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Old October 2, 2012, 07:41 PM   #26
.45 Aficianado
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All of the above comments are valid and appreciated. I don't think anyone ever buys the AMT .45 Backup because of its high quality. Its usually been for the firepower in the smallest .45 pistol in production and hopefully a reliable shooter. It is more than convenient to carry all the same interchangeable caliber cartridges for your full size, compact, and micro weapons. The Kahr PM45 has a longer grip and magazine that sticks out when trying to conceal in a pair of blue jeans pocket or pant leg - not so with the AMT. All of the "firearm safety" warnings that used to be etched into the old slides are gone with the new production. The cover over the trigger mechanism on the right side of the gun prevents debris from entering the previously exposed parts, which is probably a good thing. The trade off is that now the two grip screws on the right need to be loosened to take off the grip and cover to gain access to the slide takedown pin which is flush, and needs to be pushed out from right to left.
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Old October 3, 2012, 05:48 PM   #27
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Well you have obviously done your research, and come up with the best solution to fit your needs. I was in the market for a slim .45, and I went with the CW45 over a Glock 36 (not interested in pocket carry though). I had thought about an AMT as well, but I couldn't find any locally to compare. With the .45, sacrifices have to be made when handguns are being made smaller and smaller. The spotty QC steered me away from them, as did the shuffling of companies producing them.

If I were you, I'd send it back in and get it looked at. If it still has problems, I would consider whether you feel it is suitable for self defense. I would hate to make a modification, only to have them hold it over your head as a reason that it failed.
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Old October 3, 2012, 06:02 PM   #28
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"Firepower" doesn't mean much when the gun doesn't work, the primary attribute of AMTs.

Seriously, very seriously, do yourself a big favor and throw the gun away when you get it back. Don't even waste one round.

Go out and buy a Colt New Agent or Glock 36. Don't look back.
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Old October 3, 2012, 08:53 PM   #29
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If you look around here many claim the latter backup with the firing pin safety always had more problems than the one that does not.

That being said I found a NIB backup without the FP safety and messed with it for awhile and failed to get it anywhere close to self defense reliable.

I changed the recoil spring and smoothed out all the elements that were rough from the factory and still no-go.

Turning towards the mags I had 5 mags to play with and I noticed that the follower on the AMT mag is really floppy at the front end, I tried modifying the mags going so far as to try the follower from an ed brown mag that offers more support / stabilization and stronger mag springs. Ultimately this lead to a 4 round mag that was almost reliable. But not quite. I considered brazing a catch to the back of a wilson officers mag and seeing if that helped but I gave up.

I'd rather stuff a J frame in my pocket among other things than the AMT all things considered. I'm not mad, I went in with eyes open and learned a whole ton in the process.

Ed Brown does not build less than a commander sized 1911, he says it will not be reliable. Others do but many of the reports here of 1911's with issues come from the officer sized 1911's. Likewise many of the micro 9mm / 380 guns have issues that need to be ironed out. I am not saying AMT is bad, but I will say that any small for the caliber auto needs more attention to detail and I do not see that in the AMT.
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Old October 3, 2012, 09:23 PM   #30
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The other option of course is a Kahr PM45 don't have the stats on hand but I think its smaller (although the grip length would seem to be very close with the same 5 round size mag) and lighter then the BU and the ammo is the same. I don't know if these pistols have the same problems as the mico .45s but mine seems to do very well if you can ride the recoil.
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Old October 4, 2012, 07:48 AM   #31
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Quote:
"Firepower" doesn't mean much when the gun doesn't work, the primary attribute of AMTs.

Seriously, very seriously, do yourself a big favor and throw the gun away when you get it back. Don't even waste one round.
As long as the AMT 45 Backup doesn't have something seriously wrong with it (like the one pictured a couple pages back), they can be made to work and work reliably. When you get it to work reliably, it's a good piece. I don't know anything about the new ones coming out - mine is an older one, probably made in the '90's.

The design is simple. They are easy to work on. My AMT came with a factory magazine and an aftermarket magazine. The aftermarket magazine was crap, completely out of spec and simply didn't work. I tried several other aftermarket magazines with my AMT at a gun show and they were all pure crap - some wouldn't even lock up in in the magwell empty! Stick with factory AMT magazines.

Also, if you buy a used AMT make sure that no one has attempted to lighten the trigger. I've heard of people doing this because the trigger pull is quite heavy. It's heavy for a reason - the hammer spring must be stiff to create enough force to ignite the primer. This sounds like common sense, but you'd be surprised what people do.
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Old October 4, 2012, 01:22 PM   #32
moxie
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Why "work on" a new gun at all? Unless that's your hobby,of course.

There are plenty that work right out of the box and keep working. I mentioned 2 that are sub-commander in size that work great: the Colt New Agent and the Glock 36. No work required.
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Old October 4, 2012, 01:47 PM   #33
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Quote:
Why "work on" a new gun at all? Unless that's your hobby,of course.

There are plenty that work right out of the box and keep working. I
Because none are as small and compact as the 45 AMT Backup. Believe me, if Ruger, Colt or S&W made a smaller, lighter .45acp with the same capacity, I'd agree with you. But, no one does.
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Old October 7, 2012, 05:54 PM   #34
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That is exactly why I hope High Standard can deliver a reliable AMT .45 Backup under warranty.

Regarding an earlier comment, of course I will fire it to see if they fixed it, and it is now reliable. Why not? Until one of the Big Names takes on the design, manufacture, and quality control of a .45 semiauto in this size; they are the only game in town.
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Old October 8, 2012, 12:38 PM   #35
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Had an original. Required a lot of polishing, new recoil spring, and a modified Wilson mag follower to get it to work properly. Sold it to a LEO for more than I had in it. Too heavy for a BUG IMHO.
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Old October 9, 2012, 04:21 PM   #36
Clifford L. Hughes
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I sold guns when the AMT Back Up was in its hayday. They never worked reliably ! I tried to stear my customers away form purchasing them. However, most of my customers demanded them because they were the smallest .45 acp on the market. It seems that the current procuction is no better. One TFL poster purchased one and was having a good gunsmith work it over; sadly, he never reposted the results.

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Old October 9, 2012, 07:54 PM   #37
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Ahoy 45 Aficiando,

The following is what I wrote about the AMT BACKUP 45 in February of this year:

"After researching and hearing all the bad news about the AMT 45 BACK UP, I took a chance on a like-new condition one, on sale for $250.

Before shooting a single cartridge I disassembled (taking pics along the way to refresh my memory for re-assembly) the pistol completely. I found the internals in machined rough condition. Polished and buffed every single part...everything...very carefully. The hammer assembly is the worst, a real swine, but must be disassembled and thoroughly fluffed and buffed. This was time consuming, but when finished, the action becomes as smooth as a hot knife passing thru soft butter, with a silky, consistent, firm trigger pull. Very slick.

The owner must, in effect, re-manufacture the pistol, then keep it clean and well lubed. 100% flawless function.

Amazing how accurate these little AMT 45 BACK UPs are, 3/4" groups doable at CCW distances, and how well they handle the recoil of the 45 ACP cartridge. Mostly use for ankle carry, on occasion pocket or IWB (requires wide strong belt).

Only problem are the grip screws, they must be tightened after every range session, as they come loose. Lost one."

PS: I prefer to carry it on the ankle...its a tad too small for IWB, OWB or shoulder holster. Sometimes I carry it in a jacket pocket. Have considered picking up an XDS 45, but its larger, and the AMT is such a good shooter its kinda grown on me.
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Old October 10, 2012, 08:04 PM   #38
.45 Aficianado
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All great comments, and taken to heart. I'm waiting for my gun to come back from High Standard under new owner warranty. I will let you know if they delivered. It's now up to their own quality control to produce a reliable weapon for selling a firearm designed to protect the life of the owner. I suspect that will be an indication of whether or not they will join or rise above the list of bankrupt companies that have produced this smallest .45 semi-automatic pistol.

Seaman, you and I were cut from the same cloth. I also gazed for years at the ocean as an LEO back in the '70s with my Colt Govt. model at the ready, which I still have; and which I might add, also needed work for failure to eject. I believe it is possible, as you and others have so eloquently stated, to make the AMT .45 Backup a reliable, running pistol. It's obvious the quality control at AMT that was absent at the factory was taken care of in your garage. Being able to stuff a RELIABLE .45 semi-auto in a pocket is priceless. You must be a gunsmith, I can't imagine knocking out pins and completely taking down the hammer/firing pin assembly taking photos along the way without a manual for reassembly
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Old October 11, 2012, 03:27 PM   #39
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Quote:
Only problem are the grip screws, they must be tightened after every range session, as they come loose. Lost one."
Blue locktite solved that problem for me.
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Old October 12, 2012, 05:45 PM   #40
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Waiting on a AMT

45acp is my #1 choice for SD work, but waiting?

I'd rather pack around a used but operational 9X18 Makarov that was won in a Poker Game with some cheating Soviet truck drivers, as to use my inside the waist holster merely as a place holder for an 'we-got-yer-gun' UPS reciept.
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Old October 14, 2012, 07:19 PM   #41
.45 Aficianado
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Warning Shot Point well taken but my IWB holster is already occupied by my Kimber .45 Ultra Carry II Crimson Trace. I view the the AMT as strictly pocket or ankle carry BUG if reliable.
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Old October 14, 2012, 08:11 PM   #42
.45 Aficianado
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Well, it is back from High Standard, and I can't say I'm thrilled. It was returned in dirty condition with gun shot residue and copper fouling in the barrel - again. (It was originally shipped new from the factory in dry condition, no lubrication, the same way with an empty shell in the box!). I looked at the back of the gun and nothing had been done about the hammer/slide/frame misalignment (see photo). I put a clip in and tried to chamber a round and the slide jammed coming forward (see photo). The bullet had not even contacted the feed ramp, so I don't think polishing is an issue. When I manually pushed the slide forward, I could get it to chamber. I fired 6 total shots. Of those, the slide only came half way forward in chambering the 3rd round, and the last round coming out of the magazine failed to chamber at all and stovepiped (see photo). I bought a Wolf recoil spring which appears longer and stronger (see photo) as others have suggested. Any other suggestions are welcome.
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Old October 14, 2012, 08:14 PM   #43
.45 Aficianado
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Additional photos attached.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg AMT .45 Backup Live Stovepipe.JPG (118.4 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg AMT .45 Backup Wolf Spring.JPG (111.8 KB, 30 views)
File Type: jpg Failure to Chamber 2.JPG (75.7 KB, 29 views)
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Old October 14, 2012, 10:16 PM   #44
Sulaco2
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Was at the WAC gun show in WA State this weekend and was surprised at the number of AMT .45 backups for sale I counted 15 and most going for an asking price of around 300. Almost picked one up but was stopped by the QC problems even with the original guns...
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:13 AM   #45
Skans
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That misalignment is just wrong! That one needs to go back to the factory, if thats the way it came from the factory. All other problems are generally fixable.
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Old October 15, 2012, 08:16 PM   #46
.45 Aficianado
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Sulaco2 I'm not surprised. I suspect anyone that has one that doesn't work will try to "unload" it at one of these kinds of venues - especially since smaller .45s are being produced by other manufacturers. I'm coming around to the way of thinking that even buying a new gun should come with a trial period at the range, where if not satisfied, can be returned for full refund.

Skans That is how it came to me. I suspect the atrocious misalignment of the slide/firing pin/hammer/frame is the reason the firing pin was broken before I fired the first round. I think the center-of-mass of the hammer coming down to strike the left side of the firing pin, resulted in a force vector that forced the firing pin sideways to the right instead of straight down center. I also think the gouging of the hammer into the metal of the left side of the frame, results in a timing delay on slide/hammer blowback, and rechambering a new round. Also, since the top of the hammer is centered to the left of the slide on blowback, its force must be lifting the left side of the slide in relation to the right side. Maybe that is causing the misfeed resulting in the live round stovepipe seen in the photo above.
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Old October 15, 2012, 09:38 PM   #47
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Hope you get your problems taken care of. I bought a 45 backup and it is not 100 % reliable yet. I still need to take it apart and do the fluff and buff. I do notice that its pretty reliable just after I clean it and gets worse as it gets dirty. I wish someone else made a equal gun. I looked at the pm45 before I bough the amt and it was way wider. Felt like it was 1/2 inch wider even the specs don't appear that way. I wear jeans a lot and they have the watch pocket in them. The amt will fit 3/4 of the way down into it. It makes a great little holster or you can just slide it into the pocket.
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Old October 15, 2012, 09:59 PM   #48
.45 Aficianado
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454me Can you take a photo from the back of your gun and post it? I'm curious as to whether or not I have an unusual problem with my gun's misalignment, or that it is ubiquitous throughout the AMT community. Keep in mind that 100% reliability is not one hiccup in two boxes of shells. Jeans are a big part of my CCW wardrobe - I'll have to try that, thanks!
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Old October 15, 2012, 10:55 PM   #49
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Negative ghost rider. The smallest .45 is a derringer type pistol called the Heizer Double Tap.
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Old October 16, 2012, 08:08 AM   #50
RsqVet
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Your hammer to slide allingment looks as mine did. I suspect as long as the slide does not drag on the hammer it's considered normal and a consequence of the design. With slide and grips off you can see there is not much to position the hammer any other way. Having looked at many yours does not look any worse than average.

I think the hammer position is not responsible for most or all of your observed issues.

It looks from your pictures that the rounds are nose diving-- not even hitting the feed ramp in a tip up position to flow into the chamber. Mine did that as well which is what led me to mess around with magazines, springs and followers.

Holding the mag you may note that the follower is floppy tends to deflect down at the front, I think this is an issue. In a short amount of time / space that is available in the cycle of the gun it's not getting to the critical geometry to feed.

If this is best fixed with a better follower or tweaking the feed lips I do not know. I tried both and never got to 100%. close was as a 4 round mag, very stiff mag spring and anti tilt follower.

I do know from the 1911 a ton of feed issues get solved with a better magazine. Sadly there is no Wilson mag for the amt
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