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OMC .380Backup

This is a discussion on OMC .380Backup within the Pistols & Revolvers forums, part of the Pistol & Revolver Forum category; I have an OMC .380 Backup that would have been one of the first pistols produced by this company back in the late 1970's, I ...


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Old August 14th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #1
 
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OMC .380Backup

I have an OMC .380 Backup that would have been one of the first pistols produced by this company back in the late 1970's, I believe. This is the info I found on Wikipedia: "The AMT Backup was first known as the OMC Backup. This early variant was produced in .380 ACP caliber in El Monte, California. OMC produced a short run of these pistols before the molds were purchased by Arcadia Machine & Tool, who took over production.
The original AMT Backup was produced with a single-action trigger mechanism
, while the later Backup II used a double-action-only mechanism. These pistols were manufactured by AMT and later Galena Industries (until November 2001).This pistol was designed to be carried as a backup gun by law enforcement and security professionals or anyone desiring a small concealable weapon. Its marketing slogan was "the smallest, most powerful" backup weapon available.
The AMT Backup line of handguns is now being marketed by High Standard Manufacturing"


I was advised by my local gun shop that since this gun was produced in the late 1970's, that todays modern .380 ammo produced too much pressure and should not be used in it. I was wondering if anybody had any experience with this pistol and modern .380 ammo and if there was a suggestion of .380 ammo that can be used in this gun?

Would like to carry and shoot, but if I can't get ammo for it, or the .380 ammo is dangerous, then I'd like to know that too.

Thanks in advance for any info.



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Old August 15th, 2012, 12:16 AM   #2
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I can't advise you other than to say that modern 380 ammo is more powerful. I doubt it would hurt the gun but I don't know. The "powerful" new 380 is still not that powerful but it does make it respectable when compared to 9mm at close range.

If it were my gun, I'd just shoot it and not worry about it. But that's just me.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 12:53 AM   #3
 
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I have been carrying one of the early model Backup made by AMT and have had no problems with shooting recent production 380 ammo including Hornady Critical Defense ammo.
I only shoot it on occasions just to check it for proper function, about 50 rounds per year. When these gun shop employees tell you things like this, try to pin them down where they are getting their information so you can confirm if it is valid or B.S.

A lot of B.S. gets voiced even in gunshops by persons who is just passing on B.S. they may have heard by another customer.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 05:14 AM   #4
 
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I agree with the Knifemaker. I have a pair of the AMT Back-ups...a 45 acp and an earlier .380. Both shoot fine (for a sub-compact) using modern ammo. I too, only shoot them "now and then". The 45 was made at the factory in Irwindale, CA. The .380 came out of the El Monte, CA plant. Here they are-

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Old August 15th, 2012, 05:33 AM   #5
 
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AMT 380 are stoutly made,they even made a 45acp,so shoot the 380 as much as you can afford the ammo,good luck.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 08:48 AM   #6
 
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I shoot modern 380 ammo in a Berettta model 1934 that was a gi bring back from ww2. The only problem is it will only feed ball ammo or hollowpoints with a fmj profile. Other than that is is fine and is over 75 years old. I owned am amt backup in 45 acp and it fired about 100 rounds a month for 2 years and I sold it because I wanted a new toy.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 08:59 AM   #7
 
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If you find any Monarch JHP ammo (the kind with brass cases) in your area you might give that a try for plinking purposes. It is reportedly very light shooting (low-mid 700s).

cheap, dirty, ammo to be sure, but if you are looking for low power test rounds these are as light as I can find.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 09:38 AM   #8
 
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When the Back Up first came out it was a miracle of smallness. Up until then if you wanted 'small' you carried a 25 of some sort, most of which were designed in the late 19th century, or a High Standard Double Derringer.

If you wanted more power you had the Colt 1903/1908 Pocket Model (also designed in the late 19th century), the PPK or the J frame. That was about it.

The early OMC guns were the best. The later AMTs had QC problems, but their customer service was top notch. They also had an option of clear plastic grips, which was also amazing. (We were easily amazed in those days.)

380 ammo is 380 ammo. More 'powerful' = better bullets, not more powder, with the possible exception of Buffalo Bore or Double Tap ammo. So, shoot Federal/Remington/Winchester with confidence.

All in all a neat little 'old school' gun. Congratulations!
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Old August 15th, 2012, 11:46 AM   #9
 
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Sounds like if I just get good ole Wally World .380 ammo, nothing that's +P+, etc, I should be fine. Was looking at getting a sub-compact in .40 or .45, but $ is a little tight in this economy, so thought I could go back to the .380 when I just needed something little, so sounds like I'm OK with that.

Thanks for the info.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 02:12 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIPCHIP View Post
Sounds like if I just get good ole Wally World .380 ammo, nothing that's +P+, etc, I should be fine. Was looking at getting a sub-compact in .40 or .45, but $ is a little tight in this economy, so thought I could go back to the .380 when I just needed something little, so sounds like I'm OK with that.

Thanks for the info.
For practice/rangework/plinking, yes. For carry, no. You will want to carry something useful. In .380, the Hydra Shok is still king (90gr/1000fps/200ft.lbs). You will not want FMJ Wallyworld ammo for self defense. Hydra Shok's are reduced recoil, standard pressure ammo that will work perfectly in your application.

Well worth the $24/box of 20. if money is tight, just shoot half the box to confirm your POI vs the practice ammo you use and save the other half for carry. It is a bad idea carrying standard .380 FMJ ammo for self defense.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 02:54 PM   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tglazie View Post
For practice/rangework/plinking, yes. For carry, no. You will want to carry something useful. In .380, the Hydra Shok is still king (90gr/1000fps/200ft.lbs). You will not want FMJ Wallyworld ammo for self defense. Hydra Shok's are reduced recoil, standard pressure ammo that will work perfectly in your application.

Well worth the $24/box of 20. if money is tight, just shoot half the box to confirm your POI vs the practice ammo you use and save the other half for carry. It is a bad idea carrying standard .380 FMJ ammo for self defense.
Thanks. Nice to know what's the good stuff. Am carrying serrated silver tip hollow points in it now, which was the hot set-up back in the 80's, but the ammo is also from the 80's, so don't know if it loses anything with age (I know some do, some don't). Will get ball ammo just for plinking at the range and to make sure the magazines work but will get the HS ammo for carry.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 08:38 PM   #12
 
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My Dad has an OMC Backup, with the wood grips......and I have a slightly later AMT Backup .380. Reliable gun, a good all-steel micro .380 . It's certainly not a range gun but it seems durable enough to train with. AMT also made a .22 LR Backup.

I use mine as a deep concealment piece but rarely carry it. I don't even carry a spare mag, this is a "shoot and scoot" gun.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 09:07 PM   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HIPCHIP View Post
Thanks. Nice to know what's the good stuff. Am carrying serrated silver tip hollow points in it now, which was the hot set-up back in the 80's, but the ammo is also from the 80's, so don't know if it loses anything with age (I know some do, some don't). Will get ball ammo just for plinking at the range and to make sure the magazines work but will get the HS ammo for carry.
Try Hornady's zombie max ammo. Les that $20 for the .380(25 rounds)
Just like the Critical Defense, minus nickle-plated cases & the red tip. This ammo test very well in ballistic jel.
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Old August 15th, 2012, 09:17 PM   #14
 
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.380's got their "bad rep" as poor rounds for self defense because 100 years ago, when .380 came into common use, up until maybe the 60's-70's, most people carried FMJ ball ammo in their .380 pistols which is not the best stopper.

Today, we have all the nice, expensive hi-tech .380 self defense ammo that performs much better

Modern .380 will work just fine in the OMC or AMT Backups.......we're not talking a Browning or Savage .380 made in the 1910's, the Backups are from the 70's and 80's........if anything, .380 was made hotter back then before lawyers started running ammo companies.

FWIW, Hi Standard won't touch the older AMT's for warranty work and offers 0 parts support that I'm aware of, for the older guns. They bought the AMT name and makes "new" AMT's, and they only deal with those.

My Dad's older AMT Automag IV broke a sear and Hi Standard wanted nothing to do with it.
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Old August 16th, 2012, 02:20 PM   #15
 
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I dug out my AMT Backup today and put about 20 rounds of PRVI .380 ball through it. Except for a stovepipe on the last round of the magazine, one time, it ran like a top. And, to be fair, the gun was filthy and bone dry since I didn't clean it after I test fired it 2 years ago I dropped the ball on that one, because I couldn't figure out how to break the darn thing down!

With the barely usable sights I was able to put all 6 of the rounds into the center mass of a B-27 target at 10 yards shooting one handed, which is more than I can ask for of a pocket gun.

I'm not usually a fan of "cocked and locked" carry, but the grip safety also adds a little more safety factor.

I still can't break this thing down, I'll have to find an info source online. I know you have to drift the roll pin in the slide out, which I did today, but I still couldn't get it apart. I cleaned it the best I could without breaking it down, loaded 5 into the mag and one into the chamber, put the safety on and now it's in my sock drawer, ready for action

AMT's have an often unearned rep for being unreliable........it often comes from the fact that these were early stainless autoloaders and they need to be well lubed or the slide and frame can gall. A little moly lube on the slide rails should make the Backup run just fine. I also have 3 .45 ACP Hardballers, which are flawless and very reliable. You just can't run them dry.

I bought mine used, and the past owner mangled the roll pin, so I need a replacement at some point anyway, as well as probably a new recoil spring. I like to put a fresh spring in all the used autoloaders I buy.......as soon as I figure out how to dissasemble it!
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