The Auto Mag Returns in .44 AMP

The venerable magnum-caliber semi-auto pistol from the 70s is back and updated with modern manufacturing processes and materials.

The return of the Auto Mag in .44 AMP.
The return of the Auto Mag in .44 AMP.photo from guns.com

Do you remember the AMP Auto Mag pistol?

If you're a Dirty Harry fan, you know it as Harry Callahan's backup gun in Sudden Impact (1983) which he uses after losing his S&W Model 29 revolver.

The AMP Auto Mag Model 180, chambered in .44 AMP, hasn’t been made for 30 years, but it’s getting a comeback.

When it was introduced in 1969, the Auto Mag fired the most powerful production handgun round on the market. Now, the rebooted Auto Mag and Excel Arms will be producing a production model of the AMP with either a 6.5- or 8.5-inch barrel and chambered in .44 AMP, with more calibers to follow.

According to this story from guns.com, Excel says advancements in CNC technology and materials have allowed them to greatly improve the original design.

There aren’t too many more details, but we will be bringing more news on this rebooted hand cannon from SHOT Show next week.

The .44 Auto Mag was designed between 1966 and 1971 and produced until 1982 with the goal of bringing .44 Magnum power to a semi-auto pistol. The .44 Auto Mag cartridge was designed to shoot .429-inch, 240 grain bullets at about the same velocity as the .44 Magnum and we formed from cut-down .308 Winchester or .30-06 cases.

The pistol's relative short life span had less to do with the gun and more to do with constant leadership changes and bad decisions at AMP. The company ended up losing more than $1,000 on each gun they sold, which retailed wholesale for about $170. They intentionally underpriced to indicate market demand to potential investors. The guns sold for about $220 in the 1970s. Used Auto Mags sell for $3,000-$4,000 today.