Progress Report - March 2019 I

It was in August of 2015 that I bought the assets of Auto Mag from the Sandford family. At the time I thought that we would take the 500 or so frames and left over parts and build them into 4-500 Auto Mags and that would be the end of this project. Obviously over time the original plan has greatly evolved to making a new and improved Auto Mag from new parts, using improved materials and manufacturing processes that mostly were not available back in the day of the original production. We also wanted to address some of the engineering issues that plagued the original Auto Mag while maintaining the original look and feel. I did not have a clue at the time what it would take in terms of time, resources and personal. If you would have told me I would have never even started but now that we have done it I could not be happier.The last three constraints to production are the magazine, the bolt, and the frame.

Magazine- We have redesigned the magazine but have had multiple issues getting our vendor to do what we asked to the level of quality that we needed. They continued to make progress but they are still not making a consistent part so we just purchased our own Bliss 70C stamping press(see photo below) and hired a tool and die maker to help us produce this and almost all other critical parts for the Auto Mag in house. We will keep our current vendors to have a backup source of parts as well as to give us additional capacity. If the magazines are not ready when then gun is ready we will ship the first guns separately and the mags will follow.

Bolts- We had what we thought was a much improved bolt but while we were waiting for frames to be completed we didn’t some experimental tweaks the reduce friction and impact on the bolt rotation pin which in the past has caused an issue call frame ring bend(See image - Frame ring bend). We also noticed with hi-speed video that the bolt was bouncing back before it locked up. So we made a modification to prevent this and the combination of these changes makes the gun lock up better and faster than any I have ever seen. (see video- Hi speed bolt bounce video demo)

Frame- Originally we were going to use the old frames we purchased but due to warpage and other problems we were losing over 80% of the frames in production. We were lucky enough to find the Hitchner frame mold. This was the first mold made(there were three) but this was the one used on the Pasadena series of guns and considered to be the best but it did have one flaw and that was the frame bosses were not exactly in the correct position so they had to be welded before they could be finished. After our first run of castings we found this and had the mold modified to allow for larger frame bosses so the cnc could cut them in the right position.
We also added extra material on thinner parts of the frame to allow the frame to cool evenly and prevent warping.(see photo -Improved wax master image & ) Finally, we added vacuum heat treat to improve the finish and prevent preciosity. Fifty of the latest versions of the frames started being poured last Friday. We should receive them by the end of next week and start machining and tapping them for final assembly. As soon as we confirm these frame are correct they will start the next batch of 150. With no issues we could be assembling them over the following two weeks.

Below are a few new minor improvements.
We also found the problem that has caused a number of original Auto Mags the fire out of battery. The original firing pin during development was increased in weight from 65 to 75 grains in an attempt to solve a reliability issue even though this was not the solution this version stayed with the design and if someone is to place a love round in the chamber without a magazine and drop the bolt the firing pin would inertia fire while the gun was out of battery. We made an experimental firing pin out of titanium and it weighed 42 grains and would not inertia fire however, it was so light that sometimes it would not dent the primer sufficiently to fire so we raise the weight to 55 grains and now it works perfectly without the ability to inertia fire. ( see video-1.Steel firing pin inertia impacting primer 2.Titanium firing pin)

We have had Wollf Spring custom make us all the springs for the Auto Mag closed ended /flat ground. This will prevent the open end springs from unscrewing recoil spring rods and causing other issues. (demonstrating the torquing effect of an open end vs a closed end.(See video-1open end recoil spring clocking demo & 2.Closed end flat ground recoil spring demo )

Once we complete the first 50 we will start offering the opportunity to purchase guns in order that you have signed up. Initially we will probably only sell them in batches of 100. You will be allowed 24 hours to order if you don’t respond we will assume that you are passing.

I know it must seem like we are not making any progress but we really are. Because we are both trying to complete guns and we also have decided to move almost all production in-house. This will allow is better quality control and the ability to ramp up production. We did ship 5 Founders last week but these were with original frames.

The casting house just shipped 17 of the latest frames to heat treat. We will have those the first part of next week. If they are good we will get a follow up shipment of 200 pieces two weeks later and we will finally be on our way.

We still don't have our magazine stamping press up and going but we are working on it when we are waiting for frames. We will not hold up the guns for the magazines if you would to go ahead and get your gun and have us follow up with the new magazines.