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  #1  
Old 09-30-2020, 08:49 AM
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While picking up a pair of 70ies S&W K frame at the LGS (and indulging in a Colt 1911 military retro), I spotted this little guy in a cabinet.

I had never seen or heard of this one. Obviously itís a stainless Ruger Mark II target / bull barrel with a Millett sight, some tweaks and a different brand / markings and Iím a sucker for the (cheap) oddball, as long as itís both stylish and functional. And I got a $100 off, LGS said itís been there a long time













Fitting since I already have a bigger one

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Old 09-30-2020, 09:11 AM
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The AMT Lightning is a Ruger Mark II clone. Almost every part is interchangeable.
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Old 09-30-2020, 10:49 AM
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I've never actually seen one of these and don't know if they're good guns or not, but they were advertised for sale by J&G Rifle Ranch in SHOTGUN NEWS for years. That's been about thirty or so years ago, I think.
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Old 10-01-2020, 07:54 AM
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Not sure how AMT got away with copying so closely the Ruger MK II, or if they actually did get away with it.
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Old 10-01-2020, 08:10 AM
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Not sure how AMT got away with copying so closely the Ruger MK II, or if they actually did get away with it.
I'm not sure there is a single element of the design that's covered by a patent, but if there is, a patent is only good for 17 years. And there is no patent on the overall design -- it's just another of many semiauto .22 handguns. Once protection of any patented elements has expired anyone can use the design as long as they don't call the gun a "Ruger Mark II". That's how so many "get away" with making clone 1911's -- as long as they don't call it a "Colt", there's no problem.
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Old 10-02-2020, 08:05 AM
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I'm not sure there is a single element of the design that's covered by a patent, but if there is, a patent is only good for 17 years. And there is no patent on the overall design -- it's just another of many semiauto .22 handguns. Once protection of any patented elements has expired anyone can use the design as long as they don't call the gun a "Ruger Mark II". That's how so many "get away" with making clone 1911's -- as long as they don't call it a "Colt", there's no problem.
Excellent point, I had forgotten how long ago it was that Ruger introduced their 22LR pistol.
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Old 10-02-2020, 10:50 PM
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On another board someone said Ruger filed suit alleging patent infringement, causing AMT's demise, someone else said Harry Sanford's design genius was not matched by business acumen.
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Old 10-03-2020, 06:18 AM
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An issue with AMT guns was function. A good friend bought a new-in-box Lightning. It refused to feed or cycle. He bought Ruger magazines. Same issues. He sold it.

Another friend bought a .45 Hardballer. It had numerous functioning issues.

Please keep us posted once you shoot yours. My feeling was that Harry Sanford was a great designer, but AMT was poor in delivering quality products.
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Old 10-03-2020, 09:07 AM
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I think the downfall of AMT was quality control, specifically, lack thereof. Some of their firearms were really good, but enough of them were poor to give the company a poor reputation.
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Old 10-03-2020, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stansdds View Post
I think the downfall of AMT was quality control, specifically, lack thereof. Some of their firearms were really good, but enough of them were poor to give the company a poor reputation.
I remember a trip to a gun shop, with a buddy, decades ago. The owner was a good friend of my buddy. The owner was all excited about an AMT Hardballer he had just got in because stainless 1911's were not being made by many major manufacturers. My buddy asked him to field strip the pistol. Inside were a bunch of metal shavings and chips. Right there and then, I decided to put AMT on my never buy list. Hope the OP's experience is good with his purchases.
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Old 10-03-2020, 09:51 AM
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How do 1,251 companies get away with making exact clones of 1911s, AR 15s and Single Action Army revolvers? Patents expire. The only things protected are trade names and company logos.
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Old 10-03-2020, 11:54 AM
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Bought my AMT Hardballer in 1978, shot too low with the rear sight at maximum, sent the slide back, got it or a replacement back, fine ever since.
Again, various stories, no one has seen any real documentation or an account by someone in the know.
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Old 10-03-2020, 01:13 PM
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I think in the original story, in Guns & Ammo magazine, by Jeff Cooper, it was stated that Harry Sanford came up with the idea for a .44 mag autoloader, but that he got Max Gera to design and build the first one. So, where does Sanford come in on the "designing" part?
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Old 11-14-2020, 05:45 PM
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Brought the pistol home from the LGS today.

I really like it, seems to be in great condition and a quality weapon, fit and finish are impressive. Quite heavy too for a .22, with the bull barrel, lots of steel in that gun. Canít wait to go try it out.







I hadnít noticed the Lightning in the ďHĒ









German proof mark 1986 and importerís mark, Engels in Frankfurt












Millett rear sight



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Old 11-14-2020, 06:29 PM
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AMT = Alternative Minimum Tax
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Old 11-14-2020, 06:50 PM
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AMT also cloned the Ruger 10/22, called it Small Game Hunter. Had one for years, shot great. Stainless, heavy barrel. It may have been the cause of the lawsuit from Ruger.
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:12 PM
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Good looking pistol. I would have bought it if the price was right. Be curious to see how it shoots.
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:25 PM
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I owned two Lightnings back when they were being made and sold. Both were extremely accurate pistols, and one ran like a finely-tuned sewing machine. The other never got off three shots in a row without jamming, even after 2 trips back to the factory and numerous new magazines. Consistent QC definitely an issue.
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Old 11-14-2020, 07:26 PM
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Iíll report when I have a chance to shoot it

It was $ 420.-
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Old 11-14-2020, 11:02 PM
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Never had a Lightning, but had two Hardballers. Bought one when they first came out; never got it to function reliably, traded it off. Traded into another one that functioned perfectly, my brother-in-law still has it.
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Old 11-14-2020, 11:48 PM
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Iíll report when I have a chance to shoot it

It was $ 420.-
I saw one at a Port Charlotte gun show a few months back. Beautifully made gun from what I was able to observe. I had never seen one either and did a little internet searching while I walked around the show. Had the money in my pocket and considered it, but ultimately didnít get it. If I recall, the asking price was $550.
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Old 11-15-2020, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stansdds View Post
Not sure how AMT got away with copying so closely the Ruger MK II, or if they actually did get away with it.
AMT copied the Ruger 10-22, in stainless, also.
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Old 11-18-2020, 02:09 PM
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I took it to the 25 m indoor range yesterday. It shot a bit high for my liking, so I aimed slightly below 6 oíclock



Then I rested it on a bag for fine tuning the sights



Just a couple clicks were enough to produce good results



Then some more offhand shooting



I am super happy with this pistol. I shot 110 rounds of high velocity ammo (Eley force), not a single hiccup, gun was totally reliable including the last 30 rounds at very high pace. Itís heavy but well balanced, very stable, and the trigger is very good.
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