The Mystique Of The Auto Mag

Harry Sanford was the man most responsible for the Auto Mag pistols. Although most of the initial design was the work of Max Guera, Sanford is the man who made it happen. Totally new in design, the Auto Mag Pistol was of stainless steel construction using a multi-lugged rotating bolt. A combination of the rotating bolt and clever accelerator (to open the bolt), made it able to handle enormous pressures for a recoil-operated handgun.

Loosely based on the .308/.30-06 case-head size and robust case-head construction, the first offering was in .44 AMP caliber, closely followed by the .357 AMP. The .44 was called the AMP. The standard 6.5″ barrel length of the Auto Mag easily exceeded contemporary .44 Magnum velocities from revolvers, and vastly exceeded them with the 8″ and 10″ barrel lengths. While doing this, the annoying cylinder-barrel gap blast and frequent “spitting” of the revolvers was eliminated, and accuracy drastically improved. In the mid 1970s, I shot a 6″ 10-shot group at 300 yards using a 2X Leupold on a 10″ .357 AMP. Nothing else in handguns would come close to that accuracy. You will even have to work hard to match it with any handgun now produced. In the same barrel, a Super Vel 90-gr. 9mm would do 3,000 fps with reasonable accuracy, flawless functioning and the ability to turn a jackrabbit into a hairy mist.

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