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Old 05-19-2018, 12:17 AM
CLASSIC12 CLASSIC12 is offline
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Default Found a treasure - .44 Auto Mag

So 3 years ago I bought an Auto Mag

.44 Auto Mag pistol model 180

Last week I found and bought some ammo for it



Thereís that box of .308 Norma brass with an Auto Mag sticker on it.





Inside some reloads with a label



Powder is Norma and weight seem consistent with what I found.









Two boxes of brand new / very old Factory Norma











And a mixed box of Normaís and Beals bullets with Norma brass




Last edited by CLASSIC12; 05-19-2018 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:02 AM
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You gonna shoot them? Or strip them to reload them? Glad you found them. The .308 ones are interesting. How about some pictures of the pistol?
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Old 05-19-2018, 03:44 AM
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I just checked, Starline Brass is making ready to use brass!

That is a lot easier than trimming down rifle brass! RCBS made a Forming die set that was affordable when these gun first came out, but a new one will set you back big time! The still have the normal reloading die set readily available.

I automatically think of the Dirty Harry Movie (#3?) with the AutoMag. Just WOW!

Ivan
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Old 05-19-2018, 08:35 AM
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Default Found a treasure

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Originally Posted by eveled View Post
You gonna shoot them? Or strip them to reload them? Glad you found them. The .308 ones are interesting. How about some pictures of the pistol?

Iíll shoot some for sure. But Iíll keep at least a full box of Norma for collectors value.

The link to the original post with pictures of the pistol was included in the first post (been told itís bad manners to revive three year old posts).

.44 Auto Mag pistol model 180
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Old 05-19-2018, 10:21 AM
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Great for removing fingerprints...

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Old 06-13-2018, 09:12 AM
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The day has come. I took the Auto Mag to the range.

I was quite nervous, this thing probably hasnít shot for years or decades (I believe itís a very early 70ies, maybe 1971), the ammo is just as old. I field stripped, checked and lubed the gun beforehand, all seemed nice and tight, but you cannot exclude something going wrong, especially with this small scale production and powerful cartridge.

But all went very well, the gun functioned flawlessly, cycled nicely and locked open after the last round. The muzzle blast is very impressive. The trigger is very nice and light. Recoil is important but manageable, and the mass and slide cycle absorb a good part of it.

I would have loved to do a video, but I was alone at the range. Next time. Pics though, all at 25 meters offhand :



The first three shots, two nice ones and one pulled downwards (no idea which of the three shots it was).





Next three, a bit low



Next four shots



And the last three, proper sighting target, focusing seriously, for my best group



The holes are cut super cleanly. The brass ejected way behind me, which is great for recovering it. I only shot those 13 rounds, as I only have 170 rounds, and I donít have all the equipment needed for reloading yet. But it felt great. Now Iím really in love, no more safe queen, she can sing, and quite loudly.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:46 AM
Double-O-Dave Double-O-Dave is offline
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Wow, Classic12, very nice. Thanks for sharing, but to paraphrase a famous American: "I knew Dirty Harry, I worked with Dirty Harry, Dirty Harry was my friend. You, sir, are no Dirty Harry".

I kid. Nice shooting and a great piece you have.

Regards,

Dave
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:22 AM
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I always loved the Auto Mag. I have had several built by several different companies. Apparently they are going to start making them again as well as parts for the old guns.
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:40 AM
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I've had a Pasadena for about 30 years now. Had it out only twice. By the 3rd shot my nerves and muscles were "wincing" in anticipation of the nerve and bone pain to come with the next shot.

Till today it is the hardest hitting, most abrupt recoil, handgun I've ever shot although it sure is fun (once in a blue moon) although, I have not yet tried a 500 magnum.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:22 PM
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I have also heard that somebody is going to start production again. Might be fun to have one of those suckers.
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Old 06-13-2018, 02:50 PM
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A friend of mine had one years ago we used to shoot. I found it to me mild recoiling, compared to a Model 29, but extremely accurate. A very big gun for small hands. They've always been pricey to shoot, unless you reload. That box of converted .308's probably has quite a bit of collector's value, as do the original boxes of Normas.
Several years ago, I acquired a Wildey in .475 Wildey Magnum. I managed to find a box of ammo for it and when I went to shoot it I was afraid of the recoil. It's so big & heavy, but has the gas operated system, so recoil was very manageable and extremely accurate, but again, TOO big for small hands. I ran out of ammo before I could get really good with it!

Not practical or economical for me, so I sold it.

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Old 06-13-2018, 05:14 PM
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Best thread I've read all week!
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Old 06-13-2018, 05:57 PM
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A friend of mine bought one back in the '70s. He had problems with it not feeding correctly. It seems the bolt was going back and forth faster than the magazine spring could push another cartridge into place!

We once went down to his family farm in SW Alabama. One of the creeks had been dammed up by beavers and was overrun with turtles, ruining the catfishing. A couple of days of turtle hunting put the balance back in place. I hit one turtle with the Automag at 50 yards. Weren't nothing but turtle mist.

A few weeks later, the catfishing was back to snuff. Seems the cats had a lot more to feed on, them being bottom feeders.
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Old 06-13-2018, 06:47 PM
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That is a beautiful pistol and wonderful shooting of that hand cannon. I bet after any single one of those torso shots any ner-do-well would be looking for a hospital or undertakers.com.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:08 PM
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Now that one has some big ZIP to it. Very nice
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:19 PM
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Istoyi, Nihtsi kiyistoi.
That's so nice you got me speaking Blackfoot to myself.
Nihtsi sinni tukyi.
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Old 06-14-2018, 09:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Muley Gil View Post
A friend of mine bought one back in the '70s. He had problems with it not feeding correctly. It seems the bolt was going back and forth faster than the magazine spring could push another cartridge into place!

We once went down to his family farm in SW Alabama. One of the creeks had been dammed up by beavers and was overrun with turtles, ruining the catfishing. A couple of days of turtle hunting put the balance back in place. I hit one turtle with the Automag at 50 yards. Weren't nothing but turtle mist.

A few weeks later, the catfishing was back to snuff. Seems the cats had a lot more to feed on, them being bottom feeders.
It should read: "I shot a turtle with a .44 Auto Mag and mist!"
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:04 AM
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Default Found a treasure - .44 Auto Mag

Well it didnít last long until I got the urge to fire a few more rounds at the range. And I took a couple short videos too.





No sign of excessive pressure here







Vids

I let the gunsmith at the range / gun shop have a go

Firing the .44 Auto Mag 1 - YouTube

And thatís me having the three last shots

Firing the .44 Auto Mag 2 - YouTube

Result



Some screen capture







Strangely the last round did not produce a flash ball.



What a kick shooting that pistol is.

Next outing Iíll take out several big guns : the Auto Mag, the Grizzly, and the wheel guns S&W 29 and 629.

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Old 06-15-2018, 12:26 PM
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The New Auto Mag Company has has a slow start up but I just talked to the owner this morning and mine should ship in 30 days. They are starting with an 8 1/2" model like in the Sudden Impact movie with Dirty Harry.

Here is a link to the New Auto Mag Company: The New AutoMag

Here is a pic of one.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:03 PM
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Somewhere in Arizona.
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Old 06-15-2018, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEEMER1 View Post
The New Auto Mag Company has has a slow start up but I just talked to the owner this morning and mine should ship in 30 days. They are starting with an 8 1/2" model like in the Sudden Impact movie with Dirty Harry.

Here is a link to the New Auto Mag Company: The New AutoMag

Here is a pic of one.
My...that's a big one.

My homage to Scorpio from the original Dirty Harry movie.

Regards,

Dave
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Old 06-15-2018, 03:19 PM
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I still have a copy of "Handgun Hunting" by George Nonte and Lee Jurras published i 1975. I read it many, many times back in the day. One of their favorites was, of course, the Auto Mag. They used them in both .44 and .357. One trip to South Africa was particularly productive for them. I haven't read that book for years, but I think I'll have to get it out and go through it again!
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Old 06-15-2018, 04:44 PM
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Gee, now I need another gun.
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Old 06-15-2018, 06:30 PM
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Quote:
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Somewhere in Arizona.
Comment on the photo: "That'll roast a weenie!"
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Old 06-15-2018, 07:30 PM
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Quote:
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I still have a copy of "Handgun Hunting" by George Nonte and Lee Jurras published i 1975. I read it many, many times back in the day. One of their favorites was, of course, the Auto Mag. They used them in both .44 and .357. One trip to South Africa was particularly productive for them. I haven't read that book for years, but I think I'll have to get it out and go through it again!
I am glad you brought up Lee Jurras. Lee died in April of 2017 and we were not friends but we talked and exchanged emails

Here is a pic out of Bert Mason's Auto Mag book. I asked Lee if he really took 119 head of game on 4 continents and he said that is accurate. That is not counting the 100's if not a 1000 jack rabbits.
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Old 06-15-2018, 09:00 PM
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Great thread and pics! I've always considered the Automag's to be some of the coolest handguns on the planet.
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Old 06-15-2018, 10:21 PM
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It was probably about ten years ago that Harry Sanford's son began the long process of auctioning off all the family's Automag related assets on GB.
It was fascinating! Everything from one of a kind guns, to prototype frames and parts, tooling, documents, and the rights to the trademark.

Handloaders of the Automag (that sounds like a cool club!) would do well to look up the writings of Kent Lomont.
He did a lot of load development and was, incidentally, a friend of Elmer Keith's

Best Regards,
Jim
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Old 06-16-2018, 02:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6string View Post
It was probably about ten years ago that Harry Sanford's son began the long process of auctioning off all the family's Automag related assets on GB.
It was fascinating! Everything from one of a kind guns, to prototype frames and parts, tooling, documents, and the rights to the trademark.

Handloaders of the Automag (that sounds like a cool club!) would do well to look up the writings of Kent Lomont.
He did a lot of load development and was, incidentally, a friend of Elmer Keith's

Best Regards,
Jim
Is this thread going to move to the reloading section?
A NIB Colt 1860 still sits on the living room table as opposed to the AutoMag the Mrs said ain’t as pretty as the Colt.... her birthday 1980 in a gunshop.

Has Keith been awarded a Nobel prize in literature yet?

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Old 06-16-2018, 07:42 AM
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I started shooting Auto Mags back in the 90'sand we were still using cut down 308 cases. I hated the process and the end products varied greatly from case to case. Starline brass was the best thing that ever happened to the AutoMag.

Kent Lomont's articles on loading is what I followed although not nearly as hot. Lee Jurras tested Kent's loads in Super Vel's pressure barrel and they routinely were at 65,000 psi. You did not want to buy one of Kent's "shooter guns" as they were nearly always shot out.

Here is a Lomont made custon Auto Mag I have owned for a while. It sports a 16" octagonal barrel and is chambered for 44 AMP. The guy I bought it from bought it direct from Kent. It came with the picture of Kent holding at the Knob Creek Machine Gun Shoot.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:55 AM
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An interesting bit of Automag trivia is that the IHMSA organization grew out the earlier Club D'Automag. The silhouette game was intended for automag shooters, but turnout wasn't as was hoped for. So, those early South West matches opened up to other shooters. This was the very early 70s.
I seem to recall that the original intended distance for the rams was 300 meters, not the later 200 meters.
I wonder what the impetus was for the change? I could see where the Automag would have a decided edge at that longer distance.

Good going to the OP.
Beemer1, nice one you got there, too!
Anyone else have some more cool pics?
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:20 AM
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Here is a Lomont Custom 9" barrel chambered in 41 JMP with a Leupold scope mounted in a Herringshaw Maxi-mount. This is on top of a Pasadena frame.

By the way, about 10 years ago I bought an Auto Mag with all the different caliber barrels and a lot of accessories. The guy was an old Silhouette shooter from New Mexico who had bought it direct from Jurras. I was worried the gun would be shot all to hell but it was barely broke in. He told me that it just did not work for him at that game.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:26 AM
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Here is a Lee Jurras Custom hand tuned and polished AMP chambered fro 357 AMP. It features a Leupold scope in a Herringshaw Maxi-mount and includes iron sights. The magazines are jeweled along with the trigger, hammer, and bolt. I talked to Jurras about it and he remembered making it for a wealthy customer. One of a kind.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:40 AM
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One more unique one.

This is one of 8 or so Bicentenial Auto Mags built in 1976. It is fully polished with a rare 8 1/2" vent rib barrel and chambered in 357 AMP. I think it is one ow the most beautiful of all the Auto Mags I have seen.
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Old 06-16-2018, 04:12 PM
BEEMER1 BEEMER1 is offline
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Here is one more pretty special Auto Mag.

Serial number A00048 shipped in August of 1971, fully polished and Factory Engraved. Again, there were only about 7 or so Auto Mags that were factory engraved.
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Old 06-17-2018, 11:44 AM
jeffrefrig jeffrefrig is offline
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Is this the same pistol Charles Bronson also used in one of those 70's vigilante movies he starred in? Cool gun, but I suppose expensive to shoot from all the posts.
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:43 PM
CLASSIC12 CLASSIC12 is offline
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Originally Posted by 6string View Post
It was probably about ten years ago that Harry Sanford's son began the long process of auctioning off all the family's Automag related assets on GB.

It was fascinating! Everything from one of a kind guns, to prototype frames and parts, tooling, documents, and the rights to the trademark.



Handloaders of the Automag (that sounds like a cool club!) would do well to look up the writings of Kent Lomont.

He did a lot of load development and was, incidentally, a friend of Elmer Keith's



Best Regards,

Jim


I remember that sale, followed it on the internet, but living in Switzerland made it difficult for me to acquire stuff.
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BEEMER1 View Post
Here is one more pretty special Auto Mag.



Serial number A00048 shipped in August of 1971, fully polished and Factory Engraved. Again, there were only about 7 or so Auto Mags that were factory engraved.


BEEMER1, great posts, thanks for sharing those pictures and your experience with those amazing guns. Puts my stock clunker to shame.

Last edited by CLASSIC12; 06-18-2018 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 06-17-2018, 07:54 PM
CLASSIC12 CLASSIC12 is offline
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Is this the same pistol Charles Bronson also used in one of those 70's vigilante movies he starred in? Cool gun, but I suppose expensive to shoot from all the posts.


No, thatíd be a Wildey



Death Wish 3 - Internet Movie Firearms Database - Guns in Movies, TV and Video Games

Wildey - Wikipedia
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:36 AM
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Wildey is back in business again and has been turning out new guns for about a year. I bought one and was very impressed with the quality.

12" barrel in 475 Wildey Magnum. Here it is with a 6 1/2" Auto Mag for comparison.
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Old 06-18-2018, 10:00 AM
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Wildey is back in business again and has been turning out new guns for about a year. I bought one and was very impressed with the quality.

12" barrel in 475 Wildey Magnum. Here it is with a 6 1/2" Auto Mag for comparison.


Sweet, keep Ďem coming.

Btw would you know when mine shipped ? A01830.
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Old 06-18-2018, 12:01 PM
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Sweet, keep Ďem coming.

Btw would you know when mine shipped ? A01830.
Let me do some research on that. That serial number is in the Pasadena time frame yet the barrel is a N Hollywood. Some Pasadena frames were passed over and used later for N Hollywood's and it could be one of those.

It also could have had a barrel change which is common. The barrels were made to be interchangeable.
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