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Old December 9, 2012, 10:07 PM   #14
Join Date: November 13, 2012
Location: The Corn Desert
Posts: 24
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.
ScotchMan: For all the bears wearing Kevlar?
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