AMT Backup 380. Should I buy?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by KarateHottie93, Nov 12, 2021.

  1. KarateHottie93

    KarateHottie93 Member

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    I became a manager at a new location lately and I'm still getting to know everyone there. Well through the power of Facechat, Instabook, and whatever else they use these days...word got out pretty quickly that I might have an interest in firearms.

    Well a guy there with more guns than I could ever dream of showed me an AMT Backup in 380 yesterday. He wants $250 for it and a full box of 50 hollow points.

    I kinda like this little gun. It looks like a Saturday night special and it has a trigger like a Saturday night special. It feels solid though...not cheap like a Raven or Phoenix.
     
  2. Rubone

    Rubone Member

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    They don't have the best reputation for consistency. Some are bad, however some are great. One of the bigger issues is the slide and frame being the same material causes them to stick if not kept well greased. I've had one for about 25 years but it doesn't see much use. I bought it for my wife but she prefers her Model 637 S&W. I have kept it though!
     
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  3. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    Depends on which model... a standard Backup, or the DAO model?
     
  4. KarateHottie93

    KarateHottie93 Member

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    Standard Backup
     
  5. KarateHottie93

    KarateHottie93 Member

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    Well...there was just enough good in that for me to still be interested. How has it ran when you shot it? You bought it for your wife so I'd assume you trust it okay?
     
  6. Charlie98

    Charlie98 Member

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    For that price, it would be hard to go wrong... the box of HP's is prolly worth $75 by themselves... :rofl:

    I think the standard Backup was a reasonable pistol... if you feel the need, go for it. I owned and carried a .380 Backup DAO... the slide cracked in half, and it had an 87# trigger pull (or thereabouts.) It was a compact pistol, and it was 100% reliable otherwise... giving the Devil it's due.
     
  7. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I had a couple of them. Liked their size but reliability wasn't the best and the trigger was pretty rough too. Sold my last one to buy a Colt Mustang.
     
  8. EmGeeGeorge

    EmGeeGeorge Member

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    You can get a NIB Ruger LCP for less than that. Easier to carry, better trigger, actual warranty service if an issue.
     
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  9. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

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    Back when these hit I bought a couple of them. With a little work they were 100% but, there was not much to choose from back then. They were not real well made so were not made to last through a lot of shooting. Few bought one to shoot a lot so that was no big deal. The trigger on mine, and everyone I saw was HORRENDOUS. Often a new shooter thought the safety was still on first time they shot one. The stainless they are made of is of course NOT rust proof. Back then many bought one thinking it was like dinner ware, could not rust. They of course soon found this is not how it works. Stainless is easier to clean up after but it rusts. So for that cost? I would pass. There are FAR better micro .380's now. I do at times wish I still had my first one of these only because the first time I ever had to pull a gun on a couple scum who thought to rob me it was that pistol I had.
     
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  10. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    They are hit-or-miss; but, at $250, you will not be "stuck" if it's more a lemon than lemon pound cake.

    .380 JHP is running about $1.50/round locally, and more typically in 20 round boxes, than 50 round ones.
     
  11. KarateHottie93

    KarateHottie93 Member

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    Appreciate you all. A bit more negativity about something I want than I'd like but that's why we ask for opinions I suppose.

    I think I may get it. If I can find some self defense ammo that cycles reliably in it, it would be a nice carry piece. I'm a revolver guy so longer trigger pulls don't bother me too much.
     
  12. JDeere

    JDeere Member

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    My wife bought one long ago when they first came out. Kept in one of those little shoot through pocket holsters. It ran ok for a bit then started having feeding problems. I disassembled it and cleaned it all up and re lubed it. Ran fine after that. Of course better options came along and it's been in the safe ever since. After they quit making them the LEOs at the bank wanted to buy it for a bu gun because there were not many options back then.
     
  13. Starter52

    Starter52 Member

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    I had a SA one back in the 1980's.
    It run okay with FMJ ammo. Not perfect but OK.
    It was useless with 1980's hollow points.
     
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  14. Gladius

    Gladius Member

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    I vote no; the ones I've shot were not very reliable and were very unpleasant to shoot.
     
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  15. commygun

    commygun Member

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    I’ve had both.

    2 DAOs that were both good to go and, at the time, the best option for .380 pocket carry.

    A SAO that was absolute trash, though in mint condition. Unreliable as hell. Oddly, it had much worse felt recoil than the DAO.
     
  16. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    For fun and a range toy, maybe.

    For any kind of actual use, get an LCP or P3AT.

    Used they should be about the same price as the AMT, but are way smaller, have better triggers, more reliable, etc.
     
  17. commygun

    commygun Member

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    Sounds like maybe you’re talking about the DAO, not the SA. If that’s the case, I’d go for it.
     
  18. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I'd buy it, then sell off the pistol after a bit of messing around with it. They're nicely-built stainless guns (which I like), but entirely impractical to me these days given other options, a few of which I already own.

    Someone my wife worked with made the decision to move out of the country this summer, and had recently purchased her first gun "just to have", I guess, a Smith and Wesson BG38CT (Bodyguard .38 with the Crimson Trace laser), along with fifty FMJ rounds and 20 Critical Defense Lite rounds. When she called me looking for advice on selling it (including information on any applicable laws on doing so), she ended up just offering it to me for $250. She had never fired it. I had no use for it, already owning several other five-shooting 38s, but I took it figuring the same thing, that I could get back the money if I want. I gave her $300, as I felt the $250 was too low, but I wasn't in a position to give more since I wasn't in the market.

    I haven't gotten around to selling it. ;)
     
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  19. SharpDog

    SharpDog Member

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    Buy It
     
  20. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    I had good luck with a DAO back up. Always works and I have shot snakes with mine. I have not touched mine in years. Try to test fire the gun first prior to purchase.
     
  21. KarateHottie93

    KarateHottie93 Member

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    No, it's definitely the single action version. It's just that it was by far the worst trigger pull I've ever felt outside of the stereotypical Saturday night specials group.

    It felt longer and heavier than most DAO or DASA guns. It's just a very awful trigger. I love the feel of the gun though and I love the sights...as bad as they may be to most.

    Oddly enough...as terrible as the trigger felt, I genuinely feel that if I can put in the work to make it a reliable firearm with the right ammunition, I would feel more comfortable with this as a backup (no pun intended) than almost anything on the market. I don't know why. Again, it just has this perfect size, weight, and feel for me.
     
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  22. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    Pass, too many better 380s around for just a bit more money.
     
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  23. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    Friend of mine had one was reliable but he had to take off the sharp edges. Had his thumb a little to high and the slide came back and cut him badly.
     
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  24. RUT

    RUT Member

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    Easy to buy...hard to get rid of. (but if you do I've got some parts I'll sell you cheap!)
     
  25. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Pass. I had one a few years ago and ended up selling it. Good history piece but they have been far outpaced by modern 380s like the LCP. Mine didn't like to feed HP ammo other than something with a plugged nose like Critical Defense. Mine needed some dehorning on the grip safety, thumb safety, and bottom magazine release. I got it to be pretty reliable once I knew what to avoid as far as ammo goes.
     

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