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New (to me) .44 AutoMag

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Japle, Oct 25, 2012.

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  1. Japle

    Japle Member

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    I’ve always regretted selling my AutoMag pistols 30+ years ago. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was just stupid. Correcting that mistake was expensive, but worth it.

    I found a guy in Clearwater, FL, right across the state, who had one that had been owned by a fellow who didn’t shoot it much. When he died, his son wanted the money. My good luck.

    TDE AutoMags are C&R eligible, so I used my 0-3 FFL to buy the gun. It came with two magazines, Allen wrenches, lube (just Castrol motor oil) and all the original paperwork in the original case. It looked new. It had apparently been sitting in the case for decades. The lube had hardened to a solid, reddish-brown film. I got it cleaned up and lubed it with Slide-Glide Lite. The gun came with 27 fired cases made from LC67 7.62mm military brass. I suspect the gun hadn’t been fired much more than that. It felt rough and in need of a break-in.

    I loaded about 20 rounds with 240 and 265 gr bullets over 22 gr of WW296 in old CDM and converted military brass I had left over from the ‘70s. Those are pretty light loads for the .44AMP and I was afraid they wouldn’t have enough pressure to work the gun. I also had 8 rounds that I’d loaded in 1981 using the Hornady 265 gr SP over 22.5 gr of WW296. That load chronographed at 1510 fps in my 8 ½” .44AMP barrel and would do the job on a deer.

    At the range this morning, I started with the old 265 gr ammo and got two misfires in a row. I switched to my new loads and BANG! every time. Excellent accuracy (which I always got from AutoMags) and almost perfect functioning. The three FTEs were with the CDM brass which is thinner than reworked military brass and produce lower pressures. No surprise there.

    The two misfires were tried last and fired with no problem.

    The gun’s very comfortable to shoot. Plenty of recoil, but it’s more straight back than what you get with a revolver. The 265 gr loads had noticeably more recoil than the 240s, but still very nice to shoot. The trigger is terrible, but I can fix that.

    The 240 gr load probably gave me around 1300 fps (Hornady manual, 3rd edition) and is a pretty low-pressure load for this gun. I recall getting over 1600 fps with my 8 ½” AMP. I won’t get that with this 6 ½” barrel, though. I’ll run them through the chronograph next week. I just got 500 .44AMP cases from Starline, so I’m all set.

    I’m a very happy guy!!

    AMPLeft.jpg
    44AMPRight.jpg

    For comparison, here it is with a 1911.

    AMPand1911.jpg
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  2. Peter M. Eick

    Peter M. Eick Member

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    44amp.jpg

    I can relate!
     
  3. earplug

    earplug Member

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    Nice bit of history

    Had a friend in college who had one. Such a massive hunk of machined stainless steel in the mid 1970's. This when a M-66 revolver was highly sought after and pricey. One needs large hand to hold such a pistol.
     
  4. DM~

    DM~ Member

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    I've had 3, 2 44's and one 357. I don't miss them even a TINY bit...

    I still have RCBS case forming dies, if anyone is interested, PM me...

    DM
     
  5. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

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    Very Cool man! I have no need for one, I have no money for one, I don't even think it is a very nice looking gun................. and I'd love to own one.

    Congrats!
     
  6. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    "Go ahead, make my day."
     
  7. BYJO4

    BYJO4 Member

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    It will always be a great conversation piece.
     
  8. Japle

    Japle Member

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    Right actor, wrong movie.

    And the one in "Sudden Impact" had a 7 1/2" barrel. Actually, there were two. One was modified to function with blanks.

    Not as long as I own it! That gun's a shooter. It's 'way too much fun to be a safe queen.
     
  9. outerlimit

    outerlimit Member

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    That is too awesome. I am jealous, always have wished to own one. But then I also want a DE in .50AE as well. Honestly I think this is the more practical hand cannon, because you could actually CCW it with a decent holster. A bit harder with the DE. The Automag is a really impressive piece of machining, especially for the time period, too bad they don't really make them like that anymore.
     
  10. mbopp

    mbopp Member

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    Seems I read an article about the Auto-Mag, said the company lost $1000 on every one they sold.
    It is an awesome piece of work, though.
     
  11. outerlimit

    outerlimit Member

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    If that's true, it just goes to show again that all the best companies go out of business because they sell too nice of products for too cheap.
     
  12. guitarguy314

    guitarguy314 Member

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    Great Job on a Great Find! I hope to get one for myself one day! Don't remove too many fingerprints!
     
  13. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    I had a Pasadena. I paid $198.00 for it NIB. I traded it for a Colt SAA. Back then it was just a gun.
     
  14. Browns Fan

    Browns Fan Member

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    Soooo... what do these things cost nowadays?
     
  15. CZ57

    CZ57 member

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    Congrats! Great find. But, I believe it was Sudden Impact when Clint said: "Go ahead, make my day." Just watched it again a few days ago. ;)
     
  16. Japle

    Japle Member

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    In good condition, around $2,500+.

    Mine is in almost-new condition with all the original accessories. Let's just say I've bought cars for less money.
     
  17. Bullet Bob

    Bullet Bob Member

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    Glad you got something you missed, that always feels good.

    Very cool looking guns, and evidently you know how to use it. I'll bet you're happy every time you shoot it, and that's the best use for a firearm.
     
  18. bc1023

    bc1023 Member

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    I bought one earlier this year as well. It was on my wish list for quite a while.

    I think the Auto Mag is one of the most beautiful pistols ever built.


    008-4.jpg

    013-4.jpg
     
  19. highlander 5

    highlander 5 Member

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    Starline makes brass for the 44 Automag so making your own brass is now passe'
     
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