The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > Hogan's Alley > Handguns: The Semi-automatic Forum

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old November 19, 2012, 08:41 PM   #1
.50
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2012
Location: The Corn Desert
Posts: 24
What's the story? (Kodiak .44 Auto Mag reintro)

Supposedly in 2011, a new Alaskan manufacturer (Auto Mag Company) was to reintroduce the original Sanford-designed .44 Auto Mag.

What's the story? As I understand it, there were investor issues and a pullout. The guns were to be available in at least two finishes. Polished stainless for $5,600 and Parkerized for $3,100.

Did they purchase the design rights, tooling, etc.? Any info?
__________________
Quote:
ScotchMan: For all the bears wearing Kevlar?
.50 is offline  
Old November 19, 2012, 10:14 PM   #2
.50
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2012
Location: The Corn Desert
Posts: 24
http://www.gundigest.com/article/han...to-mag-returns

Anybody have any more info regarding the original business model and the current status?
__________________
Quote:
ScotchMan: For all the bears wearing Kevlar?
.50 is offline  
Old November 19, 2012, 10:28 PM   #3
Scorch
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 13, 2006
Location: Washington state
Posts: 11,533
Those stories are called "ticklers" and often are used to generate interest or advance orders for firearms in order to reassure the investors that the project is viable. My opinion is that it didn't generate enough interest, so the money didn't come through. That sounds like an awful lot of money for a relatively simple design. You can just about buy an original for that price, and there are better pistols available for less money.
__________________
Never try to educate someone who resists knowledge at all costs.
But what do I know?
Summit Arms Services
Taylor Machine
Scorch is online now  
Old November 19, 2012, 10:37 PM   #4
.50
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2012
Location: The Corn Desert
Posts: 24
That's why I wondered if any were manufactured and delivered to customers. And if they had bought/licensed the rights, etc.

Yes, the price is absurd. And I just bought another unfired original with a wood display case for $2,600; so perfect originals are certainly less money than the MSRP of the Kodiak.

I just want them back in production, and would consider making it happen myself if I thought it could be done on at least a break-even business model with guns at an MSRP under $3,000.
__________________
Quote:
ScotchMan: For all the bears wearing Kevlar?
.50 is offline  
Old November 19, 2012, 11:12 PM   #5
silvermane_1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2011
Location: Burien,WA
Posts: 449
hey there are more than a few want to see the auto mag back into production, but not for $3k+, and i want to see one with .41 JMP bbl., in fact i posted something about Super Vel making .41 mag ammo, Mr. Jurras said that his company did, and that the Super Vel bullets were used for the .41 JMP.
__________________
Ruger:SR1911 CMD,MK 3 .22lr 6",Sec. Six '76 liberty .357 4",SRH .480 Ruger 7.5",Mini-14 188 5.56/.233 18.5", Marlin: 795 .22lr 16.5",30aw 30-30 20",Mossberg:Mav. 88 Tact. 12 ga, 18.5",ATR 100 .270 Win. 22",S&W:SW9VE
9mm 4",Springfeild:XD .357sig 4",CAI PSL-54C, WASR 10/63
silvermane_1 is offline  
Old November 20, 2012, 12:43 AM   #6
.50
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2012
Location: The Corn Desert
Posts: 24
What's the magic $ for MSRP? I doubt it could be profitably manufactured and sold for anything less than $2,000. More like in the mid-$2,000s. The only thing that could pull $3,000+ would be serialized engraved safe queen limited editions.

Barrels could be in 2 lengths each for any/all of the following calibers that Jurras and Lomont originally made.
.44 AMP
.41 JMP
.357 AMP
.30 JMP
.30 LMP
.25 LMP
.22 LMP
(and .45 ACP Magnum)

There could be a .44/.41/.357 frame/barrels set, and a .30/.25/.22 frame/barrels set.

And then there's the Baby Auto Mag in .22 LR.
__________________
Quote:
ScotchMan: For all the bears wearing Kevlar?
.50 is offline  
Old November 20, 2012, 12:57 AM   #7
silvermane_1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 6, 2011
Location: Burien,WA
Posts: 449
well maybe it could be for under $2k if the new Auto Mags were made by investment casting like how Ruger make there guns, but that might just be for the revolvers, but investment casting would lower production costs.
__________________
Ruger:SR1911 CMD,MK 3 .22lr 6",Sec. Six '76 liberty .357 4",SRH .480 Ruger 7.5",Mini-14 188 5.56/.233 18.5", Marlin: 795 .22lr 16.5",30aw 30-30 20",Mossberg:Mav. 88 Tact. 12 ga, 18.5",ATR 100 .270 Win. 22",S&W:SW9VE
9mm 4",Springfeild:XD .357sig 4",CAI PSL-54C, WASR 10/63
silvermane_1 is offline  
Old November 21, 2012, 12:39 AM   #8
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 11,829
Quote:
That sounds like an awful lot of money for a relatively simple design.
While not as complex as some, I wouldn't call the Auto Mag a "relatively simple" design. I have a collection of all the early (70s-up) production magnum autos, the Auto Mag, the Desert Eagle, the Wildey, the Coonan, and the LAR Grizzly.

Of those, I'd say the simplest are the Grizzly and the Coonan, as they are the Browning 1911 design, with small changes. The Grizzly even has a number of parts interchangable with standard 1911A1.

The other three usel multiple lug rotating bolts, the Auto Mag uses a long bolt and is recoil operated. The DE and the Wildey are gas operated, and the Wildey has an adjustable gas system. All much more complex designs than the Browning tilt barrel lockup.

The Auto Mag is elegant. It is over engineered to a surprising degree. Some parts are overly complex, and fragile. The Desert Eagle is (IMHO) over beefy. And, to a very slightly lesser degree, so is the Wildey.

Now, the Auto Mag is a very cool gun, but considering the small number made, I think it ought to be considered less than perfected. I have 3 (2 .44s and a .357) and they are extremely accurate (rifle class accurate, if the shooter is), have excellent triggers (which are adjustable to a degree), click adjustable rear sights (could be better, but way better than the fixed rears on the DE and Coonan), and a better grip for my hand than the DE or the Wildey.

But they are also very tempermental beasts. Things have to be just right (and the range is narrow), to work reliably, and each gun seems to have a slightly different opinion of what is just right.

I saw some of that info last year, and was sorely tempted to put down a deposit, BUT, cooler heads prevailed. One of the problems with the original maker was taking money, but not delivering guns. (also heard there might have been some criminal imbezzelment at the company as a major contributing factory why they went under, but cannot verify that myself).

I'd love to see someone put the design back in production, and hopefully get the bugs out and improve those few areas where it needs it. I'd buy one, if good, more...

But the price point and market share are critical to making and selling the guns as a business, and if you can't make at least a little more money than you spend doing it, you won't stay in business long.

Complicating that is the depressed recreational spending of the nation. Sure, lots of guns still sold, but the lion's share in handguns is the defensive auto and revolvers. Magnum Sporting autos (and freakin FORGET what Hollywood and video games do with the "Deagle"), its a niche market.

People (not me, but lots of people) will pay $2-3K for one of the name shop's "custom" 1911A1s, and think it worth it. But that much for a bigger auto in the .44mag power class, that's too much for the market to bear, they say.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old November 21, 2012, 11:59 AM   #9
Billy Shears
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 17, 2011
Posts: 605
Quote:
well maybe it could be for under $2k if the new Auto Mags were made by investment casting like how Ruger make there guns, but that might just be for the revolvers, but investment casting would lower production costs.


Except, according to the article linked above, these "new" $5,600 pistols are not really new.

They are being built from 400 left over original cast receivers out of somebody's parts bin.

Curious.
Billy Shears is offline  
Old November 23, 2012, 07:45 PM   #10
CCCLVII
Senior Member
 
Join Date: April 16, 2012
Location: Idaho
Posts: 312
I love automags but 5000-6000 is way to much.
__________________
Always looking for a good hunt!
CCCLVII is offline  
Old November 24, 2012, 12:10 AM   #11
orionengnr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 9, 2004
Posts: 5,025
I have long wanted a .44 AutoMag (since about 1973?)..thanks, Clint.

I believe I saw several years ago where someone had bought the rights to the name and was going to start producing them again. One could "get on board" and reserve one of the first new production AutoMags for...I forget, it might have been ~$2500 or so. I seem to recall something that was too good to be true...maybe buy one, get a second for 1/2 price?

At the time I had a shortage of throwaway funds and a surplus of caution, so I passed on that deal. Worked out okay for me, maybe not so much for the people who "jumped on board"...

On the other hand, I saw a (Pasadena? Hollywood?) AutoMag .357 at a small gun show about ten years ago. He was looking for $1250-1300 IIRC. Maybe I should have snagged it, but I did not know what I did not know (or more accurately, I knew that I did not know anything) so I passed.

Maybe I'll get another chance one day...

Or maybe one day I will snag a Coonan (especially if they decide to make a ~4 incher, or, even better ...a .41 Mag Coonan)
orionengnr is offline  
Old November 24, 2012, 09:28 PM   #12
Deja vu
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 14, 2010
Location: Border of Idaho & Montana
Posts: 2,180
I own a Coonan (5 and 6 inch barrels) and I have shot the desert eagles. They are all nice guns. I would love to own some other 357 magnum automatics.
__________________
Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
Deja vu is offline  
Old November 30, 2012, 06:56 AM   #13
TRX
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 24, 2008
Posts: 126
Kodiak issued that one press release, with a single picture of a painted/Photoshopped black Auto Mag. They put up a web site and a forum for a while; the forum was mostly people saying "are you ever going to ask any questions?" evolving into "well, how about a picture of your shop or some parts?" with Kodiak ignoring or blowing off the questions. Then the forum and site went 404 and the phone number went out of service.

As far as I know nobody ever accounted for where the frames came from. From what I've read there were lots of reject castings out there; AMT itself often resorted to hand-fitting rejects just to be able to ship something to its customers.

Walter Sanford has the remains of the tooling, parts, intellectual property, etc. for sale as a package for $50K at automagparts.com. It's a smokin' deal, but it would just be a start; AMT sank maybe half a million 1970 dollars into the initial development of the gun. Walt's stuff would give someone a big leg up, but it's not a gun company in a warehouse, just what's left after a dozen corporate re-orgs, auctions, and bankruptcies.
TRX is offline  
Old December 9, 2012, 10:07 PM   #14
.50
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2012
Location: The Corn Desert
Posts: 24
Quote:
While not as complex as some, I wouldn't call the Auto Mag a "relatively simple" design. I have a collection of all the early (70s-up) production magnum autos, the Auto Mag, the Desert Eagle, the Wildey, the Coonan, and the LAR Grizzly.

Of those, I'd say the simplest are the Grizzly and the Coonan, as they are the Browning 1911 design, with small changes. The Grizzly even has a number of parts interchangable with standard 1911A1.

The other three usel multiple lug rotating bolts, the Auto Mag uses a long bolt and is recoil operated. The DE and the Wildey are gas operated, and the Wildey has an adjustable gas system. All much more complex designs than the Browning tilt barrel lockup.

The Auto Mag is elegant. It is over engineered to a surprising degree. Some parts are overly complex, and fragile. The Desert Eagle is (IMHO) over beefy. And, to a very slightly lesser degree, so is the Wildey.

Now, the Auto Mag is a very cool gun, but considering the small number made, I think it ought to be considered less than perfected. I have 3 (2 .44s and a .357) and they are extremely accurate (rifle class accurate, if the shooter is), have excellent triggers (which are adjustable to a degree), click adjustable rear sights (could be better, but way better than the fixed rears on the DE and Coonan), and a better grip for my hand than the DE or the Wildey.

But they are also very tempermental beasts. Things have to be just right (and the range is narrow), to work reliably, and each gun seems to have a slightly different opinion of what is just right.

I saw some of that info last year, and was sorely tempted to put down a deposit, BUT, cooler heads prevailed. One of the problems with the original maker was taking money, but not delivering guns. (also heard there might have been some criminal imbezzelment at the company as a major contributing factory why they went under, but cannot verify that myself).

I'd love to see someone put the design back in production, and hopefully get the bugs out and improve those few areas where it needs it. I'd buy one, if good, more...

But the price point and market share are critical to making and selling the guns as a business, and if you can't make at least a little more money than you spend doing it, you won't stay in business long.

Complicating that is the depressed recreational spending of the nation. Sure, lots of guns still sold, but the lion's share in handguns is the defensive auto and revolvers. Magnum Sporting autos (and freakin FORGET what Hollywood and video games do with the "Deagle"), its a niche market.

People (not me, but lots of people) will pay $2-3K for one of the name shop's "custom" 1911A1s, and think it worth it. But that much for a bigger auto in the .44mag power class, that's too much for the market to bear, they say.
I've been offline and thought this thread died. Thanks for the input. I'd like to see the Auto Mag back in limited production, and am seriously considering being the one to make it so.
__________________
Quote:
ScotchMan: For all the bears wearing Kevlar?
.50 is offline  
Old December 9, 2012, 10:10 PM   #15
.50
Member
 
Join Date: November 13, 2012
Location: The Corn Desert
Posts: 24
Quote:
Kodiak issued that one press release, with a single picture of a painted/Photoshopped black Auto Mag. They put up a web site and a forum for a while; the forum was mostly people saying "are you ever going to ask any questions?" evolving into "well, how about a picture of your shop or some parts?" with Kodiak ignoring or blowing off the questions. Then the forum and site went 404 and the phone number went out of service.

As far as I know nobody ever accounted for where the frames came from. From what I've read there were lots of reject castings out there; AMT itself often resorted to hand-fitting rejects just to be able to ship something to its customers.

Walter Sanford has the remains of the tooling, parts, intellectual property, etc. for sale as a package for $50K at automagparts.com. It's a smokin' deal, but it would just be a start; AMT sank maybe half a million 1970 dollars into the initial development of the gun. Walt's stuff would give someone a big leg up, but it's not a gun company in a warehouse, just what's left after a dozen corporate re-orgs, auctions, and bankruptcies.
Thanks for the info and insight. I'll be following up to see if it's a feasible business model to at least break even.
__________________
Quote:
ScotchMan: For all the bears wearing Kevlar?
.50 is offline  
Old July 29, 2013, 12:15 AM   #16
Sevens
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 28, 2007
Location: Central Ohio
Posts: 9,176
Yes, I know it's a bit of a necro-thread. As I sometimes do, I find myself drifting around Gunbroker with no intent to purchase... just looking for interesting things.

One search led to another, and I found this recently closed auction.
It seems Gunbroker doesn't keep these all too long, so click it & see:
http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=351392247
The auction closed two weeks ago.

If I read the description... it leads me to believe that the buyer not only now has some tooling, but he's also purchased the right to the name & intellectual property... and can start-up a genuine newer version TDE Auto Mag.

Thoughts?
Do we see this gun return to the scene?
I know less than nothing about manufacturing. Obviously, there's a lot of money, equipment, skill and ingenuity that would go in to the very idea of producing a new line of historic handguns. But I suppose my question to someone that does have knowledge of investment casting and manufacturing is: with the items sold in this Gunbroker auction, does it make short work of re-creating this pistol?

No idea if anything will come of this, but I found it interesting.
__________________
Attention Brass rats and other reloaders: I really need .327 Federal Magnum brass, no lot size too small. Tell me what caliber you need and I'll see what I have to swap. PM me and we'll discuss.
Sevens is offline  
Old July 29, 2013, 12:59 PM   #17
dajowi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Posts: 982
$5,600 stainless and $3100 Parkerized for a .44 auto mag

If I really wanted a magnum auto I'd shoot for a Coonan .357. Had one a long time ago and it was a very nice gun. Even used it for a carry piece with a shoulder rig for a couple of years. If I really need .44, I'll stick with my Ruger Redhawk.
dajowi is offline  
Old July 29, 2013, 02:26 PM   #18
745SW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 25, 2011
Location: California
Posts: 291
“People (not me, but lots of people) will pay $2-3K for one of the name shop's "custom" 1911A1s, and think it worth it.”

From what I hear of vendors at the various shows some do own custom 1911’s but I think it’s in the very low single digit percentage. The 1911 has much going for it such as the grip will fit virtually anyone from small to large hands with only a change in trigger. Can’t say that of the 44 AutoMag, my finger won’t get anywhere near the trigger. Many moons ago handled it at a nearby familiar shop, about $1000 used, I think around the year 1997.

I feel Ruger’s investment casting will not be cost effective for the AutoMag. Like automobile body panels of stamped sheet metal, the initial costs are high, volume is needed to justify this process. Notice limited production automobiles such as limousines, hearse, sports cars and racecars use fiberglass. Per unit cost are high but no high initial investment to recover.

Times have changed from about the early nineties, its said 89% of the shops are gone in my state.
745SW is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.11388 seconds with 7 queries