New .44 AutoMag Behemoth at the BackUp Gun Match

Yesterday we were looking at the new resurrection of the AutoMag pistol, and today I have it out at the monthly BackUp Gun match. Is it appropriate to bring this behemoth of a pistol to a “backup” match? Sure!

My experience with magnum automatic pistols has been very mixed…actually, just mostly poor. I was really curious to see if all the work that went into the new rendition of the AutoMag would actually fix the problems of the original. Lo and behold, it looks like it did! The gun has run flawlessly for me, rather to my cynical surprise. It’s a beast of a pistol, but still substantially more comfortable to shoot than full-power .44 Magnum revolvers.

When AutoMag Ltd asked to send me a loaner gun to film, I was really skeptical. I turned them down a couple years ago when the gun was still very much a project in progress. When they came back more recently with actual production ready to go I accepted, but with a whole lot of skepticism (I didn’t tell them that). I am honestly impressed with the result of all their work. They took a dumpster fire of an original design and it looks like they have actually put in the work and refinement to make it a proper pistol. It is reliable, accurate, and true to the aesthetic of the originals. Remarkable!


  1. You have not shot anything yet in an auto mag that will impress more than an IMI .50 Desert Eagle. Now there “is” a pistol! Hold on with both hands and hope the pistol doesn’t hit you in the forehead when you fire it

    • As a former .357 DE owner, I bought one in 1986 more from curiosity than anything else. It mostly stayed in my safe except when somebody asked to try it, again mostly from curiosity.

      Like the Gabbett-Fairfax Mars, nobody wanted to try it twice.

      The DE was what happens when you take a rifle action of questionable logic (the Ljungman AG42) and try to scale it down to pistol size.

      It did nothing a .357 revolver could not do as well or better. Its use in Hollywood has given it an undeserved reputation for… romance?

      I found a Glock 20 to be a much more useful alternative. And I have never particularly liked the trigger on Glocks.



    • My son and I once rented a .50 AE Deagle at a Tampa gun store and soon discovered why the previous renter had only used one of the 20 rounds in the ammo pack that came with it. We only got through the pack because neither of us was willing to be first to quit! Quite an experience in an enclosed space including the concussion bursting a light above us in the shooting lane. Good for travelling light in bear country but otherwise pretty limited in its applications.

  2. Ankle rig? I recall a deep cover rig called thunder wear.A low riding belly band.That would be just the ticket

    • Bianchi made a version of the X-15 spring-grip shoulder holster for the original AMP. and a shoulder holster is really the only practical way to carry a sidearm of this size concealed.

      Sort of like a 6″ S&W M27. (Been there, done that.)



  3. Very nice pistol. Looks to be of good workmanship. But the price is astronomical. 1500 less and i might buy one. Thanks for the great testing and breakdown

    • Too low price cause demise of original
      The original company producing the weapon, the Auto Mag Company (AM or AMC), had a shaky start due to the gun’s over-engineered qualities and unrealistically low pricing, causing the company to lose over $1000 for each gun sold, eventually leading to bankruptcy after just two years of production.
      One has to wonder why they elected to do so, considering that this was before emergence of competing designs (e.g. LAR Grizzly).

      • this was before emergence of competing designs (e.g. LAR Grizzly)

        But that works both ways. I bought a .44Mag revolver for around $300 in 1995, so it was probably <$200 when the AutoMag first came out. It may have had no exact [i.e. semiauto] competitors, but that also means its whole niche – the movies, the games, the idea of paying thousands of dollars for a novelty that doesn’t really do anything its more-powerful revolver competitors don’t – had no precedent in the market.

  4. You can’t change the laws of physics. Less (apparent) recoil is simply due to the fact that that beast is so much heavier than the average .44 magnum revolver. I’ll stick with my Marlin 1894 carbine.

    • There is also the fact that the energy is transfered to the shooter’s hand in a prolonged time instead than all at once (when the barrel pushes the accelerator, when the barrel impacts the frame, when the bolt compresses the recoil spring, when the bolt impacts the frame), and the lower bore axis.

  5. OMG – that steel plate jumped back like nothing I have ever seen from a pistol. Bit of contrast to the video Ian just did shooting .30 Super Carry.

    • Great. This proves that the targets are biased to favor pistols with absurd amounts of PUNCHING POWER!!

      • Knockdown power is actually a thing with steel plate targets obviously. Big ball muskets can flip a spinner target in one hit sometimes. Or Brennekes from a shotgun.

  6. Let’s see, Back Up Gun = .44 AutoMag. Well, of course it is.
    Ah, Forgotten Weapons, come for the history, stay for the humor.
    Wafa Wafa, Wasara Wasara.

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