The Firing Line Forums

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 28, 2020, 07:51 PM   #1
Classic12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2020
Posts: 106
Semi auto Magnum pistols

My very first gun at the tender age of 20 was a S&W 422. The head of the local bureau of arms recommended it for a beginner. I never warmed up to it, and I traded it for a S&W 66 six months later; it didn’t look like the pistols in the movies, was not pretty, didn’t have an external hammer, and shooting .22s was unimpressive for the young guy looking for a thrill.



Three weeks after buying the 422, I bought a Desert Eagle in .44 Magnum, talk about a giant leap. At first I adored this gun, the size, weight, look, technology, reputation, and the power... It was pricey at $ 1100 in 1989




However the honeymoon did not last very long. It jammed at least once per magazine, and that’s seven rounds if I recall correctly. I tried every commercial load I could find, no difference. Then I started reloading, all kind of bullet weights, shapes, powder charges. I came to the conclusion that rimmed revolver cartridges were not suited to semi automatic pistols. Then the slide broke where the gas piston pushes on it. Another $ 300 down the drain. I got rid of it after six years of frustration. A tyre seller I knew traded me for 4 rims and winter tyres for my Audi S2 Quattro. I gave him full disclosure but he said he didn’t care, he bought it mostly to fondle it.

However the desire for a powerful semi auto was still there, and in 1997 an LGS sold me this like new LAR Grizzly Mark I in .45 Winchester Magnum with a 6.5’ barrel. This gun has been very reliable and is accurate. I’ve shot it regularly throughout the years.















Classic12 is offline  
Old March 28, 2020, 07:52 PM   #2
Classic12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2020
Posts: 106
Semi auto Magnum pistols

5 years ago I acquired one of my graal pistol : a 44 AutoMag. It’s a TDE model 180 made in North Hollywood. I believe it was made in 1971, however I am not certain. When I was young I saw a good number or Automags at gun shows, in fact I was told of a Swiss gun collector who had every model imaginable. However typical price was $ 4-5000. I bought this one for $ 2100 at an auction. It is not in pristine condition hence the price.





A word of caution



Markings are quite faint. I suspect the box foam disintegrated, a well known problem, and the previous owner got a bit heavy handed with the cleaning and scrubbing














Last edited by Classic12; March 29, 2020 at 04:24 AM.
Classic12 is offline  
Old March 28, 2020, 07:53 PM   #3
Classic12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2020
Posts: 106
They are both very accurate pistols. The problem is not to flinch, especially after the first shot. 25 meters.


















Classic12 is offline  
Old March 28, 2020, 08:40 PM   #4
JERRYS.
Senior Member
 
Join Date: September 23, 2013
Location: Alabama
Posts: 2,712
I'd prefer the D.E. simply because standard .44 magnum ammo is easy to find on the shelf. that said, the AutoMag is sudden impact sweet.
JERRYS. is offline  
Old March 28, 2020, 11:47 PM   #5
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,324
Congratulations, welcome to my world...

Nice pics, I used to have mine posted here until Photobucket screwed us over..oh well..

The guns look sweet. I have a couple of points and possibly some information for you.

First off,
I bought a Desert Eagle in .44 Magnum, talk about a giant leap. At first I adored this gun, the size, weight, look, technology, reputation, and the power... It was pricey at $ 1100 in 1989

are you sure about the price and date? because if you paid that much in 89, you got taken, big time.

I bought a .44 Magnum Desert Eagle, new in the box in Feb 1990, $650. Still have it. Next thing, about the Desert Eagles, the magazines have to "float" If you put any pressure, or contact on the mag bottom when shooting, a feed jam is VERY likely. In my experience both the .44 and the .357 will do this. "cup & saucer" hold is flat out if you want the gun to run.

Your Grizzly is great, I had one of the blued ones in .44 Mag. Ran well, but I didn't like the fact that it only held 6 in the mag, and wound up trading it for one with the special hard chrome finish in .45 Win Mag. With the rubber grip, it "locks" into my hand better than my other magnum autos.

I also have a Wildey in .45 Win Mag. another cool gun. really "fat" feeling grip and a strange combination of features (DA trigger and heel type magazine catch) but mechanically very functional and accurate.

Now, on to your Auto Mag. First off, you're right, it has been polished by someone who should not have done it. Your TDE gun is one of the early "second batch" guns. Very first ones were made by Auto Mag Corp in No. Hollywood.

Auto Mag Corp went bust, for various reasons, and Thomas Oil Company bought the rights, tooling and existing inventory, forming Trust Deed Estates company (TDE) in North Hollywood, with the intention of finishing out the existing parts, but they lasted longer than that and produced new guns along the way I have a .357 AMP (ser# AO 4XXX) that has the North Hollywood address. at some point after that they moved to Pasadena, I have a .44AMP (#AO 6xxx) with the Pasadena address.

The ammo you show in the pics is an expensive collectable The CDM stuff is from Mexico and was part of a run of 1,000,000 (one million) rounds. The Norma stuff is even more rare and I believe the production run was smaller.

The case, wrenches, oil and manual add greatly to the guns value. No idea what they go for today but 20years ago the manual alone was over $100

A couple points about shooting the gun, one, never let the bolt slam forward on and empty chamber, and NEVER put a round in the chamber and drop the bolt on it!!! The gun CAN FIRE if you do that!!!

Next point is the recoil rods. Make sure both are fully tight and check them during shooting they CAN unscrew.

YOUR gun in the picture, the right hand (shooter's view) recoil rod is not fully seated. It sticks out from the frame, and if you look closely you can see part of the threads showing in front of the cocking piece, and this should not be the case. If the rod in your gun seems tight where it is, you need to take it out and look for damage/debris in the threads, both rod and cocking piece. IT should screw ALL the way in, and if it doesn't something is wrong.

I use "Guntite" on the threads of my recoil rods and (properly degreased first) it has worked well for me.

I've learned a few things about the operation, care and feeding of these first gen magnum semis, if I can help answer any questions you have, just ask.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old March 29, 2020, 08:23 AM   #6
Classic12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2020
Posts: 106
Semi auto Magnum pistols

Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP View Post
Nice pics, I used to have mine posted here until Photobucket screwed us over..oh well..

The guns look sweet. I have a couple of points and possibly some information for you.

First off,
I bought a Desert Eagle in .44 Magnum, talk about a giant leap. At first I adored this gun, the size, weight, look, technology, reputation, and the power... It was pricey at $ 1100 in 1989

are you sure about the price and date? because if you paid that much in 89, you got taken, big time.

I bought a .44 Magnum Desert Eagle, new in the box in Feb 1990, $650. Still have it. Next thing, about the Desert Eagles, the magazines have to "float" If you put any pressure, or contact on the mag bottom when shooting, a feed jam is VERY likely. In my experience both the .44 and the .357 will do this. "cup & saucer" hold is flat out if you want the gun to run.

Your Grizzly is great, I had one of the blued ones in .44 Mag. Ran well, but I didn't like the fact that it only held 6 in the mag, and wound up trading it for one with the special hard chrome finish in .45 Win Mag. With the rubber grip, it "locks" into my hand better than my other magnum autos.

I also have a Wildey in .45 Win Mag. another cool gun. really "fat" feeling grip and a strange combination of features (DA trigger and heel type magazine catch) but mechanically very functional and accurate.

Now, on to your Auto Mag. First off, you're right, it has been polished by someone who should not have done it. Your TDE gun is one of the early "second batch" guns. Very first ones were made by Auto Mag Corp in No. Hollywood.

Auto Mag Corp went bust, for various reasons, and Thomas Oil Company bought the rights, tooling and existing inventory, forming Trust Deed Estates company (TDE) in North Hollywood, with the intention of finishing out the existing parts, but they lasted longer than that and produced new guns along the way I have a .357 AMP (ser# AO 4XXX) that has the North Hollywood address. at some point after that they moved to Pasadena, I have a .44AMP (#AO 6xxx) with the Pasadena address.

The ammo you show in the pics is an expensive collectable The CDM stuff is from Mexico and was part of a run of 1,000,000 (one million) rounds. The Norma stuff is even more rare and I believe the production run was smaller.

The case, wrenches, oil and manual add greatly to the guns value. No idea what they go for today but 20years ago the manual alone was over $100

A couple points about shooting the gun, one, never let the bolt slam forward on and empty chamber, and NEVER put a round in the chamber and drop the bolt on it!!! The gun CAN FIRE if you do that!!!

Next point is the recoil rods. Make sure both are fully tight and check them during shooting they CAN unscrew.

YOUR gun in the picture, the right hand (shooter's view) recoil rod is not fully seated. It sticks out from the frame, and if you look closely you can see part of the threads showing in front of the cocking piece, and this should not be the case. If the rod in your gun seems tight where it is, you need to take it out and look for damage/debris in the threads, both rod and cocking piece. IT should screw ALL the way in, and if it doesn't something is wrong.

I use "Guntite" on the threads of my recoil rods and (properly degreased first) it has worked well for me.

I've learned a few things about the operation, care and feeding of these first gen magnum semis, if I can help answer any questions you have, just ask.

Shame for the pics indeed, time to take the camera or iPhone out and make new pics maybe ?

Thanks for all the useful info

The DE : I never used a "cup & saucer" hold, I started shooting with good fundamentals and grip and have always tried to keep it that way. Maybe I just had a lemon .

I live in Switzerland so prices are different and many new guns are more expensive than in the US. I paid 1820.- Swiss francs back then. On the other hand many vintage guns are cheaper, as they did not appreciate as much here.

I’ve seen Wildeys for sale, in fact one just popped up here, but I’ve always resisted despite Charles Bronson’s influence. And they are expensive.






I spotted the loose rod when I looked at the photos and tightened it, definitely something to keep an eye on.

The ammo box was sadly empty, I kept it as a souvenir and photo prop.

But I found and bought a few boxes of Norma, 2 full ones, one partial factory and partial reloads, and one box of reloads with Norma .308 cases. The recipe was still in the box and matches the low end powder charge for Norma 1020














Last edited by Classic12; March 29, 2020 at 08:28 AM.
Classic12 is offline  
Old March 29, 2020, 08:25 AM   #7
Classic12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2020
Posts: 106






Classic12 is offline  
Old March 29, 2020, 09:07 AM   #8
44caliberkid
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 15, 2017
Location: Iowa
Posts: 406
I would love a 44 Auto Mag. They are my favorite pistol ever made. Only time I ever got to hold/ handle one was at a gun shop in North Pole, Alaska in 1976. The owner had a dozen different models and calibers, some were custom versions he made himself. He was a personal friend of Lee Jurras and they hunted together whenever Lee was in Alaska.
Love the Grizzly too. My Desert Eagle 44 mag runs perfectly.
44caliberkid is offline  
Old March 29, 2020, 09:33 AM   #9
Classic12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2020
Posts: 106
Well maybe my DE was a lemon
Classic12 is offline  
Old March 29, 2020, 02:03 PM   #10
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,324
Maybe your DE was a "lemon". Never heard of one having the slide break, before, either. If you bought it in 89, it would have been one of the early .44s, and possibly just sad case of them not getting it quite "right".

I've had 4 DE's three .357s and a .44, all the early guns now called "Mark I". All mine ran well, held right and fed what they liked. I had no idea about the price difference in Europe vs here in the US, so scratch my comment about that. They cost what they cost, and to get one, you have to pay what they cost.

And the cost has gone up hugely, especially in recent years.

I first fell in love with the Auto Mag from the ads in Guns & Ammo in 70-71. And it being part of the cover art of those (rather bad) "Executioner" books. It was also featured in a fantasy comic book "The Warlord". First real one I saw was in the early 70s at a shop, a long barrel (non-ribbed) .357 AMP. Price was $100 more than a brand new S&W M29.

I watched that gun sit for a couple years, going up in price each year, until I went into the Army. Naturally when I came back, it was gone...

Saw 2 in 1976, a .357 and a .44, standard 6.5" ribbed guns, $695 and $795, and again, alas, I was too poor to even consider either. Next one I met was in 1980, and it was $995. Then the movie Sudden Impact came out and the price jumped to $1500!

In 83 I found one for that price, (private sale) and actually got a loan in order to get it. 8" plain barrel .44AMP. Gun came with about a dozen boxes of the CDM ammo and several boxes of empties. I played with that gun quite a bit, and learned a number of things about tuning and tweeking them. Also the fact that some parts are rather fragile.

In the decades since then I have gotten a 7.5" plain barrel .357AMP and my last one, a standard 6.5" vent rib gun, that one in the case with all accessories AND paperwork, it's one of the last TDE guns and has Lee Jurras's Lion head logo on it.

I think the Auto Mag is the coolest looking semi auto pistol ever. However, its not the best working one. Extremely accurate, but some guns aren't very reliable, according to what I've heard. They have their quirks and their flaws. Think of them as an experimental design that didn't stay in production long enough to get all the bugs worked out. Some sources say there were only about 5,000 made, some say less than 10,000 which, I think is about right. One source I found said 15,000 but there's no confirmation of that, that I have found.

The original loading data is SMOKIN HOT!!! 1600fps with a 240gr!

DO NOT USE IT!! those loads are in the 50K + psi range (and that was before modern pressure measurements) Those hot loads will break the gun! I have articles of people doing extensive test shooting at those levels. Bolt rotation pins were said to last 500-750 rounds in the .44, 750-1500 rounds in the .357. IF you want to shoot the gun and have it last, load down!! loads in the 1300 fps range with usually run the gun and not break it.

I have cracked several sets of grips, had a bolt rotation pin break when a gun accidently got slammed shut empty (not sure if that was the cause or just coincidence but I don't allow them to be slammed shut empty, just in case..) and sheared the head of the rear sight screws from recoil! (3 separate times, its a poor design, from a durability point of view) Also have had the barrel come off, due to the takedown lever swinging open during recoil. (a slight deepening of the notch cured that).

Its a work of art, a genius level design, actually slim and elegant for what it shoots. Many factors including market demand, meant it never got to be all it could be, but it holds a special place in my heart, despite its shortcomings.

My collection is 3 Auto Mags, 2 Desert Eagles, a Wildey, and LAR Grizzly and a Coonan model A (one of the first 1500 made), and some accessories...

I've gotten 1 inch groups (rested 25m) with my .44AMP and also cleared the bowling pin table in 5.36 seconds with it. (didn't even place 3rd, but folks were impressed! )

Today I do more shooting with the Desert Eagle, simply because if something breaks, I'm more likely to be able to get it fixed.

I did some shooting with my Grizzly with a fellow who had an Automag IV in ,45 Win mag, I shot his, found it ok, he shot mine, offered to trade me his for mine. I declined.

Really sad that LAR decided to stop making the Grizzly. I think it's the ultimate 1911 variant. Yeah, tis bigger and heavier, and not really a good choice for a combat pistol, but think about the fine 1911 trigger, excellent sights and shooting a 230gr slug at 1500fps!
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old March 30, 2020, 06:06 PM   #11
dajowi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 2, 2005
Posts: 1,182
Years ago I had a Coonan .357 auto...sweet gun...which I had kept it.
dajowi is offline  
Old March 31, 2020, 03:42 PM   #12
KyJim
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2005
Location: The Bluegrass
Posts: 8,818
Classic12 ---

You aren't related in anyway to BAC1023 are your? He has posted on some of the other gun forums and also has an awesome collection of different kinds of handguns.
KyJim is offline  
Old April 2, 2020, 01:33 PM   #13
jacinda
Junior Member
 
Join Date: March 3, 2020
Posts: 3
this thread is awesome
jacinda is offline  
Old April 3, 2020, 09:40 AM   #14
Skpotamus
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 2, 2020
Posts: 1
I shot my father in Laws’ Desert Eagle in .41 Mag. Loved it. Ended up buying a Desert Eagle in .44magnum. Loved that gun and got it for a song.

Today I carry a Glock 20 in 10mm. Not quite in the same league power wise as the bigger boys, but hotter 10mm loads are pretty close to .357mag.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Skpotamus is offline  
Old April 3, 2020, 10:42 AM   #15
Classic12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2020
Posts: 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by KyJim View Post
Classic12 ---

You aren't related in anyway to BAC1023 are your? He has posted on some of the other gun forums and also has an awesome collection of different kinds of handguns.

Hehe no, but his contribution in the 9 mm post is amazing
Classic12 is offline  
Old April 3, 2020, 08:13 PM   #16
rickmelear
Senior Member
 
Join Date: October 8, 2005
Location: palm beach county, fl
Posts: 248
Shot a mag through a .44 Desert Eagle several years ago. Very soft shooting and accurate. Just to big and heavy for me. With that said, great gun
rickmelear is offline  
Old April 5, 2020, 12:11 PM   #17
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,324
The usual complaints are size, weight, and cost. Kind of interesting when put up against the complaints about the S&W M29 not being "big enough" to be durable.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old April 18, 2020, 05:39 AM   #18
Classic12
Senior Member
 
Join Date: March 12, 2020
Posts: 106
I remembered I have two videos shooting the Auto Mag, that would be me

https://youtu.be/UUTap5Doyv0

And the gunsmith trying it out

https://youtu.be/focfepu8LJw
Classic12 is offline  
Old April 18, 2020, 05:19 PM   #19
bac1023
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2008
Posts: 875
My favorite is the FK BRNO Field Pistol

17 rounds at 900-950 ft/lbs of energy each with accuracy (especially long range) nearly unmatched in the semi auto handgun world. Couple that with beautiful construction and incredible build quality and you have a perfect pistol. It will pretty much run circles around any other semi auto magnum pistol you can think of.















The only other model I currently own is this Coonan...nice gun, but the BRNO is 10 times the pistol the Coonan is.




bac1023 is online now  
Old April 18, 2020, 11:35 PM   #20
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,324
Just what caliber is that BRNO??
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old April 19, 2020, 12:47 PM   #21
bac1023
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2008
Posts: 875
7.5FK is its caliber.

It’s a lightweight round, but penetrates deep and causes a ton of damage. The gun is extremely accurate as well.

I’ve had Auto Mags, Automags, Desert Eagles, etc. I’d take the BRNO over any of them in the woods, honestly. In fact, I’d take it over my magnum revolvers.
bac1023 is online now  
Old April 19, 2020, 01:51 PM   #22
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,324
interesting...I had to look that one up, and didn't find a lot of info, but did find some, before the link broke..

I didn't find how long this round & gun have been available. Or cost, which I will assume is spendy.

Proprietary from BRNO, case specially created for "higher than usual handgun pressure" (no mention of what the pressure is).

Seems to be essentially a .30 cal 95gr bullet @ 2000fps from a 6" barrel. Impressive.

That performance puts it in the class of the .30 Carbine, from a carbine length barrel.

Makes me wonder why I haven't heard of it before now, which might be me not paying much attention, but with performance as stated, seems like everyone ought to be talking about it, especially here on TFL, but so far, they aren't. Is it just so new no one else has noticed? Or is it something else?

People went nuts talking about the 5.7 FN, and yet here is a round that seems to have actual useful potential, and all I'm hearing (at the moment anyway) is crickets chirping....
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old April 19, 2020, 02:31 PM   #23
Aguila Blanca
Staff
 
Join Date: September 25, 2008
Location: CONUS
Posts: 13,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP
People went nuts talking about the 5.7 FN, and yet here is a round that seems to have actual useful potential, and all I'm hearing (at the moment anyway) is crickets chirping....
People went nuts over the 5.7 FN, and have also basically ignored the .22 TCM, which is in the same performance category (IMHO).

5.7 FN:
Caliber: .224"
Bullet weight: 28-grain
Muzzle Velocity: 2,350 fps
Muzzle Energy: 344 ft-lbs.

.22 TCM:
Caliber: .224"
Bullet weight: 40-grain
Muzzle Velocity: 2,800 fps
Muzzle Energy: 696 ft-lbs.
__________________
NRA Life Member / Certified Instructor
NRA Chief RSO / CMP RSO
1911 Certified Armorer
Jeepaholic
Aguila Blanca is offline  
Old April 19, 2020, 04:53 PM   #24
bac1023
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 2, 2008
Posts: 875
Quote:
interesting...I had to look that one up, and didn't find a lot of info, but did find some, before the link broke..

I didn't find how long this round & gun have been available. Or cost, which I will assume is spendy.

Proprietary from BRNO, case specially created for "higher than usual handgun pressure" (no mention of what the pressure is).

Seems to be essentially a .30 cal 95gr bullet @ 2000fps from a 6" barrel. Impressive.

That performance puts it in the class of the .30 Carbine, from a carbine length barrel.

Makes me wonder why I haven't heard of it before now, which might be me not paying much attention, but with performance as stated, seems like everyone ought to be talking about it, especially here on TFL, but so far, they aren't. Is it just so new no one else has noticed? Or is it something else?

People went nuts talking about the 5.7 FN, and yet here is a round that seems to have actual useful potential, and all I'm hearing (at the moment anyway) is crickets chirping....

Honestly, the 2000 FPS is conservative. It’s actually averages much closer to 2100.

The price of the gun ($7500) and the cost of the ammo ($1.50 per round) haven’t done much for its popularity, but the gun is incredible. I mean it should be for that price, but it does not disappoint in any way. It hits hard at 100+ yards and shoots flat and accurate.

There’s plenty of YouTube videos that talk about the gun and the round’s performance. Lots of haters chime in, but I find that amusing.
bac1023 is online now  
Old April 19, 2020, 10:29 PM   #25
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,324
When I got my first Auto Mag it cost more, and was worth more than the car I was driving at the time.

$7500 for the pistol and $1.50 per round? Well beyond my reach. Clearly not intended as a mass market item.

BRNO has been around a good while, and is probably as stable as anyone is these days, but having a number of (much cheaper) US guns and cartridges that have long gone out of production, I'm leery about proprietary rounds that can't be made out of other existing cases.

What happens IF BRNO simply decided to drop it?
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

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 09:58 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2018 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.10007 seconds with 10 queries