My Primary will soon be my Back Up (and vice-versa)

My Primary will soon be my Back Up (and vice-versa)

This is a discussion on My Primary will soon be my Back Up (and vice-versa) within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I don't scare very easily. But when it comes time to choosing a new CCW, I'm usually very cautious and a bit apprehensive, especially if ...

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Thread: My Primary will soon be my Back Up (and vice-versa)

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array los's Avatar
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    My Primary will soon be my Back Up (and vice-versa)

    I don't scare very easily.

    But when it comes time to choosing a new CCW, I'm usually very cautious and a bit apprehensive, especially if the subject firearm has a documented history filled with unfavorable reviews pertaining to reliability issues. Some of those issues can be found posted on this forum.

    By the time I purchased my [Circa early 1995, first year of production] AMT Back Up 45 last week, I had conducted an extensive amount of research. I uncovered a lot of valuable information that helped trace most of the reported issues to it's original source of causation. This firearm had/has an ugly, infamous reputation for being a jam-o matic. It's been called a pos and a worthless chunk of metal and other expletives that I cannot mention. It hardly ever gets recommended as a BUG, let alone, as a primary CCW. But I don't scare very easily. I was determined to do my homework on this one.

    It appears that most of the FTF issues were caused by owners using magazines that had poorly adjusted followers and/or magazine lips. Apparently these areas just needed a little angle tweaking for reliable feeding. Many owners reported positive and constant reliable feeding [with all types of ammo, including HPs] after lightly polishing the ramp and chamber. These issues were more commonly found on Back Ups that were mass produced toward the end of [AMT] production.

    During the production phase [late 1994-late 1995] it was apparent that QC fell below the standards when the factory was manufacturing an average of 87 .45 ACP pistols per work day, which included the Back Up series. This daily production figure includes an average amount of 36 Back Up .45s being produced per day. S/N's through that time frame range from DA0320 through DA49514.

    FYI, if anyone needs D/O/M info on your Back Up, shoot me a PM with your caliber and SN. I've got a lot of AMT factory data on all Back Ups [all calibers] made from 1982-1995.

    Moving forward, another problem [although not too common] reported with these firearms was a light primer strike. This issue was usually the result of an owner cutting/trimming the mainspring in the pursuit to try to reduce the "horrendously heavy" trigger pull, which was reported to be around 17Lbs from the factory. Of course, once the mainspring is cut, the reliability and proper mechanical function of the Piece is compromised. One can expect FTE and FTF issues if the MS has been modified, as the MS works in conjunction with the recoil spring to obtain proper slide action force and timing. Most owners didn't realize the domino effect of reliabilty related issues that would be caused by cutting the MS and would fault the BU as being poorly designed and riddled with problems.

    The simple and proper way to reduce trigger pull down to about a 12Llbs pull is to polish specific contact points between the trigger, trigger transfer bar and the frame. Just a little 15 minute "fluff and buff" that it grossly failed to get at the factory. These parts remove very easily from the frame.

    In life, every problem or issue has a solution. Most of the time, it's a simple solution. Firearms are no different. :)

    The Back Up 45 remains one of the smallest 45 ACP semi-automatic pistols ever produced. It's weight is 23 oz and it's built of solid stainless steel construction, which gives it the ability to fire +P SD ammunition. It's 1" width will make daily IWB carry extremely pleasant and extremely concealable. Take down for cleaning is super easy and fast.

    The AMT Back Up .45 is certainly not a range gun. It was produced as a specific purpose self-defense firearm, and I will carry it as such. It replaces my G30 as my primary carry. I'm pretty stoked. When I located this Piece, I knew I had to have it.! It's in pristine condition and comes in the factory case, manual and three factory magazines. I take possession in a few days. Great thing is that I got an awesome deal on it.

    I'll come back and post a few photos when I bring it home and ultimately post an in-depth range report documented with photos and video. Got another surprise related to custom carry apparatus, but I'll disclose that later.

    I'm really looking forward to saying hello to my little friend... :)
    Last edited by los; April 10th, 2011 at 09:34 PM.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    It looks like you've got all your bases covered.

    Some of us are a bit timid to tear into the mechanics of guns, but I'm sure that you are right that it's usually a simple solution.
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

    "A heavily armed citizenry is not about overthrowing the government; it is about preventing the government from overthrowing liberty. A people stripped of their right of self defense is defenseless against their own government." -source

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array los's Avatar
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    The internal working parts [mechanism] of the Back Up 45 are very basic in design and in the way they interact. It reminds me of the simplicity in design that Seecamp utilizes in their pistols. Nothing complicated. Easily accessed. Easily replaced.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array los's Avatar
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    Here's a chart comparing the size of the Back Up 45 to the popular, microcompact sized Ruger LCP.



    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

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    More power to ya, Los. 'Looking forward to the range report.
    __________________________________
    'Clinging to my guns and religion

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array los's Avatar
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    Thanks, WHEC.

    I'm looking forward to the Range Report, too.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

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    Los,

    I can fully understand wanting to tinker with an old Jeep or Muscle car in the garage, but It sounds like you may be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
    Ccccccc what? Ccccccccccc Hawks!

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    Member Array xeero's Avatar
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    For me, I haven't had good experiences with big bore / small frame guns. Seems like physics gets in the way.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array los's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by C hawk Glock View Post
    Los,

    I can fully understand wanting to tinker with an old Jeep or Muscle car in the garage, but It sounds like you may be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.
    LOL.

    You know, If you hit the square peg hard enough, It'll go through.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array los's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xeero View Post
    For me, I haven't had good experiences with big bore / small frame guns. Seems like physics gets in the way.
    Yep. I agree.

    Guess I've been lucky cause the few compact 1911s I've owned always ran good.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  11. #11
    VIP Member Array los's Avatar
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    Here's one of the photos of the Pistol.

    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

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    Senior Member Array bbqgrill's Avatar
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    I have one, for about 8 years now that I bought used, it is heavy as a brick, can't find a comfortable holster and worse I am on my second firing pin, one day it just sheared off (around the first shoulder) at the range after about half a box, I don't think I even have 200 total rounds through it. With the new firing pin I have lots of FTF, I gave up about 6 years ago but can't seem to part with it, IDK.
    "To believe that social reforms can eradicate evil altogether is to forget that evil is a protean creature, forever assuming a new shape when deprived of an old one." - SAT

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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by los View Post
    LOL.

    You know, If you hit the square peg hard enough, It'll go through.
    ..... The coffee that's all over my monitor is your fault.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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  14. #14
    VIP Member Array los's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbqgrill View Post
    I have one, for about 8 years now that I bought used, it is heavy as a brick, can't find a comfortable holster and worse I am on my second firing pin, one day it just sheared off (around the first shoulder) at the range after about half a box, I don't think I even have 200 total rounds through it. With the new firing pin I have lots of FTF, I gave up about 6 years ago but can't seem to part with it, IDK.
    When AMT filled for bankruptcy in late 1995, a company named Galena Industries, Inc. took over their operations in Irwindale, Ca. Galena added a few cosmetic and mechanism design changes to the large caliber Back Up series which included a trigger transfer bar cover, a redesigned trigger shape and they incorporated a firing pin safety block. They designed the safety block by cutting a notch into the firing pin where the safety block would rest. Obviously this was meant to prevent the firing pin from forward movement until the trigger was pulled, which would simultaneously release the block.

    The problem with the Galena design is/was that the safety notch had a propensity to contact the firing pin after being struck by the hammer. An issue associated with this was light firing pin strikes. Eventually this interference would wear and damage the firing pin, ultimately causing catastrophic damage.

    You might have a Galena designed Back Up that has the trigger safety block. I think the Galena BU 45s have a s/n that start with the prefix of DLX. I know AMT/IAI Back Up 45s have a DA prefix.

    Regarding your FTF issue: I seriously doubt that this problem is related to, or connected with, the firing pin. A few things can cause this, but can be easily fixed. Your recoil spring may be too weak and needs to be replaced. Wolff offers a direct replacement recoil spring made specifically for large caliber Back Ups. The wolff spring is heavier so it should help feed the rounds better. They're inexpensive. Also, the mag lips might need a slight adjustment or the feed ramp may just need a little polishing. I'm sure the fix is simple.

    Regarding Holster availability: TIP: Most leather holsters made and sold for the Kel-Tec P11 pistol will fit a large caliber Back Up, like a glove.

    Side Note:
    Galena Industries, Inc. relocated their manufacturing facility to Sturgis, South Dakota in June 1999. They filled for bankruptcy in 2001. Assets were auctioned on July/2002.

    High Standards of Houston, Texas acquired the assets and began selling [old stock AMT/Galena] firearms around 2003/2004.
    Last edited by los; April 11th, 2011 at 01:59 PM.
    What we've got here is failure to communicate.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    I'm assuming you won't be putting this firearm into commission until you've thoroughly run it through its paces on the range...new guns I usually put about 200 through them before carrying, used guns about 500.
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