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Old June 23, 2011, 10:14 PM   #1
markchadwick
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AMT .380 9mm Kurz Back up trigger missing, damaged?

P1010003a.jpg

P1010004a.jpg

P1010006a.jpg

So I have a little issue here with a handgun missing a trigger. Supposedly this thing was dropped so that the trigger was damaged/broken off.
My question is, is that possible, given that the rest of the handgun doesnt seem significantly damaged in any way? Or is it more likely that the trigger on this was simply missing/taken off?
I'm not a gun expert, but seems to me that gun makers design their guns so the triggers DONT fall or break off. Also, that's what the trigger guard is for, to protect the trigger.
Anyone else have any opinions on whether it's possible for a handgun to be dropped/fall in such a way that only the trigger breaks off?
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Old June 23, 2011, 10:37 PM   #2
Mike Irwin
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I would say not a chance.

I'd bet that someone took it apart and simply lost the trigger.
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Old June 23, 2011, 11:21 PM   #3
markchadwick
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Thanks for the reply, MI.
Would there be any purpose to having a gun without a trigger? Do people intentionally take the trigger off to make it unusable, and leave it off? Ive never heard of anyone doing that as a safety measure, but i suppose anything's possible...
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Old June 24, 2011, 12:10 AM   #4
Mal H
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What's the story behind the gun? Where did you get the pictures of it? It's hard to give any educated opinion about the missing trigger merely from looking at a few pictures.
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Old June 24, 2011, 12:21 AM   #5
markchadwick
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This gun was allegedly used in a shooting. Cop chases the perp, says the perp threw the gun as he was running. Perp is arrested after a foot chase, police recover the gun, say that the trigger must have broken off when the gun was thrown.
I'm a friend of one of the lawyers on the case, who wanted my opinion on if its possible that a trigger can fall/break off a gun when its thrown. I say BS, the toughness tests guns go through are rigorous (dragged behind cars, thrown off buildings, etc). Just looking at pics of it, anything that would break off the trigger would also break off the guard, yet the guard is undamaged.
So is this a plant gun? I doubt the cop saw the perp fire this gun...
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Old June 24, 2011, 12:34 AM   #6
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The trigger is most likely cast metal, not forged. I have seen very expensive knifes with custom steel snap, I have had Snap-On wrenches snap with just a little pressure. . If it hit a sharp cornered object right on the trigger it could very well snap. Guns are steel, steel does funny things if there is the slightest error in the heat treatment process. I doubt very seriously that a police office is going to use a gun with no trigger as a throw down gun. The lack of a trigger stub would be too obvious.The remainder of the trigger would not vanish into thin air. I had a LEO friend in Chicago who had a juvenile pull a . little .25 on him in an alley, the little a$$ hole had the safety on and not realizing it pulled the trigger so hard it snapped off. Never say never.
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Old June 24, 2011, 12:34 AM   #7
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I would guess there might be some piece's rattling in the gun.
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Old June 24, 2011, 05:57 AM   #8
Mike Irwin
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"I would guess there might be some piece's rattling in the gun."

Exactly. The trigger isn't an isolated unit. There would be pieces normally connected to the trigger left behind.

My guess is that the shooter had the gun, it was without a trigger to begin with, and he found someway to fire it using something else stuck in the trigger slot, and that popped out when the gun was tossed.
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Old June 24, 2011, 09:09 AM   #9
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If the police were in any way involved in the missing trigger or it was a plant, then they should all be fired on the grounds of stupidity. It would be completely counterproductive to their own case to have a gun they claim was used in a crime to be unusable by the perp.

No, the police had nothing to do with the missing trigger - guaranteed.
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Old June 24, 2011, 09:35 AM   #10
markchadwick
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Some very good advice here, thank you guys.
Someone will need to detail strip this gun to see what's up with the trigger or what's left of it...
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Old June 24, 2011, 09:40 AM   #11
Aguila Blanca
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Take a look at a photo of another AMT Backup



The AMT Backup SA, which is what you have, appears to have a sliding trigger like a 1911. There's a steel "stirrup" that runs inside the grip frame and wraps around both sides of the magazine, coming together at the back with a cross bar that pushes on the sear.

At the front, the two sides of the stirrup come together and are riveted or otherwide attached to a trigger pad or shoe, which is the part your finger presses on to fire the gun.

It's difficult to imagine a trigger shoe breaking off if the gun was dropped, but ... anything is possible and in a court of law it's not fair to anyone to say "I can't imagine it, therefore it couldn't have happened."

Simple test -- look inside the slot where the trigger rides and see if the stirrup is still there.

Here's a photo of a 1911 trigger, so you can see what I'm blathering about

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Old June 24, 2011, 09:46 AM   #12
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Even better -- here's an article of detail stripping the thing. Scroll down toward the end and there's a photo with all the parts laid out. Looks like the trigger pad/shoe is a separate part.

http://alankwak.com/amt380backupcleaning.aspx
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Old June 24, 2011, 09:56 AM   #13
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And still better -- Numrich kindly provides a schematic of the AMT Backup SA on-line. The trigger is NOT attached to a shoe like a 1911. Looks like it is something that could easily get dislodged by impact, but without a complete pistol to play with, I can't tell from the schematic how firmly it is held in place.

http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/...spx?catid=8558

By the way -- since this is court, and courts are full of people who know nothing about guns ... AMT made two versions of the AMT Backup .380. One was double action only (AMT Backup DAO), and the other was single action. You have the latter. The DAO has a larger trigger guard area and a revolver-like swinging trigger. Don't let anyone confuse the two. You are dealing with an AMT Backup SA.
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Old June 24, 2011, 10:15 AM   #14
Mike Irwin
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I actually had one of these for some time.

IIRC, as I noted above, the trigger is too large to come out through the trigger guard. The guard, the shape of the grooves the trigger rides in, and the shape of the trigger itself keep it captive.

I can't see any way, even if the trigger were somehow broken, for it to come out.
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Old June 24, 2011, 11:34 AM   #15
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Mike look at the third pic again that the only way for it to come out.
If you look at the schematichere you will see that the trigger is held in by the disconnector pin which is held in by the disconnector itself. I'd say it'd be unlikely but possible for it to break dropping it, however after further thought it'd be extremely possible for the disconector pin to be bent or the hole in the trigger to be elongated or cracked so that the trigger would almost have to be held in to make the gun function and fall out easily when dropped. All cops are not evil.
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Old June 24, 2011, 07:03 PM   #16
RJay
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Prior to 1993 the AMC .380 Back up had a double action swinging trigger { vision a double action revolver trigger }, not a sliding trigger and a larger trigger bow. If it was one of the earily models, then again, yes it could have snaped.
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Old June 24, 2011, 09:03 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RJay
Prior to 1993 the AMC .380 Back up had a double action swinging trigger { vision a double action revolver trigger }, not a sliding trigger and a larger trigger bow. If it was one of the earily models, then again, yes it could have snaped.
Did you look at the photos?

The gun in question:


AMT Backup SA:


AMT Backup DAO:



Which of the latter two does the crime gun most resemble?
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Old June 24, 2011, 10:03 PM   #18
markchadwick
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Thanks for the info, White Eagle! Very helpful, indeed.
Good discussion here, folks. I told my friend to have the gun detail stripped but that might take a while. They want the firearms section of the local police crime lab to do it and they're always backed up with cases.
Yes, I could see that its possible this gun was previously worn or damaged in such a way that it was possible for the trigger to simply fall out. The design of the trigger makes it seem like it could fall out given said wear or damage.
So, if the trigger did fall out, would there be any piece of it left behind? From what I see of the schematic, probably not...

Last edited by markchadwick; June 24, 2011 at 10:12 PM.
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Old June 24, 2011, 10:13 PM   #19
RJay
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No, I didn't go back and look at the pidtures. , O.K., didn't break but maybe fell out? Don't know.
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Old June 24, 2011, 11:06 PM   #20
Mike Irwin
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AMT first introduced a single-action Backup in the 1970s.

The Double Action Only didn't come out until the late 1980s or the early 1990s.

They were very different guns.
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Old June 24, 2011, 11:10 PM   #21
9mm
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QUESTION...

How did you get the gun anyways?

Did you just randomly buy a gun without a trigger? lol
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Old June 24, 2011, 11:22 PM   #22
markchadwick
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I didnt buy the gun. It was allegedly used in a shooting. It's currently in police custody, and will probably be destroyed pending the resolution of this case.
A friend of mine is a lawyer on the case, and showed me pictures of the gun to get my opinion on it, since I know a little about guns. I figured a case like this would need the opinions of experts, and what better way to elicit expert opinions than on TFL, the biggest forum for gun geeks in North America...
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Old June 25, 2011, 01:52 AM   #23
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I am not a gun smith, but I am highly skeptical the trigger could break from a drop/throw, especially given the condition that it is in. If this is the case, why didn't they find the trigger?
It was most likely removed at some point. This doesn't mean it couldn't be fired, just don't think the trigger broke off from an impact.
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Old June 25, 2011, 09:48 AM   #24
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodyo
I am not a gun smith, but I am highly skeptical the trigger could break from a drop/throw, especially given the condition that it is in. If this is the case, why didn't they find the trigger?
It was most likely removed at some point. This doesn't mean it couldn't be fired, just don't think the trigger broke off from an impact.
I'll hazard a guess that they didn't find the trigger because they didn't look for it. They were looking for a gun ... they found the gun. Given that they were chasing an active shooter and had apprehended him, it's entirely possible that whoever found and picked up the gun didn't notice that the trigger was missing, or didn't have any idea that such might have any significance.

If the location where the gun was recovered can be pinpointed with any accuracy, I'd bet that the trigger is still right there on the ground. Probably basically intact, perhaps with the rear mounting tab sheared off.
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Old June 25, 2011, 10:04 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markchadwick
Good discussion here, folks. I told my friend to have the gun detail stripped but that might take a while. They want the firearms section of the local police crime lab to do it and they're always backed up with cases.
Yes, I could see that its possible this gun was previously worn or damaged in such a way that it was possible for the trigger to simply fall out. The design of the trigger makes it seem like it could fall out given said wear or damage.
So, if the trigger did fall out, would there be any piece of it left behind? From what I see of the schematic, probably not...
Dunno which side your attorney friend is on, but let's assume for the moment that both he and the local PD are at least ethical and want untainted evidence. If we can proceed on that basis, I would respectfully suggest to the forensic armorer taking the pistol down that he be on the lookout for either the rear mounting tab of the trigger pad (part #40 in the Numrich schematic) being still in the pistol and pinned in place, OR the disconnector pin connecting the trigger pad to the disconnector or trigger bar (part #20 in the schematic) being possibly broken or missing. Depending on what broke to allow the trigger to depart from the receiver, the trigger return spring (part #39) might or might not still be in place. That bit of information could also be significant.
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