The AutoMag is one of those old school cool guns that never achieved commercial success but generated a cult following nonetheless. The last one was made in 1982, yet it remains popular with collectors and enthusiasts, so much so that someone bought the rights and designs and is rebooting the company.
The new AutoMag will keep the style and primary engineering of the original but will incorporate some safety and durability improvements identified by AutoMag owners throughout the decades. It will also be chambered only in 44 AMP, though a 22LR upper is in development.
Their roadmap to market is detailed on their website as follows:
· Research new manufacturing technologies and materials that have come about since the original design. (Done)
· Connect to the current Auto Mag owners to find those that are passionate and knowledgeable. (ongoing)
· Engage the community into guiding us as to what issues, features, and options should be addressed in the new Auto Mag. Also, get referrals to others that would be interested in being involved. Drastically cut prices for original parts and create a spare parts replacement kit at a reasonable price that should include the most likely parts that will fail on the original Auto Mag. (ongoing)
· Focus on anything that will keep the look and feel of the original but improve the safety, reliability, and functionality of the Auto Mag
· Produce tooling for an improved stainless steel magazine. (should be complete in August 2016) We have now done a a test run and are tweaking the dies)
· Make a small number of prototype uppers. (Completed bolts, all small parts expect firing pins & springs, barrels should be complete by March 1st) Done- now producing second prototype with improvements found by making the first. This should be done in September or October latest
· Test these new uppers until they prove out the change or redesign what fails and retest.(testing started) Second round started
· Once we have a good upper then offer them to the existing community with a discount for early sign-up.(started)
· Complete the five hundred plus remaining frame castings that we have and offer complete guns with the new uppers and original lowers. (We may or may not use the exsisting frame castings)
· Start to work on the newly designed lower (still in testing and possible design changes)
· Put it through the same process as the upper.
· When this process is complete we plan on having an event which will include dinner and presentation the night before at a hotel near Columbia, SC. The next day, all will be taken to a range for test firing. This review will be for the media and key people in the Auto Mag world.
· Offer to sell to those that participated the first guns available, and give those that signed up and gave feedback or referrals to build the community discounts for up to two items. This will only be available for those that got involved before the first prototypes are complete.
Pricing will towards the upper end of what used AutoMags are selling for today, which appears to be around $2200. Ammo and cases will also be offered at some point, likely to coincide with the release of the first production guns.