New/Old from Auto Mag: .44 Caliber Auto Mag Pistol

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/.

comments

  1. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    The choice of professionals…like me.

    1. avatar Clear Thru says:

      If the avatar is real…
      B O O M
      *mic drop*

      Welcome MB!

      1. avatar SteveInCO says:

        It’s not, he’s just another keyboard commando naming himself after his favorite fictitious character. (There’s at least one other who comes here.)

        1. avatar Mack Bolan says:

          Projection. How very SJW of you SteveinCO. You must live in Denver.

        2. avatar "Dirty" Harry Callahan says:

          I don’t think I like your tone… Punk.

  2. avatar Specialist38 says:

    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”.

  3. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    For Mexican carry in my Speedo for sure.

    1. avatar Vhyrus says:

      I guess it’s better than a rolled up sock….

      1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

        you’re supposed to put the potato in front…

  4. avatar Michael says:

    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.

  5. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    My uncle had one of these. I got to shoot it several times. I really liked that pistol.

    1. avatar Geoff PR says:

      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…

  6. avatar jmf552 says:

    I see they have a .22 conversion kit! That strikes me as ironic and funny. Cool looking gun though.

    1. avatar Art out West says:

      The gun bears more than a passing resemblance to the Ruger Mark Series of .22 pistols.

  7. avatar jwm says:

    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?

    1. avatar DrewN says:

      Starline still has brass (or did last time i needed some).

  8. avatar Captain O says:

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

  9. avatar DrewR55 says:

    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?

    1. avatar Hannibal says:

      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.

      1. avatar Chris in SC says:

        This. After handling one of the originals a few years ago, I’d guess the new ones will be somewhere in the $3k ballpark if the fit and finish are comparable.

      2. avatar chris alisi says:

        if they chamber it in 41rem mag I,ll buy one no mtter the cost

  10. avatar Ing says:

    That is one slick-looking pistol. I’m guessing I’ll never have enough money to buy one or shoot one.

  11. avatar Dave says:

    That’s Dirty Harry’s backup gun from Sudden Impact.

    1. avatar Frank in VA says:

      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.

  12. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    It looks like High Standard is resurrecting the later AMT AutoMag as well.

    I’d probably trust the original design more than AMT’s version.

  13. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

    I guess the Death Wish movies (the bad ones) were a little dark for them to use as examples. 🙂

    1. avatar 1911A1 says:

      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.

      1. avatar Eric in Oregon says:

        Yes it was, not sure how I got those mixed up. Thanks for the correction!

  14. avatar LHW says:

    Are they feeling lucky?

  15. avatar gs650g says:

    …..and if used correctly can remove the fingerprints.

    1. avatar Frank in VA says:

      Dirty Harry had some of the best lines about guns in cinema history.

  16. avatar DrewN says:

    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.

  17. avatar Lucas D. says:

    No word on the MSRP yet. Presumably they’ll mail you a hacksaw and you can just send in the arm & leg.

  18. avatar Frank in VA says:

    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.

    1. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

      .44 AMP was made by forming down .308 Winchester brass. Could be a good cartridge for handloaders.

      That was even part of the story of Beverly Hills Cop II!

  19. avatar Dave says:

    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

  20. avatar Dave says:

    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.

    1. avatar tsbhoa.p.jr says:

      but you’re ok with “butt ballistics?”

  21. avatar Matt in Oklahoma says:

    mmmmm mm take my nostalgia money and shut up

  22. avatar RD Smith says:

    Needs a pic rail for a light mount.

    (sorry, couldn’t resist)

  23. avatar Mehul Kamdar says:

    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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