AMT Backup .380

This is a discussion on AMT Backup .380 within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Greetings I have been considering purchasing a 380 pocket pistol and decided on the P3AT. I mentioned it to my father and he said he ...

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Thread: AMT Backup .380

  1. #1
    New Member Array jetmak2002's Avatar
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    Question AMT Backup .380

    Greetings

    I have been considering purchasing a 380 pocket pistol and decided on the P3AT. I mentioned it to my father and he said he had a 380 i could have. Unfortunatley it was the AMT Backup. It has been in his safe since the early 90's-ish.

    I brought it to the range today and gave it a go. It shot flawlessly until approximately round 50. It began to ftf but I was convinced that it was because it was dirty/hot/needed lube because when hand charged sometimes it wouldnt go into battery.

    Anyways, assuming that I get it to go bang reliably here is the problem. It is the old SAO version. Google research found some discussion of a limited safety block between the internal hammer and sear(?) and the owners manual says not to carry one in the pipe.

    Apparently there were some manual safety problems as well but after inspection I am satisfied that the safety is operating properly. The other safety mechanism on this weapon is the grip safety.

    Like most people here I refuse to carry an unloaded piece. If you have made it this far down my long thought, my real question is: Is it safe to carry this weapon cocked and locked? I picked up an uncle mikes pocket holster (#1) for 12 bucks so the trigger will be covered properly.

    Should I make this a safe queen and go get the p3at? Should I carry this until the new ruger is out? Should I take a sledgehammer to the AMT? Help! Thanks!



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  3. #2
    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    Make it a safe queen or better yet a paper weight. I bought 2 AMT backups way back. One a .22 and a .380. The .22 was a single shot due to FTF and the .380 was reliable about 60% of the time. Could not trust them and they reside in my safe. Not familiar with the new Ruger but it looks like a close copy of a Kel - Tec which is a very reliable .380 depending whom you talk to. I personally wouldn't depend on a .380 for SD. The minimum I carry is a S&W model 36 that goes BANG each and everytime I pull the trigger. JMO
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    Senior Member Array Ragin Cajun's Avatar
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    I had bought a AMT Backup back in 93. It was the most worthless piece of junk you could imagine. It jambed very often no matter what I shot in it. It was also very inconsistant in POI. I definitly wouldn't trust an AMT for P.P. I'd make it a safe queen are take it to a scrap metal place.

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    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Probably the most despised mini behind the Raven.
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    Member Array mike28w's Avatar
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    Many moons ago , I had an AMT 380 DAO. I don't recall any problems except that it was heavy. Don't recall any jams or ftf's.As with any new (to you) gun , you should shoot it a bunch to be absolutely sure that it is reliable.
    Sorry I can't help with your real question re: the safety. good luck, mike
    BTW.... I now own a P3At and am very happy with that. I would certainly prefer the P3AT over any AMT....

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    As you have just discovered AMT firearms suffered some frame/slide galling problems.

    You should switch to a better more modern and heavier lube that prevents galling & seizing.
    Jardines Extreme is a great one. Try that one.

    That should go a long way toward solving your function related problem.

    You might also want to install a fresh recoil spring.
    If you call Wolff Gun Springs or Brownell's they should have a suitable spring for you.

    If you have functioned checked it for safety and it's operationally fine then carry it.
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    Senior Member Array jeephipwr's Avatar
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    I used to have one. I know because of the stainless galling problem that AMT recommended lithium grease as a lube. I used to carry my Backup in an ankle holster and the grease would attract all sorts of dirt. I tried carrying in a pocket but I was like you, with the single action only blocked by the safety, I would pull the gun out only to find the safety had been knocked off. I decided to get rid of it before something bad happened.

  9. #8
    Distinguished Member Array Reborn's Avatar
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    AMT

    I use to have one of these and it work fine. I have been told that you either have one that works or one that doesn't and never will.
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    VIP Member Array tns0038's Avatar
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    My dad had one many years ago, and it worked fine on hardball ammo. But like any other pocket gun, they are only designed for a clip or two firing before cleaning.

    Don’t remember him saying anything about the safety coming off on its own. But if your does, I would not carry it without having a gunsmith fix it. Or take it to your local gun store, and trade it on a P3AT.

  11. #10
    Member Array mike28w's Avatar
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    Or take it to your local gun store, and trade it on a P3AT.
    Now that sounds like a good idea !

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Additional Info

    I changed out the recoil springs, magazines, thoroughly cleaned and lubed (yes I greased them up) the AMT's with the same crappy results. There are way too many other fine weapons out there to depend on than a lousy, unreliable POS. JMO and I'm sticking to it.
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    VIP Member Array pogo2's Avatar
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    Ruger .380 vote

    Quote Originally Posted by jetmak2002 View Post
    Should I make this a safe queen and go get the p3at? Should I carry this until the new ruger is out? Should I take a sledgehammer to the AMT?
    I know that a free gun from your father is very attractive as something to use if possible. However, the problems mentioned by you and other posters with the AMT .380 seem very significant. Your backup gun is important, and you want it to work when you need it and not go off prematurely in your pocket and put a hole in your leg.

    I would vote for the new Ruger .380 alternative you mentioned above. I would trust Ruger to make a gun that worked every time and had adequate safety features.
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    Member Array Para82's Avatar
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    I bought one brand new in 89 or 90 and shot it quite a bit with hardball.Used military LSA oil for lube and it functioned well.Hated the safety and the DAO trigger pull.Didn't carry it much (it was before I got my permit). Traded it for a S&W422 field version and never looked back.
    Para82

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    Senior Member Array Shizzlemah's Avatar
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    you guys are making a good point here. i have an old AMT DAO. I wonder how it would benefit from some of the modern metal coatings (like tenifer, etc) to remain a little more slick in use/carry.

  16. #15
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    Sounds like it really needs to be kept clean & remember that he did put 50 flawless rounds through his and only then started having ftf.

    So it's likely that he is losing his lubrication which is costing him necessary feed energy.

    His might be worth having a Fluff & Buff done on it.
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