AMT stands for Arcadia Machine & Tools Inc. The company has gone through a turbulent period. Initially, AMT was established in Covina, California. It became famous with the AutoMag pistol in.44 AutoMag and .357 AutoMag. In 1989, the factory moved and changed its name to IAI: Irwindale Arms Incorporated. New models were given the name IAI, though the old models continued to be called AMT. A few years ago, the company got into difficulties. After a new start, production continued under the name Galena Industries Inc. The company is still located in Irwindale, California.
In the period 1965-1969, the American designer Harry W. Sanford designed a large heavy pistol. It had a comoletly new caliber: .44 AMP, the abbreviation for AutoMag Pistol. He marketed this pistol in 1969 under the name AutoMag. The auto loader has a rotating bolt with six locking cams. The locking system is similar to that of the Colt M16 Rifle. Sanford’s small gun shop was extended to become the AutoMag Corporation (AMC). Special ammunition made for the AutoMag was manufactured by a Mexican subsidiary of Remington, the Cartouches Deportivos de Mexico S.A., abbreviated as CDM.
At that time, hand loaders often made their own cartridges by shortening .308 Winchester rifle cartridge cases. In 1971, a stainless steel version of the pistol was introduced, know as the Pasadena AutoMag. The production of which often led to delays. This also affected the production rate of this pistol. The company finally went bankrupt in May 1976. The Thomas Oil Company bought the machinery and stocks of components, pistols with the parts. The Trust Deed Estates Corporation (TDE) was established for this purpose. Therefore weapons dating from that period have the TDE stamp. Sanford was contracted in to manage the assembly.
TDE was initially established in North Hollywood, but the company subsequently moved to El Monte, also in California. The production of new pistols started there. Once the manufacture of the .44 AMP pistols was running well, a second type was produced in .357 AMP caliber, followed by two conversion sets for both calibers. In the meantime, a few special series were produced as well. These weapons are extremly valuable today as collector’s items. Lee Jurras, the director of the ammunition factory Super Vel Corp. At the time, had a hundred pistols made in .357 AMP caliber, with the serial numbers LEJ 001 to LEJ 100. The barrels of this series of pistols had compensator grooves by Mag-Na-Port.
These are special grooves towards the muzzle which reduce the recoil. In addition, they had attractive grips and a gold-colored inscription: ‘LEJ Custom Model 100′. As the demand far exceeded the number of pistols produced, another hundred LEJs were made in .44 AMP. Like Jurras, High Standard also brought a special series of two hundred pistols with serial numbers preceded by the letters H.S. Subsequently, several hundred AutoMags were made for High Standard, with the factory logo H.S. onthe barrel and serial numbers starting with the letters A.O. At that time, TDE was doing very well financially. Sanford was therefore able to repurchase the AutoMag company from the Thomas Oil Company. In. 1974, he approached Lee Jurras of the Super Vel Corp. For the distribution and service of AutoMags. There were not yet any factory cartridges in there in his own company. The .41 JMP caliber (.41 Jurras Magnum pistol) also dates from that time. In the following years, various types of AutoMags appeared on the market in relatively small series, such as the Jurras Custom Model 200 International with a 216 mm( 8,5 inches) long and a carbine stock, as well as the Backpacker in .44 AMP caliber with a barrel 102 mm ( 4 inches) long and a square trigger guard.