Sniper & Sharpshooter Forums banner
1 - 2 of 13 Posts

· Registered
399 Posts

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. ... =125220765

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

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.

1 - 2 of 13 Posts