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 April 24, 2015, 11:27 AM   #51
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,336
ah, yes, the Magnamatic. That one had slipped my mind, until you brought it up. Nice pic, had never seen that particular picture before.

I remember a short article on it that G&A magazine did back in the later 70s. Details are fuzzy in my memory, but I remember a few points, pretty clearly.

Gas operated, used the standard .44 Mag revolver round. Quick change, interchangeable barrels. Looked a lot like an overgrown Colt Woodsman or a High Standard.

The inventor had built 6 prototypes (which reportedly worked very well), and was looking for someone to turn it into a production gun.

Never heard another thing about it, other than the rumor that, finding no takers in the US, the inventor went overseas looking for backers.

I have a wild guess (no proof, no hints even, just speculation) that the inventor found interested people in Israel. I think they turned the Magnamatic into the Desert Eagle.

Would love to hear from anyone who can shed some more light on this.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old April 24, 2015, 12:24 PM   #52
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 517
Very nice, and I love the name--so 50's to me. Folks down at the range..they be thinkin you're settin up to shoot a Ruger .22 or something, then you touch off a round or two from your 44 Magmatic and sets 'em straight. That's definitely not one I've ever see nor heard of...glad you posted the link.

I don't see any real clear sign it's gas-operated--is the gas routed through that little mini underlug we see at the rear of the barrel? Clearly there's nothing forward of that. I'd think the first design change required would be to get that gas port about as far forward on the barrel as possible (to reduce serious flame erosion at the port, etc).

Your speculative story sounds completely plausible...the prototype Magnamatic demonstrating that gas operated and rotary locking was a workable solution to a positive lock AND a rigid barrel-to-frame interface. Both attractive features to put together, I'd imagine, when moving up to a large-mass barrel and a high pressure round.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate

Last edited by Bongo Boy; April 24, 2015 at 12:41 PM.
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old April 24, 2015, 12:39 PM   #53
nstoolman1
Member
 
Join Date: September 30, 2007
Location: BOISE, ID
Posts: 82
I got the 6" barrel so it would match my Python.
Attached Images
File Type: bmp Coonan2.bmp (191.6 KB, 52 views)
nstoolman1 is offline  
Old April 24, 2015, 07:58 PM   #54
Magnum-
Junior Member
 
Join Date: April 21, 2015
Posts: 10
Do Dinosaurs still roam the earth?

Nope".... Just big Foot's
Magnum- is offline  
Old April 25, 2015, 01:16 AM   #55
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,336
Quote:
is the gas routed through that little mini underlug we see at the rear of the barrel? Clearly there's nothing forward of that. I'd think the first design change required would be to get that gas port about as far forward on the barrel as possible (to reduce serious flame erosion at the port, etc).
I believe that little "lug" under the barrel is the gas port. Moving further forward seems to make better sense, BUT neither the Desert Eagle nor the Wildey did that, so I wonder if its is actually a serious concern.

The DE taps gas off the barrel right in front of the chamber, but the gas piston is almost at the muzzle. The Wildey taps off very near the same place, or just a little further down the barrel, and the piston is very close to that spot.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old April 25, 2015, 10:12 AM   #56
DMK
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 18, 2001
Location: Over the hills and far, far away
Posts: 3,059
Thanks for the very detailed explanation 44 AMP! This is exactly why I love these forums.

Very cool pistols.


Quote:
outwardly they look like the Ruger Government target model 22's... or since these likely came 1st ??? maybe the Rugers look like Auto Mag 1's ???
I agree. I've always thought that as well.
__________________
DMK

- Homeland Security begins at home: Support your Second Amendment -
www.gunowners.org - www.grnc.org
DMK is offline  
Old April 25, 2015, 11:01 AM   #57
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,336
Quote:
Thanks for the very detailed explanation 44 AMP! This is exactly why I love these forums.
You're welcome! ah..which detailed explanation?..

seriously, that's why I love this forum as well. We have bona fide experts in some things and a number of highly experienced folks in different areas. All here and sharing because they want to be.

I'm taking some measurements from actual guns, where possible, and from published data, where I can find it. I have a ways to go before its done, but here's a few data points about some of my "dinosaurs" (although lately I'm thinking maybe I should have called mine the "Big 5", as they were the result of a long safari...)

.44 Auto Mag 6.5" barrel
57oz.
Desert Eagle 6" (mk I)
4.25 lbs (68oz)
S&W M29 6.5"
47oz
Colt Govt Model 5"
40oz
(published data, I should have access to a suitable scale for actual weights soon)

more to follow...for comparison with each other, and a few "regular" pistols.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old April 25, 2015, 10:15 PM   #58
bbqncigars
Senior Member
 
Join Date: February 1, 2009
Location: Iowa
Posts: 467
My first centerfire was a Ruger SBH that I bought very lightly used (fired twice, dropped once) back in the early seventies. It has an original Ruger brass grip frame. The verb FLINCH would define my first shots with it. This was when 'Dirty Harry' was just hitting the cinemas, and some shooters believed that you were risking serious wrist injury shooting a .44 mag. Couple this with some very stout Browning ammo, and you have instant flinch. This was cured by mixing identical dummies with live rounds (humiliation is a powerful motivator for a teenager).
I always lusted after an Auto Mag, as I thought they were the coolest looking pistols ever (still do). The original AMP has undocumented mutational side effects. Many people pick one up and find they are suddenly eight feet tall and completely covered with hair. The only things wrong with an original AMP is part$ availability, and they hate being shot by a limp-wristed newbie.
__________________
"Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most." A. Brilliant
bbqncigars is offline  
Old April 25, 2015, 10:45 PM   #59
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,336
Quote:
The original AMP has undocumented mutational side effects. Many people pick one up and find they are suddenly eight feet tall and completely covered with hair. The only things wrong with an original AMP is part$ availability, and they hate being shot by a limp-wristed newbie
These days, I only shave enough to see...and I've always been this tall!

There are, sadly a number of things "wrong" with the original Auto Mag design. And by "wrong" I mean things that if they had been done differently would have been more durable, and perhaps, reliable.

The Auto Mag does need something to recoil against. Doesn't like if it is can't. "Limp wristers" need not apply.

Always thought the Auto Mag was one of the best looking pistols ever. Trouble is, once I got one, and really started learning about them, they aren't one of the best working pistols ever.

Cutting edge (for the day) metallurgy and technology. Radical new design. Radical new cartridge (no, its NOT just a rimless .44 Mag). AND, sadly some less than the best management and production decisions. ALL these, combined with a niche market that was much smaller than it is today.

It never stayed in production long enough to get the bugs worked out, let alone figure out improvements that would enhance its function and durability.

I have no idea how many Auto Mags were made, in total. One source I found estimated a bit over 5,000, another said about double that. None I have found ever claimed more than that, and only one said 10K. So even taking the higher number, that's not a lot.

Even though in (and out of) production at different times, by different companies, I think considering it an "experimental" design is valid.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old April 26, 2015, 01:23 PM   #60
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 517
Quote:
I have no idea how many Auto Mags were made, in total
Well 'duh'...you must certainly own half of them, so just do an inventory and double the number.

Quote:
I believe that little "lug" under the barrel is the gas port. Moving further forward seems to make better sense, BUT neither the Desert Eagle nor the Wildey did that, so I wonder if its is actually a serious concern.

The DE taps gas off the barrel right in front of the chamber, but the gas piston is almost at the muzzle. The Wildey taps off very near the same place, or just a little further down the barrel, and the piston is very close to that spot.
Once again you surprised with this one. But then I realized I was concluding gas erosion at the gas port would be very similar to gas erosion ('flame cutting') in a revolver--and there's a big difference I didn't think of. That difference is the fact that in a revolver you have wide-open-throttle gas flow, and in a piston gas system, at least, you really don't. So, extreme high temperature high pressure gas that is virtually static shouldn't, to my mind, have remotely as much opportunity for cutting as the open blow-torch that is the revolver cylinder-cone gap. I'm not saying there is NO flow--obviously the gas system comes up to operating pressure from ambient pressure on every cycle--but I'm suggesting there's an enormous difference. What erosion almost certainly does take place right at the port is a big 'so what'.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate

Last edited by Bongo Boy; April 26, 2015 at 01:36 PM.
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old April 26, 2015, 03:26 PM   #61
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,336
I figured with the gas port location on these guns, somebody figured it out that was where to put it, and why. Desert Eagles have been in private hands since 84, and its never been an issue I ever heard anyone talk about.

Of course, that might just be because no one shoots them enough for it to be one...in other words, how many tens of thousands of rounds might it take?

And thanks for the double my inventory comment, Bongo. I wish!

(also thanks for re-enforcing the rule of drink, swallow, THEN read new posts! keyboard survived, this time! )


Just got back from a gun show, no dinosaurs there, at least not the kind I'm talking about...almost never is...

Did get to borrow "grandma's candy scale", which reads in ounces to 10bs, so will be posting weights of actual guns (empty/loaded) vs published weights soon.
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old April 27, 2015, 12:49 AM   #62
reticle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 27, 2002
Location: ut.
Posts: 341
They still roam the earth. I have an LAR Grizzly and all of the available conversion kits. They are .45 Win Mag, .357 Rem Mag, 10mm, .45 acp, .357 Grizzly Win Mag and 9mm Win Mag. It is pictured below.





These also came in .44 Mag and .50AE, but I don't have those. The Grizzly pistol is tight and accurate. It came with adjustable sights from LAR. I have corresponded with the designer and only patent holder Perry Arnett. He is interested in restarting production with additional conversion kits. He is trying to assemble assets and the right team. Hope it happens. These pistols are just so nice.
reticle is offline  
Old April 27, 2015, 10:48 AM   #63
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,336
I used to have a .44Mag Grizzly blued. traded it for a .45Win mag. Mine looks just like the bottom pic except mine does not have a flared mag well.

Reticle, do you have a positive ID on the finish of that gun? The guy I got mine from told me it was a special super-duper chrome, that made his gun worth more than mine. Now, I have my doubts....

What I mean is, is that a factory or aftermarket finish?

OK, some data on my Grizz...
.45 Win Mag 6"
overall length 10.5"
Height 5.5"
weight empty 3lbs 1 oz
weight loaded 3lbs 9 oz (7rnds)
Grip width 1.32" frame length front to back, measured just below grip safety 2.57"
Trigger reach 3.055"

For comparison, my Colt Govt Model
.45 ACP 5"
overall length 8 3/8"
Height 5.25"
weight empty 2lbs 8 oz
weight loaded 2lbs 13 oz (7rnds)
Grip width 1.275" frame length front to back, measured just below grip safety 2.12"
Trigger reach 2.57"


more gun data to follow, stay tuned!
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old April 27, 2015, 11:32 AM   #64
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 517
I'm curious about the Grizzlys that came with compensators--if the barrel extends the length of the compensator and is ported, or if the compensator is just a barrel bushing and you get the 5" barrel, etc. I've found one photo, I think, that looked like the comp is actually attached to the barrel and is NOT a barrel bushing. My apologies--I"m just not familiar with how compensators are configured on 1911s.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate

Last edited by Bongo Boy; April 27, 2015 at 11:45 AM.
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old April 27, 2015, 06:09 PM   #65
reticle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 27, 2002
Location: ut.
Posts: 341
44 AMP, the finish on mine is a factory hard chrome. It is very durable.

Bongo, The compensator is a barrel bushing. It works best on the shorter 5.4" barrels. I took mine off because the LAR holster will not fit well enough to snap the strap with the compensator on.
reticle is offline  
Old April 27, 2015, 07:11 PM   #66
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 517
The hard chrome finish is really quite nice, judging only from the photos. Reticle, was the magwell custom built or was it actually a factory option? That nifty funnel makes me wonder if the gun fits the IDPA box--it would certainly be fun to show up at the local match and shoot CDP division with a Grizzly. Especially if a plate rack was involved.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old April 27, 2015, 08:03 PM   #67
reticle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 27, 2002
Location: ut.
Posts: 341
Smith and Alexander made the magwell. I bet they still offer it. It was an easy install.
reticle is offline  
Old April 27, 2015, 11:58 PM   #68
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 517
They sure do. $90. Thanks.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old April 28, 2015, 11:06 AM   #69
44 AMP
Staff
 
Join Date: March 11, 2006
Location: Upper US
Posts: 21,336


Desert Eagle .44 Magnum 1990 vintage
(now called the Mk I)

Weight empty: 4lbs 2oz
Weight loaded: 4lbs 8oz(8rnds)
Length: 10.5"
Height: 5 7/8"
Barrel: 6"
Grip width:
Bottom: 1.425"
mid: 1.393"
top: 1.30"
Grip length (front to rear)
Bottom of grip panel: 2.678"
bottom of triggerguard: 2.385"
Trigger reach: 2.777"

(all measurements approx.)
__________________
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
44 AMP is offline  
Old April 28, 2015, 04:42 PM   #70
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 517
RE: The Grizzly...

Quote:
I have corresponded with the designer and only patent holder Perry Arnett. He is interested in restarting production with additional conversion kits.
Having read Mr Arnett's comments elsewhere, the modular convertibility of the Grizzly seemed definitely to be an aspect he considered a key differentiator of the weapon. Not so much any particular caliber, the quality or even the commonality of the design with the 1911, but that modularity specifically.

On other forums I've read comments from many shooters, probably mostly Glock enthusiasts, that indicate a real attraction to being able to swap out a barrel and a magazine, and be able shoot 2 or more calibers with essentially one gun. So, the appeal is there for some, anyway.

I have to say though, that the appeal to me is much more limited to being able to get a handgun of a given design in the caliber I want it in, or, in the case of the Grizzly, finding a gun that is not only chambered for what I want to shoot, but is purposely designed to shoot that round. The appeal extends to the prospect of the gun being potentially more affordable, if the manufacturer can leverage a common platform and many parts to provide variety to the buyer.

Beyond that, I don't have a lot of attraction to the idea of one gun that fires 4 different rounds, say. It's definitely not enough appeal to make me buy the gun for that reason. I guess I also feel the Grizzly, for example, is way overkill for say the 10mm, so buying a conversion kit for 10mm holds no attraction for me at all.

So basically what I'm suggesting is the possibility that the features and benefits that Arnett felt separated his design from the crowd might not be features most shooters really care about all that much. It's hard to know. A slightly different angle: a auto pistol that's ideal for a 44 Mag or 45 Mag class round might not have much appeal at all in anything less than those rounds. I'm willing to pay the 'penalty' to get the bang, but I'm not likely to pay the penalty to shoot 9mm just because I can (to exaggerate).

I see the modularity as a benefit for the manufacturer that can hopefully be passed on to the customer, but maybe not huge for marketing on the appeal of changing out kits. Like Amp44 said already, this is a little niche we're talking about anyway, so all bets are off as to what such a niche market really looks like. For me, it is ONLY a range toy--but I wouldn't underestimate how much of the handgun market buys range toys, regardless of what else they might buy.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate

Last edited by Bongo Boy; April 28, 2015 at 05:03 PM.
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old April 28, 2015, 09:09 PM   #71
reticle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: November 27, 2002
Location: ut.
Posts: 341
Perry did mention he designed a total of nine caliber conversion kits for the Grizzly pistol. Admittedly, he stated that not all of then would be popular or practical but they did work. He also wrote that the .44 mag and 50AE pistols are not his designs. He designed the pistol around the 45 win mag because it developed more energy than the .44 mag. At the time of his original designs, 50AE was not an available caliber. So the .44 and 50 were from some other party. Among the 9 calibers are the ones I mentioned above and 7.62 Russian, 38 special and .30 carbine (I could be wrong on .30 carbine, but I think he mentioned that cartridge) As Bongo writes above, not every caliber conversion would excite every shooter. I like the idea of having the option should a caliber strike my interest.

Anyway, I love the Grizzly pistol and the history behind it.

I know the thread is about Magnum auto pistols, but there is a rare dinosaur in the revolver class with an interesting history too. Pictured below is the first revolver made by North American Arms originally out of Spanish Fork, Utah.



The story goes that the original owner of NAA collaborated with Dick Casull on this magnum revolver. It was to be chambered in Dick's hot rod 454 Casull cartridge. However, there was some falling out between them and Mr Casull pulled out and took his cartridge with him eventually partnering up with Freedom Arms. To continue the magnum revolver project and compete with the 454 Casull, NAA created the 450 magnum express and chambered their revolver for it as well as 45 win mag and 45 Colt. Only 530-ish were made before NAA was bought out by a California aerospace company which closed down the firearms part of NAA. Some 30,000 rounds of 450 mag express were destroyed and the revolver project scrapped. I get all of this story from a good friend who was a machinist for NAA and had hand assembled most of the revolvers built. For those curious, the 450 mag express round is a fire breathing mule. It truly does rival the venerable 454 Casull.

Edit to add: This is #39 of 530. All of the serial numbers started with a '5'
reticle is offline  
Old April 29, 2015, 07:07 AM   #72
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 9,333
had the camera out the other day & snapped this pic of my Automags ( unscoped )

__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old April 29, 2015, 08:30 AM   #73
Bongo Boy
Senior Member
 
Join Date: December 18, 2008
Location: Colo Spgs CO
Posts: 517
I'm happy to pay the attorney's fee if you'd like to modify your Last Will to include your good friend, Bongo Boy.
__________________
NRA Benefactor Member
“If I had to live my life again, I'd make the same mistakes, only sooner.” T Bankhead
"I think only the authorities should have weapons." The New American Electorate
Bongo Boy is offline  
Old April 29, 2015, 08:33 AM   #74
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 9,333
I'm still trying to get in on 44's family tree somehow...
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man is offline  
Old April 29, 2015, 08:41 AM   #75
Magnum Wheel Man
Senior Member
 
Join Date: July 26, 2006
Location: Southern Minnesota
Posts: 9,333
ya know... on a more serious note... MRS & I don't have kids... can't have them... have a farm, & the couple collectable things & none of the nieces & nephews or cousins seem to want to come around at all... it's hard to maintain a century farm by yourself... might end up having to have a big auction when we get that old, & donate things to different charities... if you've got kids, I hope they follow some of your guy's interests... FIL was so happy he had someone to manage his collection, so it didn't have to get broken up, when he died...
__________________
In life you either make dust or eat dust...
Magnum Wheel Man 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 12:17 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 0.09846 seconds with 9 queries