44 Auto Mag, Dirty Harry’s favorite semi-auto is back in production


February 21, 2021

AutoMag History

In 1966 the Auto Mag Corporation created a semi-automatic handgun chambered in .44 AMP. The pistol’s unique look and reputation made it popular in movies, books, and TV of the 1970s and 80s.

The pistol was featured in the 1983 film Sudden Impact by Clint Eastwood’s character “Dirty” Harry Callahan. In one famous scene, Callahan’s friend boasts about a new shotgun that reduces a target into mush that must be “strained for fingerprints”. Callahan replies, “This is the .44 Magnum AutoMag, and it holds a 300 grain cartridge, and if properly used it can remove the fingerprints.”

Sadly, disagreements between the design team, high production costs, and even higher wholesale pries led to huge losses for the AutoMag Corporation. The pistol hasn’t been in production for more than 30 years. AutoMags that once sold for $217 in the 1970s are now sold for $3,000 to $4,000. AutoMag’s Future In 2015, Walter Sanford sold all of the company assets including name and trademark to Auto Mag Ltd. Corp. in South Carolina. Now the “aristocrat of Big Bore Handguns” is back through a cooperative project between Auto Mag and Excel Arms. A small line of “77 Founders Edition” pistols with an 8.5″ barrel have already been sold for $3,995 each, six of which have already been shipped to their owners. Auto Mag is also offering a 6.5″ barrel “Classic Edition” models for $3,495. Larry Grossman, AutoMag’s head of production, took a moment to discuss the beloved pistol’s return at SHOT Show 2018. Hear his full statement in the video below.