SOLD FOR: $2,855.00
Make: TDE / OMC
Model: 280 Auto Mag
Serial Number: A07878
Year of Manufacture: 1970’s (http://www.bluebookofgunvalues.com/Gun_Values/Manufacturers/AUTO_MAG?id=AUTO_MAG)
Caliber: .44 AMP
Action Type: Semi-Automatic, Locked Breech, Short Recoil Operated, Removable Magazine Fed Pistol
Markings: The left side of the receiver is marked “TDE” surrounded by arrows and “AUTO MAG / .44 AMP MODEL 280 / EL MONTE, CALIF. / PATENTED” with “OMC” in circle, the right is marked “MADE IN U.S.A.” The butt of the grip frame is marked with the serial number. The included magazines are in Triple K bags with number 972M.
Barrel Length: 10 1/2″
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a high profile blade, integral to the barrel ring. The rear sight is a flat top, square notched leaf on a base that is adjustable for windage and elevation.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The stocks are checkered black plastic panels. The items show some areas of scuffing, there are a few compressed checkers. There are no major damages, the stocks rate in Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Matte & Polished Stainless Steel; the rear sight is blued.
Finish Originality: The stainless items are original, the rear sight looks to have been touch-up blued. Please see our pictures.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp. There is no erosion.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 75% of its metal finish. The surfaces show spots of dark and brown surface erosion, with instances of pin prick erosion; the rear sight has pitting and has been touch-up blued. There are other handling marks, a few items show casting flaws. Using http://www.amtguns.net/articles/yoshi-ishiguro/auto-mag-buyers-guide/ as a guideline, the following has been observed: The bolt retaining ring is not bent from exertion, but shows areas that look like touch-up welding, please see our pictures. The bolt locking lugs have light wear. The back underside of the cocking piece is not heavily worn but has some areas of light to moderate wear (please see our pictures); the piece is not heavily warped or cracked. The front of the frame that meets the accelerator block has a shallow dent, which is acceptable per the guide. The bolt is a correct El Monte-Type with the ‘crescent’ shaped bolt cutout; the cutout and bolt body have expected scuffing from normal use, there are no marred areas observed, however there are some darkened pits. The barrel’s rib has not been elevated by a poor welding job. The frame retains its “C” and “E” clips (please see the above link for clarification) and all of the correct linkage with no lost parts or warping to said parts. The screw heads are sharp. The markings are crisp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. This pistol features a rotating solid bolt, which locks the action like an M16 design. The bolt is guided back by two rods with dual recoil springs, the left side of the receiver has a thumb safety that disables the action when the hammer is down; there is also a takedown lever that allows the user to quickly change out barrels, please see our pictures. The accelerator is loose in its slot. We did not fire this handgun. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with what appears to be its original factory box, which has the serial number hand written on the end flap of the lid; there are other hand written items present, the box is in strong condition with discoloration and a few compressed areas from storage. Inside is a black AM Auto Mag black factory hard case, the interior’s foam is missing with particles of foam throughout; these items are in Very Good Plus condition. Also included are two Triple K Model 972M magazines in the original factory packaging. The magazines have storage scuffs but extremely strong springs and unmarred feed lips, in Excellent condition. A January 1975 Shooter’s Manual from T.D.E. is included, showing some discoloration from oil staining; the interior pages are crisp and fully legible.
Our Assessment: From Wikipedia “In 1970, Auto Mag Corporation president Harry Sanford opened a factory in Pasadena, California. The first gun was shipped on August 8, 1971, and the factory declared bankruptcy on May 3, 1972, after making fewer than 3000 guns. The company opened and closed several times from 1973 through 1982 under several different names. Namely TDE(Trade Deed Estates), OMC, Thomas Oil Company, Hi-Standard and AMT(Arcadia Machine & Tool). An additional 6,000 guns were produced and sold during this period for a total of about 9,000. Harry Sanford continued to sell spare parts and died in 1996. Walter Sanford, the son of Harry Sanford, continued to sell the remaining parts through automagparts.com. Production guns were made in .44 AMP (Auto Mag Pistol). Experimental pistols were made in .45 ACP, .30 AMP,.357 AMP and .41 JMP. Except for the .45 ACP guns, changing calibers required only the additional barrel and cartridges. The same frame, magazine and bolt could be used on both.” This is a TDE / OMC Auto Mag Model 280 with a 10 1/2″ barrel, chambered in .44 AMP, which is essentially a .44 Magnum projectile in a rifle casing! The pistol checks out mechanically and comes with two magazines, the original cardboard and factory hard case and a 1975 Shooter’s Manual from T.D.E. This is a great find for collectors! Please see our pictures and good luck.