chamois leather, which seems to have been used a lot.
    The pistol is in great shape, properly lubricated and with a clean barrel. Tt seems that for disassembly, it is necessary to remove a roll pin that captures the breech block. This breech block houses a firing pin and also in top. The extractor, the high back of the slide, gives me the idea of a hammer inside the pistol to strike the firing pin in the breech block.
    I am curious to know more about this pistol as I don’t have any idea for how many years he owned it nor how old is. Also, was this a piece for export from Europe (because the 9 mm and Kurz printed on the slide)?

  2. sig228

    sig228 Member

    Sep 24, 2006
    South Florida
    Great Gun

    AMT's got a great name, at least as far as I am concerned. I used to have an AMT in .40 - never gave me a problem other than the side panel screws coming loose at times. Got ride of it because it was the only .40 in my (albeit small) collection. Takedown was easy on the .40. From what I understand, it's a lot more difficult on the .380. 9mm Kurz is just another designation for the .380 acp. You answered your own question as to where is was made. I don't believe it was ever exported from Europe. The older models such as yours have the safety grip - a la 1911. The gun has a great feel and weight and is very concealable. Look like your Dad took excellent care of his. Enjoy it and safe shooting!!

    Current AMT info is on the High Standard page:


    Look on the left side under AMT Auto Mag

    There is also a great website called Ian's AMT Page - the owners manual for the .380 can be found there - here's the link:


    All in all, a great gun in my opinion. I wouldn't hesitate to buy another.

    BTW, Welcome to the High Road!!!
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2007
  3. unspellable

    unspellable Member

    Aug 30, 2004
    380 Amt

    I once had one of these and it was a jammomatic. A very bad one at that. Tried three different magazines and various factory loads. I would say there was at least one malfunction in every two magazine loads. The final blow was when it tossed the next lloaded round out on the ground in front of me and reloaded the last empty. That was enough, it went bye bye.
  4. Vonderek

    Vonderek Member

    Jul 9, 2006
    AMTs have a spotty reputation. Some love em others don't. I had a .380 Backup in double action. It would not go through a single mag without jamming so bad as to freeze up the whole gun...couldn't rack the slide or strip out the magazine. Make sure you run a fair amount of your carry ammo of choice through it before you trust your life to it if you're gonna carry it.
  5. M2Pilot

    M2Pilot Member

    Oct 13, 2005
    Eastern NC
    Mine goes bang everytime whatever I feed it. Has a really heavy trigger pull that feels like a cap pistol. Certainly not my favorite gun but I don't regret getting it.
  6. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Apr 24, 2007
    I had several, years ago; most were reliable enough, but some drawbacks were a very heavy trigger pull, rather poor manual safety design, and nearly non-existent sights. On the plus side, they were relatively inexpensive, really small for the caliber, and were easy to conceal. I used to carry one when I went to school at a very large inner city university. The reason I sold my last one was to put together enough funds to buy Colt's new Mustang .380 when it came out. If you've got a good one, hang on to it, and it will serve you well.
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