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The Auto Mag Pistol – From Concept to Production

The Auto Mag pistol was the most powerful production handgun ever manufactured. Using short-recoil action with rotating bolt, this handgun could hold the powerful.44 AMP round.

The company marketed itself as the “aristocrat of big bore handguns”, yet disagreements and high wholesale prices led to bankruptcy in 1982. Walter Sanford eventually sold all plans, trademarks and spare parts to Auto Mag Ltd Corp based out of South Carolina in 2015.


When the Auto Mag first went into production in 1969, it was one of the largest, most powerful semi-automatic pistols ever created. Unfortunately, its short production run caused its company to go bankrupt due to mismanagement and bad design; its designers believed the.44 Auto Mag could not be produced at an economically feasible wholesale price and would never appeal to large market segments due to its size and weight; its size precluded use as police or military sidearm and target shooting/hunting use; target shooters can perform just as effectively using smaller rounds without creating wrist snapping recoil or blinding muzzle flashes.

AutoMag Ltd Corp recently unveiled their gun with plans to make improvements, in an effort to bring it back into mass production. Unfortunately, due to costs associated with special tooling required for production and difficulty finding enough high-quality blanks suitable for rework or new manufacture, their new guns have yet to become profitable; so they are currently searching for ways to cut costs while increasing reliability.


Though its high price point puts it out of reach for most, the Auto Mag is still a wildly popular firearm. Widely considered a “boutique” gun, its popularity can be found worldwide and can be found in collections all around. Hunters and shooters appreciate its powerful big-bore thunderstick. Additionally, its draw is still strong among 1911 lovers who wish to experience its former reliability; though not as reliable as modern polymer-framed weapons it still attracts people at ranges; occasional feeding stoppages are an easily resolved issue; often associated with magazines where issues lie; often the spring must be adjusted correctly or replaced entirely in order to resolve them.

The original Auto Mag was a short-recoil pistol designed to fire the.357 Auto Mag cartridge. Developed for hunting purposes, this round can deliver crippling shots at close and medium ranges – Lee Jurras used early production Auto Mags to take down more than 125 medium and large game animals around the globe with it!

After Auto Mag’s original heirs discontinued business operations in 1982, a new company was formed in 2015 called Auto Mag LTD Corp to resurrect this iconic pistol. After extensive testing and development of their powerful.44 Auto Mag Pistol they have brought it back with several additional upgrades.


The Auto Mag was an enormous handgun with a 6-1/2 inch barrel and overall length of 11.5 inches, designed for use with powerful cartridges such as the.44 Magnum round. To counter its power, its designers chose an unconventional locking method instead of traditional moving slides to handle its power – an eight radial locking lug cylindrical bolt was chosen instead of traditional moving slide design found on most semi-automatic pistols at that time.

As with other firearms of its day, the bottom lugs on the receiver extension were cast rather than welded allowing milling integral with extension for an improved barrel fit and increased rigidity.

Due to its size and weight constraints, the Auto Mag was never likely to appeal to military or police sidearm markets and concealed carry enthusiasts alike. Furthermore, its diminutive size precluded any significant advantages it might provide over more commonly available Smith & Wesson revolvers in terms of performance or efficiency.

Firearms visionary Harry Sanford sold the rights to his Auto Mag pistol in 1982 and production ceased, yet its cult following among collectors, gun enthusiasts and Dirty Harry fans has kept its demand high – even after it has stopped actively being manufactured. Companies advertising themselves as “AutoMag” have attempted to capitalize on this demand with products bearing little resemblance to its original design.


The Auto Mag pistol required meticulous craftsmanship and careful attention to every detail. Specifically, its unique Borchardt-type Kniegelenk (“knee-joint”) locking mechanism was based on human knee anatomy to allow up and down barrel movement without tipping over. As a result, its overall length from muzzle crown to hammer spur was only four inches longer than an S&W Model 29.44 Magnum wheelgun while offering two additional rounds and improved recoil.

Lee Jurras created an easy, accurate, and powerful weapon with excellent stopping power that would take his prototype all over the world to shoot over 125 medium and large game animals to demonstrate its effectiveness.

Harry Sanford founded a company to manufacture Auto Mags in Pasadena, California but this proved unsuccessful due to low sales volumes and inability to produce them at prices affordable by consumers. Consequently, production stopped soon thereafter and eventually the Auto Mag Corporation folded.

Sanford eventually founded Arcadia Machine and Tool (AMT), selling handguns under the Auto-Mag brand name that were not as effective. Today, Auto-Mag LTD Corp owns exclusive rights to both its name and plans for this firearm and uses cutting edge technologies to reengineer it from scratch – their goal being to revitalize it further and make it better than ever.


At one point in time, the Auto Mag was the preferred gun of Dirty Harry – and all those watching 1983 movie, A Clockwork Orange. Big guns were popular then and this particular model was amongst the largest. So big it required its own trailer just to transport around!

Design of Hugo Borchardt’s C-93 was inspired by Hiram Maxim’s recoil-powered machine pistol; however, its massive size and mechanical complexity prevented it from becoming a practical handgun. Other gunsmiths tried making smaller versions of this concept using an unconventional locking mechanism similar to human knee joints to reduce recoil while increasing accuracy; only a handful were successful; one such example being Hugo Borchardt’s C-93 which featured a unique Kneegelenk (Knee joint) locking mechanism inspired by human knee joints for reduced recoil while increasing accuracy – however its poor stopping power prevented its commercial success.

After the Auto Mag Company filed for bankruptcy, various other companies assumed manufacturing rights of this firearm, such as Trust Deed Estates (TDE), Ordnance Manufacturing Corporation and High Standard Corporation – producing approximately 9,500 Auto Mags between 1971 and 1982 between them.

Auto Mag LTD Corp is currently reintroducing the gun back onto the market, using modern manufacturing processes and materials to enhance performance while making several significant design enhancements to create something that honors its iconic predecessor and demonstrates why it became such an icon model just like in the slot review world.


Auto Mag pistol has experienced limited production but achieved notoriety and even iconic status, however its presence on the market remains tenuous due to high production costs and weak market demand for its production.

The original company sold only 3,000 Auto Mag guns before going bankrupt, although some of these guns were later rebranded and sold by other companies – one being Lee Jurras’ rebrand of the original company, offering variations with various calibers, features like NFA-regulated shoulder stocks and exotic grips; unfortunately this effort failed with minimal success and the company ultimately discontinued producing Auto Mags altogether.

However, in 2015 a new innovator purchased exclusive rights to this gun and its name and began modernizing it using cutting edge technologies in an advanced facility. They established “Auto Mag LTD Corp”, and started accepting pre-orders from members of the public beginning 2015. Each pistol is handmade and custom made according to each buyer’s polish choice, grip style preference and unique serial number requirement; lead times could take at least 60 days due to such customization processes.