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  1. #1
    BulletproofTC's Avatar
    BulletproofTC is offline Junior Member
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    How does this part install!!? POS AMT 380 DAO

    Hey guys (and gals!),

    So I took this thing in against my better judgement to settle a $50 debt.. At least I'm in it cheap! Anyways, I'm not new to stripping guns but this things is a PITA! After glancing at it for a moment I took an educated guess and punched a pin. Wrong move. This thing immediately falls out.




    WTF. Great. I have a decent idea as to where it goes (due to discoloration where it sits, I think..), but how the hell does it install? I've yet to even get the slide off (I put it down before screwing it up worse, if thats possible). I was about to throw it in the trash when I had the first good idea of the night.. Gun forum! I have been meaning to sign up to one for a while now and after some browsing, picked you guys! Though after this first post you may feel this is bad news, I promise I'll attempt to contribute positively to the forum! Thanks a lot guys and gals!

  2. #2
    DJ Niner's Avatar
    DJ Niner is offline HGF Forum Moderator
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    Here's a link to a website with a .PDF copy of the manual (another hat tip to Steve; thanks again for this valuable resource!).

    http://stevespages.com/page7b.htm

    First column, 4th item down from the top. Click to download, then save it to your computer. There's not a lot of info on disassembly, but if you're mechanically inclined and/or know someone who is a bit of a firearms enthusiast, you should be able to figure it out.

    EDIT: Now that I've read it more closely, however, it looks like disassembly (page 8) only covers removal of the slide; I'm thinking the pin you punched out was in the frame, right? (The part that fell out appears to be the ejector, and I believe it is frame-mounted).

    Remove the slide using the procedure in the manual, so you can see and access the slot in the frame where the ejector is usually mounted; tap the same pin part-way out, then hold the ejector in place (hook-shaped-end on top, pointing toward end of barrel) while someone else taps the pin back in. Assuming that pin doesn't hold anything else in place which moved when you took it out, you might be good-to-go.

    Good luck!
    "Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
    (RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)

  3. #3
    BulletproofTC's Avatar
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    Believe it or not the guy I got it from still had the original case and manual.. As you noticed it's pretty vague though. Thanks for your post, I appreciate it. When I get this thing sorted I'll post back with what I learned.

    edit*

    Pin I punched:



    Pin I'm assuming I should have punched:



    p.s. I don't get my feelings hurt easy, don't hold back

  4. #4
    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    Nope, don't punch that pin either!




    THIS is the pin you need to remove:



    It's a roll pin, so use a punch that is as close to the exact diameter as you can find, otherwise the pin will be damaged or destroyed. Tool companies make special roll-pin punches, and if you can buy or borrow a set of those, that would be best, but a close-fitting normal punch will do if used with care.


    Once you remove the roll pin, pull the slide to the rear about a half-inch to get the hammer out from behind the firing pin, and then you should be able to dump the firing pin and spring out of the rear of the slide assembly (this separate part of the slide is called the "bolt" in the manual). Once you've removed the firing pin and spring, then you can use a hammer and non-marring punch (manual says aluminum or brass, but I think a sturdy nylon punch would work too) inserted in the bottom of the frame (where the magazine normally goes)...





    ... to tap the bolt up and out of the slide.






    CAUTION! You may have to pull the slide slightly to the rear as you tap the bolt upward, to prevent the extractor hook (circled, below) from catching on the rear of the barrel and damaging either itself or the barrel.




    Once the bolt is removed, the slide will move forward off the frame (may have to lift the slide's rear edge slightly?). Take note of how the recoil spring and rod fit into the slide, as you'll have to replace them later during reassembly. It's easier to do if you've seen how they were situated in the slide before falling out.

    Reassembly is fairly well-described in the manual, and after taking it apart, you'll have a better feel for how the parts go back together. It looks like you're pretty good with that digital camera, so feel free to take photos as you go so you can refer back to them later, if you think it might be helpful. I did this when I tore apart my last vehicle engine, and it makes reassembly go a LOT smoother if you can see what it looked like before you ripped everything apart.
    "Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
    (RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)

  5. #5
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    I had one of these when they first came out. There was a 3 or 4 month waiting list to get the weapon. It was called the AMT Backup. I assume it meant that you should back up when you had it out because there was an excellent chance it would not fire.

    I was amazed when I did the field strip the first time to find out that there was not a single machined part in the weapon. They made use of the (then) latest and greatest in metal working--investment casting. Only the slab sides of the slide appeared to have machining done on it, but when I showed it to our toolmaker he said that all they did was run it through a Time Saver (belt sander) to give the appearance of some machine work.

    On your sample it looks like they abandoned even that effort. (Mine was very early production--the later stuff was about the same but I don't know about the window dressing on the slab sides of the weapon. I assume this is a later production weapon).

    I gave it up because of repeated failures to fire. You'd pull the trigger--but no noise, just a click. I had the gunsmith go over it a few times but finally he just shrugged his shoulders and gave up.

    I don't know if the design was faulty or if the the incredible amount of guns that they tried to ship in such a short time frame compromised the quality, but everyone I knew back then gave up on it. It was really the very first of the very compact weapons. The execution left something to be desired.

  6. #6
    BulletproofTC's Avatar
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    Thanks so much for the info DJ Niner! I haven't been able to mess with it since taking those pics and I guess that worked out for the better. I owe you a beer

  7. #7
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    I've never even handled the .380 ACP version of the AMT Backup, so I can't write about it with any knowledge. But I do own, and carry daily, the .45 ACP version.

    The AMT .45 Backup is also made from cast stainless-steel parts, and its slide is also "machined by Timesaver," but there's a lot of "normal" machine work that went into it as well. Most of that is inside, where you won't see it until you strip it.

    Although the .45 Backup has a heavy DA trigger-pull (which I've lightened and smoothed by some simple-to-do, kitchen-table polishing) my little gun is quite accurate at the shorter ranges for which it's best suited. It is also very reliable, in that it goes "Bang!" every time I want it to.

    If you are frustrated by your .380 Backup, I am willing to buy it from you (in parts, if it comes to that) for the $50.00 it cost you, plus whatever shipping and handling charge you think is fair.
    I think that I can turn it into a reliable pocket gun for my wife.

    Let me know.

  8. #8
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    I think for the large part the AMT Backup was plagued by the fact that they overbooked production and tried mightily to get out as many weapons as possible.

    On my example the slide and the exposed parts of the frame (exposed during field stripping) were "as cast". This is not as bad as it might sound as unlike a revolver which requires very tight tolerances to function at all, often times loose tolerances on the slides of an automatic will function fine.

    I never took the rest of the weapon apart so I don't know if there was any interior machining. I read that the designer of the weapon designed it around the investment casting technology.

    Stainless steel is much harder to machine than carbon steel. It simply does not mill easily and it chews up machine bits quickly. Early stainless steel weapons were machined from the same forgings as the carbon steel weapons and there was a lot of material to remove. The early stainless steel weapons were vastly more expensive than the blued ones.

    The investment casting technology made very accurate parts and only needed small amounts of machining to finish weapons. It is not as strong as a forged frame but if the sections are beefed up properly it can be fine.

    The AMT Backup was a brilliant concept. And I think the factory could have made mine functional. But at the time there was supposedly a full year backlog and I was not willing to wait. I traded it in on a Air-weight J-frame S & W.

    For those who are not familiar with investment casting I will describe it briefly.

    An exact model of the part to be cast is created in wax. Usually by pouring the molten wax in a mold.

    Then the wax part is placed in a very fine sand that is slightly damp. A passageway is created for which the molten stainless steel is poured. The stainless steel quickly melts and vaporized the wax and it takes the exact shape of the wax model. This is an improvement on sand casting in that the wax model ensures that none of the sand will be displaced. This is a technology that was taken from the jewelry industry and it is also called the "lost wax method". Very accurate parts can be made and the tooling is very cheap. This was before CNC Milling machines were generally available (or available at an affordable price), so this was "state-of-the-art" at that time.

  9. #9
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    Packard, good for you!
    Here is a subject about which you are really an expert, and you have written a simple, clear explanation of the lost-wax process that any lay-person can understand.
    Thank you!

    One thing you forgot to include: IIRC, Thompson-Center pioneered the use of this process in the gun-manufacturing business. Or was it Ruger? Or both?

  10. #10
    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    Ruger, I believe. They've used it for darn near every part you can find on a pistol (including the frame), and even used it to make other precision-cast goods, like exotic-metal golf club heads.
    "Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
    (RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)

  11. #11
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    I saw military castings done by the lost wax method before any of the gun manufacturers got into the process. The process has been around for a long time. If you remember making plastic models with the pieces all attached to a "tree", that is how the jewelers made the wax castings. They were able to make multiple pieces with a single pour. Certain metals were easier to cast. Aluminum alloys and stainless were successfully cast. I don't think they cast carbon steel. I've only ever heard of them "injection casting" that material and that is a different process.

    Forgings are far superior to either cast or billet production. In a casting the grain of the steel is not oriented in any one direction and the strength is uniform in all directions. With forgings the grain can be oriented and give much greater strength in certain directions and if properly done it will greatly enhance the strength of the piece.

  12. #12
    BulletproofTC's Avatar
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    I didn't check back, whoops! I ended up unable to get the roll pin out (gun in a vice, 1/8" punch, and rubber mallet) but fortunately got the ejector back in place without having to remove the slide. So for future reference, it can be done. Put a couple clips through it to insure it worked properly and sold it for $250. Good riddance!

  13. #13
    DJ Niner's Avatar
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    "Placement is power" -- seen in an article by Stephen A. Camp
    (RIP, Mr. Camp; you will be remembered, and missed)

  14. #14
    aryfrosty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BulletproofTC View Post
    Hey guys (and gals!),

    So I took this thing in against my better judgement to settle a $50 debt.. At least I'm in it cheap! Anyways, I'm not new to stripping guns but this things is a PITA! After glancing at it for a moment I took an educated guess and punched a pin. Wrong move. This thing immediately falls out.
    You know that AMT is one of the better semi autos? I have one in .45acp and really like it. It is very safe. It has a discharge safety that keeps it from firing unless the trigger is completely pulled. I have polished it and cleaned it up( edges/lines, etc. et al.). An AMT backup will stay with you beaucoup long temps with titi upkeep. Good guns.

    www.glossover.co.uk is a great place for AMT info. The guy is in the UK but he has good stuff on his site.
    Regards; Al


  15. #15
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
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    I really like my AMT .45 Backup. It's my EDC.

    Ian, the guy in the UK, has published a couple of errors on his AMT site.
    For one, he states that the Backup is available only in .22 LR and .380 ACP, but he published the .45 ACP version as his illustration.





    Jean and I will be away, visiting our granddaughter and attending a family reunion, from this Saturday, April 23rd, through May 9th. I'll see all of you again on May 10th.

  16. #16
    Packard is offline Senior Member
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    AMT was one of the first to design a weapon around the manufacturing capabilities of investment casting. In that regard they were brilliant.

    Many gun manufacturers have since done the same, but most not to the same degree.

    As I said earlier, I believe that AMT's problems with the "Back up" stemmed primarily with its popularity and the effort at the factory to produce slightly beyond its capacity.

    As with anything else, if you try to rush, you are going to make errors.

    Their later weapons from what I've seen have been well-regarded, and (I believe) the manufacturing problems with the Back up were resolved after the initial rush of production was past.

  17. #17
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    I missed that

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    I really like my AMT .45 Backup. It's my EDC.

    Ian, the guy in the UK, has published a couple of errors on his AMT site.
    For one, he states that the Backup is available only in .22 LR and .380 ACP, but he published the .45 ACP version as his illustration.
    I apologize for not seeing that. In fact I went back to glossover.co.uk and looked again and still didn't see it.
    The original AMT Backup single actions were offered only in .22LR and .380ACP. The .40, 9mm and .45ACP weren't produced until they went to the DAO pistols.

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