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New 44 Auto Mag owner with ???

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WVWRZ500N View Drop Down
180 Auto Mag
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Joined: 09 Mar 2008
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    Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 4:04am
I want to say thank you to Ian for a fantastic site and thanks to all who post regularly and keep such an iconic gun going.

So recently picked up my first 44 AMP.  It's a TDE El Monte Serial o the 5XXX range.  Pretty nice piece and I feel I got it reasonably priced.  Came with a set of original grips, wood grips and one mag.  I'm 99% set up to reload and am making brass currently.  Also, got a set of the Hogue G-10 grips from Patrick Henry and really like them over the others I had.

I also want to say a special thanks to George H. and Bob C. who have been helping me over the phone with questions about the gun and loading.

So after a lengthy conversation with George yesterday he suggested I post my issue's on here and see if it's been dealt with before or if it's new, (I doubt it's anything new).

1. When cocking the gun, (hammer in the up position, NOT pre-cocked), the hammer does not go to a ready to fire cocked position and hold in the sear, rather it just slides along the bottom of the bolt.  When you then lower the bolt the hammer follows the cocking piece back up and then stops at half cocked.
Any ideas???

2.  (This is probably related to #1) With the hammer cocked the safety will not move up.  You must first over cock the hammer with your thumb and then the safety will go up.
Any ideas???

3.  When attempting to use the bolt release it takes a lot of effort on the lever to finally get the bolt to shut.

Now to answer many of you that are already wondering, yes I cleaned the gun.  Solvent tank, brake cleaner, new oil throughout.  It's right on in terms of being serviced, just stiff as heck.

I have not fired the gun yet as I found that it had a broken accelerator block which the seller is replacing and I'm waiting for.

I'm sure I'll have other questions along the way but will start here.

Regards,
Bill Wilson
Wilson Performance
Lee's Summit, MO
816-377-3185
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Gunfixr View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gunfixr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 4:45am
Well, new to auto mags, but been 'smithing for some time.
So, hammer riding the bolt up is hammer not being engaged by the sear. The hammer is not going far enough back for the sear to engage the full cock notch. Often, this is the top of the hammer, worn down or reshaped in an attempt to make cocking easier. Can be something with the sear, or hammer notch, having been damaged, and perhaps welded up and refitted improperly.
On my pistol, engaging the safety actually moves the hammer back off the sear a bit. Your having to move the hammer too far for it to work, along with the above problem, suggests either someone reworking the hammer/sear engagement, or perhaps swapping in some parts from another auto mag run. I'm not yet familiar enough with these to know just how much part interchangeability there is, or is not. I think i'd start with hammer/sear engagement, or proper model parts.
My bolt release is quite difficult also. I did a bit of reshaping, being careful. It's better, not great. I don't know if you're aware, but pushing down on the thumb safety will push the bolt release. It's easier, I guess it has more leverage.

Out of curiosity, are you bill Wilson as in Wilson combat?
I have loved the 1911 parts since the 80s. Best mags ever.
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WVWRZ500N View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WVWRZ500N Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 5:54am
Originally posted by Gunfixr Gunfixr wrote:

Well, new to auto mags, but been 'smithing for some time.
So, hammer riding the bolt up is hammer not being engaged by the sear. The hammer is not going far enough back for the sear to engage the full cock notch. Often, this is the top of the hammer, worn down or reshaped in an attempt to make cocking easier. Can be something with the sear, or hammer notch, having been damaged, and perhaps welded up and refitted improperly.
On my pistol, engaging the safety actually moves the hammer back off the sear a bit. Your having to move the hammer too far for it to work, along with the above problem, suggests either someone reworking the hammer/sear engagement, or perhaps swapping in some parts from another auto mag run. I'm not yet familiar enough with these to know just how much part interchangeability there is, or is not. I think i'd start with hammer/sear engagement, or proper model parts.
My bolt release is quite difficult also. I did a bit of reshaping, being careful. It's better, not great. I don't know if you're aware, but pushing down on the thumb safety will push the bolt release. It's easier, I guess it has more leverage.

Out of curiosity, are you bill Wilson as in Wilson combat?
I have loved the 1911 parts since the 80s. Best mags ever.

Mr. Fixer,

Thanks for you input.

I am not of the Wilson combat folks.  Hope theirs a distant relative but don't know.  I perform two stroke performance tuning on vintage street bikes.

I kind of don't think the hammer has been modified just from the first glance inspection.  I recall seeing a write up of hammers with sears in slightly the wrong clocked position causing issues. 

Here are some pictures of what it all looks like.

1.  Hammer

2.  Hammer w flash different angle

3. Hammer clearance cocked under the bolt (white background)

4. Hammer clearance cocked umder the bolt (yellow background)

5.  Hammer strikes to the back of the frame.

6. Hammer machine marks w/flash.

For all to see....does this look like normal tolerances?

Regards
Bill Wilson
Wilson Performance
Lee's Summit, MO
816-377-3185
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEEMER1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 12:47pm
First, I cannot answer all your questions.

On any Auto Mag I have shot, the bolt release is extremely hard to use.  I always release with the safety.

Having to over-cock the hammer to get the safety engaged is the norm on Auto Mags.  If you do not have to do it, I believe someone has worked on the gun from my experience.

Good luck.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WVWRZ500N Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Mar 2019 at 3:20pm
Thank you Bob for your reply.

I should clarify, I was referring to pressing the safety bolt release not the small bolt lock tab above the center of the grip.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WVWRZ500N Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 Mar 2019 at 5:23pm
So I did some reading and research end of last week to find the hammer cocked safety is working according to design which keeps the hammer off the sear while on.

I did fire the gun with SBR ammo on Saturday for the first time.  I am currently running without the accelerator as my accelerator block was broken when I received the gun and am waiting on a replacement.  So I removed both the broken block and the accelerator for testing.

Started with one round in the mag, cocked and loaded the round into battery, fired nicely and had bolt lock back function perfectly.  I then loaded 3 rounds in the mag and repeated the test.  My second round had a failure to feed jam (which I was told and also read might happen without the accelerator in) and the third round then failed to hold open the bolt.  I loaded and fired 3 more and repeated again.  Similar results but overall successful IMO.

I'm eager to see how it functions with the accelerator installed and with the hand loaded ammo I'm currently working on.

Here's a custom gun case I'm working on as well.  Stained and cleared the outside last night.  Will be flocking the inside this week.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote tgt40 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2019 at 11:06pm
Beautiful work!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WVWRZ500N Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2019 at 5:09pm
I performed a broad test of function over 60 rounds two weeks ago.  Loaded 5 rounds each of 296 from 20gns to 25.5 gns.  Gun functioned fine other than the lock back did not work on the 20gn loads.  By the time I got to the 24-25.5gn loads the bolt would skip over the next round causing jamming on nearly every shot.  I'd read this was a problem with a combination of accelerator and also magazine spring.  It was just a test and I don't plan to load a bunch hot for plinking but for sure for hunting deer next fall.  Will want to test without the accelerator first then if the problem persists switch magazines.

Finally got the case flocked last night.  Looking forward to see how it turns out since this was all new to me.  I think it turned out pretty well for a first go.  I'd love to have the top of it laser engraved like many of the ones for sale online if anyone knows of where I could send it please let me know.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AUTOMAG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 Mar 2019 at 8:26pm
Bill, nice looking AutoMag and the box looks great. When I had the top of the box for my Baby AutoMag laser etched I first obtained permission from Walter Sanford to use the logo, not sure who you would ask now and then brought the image to my local engraving shop. Below is the end result.


"This is the 44 Magnum Auto Mag and holds a 300 grain cartridge and if properly used it can remove the fingerprints"!!!
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WVWRZ500N View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WVWRZ500N Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2019 at 3:30pm
Thank you ^ for the words of encouragement and sharing the picture of your case.  That's what I'm thinking.  I'm curious if there is any need for permission of use for a one off personal box, I'm 99% sure there are no standing patents any longer.

I finished up the hardware install.  It turned out decent.  Still have to install the key hole brass cover, need super short screws for that.  I'm a little disappointed with the flocking as it's a bit thin.  Looks good in pictures but up close you can still see some of the shelak base underneath.  I may redo it at come point.



Other than it being 100% custom and hand made by me if I were to do it all again I would just buy one from Patrick.  I'm sure I have more in this one than his cost!

I'll post a few more with the gun and bullets installed.  The flocking glue was still a tiny bit sticky when I put the hardware on.

Regards,
Bill Wilson
Lee's Summit, MO
816-377-3185
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