Auto Mag .44 caliber pistol (courtesy automat.com)

Press release:

The history of this much-loved and lauded pistol began in 1958, when firearms visionary, Harry Sanford, developed a pistol around the .44 Auto Mag cartridge, specifically for handgun hunting. Ten years later, through the efforts of a dedicated team of firearms designers and engineers, the big bore handgun was finally brought to market in small numbers.

The Auto Mag Pistol (AMP) was a full-sized semi-auto featuring a multi-lugged rotating bolt and was operated by the short recoil system. The AMP was machined from stainless steel with a 6.5-inch barrel and total overall length of 11.5 inches. The magazine capacity was seven plus one in the chamber. The Auto Mag was expensive to produce and was underpriced on the market. It is estimated that Auto Mag lost $1,000 on every pistol produced.

Attempts to keep the production going by TDE, a holding company, proved unsuccessful even though the price was raised significantly to reflect the actual production costs and Auto Mag was remarketed as a “collectors” pistol. In 1982, after several attempts to revive the pistol, Auto Mag threw in the towel and officially retired from the market place.

Stuff of legends, the Auto Mag was popularized by Clint Eastwood as “Dirty” Harry Callahan in “Sudden Impact” and Mack Bolan of “The Executioner” book series who named his Auto Mag “Big Thunder.”

In 2015, after 40 some odd years of cult status, a private investor purchased the rights, plans and spare parts from the Sanford family. The new company, Auto Mag LTD, Corp., based out of South Carolina, has spent the past year reengineering the iconic pistol using advanced materials in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.

Auto Mag is also now an officially registered trademark as of this month. As the prototype process continues to progress,  Auto Mag engineers are working to bring back the Auto Mag, better than ever, while taking advantages of the improvements in materials and manufacturing technology advances available today.

Auto Mag LTD, Corp. will be offering current Auto Mag owners refurbishing services for existing models, plus new caliber conversions will soon be available. ‘Go Behind the Scenes’ at Auto Mag and stay up to date with the prototyping and production of the new rendition of this legendary pistol at https://read.automag.com/.

42 Responses to New/Old from Auto Mag: .44 Caliber Auto Mag Pistol

  1. Glad to see someone is resurrecting the marque.

    It was a cool pistol, I got to shoot one in the 70s that belonged to an acquaintance.

    Probably won’t be able to afford one, but someone will be able to “Live Large”.

    That will “Make my Day”.

  2. Yay…I shot one about 10 years ago a collector was selling. …it was a hoot….I like my DE but want one of these.

    • They had a new one at the first gun & pawn I worked at in the mid 80’s.

      I kinda put it in the category of the Desert Eagle it was sitting next to in the case…

  3. Didn’t you have to make your own .44 auto mag ammo using cut down .308 brass or am I having a senior moment here?

  4. As a professional “voice talent” I just offered my services to the company. I’m glad that they have returned to the market.

  5. That is awesome and if the street price is anywhere below a thousand I’d love to have one. But I understand ammunition can be difficult to come across?

    • If the original ones lost $1,000 on every purchase I doubt the price will be below that now, given inflation, even considering modern methods of engineering… unless they are just buying the name and are not willing to make it into a quality gun.

    • I’m guessing it is a lot more expensive to feed than a Desert Eagle .44 mag, but it is also more elegant by far.

    • I don’t believe Bronson ever used an Automag is any of the Death Wish Movies. Perhaps you’re thinking of the .475 Wildey he had in Death Wish 3.

  6. I have an original, and I think I’ve mentioned here before, it will shut down a range like nothing else. Last time I had it out I ran through 250 rounds of ammo and I think maybe 20 of those were fired by me. Every single range employee had to have a go, along with darn near everyone else. I actually left the range with (alot) more ammo than I came with since folks were happy to swap full boxes just to run through a mag.

  7. I’m guessing it is a lot more expensive to feed than a Desert Eagle .44 mag, but it is also more elegant by far.

  8. The Lord Grizzly 45 Winchester magnum was a much better gun you could buy six or seven caliber conversion kits it was offered in the late eighties and the 45 Winchester magnum cartridge blows away the 44 Auto mag cartridge by Leaps and Bounds. It does have an iconic Thatcher due to the use of the weapon in Clint Eastwood’s movie Sudden Impact. Butt ballistics aside I believe the 44 Auto mag was never a Sammy approved cartridge it was a wild cat cartridge where the 45 Winchester magnum cartridge was Sammy approved. Sorry about the Miss spelling of Sammy

  9. The Lar Grizzly 45 Winchester magnum was a much better gun you could buy six or seven caliber conversion kits it was offered in the late eighties and the 45 Winchester magnum cartridge blows away the 44 Auto mag cartridge by Leaps and Bounds. It does have an iconic value due to the use of the weapon in Clint Eastwood’s movie Sudden Impact. Butt ballistics aside I believe the 44 Auto mag was never a Sami approved cartridge it was a wild cat cartridge where the 45 Winchester magnum cartridge was Sami approved. Sorry about the Miss spelling of Sami.

  10. I asked this question on your Facebook page – my apologies if it is an inconvenience in any way. it is not my intention to spam. Does this new company have anything to do with Max Gera – Sanford’s associate in the development of the original AutoMag? Gera’s website is still up at: http://www.auto-magx.com/ I’m just wondering if there’s any synergy between both companies? Thanks for any information that you may have, in advance!

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