SOLD FOR: $7,535
Make: Auto Mag AMC/TDE
Model: 280 with Two Model 180 uppers included
Serial Number: TWK029
Year of Manufacture: 1971-1982, ATF C&R
Caliber: .357 AMP with two uppers chambered in .44 AMP (these are NOT interchangable with.357 Mag and .44 Magnum revolver cartridges)
Action Type: Single Action, Semi-Automatic with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked with the AMC logo and “AUTO MAG .357 AMP MODEL 280 COVINA, CALIF. PATENTED”. The bottom of the grip frame is marked “TWK029” near the backstrap.
One spare upper is marked on the left side of the slide with the TDE logo and “AUTO MAG .44 AMP MODEL 180 EL MONTE, CALIF. PATENTED”. The other spare upper is marked “MADE IN U.S.A.” with the TDE logo and “AUTO MAG .44 AMP MODEL 180 EL MONTE, CALIF. PAT. PENDING” The right sides of both Model 180 slides are marked “MADE IN U.S.A”.
Barrel Length: The Model 280 barrel is 8.5″. One of the Model 180 barrels is 8.5″ while the second Model 180 barrel is 6.5″.
Sights / Optics: The front sight of the Model 280 is a pinned black blade with a gold dot. The rear sight of the Model 280 is a Behlert white outline square notch with is adjustable for windage and elevation.
The front sight of the 8.5″ TDE Model 180 slide is a dovetail black blade with a gold dot. The rear sight is a black square notch adjustable for windage and elevation.
The front sight of the 6.5″ TDE Model 180 slide is a dovetail black blade with a gold dot that is joined to the rear sight by a vented rib which is groved to reduce glare. The rear sight is a stainless square notch adjustable for windage and elevation.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered wood with an attractive grain pattern that appear original to the pistol. There are no meaningful handling marks. There are no chips or cracks. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: Stainless Steel
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bores are bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion in any of the bores.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 95% of its metal finish. The finish in the slide and frame have light scuffs scattered throughout, consistent with stainless firearms made during this time. There are a few little scrapes, most noticeable on the underside of the barrel near the muzzle. There is a small amount of heat discoloration where the slide meets the frame above the trigger guard on the 280 barrel assembly. The screw heads are crisp and clean. The markings are somewhat faded but still legible. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine condition
The 8.5″ TDE Model 180 slide retains about 95% of its metal finish. There are a few points of wear near the muzzle and at the rear of the slide from using the safety. The marking are clear and clean. Overall this slide rates in Fine condition.
The 6.5″ TDE Model 180 slide retains about 98% of its metal finish. There are a few tiny marks in the finish and a small sign of wear from using the safety. The markings are clear and clean. Overall this slide rates in Excellent condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a through cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with two extra uppers chambered in .44 AutoMag, a total of six 7-round magazines that work for either caliber, and a factory pink aluminum foam-lined case with cutouts for the pistol and both slide assemblies. Three of the magazines are brushed aluminum with metal followers, one is brushed aluminum with a plastic follower, and two are satin aluminum with metal followers. Five of the magazines have light fitting and operational wear with strong springs and intact feed lips in about Fine condition. One of the brushed aluminum magazines shows moderate grinding marks on both sides from fitting and is in Very Good condition.
Our Assessment: In 1971, Harry Sanford and his Auto Mag Corporation answered the prayers of many firearms owners by offering magnum revolver performance in a semi-automatic pistol. Using a short-recoil operation with a rotary bolt similar to the design of the M16/AR15 rifle, the Auto Mag made an immediate impression on the firearms world. Constructed of stainless steel and clocking in at over 3.5 pounds, the original .44 chambering pushed a .429 bullet at over 1600fps. In 1970, Auto Mag Corporation opened a factory in Pasadena, California. The first pistol shipped on August 8, 1971 and the factory declared bankruptcy on May 3, 1972, making fewer than 3,000 pistols. The company opened and closed several times from 1973 through 1982 under several different names: TDE (Trade Deed Estates), OMC, Thomas Oil Company, High Standard, and AMT (Arcadia Machine & Tool). This particular pistol is from the original incarnation of AMC and it still looks terrific. The addition of two extra TDE upper assemblies chambered in .44 AutoMag adds to both the collectability and the shooting fun, not to mention the whole package comes in a pink AutoMag case! This is a rare opportunity to own such an iconic pistol that is still featured in films and television shows. Don’t let this one pass you by. Please see our photos and good luck!