The .44 Auto Mag: A New Old Gun. Maybe?

So you want .44 mag power in a semi-auto pistol but you don’t want to shoot a .44 mag. What do you do? You buy a .44 Auto Mag chambered in .44AMP. Originally released in 1971, the .44AMP had a short life with only about 9,000 units sold before the company went bankrupt. Five company name changes later, they finally gave up. Cool gun, bad business.

In 2015, a South Carolina company decided they would give it a fifth or sixth try and bought the rights to the .44AMP design. The original AMP was plagued with reliability issues. The newest owners are confident that “what we produce is mechanically far superior to the original Auto Mag.”

The newly re-re-re-re-released old gun is limited to 77 units at first. Early reviews have been short and sweet. According to the press release, “One of first [sic] Founders Edition owners (with the 8-1/2” barrel) had a few words to say: I GOT MINE!”

So there you have it, someone received their $3,795 gun.

If you want a little more information check out their website here. Actually, this is what you’ll learn: choose between an 8.5” or 6.5” barrel and G10 or wood checkered grips. Finally, according to the product description it must be sent to an FFL. This is all of the info in the description.


  1. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    I approve

  2. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    I think I’d rather just buy 6 .44 magnum revolvers and use the rest of the money for am mo.

    But then having 8 .44 mags might be a bit redundant.

    1. avatar Nigel the expat says:

      Unless you make a ‘gatling revolver’, PedoRedJacket style 😉

  3. avatar dlj95118 says:

    I was unaware of this firearm.

    Thanks for the introduction.

    1. avatar BLAMMO says:

      Clint Eastwood actually switched to the Auto Mag in the last Dirty Harry movie (Dead Pool ?).

      I don’t really think the S&W 29 was ever “the most powerful handgun in the world”, but by the 1980s, it wasn’t even close. I don’t think the Auto Mag was either but it’s way cooler than the .454 Casull and Hollywood’s all about cool. Sometimes.

      Besides, he claimed in one movie (Magnum Force ?) that he shoots a “light special” out of the 29, so, there’s that.

      1. avatar 16V says:

        .454 Casull was a late 50s/early 60s development. But it wasn’t actually available in a series pistol until the early ’80s (Freedom Arms IIRC).

      2. avatar bryan1980 says:

        He used the Auto Mag in “Sudden Impact”, the second-to-last movie.

      3. avatar dlj95118 says:

        …ah, well…I’m probably one of the few people on earth that hasn’t seen all the Dirty Harry or Death Wish movies.

        If I have seen Magnum Force or Dead Pool, I wasn’t in the gun community then and probably just thought, “oh my – that’s a big gun!”

      4. avatar MLee says:

        @ BLAMMO
        As scenes go, I doubt very much a scum-bag that has a great big gun pointed at their face is going to ponder and stop to think if a .44 magnum really IS the most powerful handgun in the world.
        It’s not like someone laying there bleeding is going to say, hey wait just a dog gone second cop. A 44 magnum isn’t the most powerful handgun in the world and I seriously doubt it would “blow my head clean off” so let’s just stop with the theatrics and be a little more realistic here.

        1. avatar BLAMMO says:

          Stop with the theatrics and be realistic? In a Hollywood movie?

  4. avatar Marcus says:

    Guess that’s why Dirty Harry could only afford to use it for just a few scenes in Sudden Impact.

  5. avatar Oh noes says:

    I prefer Mr. Wildey .475WM

  6. avatar No one of consequence says:

    I thought about signing up … But for a caliber I don’t already have, it was a bit too much of a flyer. And I realized I could always go for a Deagle first if I want to try out the general power and recoil feel.

    I’m following their updates, though, and wish them well.

  7. avatar Hank says:

    It’s definetly a cool pistol but, there’s likely just not a real market for it. The vast majority that want a magnum will spend a fraction of the price and get a smith or ruger. The few people that can easily afford it, already have a ton of other wildly expensive and exotic guns, or they just aren’t gun people.

  8. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Boy, talk about a high bore axis. I’ll bet that thing flips like a politician.

    1. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

      I LOL’d.
      That is funny sh!t right there.

    2. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      No, not really. It is a very heavy handgun – about 3.5 lbs as I recall. I’ve fired one. It’s not that offensive in terms of flip/recoil.

      A scandium .357 snubby flips/hurts much more than a .44 AutoMag.

    3. avatar AndyC says:

      I have one and yes, the bore-axis is high and there is muzzle-flip, which is to be expected, but it’s still controllable.

  9. avatar TexTed says:

    “So you want .44 mag power in a semi-auto pistol but you don’t want to shoot a .44 mag.”

    Or you could just buy a threaded barrel with compensator and recoil spring for your Glock 30 (or 21) and shoot .460 Rowland. Spent under $200 at Lone Wolf and now my G30 is well into .44 Mag territory.

    1. avatar JDFowlerton says:

      Yeah, I had almost the same thought; wasn’t 460 Rowland supposed to fill that gap.

      Though the auto mag is pretty cool on its own and looks sleeker than the desert eagle it would be more interesting to me if it just took .44 mag rather than it’s own take on the caliber.

  10. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    One of my uncles had an original back in the ‘70’s.
    I remember it beign rather pleasant to shoot.

  11. avatar BlazinTheAmazin says:

    Cool design and I would love to add one to the collection… for a grand or so. Charging 3-4k? No thanks. Might as well get a Desert Eagle in 50AE with a .44mag conversion and a case of ammo. Would still be significantly cheaper.

  12. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

    The .44 AutoMag cost a boatload to produce. It was a heavy gun, over-built like crazy. You can shoot some hellaciously hot loads through the .44 AutoMag.

    At under $4K/gun, I doubt they’re making much money per pistol. The original company was losing money on every pistol they made/shipped when they were selling them for a price of about $1500 (in today’s dollars) each.

  13. avatar Ralph says:

    Call me after the obligatory recall.

  14. avatar geoff says:

    my .44mag de works just fine and I an even put a red dot on it.

  15. avatar Kevin says:

    I’m surprised that no one has mentioned it’s use by Clint Eastwood in the Dirty Harry movie, “Sudden Impact.”

    That was the first thing I thought of when I saw it.

  16. avatar VerendusAudeo says:

    The first run of 77 is just the ‘Founder’s Edition’. Only 50 are being sold, with 27 going to friends and family. There’s a good chance the production model will cost less than 2k.

  17. avatar DrewN says:

    I have an original, and nothing,nothing stops a range dead like pulling out that bad boy. It got to the point I’d need to load an extra hundred rounds just so everyone could run through a mag. Mine runs great, but magazines can be a PITA, like with any other small production gun.

  18. avatar El Duderino says:

    $3,795? So…late middle age guys spending their recent inheritance. Got it.

    1. avatar James Wilson says:

      If they’ve only inherited <$5k, God bless…

  19. avatar James Wilson says:

    You know what? Maybe. Hell of a lot cheaper than the FK Brno. Basically the same ME.

  20. For $3,795, you’d think they could have made it look less like a .22 LR rimfire target pistol.
    It looks like a Ruger Mark III, Ruger Mark IV Competition, or Smith & Wesson SW22 Victory.

    1. avatar William Elliott says:

      well, thats what it ORIGINALLY looked like, so…

  21. avatar William Elliott says:

    I want one just because my dad lost his deposit on his when the original company went under.

  22. avatar OregunianC96 says:

    Only 77 to be made? Don’t they know you have to make even numbers of these things so everyone can wield AutoMags akimbo, ala the Death Merchant?

    1. avatar AndyC says:

      Only 77 Founders’ Edition pistols – the Classic Edition (6.5″ barrel) will be available.

  23. avatar C. Stubbs says:

    I got mine too! I’m not a journalist so don’t expect a book. I’ve followed the Automag since 1971 as a teenager. Couldn’t afford one then and couldn’t afford to NOT take this opportunity to buy the new one. I’ve followed the company’s journey towards building the Automag of ‘today’ that wasn’t available technology-wise back in the 60’s. No expense spared in reengineering using better steel, better CNC tools, and awesome testing standards. It is a great gun and is going to be a favorite in anyone’s pistol collection. #one badass pistol #runfasttheotherway #amusthavegun.

  24. avatar Michael Papanek (mp5vette) says:

    I got mine too which is add too my collection which i start in the 70’s and is at 24 AMP in the collection. I think it is one the best made and looking Auto Mags too date!

    1. avatar C Stubbs says:

      No pic option?

      I love mine. Fell in love with the original in 1971 but at $1200, I opted for a car. My founding fathers edition is much too beautiful to chance dropping or scratching at the range. I bought it so my military Son could enjoy ownership earlier than I did. The guys in SC did a great job.

  25. avatar Adam says:

    Does anyone know where you can sell old boxes of 44 auto mag ammo?

    1. avatar Dave P. says:

      One of the primary manufacturers of 44 AMP was CDM of Mexico. Unfortunately it was a pretty poor loading of what looked like H 2400. The copper jacket was pretty thick an had poor expansion performance. I have seen boxes of CDM ammo come up on Gunbroker, but expect to pay $$$ due to collector cartridge interest.

    2. avatar AndyC says:


      They may have some collector value, but since Starline is making .44 AMP brass and SBR Ammo is churning out good ammo, you might not get as much as you would have a few years ago.

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