The last of the original Auto Mag semi-automatic pistols, chambered in .44 AMP, was built in 1982. In 1983, the pistol was featured in the fourth "Dirty Harry" movie, Sudden Impact, after character Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) loses his iconic Smith & Wesson Model 29 revolver. The Auto Mag's short-recoil operated action employs a rotary bolt with locking lugs much like those found in AR-15 rifles and the much heavier Desert Eagle pistol. The .44 AMP cartridge launches .429 caliber, 240-gr. bullets for performance levels comparable to a .44 Mag. revolver.
In 2015, Auto Mag LTD. Corp. was formed to bring this big-bore semi-automatic back to the market. Thanks to modern technology and materials, the new Auto Mag will have the look and feel of the original while resolving the mechanical issues that plagued some of the earlier models. Features will include a choice of 6.5" or 8.5" barrels, adjustable target sights, an adjustable travel trigger, and seven-round single-stack magazines.
The initial plan was to manufacture the Auto Mag in Florence, S.C., with Excel Arms providing frames and magazines. However, Excel will be building complete pistols with Larry Grossman, the former head of production, overseeing the process. The first run will be a limited number (fewer than 100 units) of 8.5" barrel Founders Edition models that will hopefully ship near the spring of 2018. Retail prices for the Auto Mag will start at around $3,499.