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I am getting an original automag and am wondering if there is any practical reason for keeping it. I have done some research on it and come to the realization that it is a rare and interesting piece of weaponry but am not sure what I should do with it.

I also have the dies for the cartridge so if I feel froggy I can cut some 30 cal brass to make 44AMP ammo


Some of you have been around for a while and know much more about these more dated items than I.
 

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Ah yes, I remember it well. The Auto Mag was the brainchild of Harry Sanford.

These pistols were a very new concept in the early 70s. And consequently some Auto Mags had problems with parts breakage. If you shoot your pistol there is the chance that something might break. These guns were made of stainless steel and metallurgy had to catch up with the design. The idea of 45,000 psi type pistols was a a novel concept back then.

If I were you, I'd load up a few lighter loads and put a few magazines through the gun. Then you could say that you were one of the few to shoot an Auto Mag. Then I'd retire the gun to my collection.

Mad
 

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Yeah, i have read some of the same comments you said. I don't see myself putting much through it other than to say I shot it. It is fun to look at and see the similarities to the AR bolt
 

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Musashi:

The Automag history is a fascinating story, so much so, the original Automags made in Pasadena and later El Monte, that retailed for under $300 in the 70's are now selling for between $2,000 - $4,000.

One might find this strange as the business Harry Sanford founded was a complete clusterf**k from the start when the design team resigned before production even began. The business would become a complete failure. Over $1,000 was lost per gun made.

The Automag would have over 11 manufacturers in its' storied history. Surprisingly, the bad reputation the Automag received was from hand loading where excessive pressures just overwhelmed the gun. When factory ammo was more available, the guns functioned with more reliability

I met Harry several years ago and he was indeed an interesting individual. The Automag I purchased in 1990 was a late Pasadena model, which true to form, suffered from many internal problems. Harry lamented that if today's quality of metallurgy was available back in the 70's, the Automag would probably be one of the finest pistols in American history.

Harry passed away last year and his son auctioned off many of his guns. A personalized Harry Sanford Automag went for over $7k on Gunbroker. I gave up bidding long before that.

http://www.gunbroker.com/auction/ViewIt ... =125220765

Here is an "Automag" buyers guide, which I highly recommend an inspection of any Automag before purchase.

http://biskun.com/hobby/firearm/automag-bg.html

Harry actually contracted for 1,000 "Harry Sanford Commemorative" .44 AMP Automag pistols with a Sturgis, SD barrel address in 1999. I put down a deposit for SN# 500. And as usual, per Harry's business acumen, less than 300 were built and my deposit became a tax write-off.

Best Automags to own for collector's value

Early Pasadena models, (the late production Pasadena models are considered some of the worst) SN ranges from A0000 to A03700.

The High Standard Models of which some 1045 were made. As the company name changed there were several overlapping serial number ranges. The best collectible are the H - prefix, H1 through H198, and the model I'm looking for in particular, the 1974-1976 "Lee. E. Jurass" model known as the "Lion's Head."

The "North Hollywood Two Line" model

The DE/OMC marked pistols "B" series SN B00001 - B00370

The 1979 AMT made pistols "C Series" SN C00001 to C00050

And AMT's 1982 "Last " series, though poorly made they do command a premium. SN "Last 1 to Last 50"

I will be adding an Automag to my collection, but the good ones are becoming increasingly hard to find. They will IMO continue to increase in value.

HoJo
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks John, I had read much of that on the net already, but the last couple of paragraphs and links is good info.


The pistol is mine already, it kind of got passed around but no one knew what to do with it until I got it. Waiting on a couple of parts to bring it back up to speed. It had been sitting idle and while not neglected, it was not babied either.

I am going to do some serial number checking and see where she falls
 

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well kids, she is back together after some inspection and cleaning up some surfaces, 308 case cut down and loaded to to minimum spec. Now I jsut need to take her out and give her a try. I will post some pics later.
 

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I have one of the very low serial numbered Harry Sanford Commemoratives. Very nice pistol indeed. I've fired 5 rounds through it thereby lowering the value of it I am sure. I used CorBon ammo which in itself was hard to find. It now sits in the presentation box that sits in my safe and I pull it out every now and then. Very expensive piece.
 

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I have one of the very low serial numbered Harry Sanford Commemoratives. Very nice pistol indeed. I've fired 5 rounds through it thereby lowering the value of it I am sure. I used CorBon ammo which in itself was hard to find. It now sits in the presentation box that sits in my safe and I pull it out every now and then. Very expensive piece.
I know this is an old thread...but would still love to see pics.
 
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