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The New Automag

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Pantera Mike View Drop Down
International Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pantera Mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2018 at 4:57pm
With all the complaints about the new vs. old barrel and rib profile, I confess I can’t see what the fuss is all about. I have never seen images of the new Classic vs the original 6.5-inch original side by side, and viewed in isolation the differences aren’t readily apparent to me. Can somebody produce some evidence to support (or refute) the allegations raised?
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BEEMER1 View Drop Down
Callahan's Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BEEMER1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2018 at 5:05pm
On page 71 of this thread is a good picture on the new barrel profile.

On page 73 is a good picture of the old profile.

Both look good to me.
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Pasadena-Joe View Drop Down
International Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pasadena-Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2018 at 5:26pm
Originally posted by Pantera Mike Pantera Mike wrote:

With all the complaints about the new vs. old barrel and rib profile, I confess I can’t see what the fuss is all about. I have never seen images of the new Classic vs the original 6.5-inch original side by side, and viewed in isolation the differences aren’t readily apparent to me. Can somebody produce some evidence to support (or refute) the allegations raised?


You might not care about the difference, and that aint bad, thats just up to you.

Its like new and old anything, and most of the time they are so different you cant compare, but in this case I think if you got both in hand you will see they are very different. For some reason I feel like the difference stands out a lot more on the standard length barrel than the dirty harry gun. 

If you think about the new Camaro vs say a 68/69, too many things you cannot even compare.  But if you offered me a brand new one  or a 100% perfect original, I would not even think about the new one.  And not because of value or function.  I just like what I like. 

We all got our preferences and I think the original AutoMag barrel was perfect and was the look I prefer.

If you like the new one it aint a problem, you can order it right now. 

In a perfect world they would offer both, but I spose that might be asking too much.  -Joe
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Bellarmament View Drop Down
International Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bellarmament Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2018 at 5:34pm
[QUOTE=Pasadena-Joe]Site been much more interesting recently.  Really like reading the tech stuff from Tim Bell, cant say I get everything he says, but it makes for interesting reading.



Not sure what they are bothered by about welding the barrel into the receiver and the rib on top, seems like it worked pretty good for the original gun.  Never seen one fail myself nor ever persoanlly heard anyone here complain about such.  It might have happened, but it couldnt be a big problem as no on post I ever read here talked about it actually happening to anyone here. Cant hardly believe machining a barrel out of a whole block of metal could cost less, so I just dont get it, why do it. was it a Max G idea that they just got stuck with?  Wonder if they will change it when they actually get to production, assuming they actually make it that far.  Well maybe it will help keep the prices up on the original guns. 


[QUOTE]



Hi Joe,

Thanks for the question. I have a few minutes before heading out to a funeral so here goes it with an explanation regarding welding.

The barrel extension on the old pistols generally were made from 455 stainless Carpenter steel and the barrels were made from 17-4 precipitation hardening steel. Both great steels!

I noticed lug set back on quite a few pistols with barrel extensions made from the 455 Carpenter with the steel being soft in the barrel extension lug area.

The barrel was heat treated and the barrel extension separately as there were two very different protocols for heat treatment of each.

After heat treating, the barrel was electron beam welded to the barrel extension and then the rib was welded on.

Later I understand that many upper units were heat treated after welding. Not a good idea unless they were made entirely of 17-4.

 The methods of machining and heat treatment and metals used in the old pistols changed so often that it is hard to keep up with sometimes.

In welding you have what is called the "HAZ" zone (heat affected zone). The electron beam welding actually caused the 455 carpenter steel to be annealed (softened) in the worst possible area being the barrel extension lug area.

Also, the barrel was adversely effected by the welding as the 17-4 sometimes became brittle from the welding in the area of the accelerator relief cut alongside the chamber which I have see as thin as .092.

With a screw in barrel the extension and barrel can be heat treated separately and then assembled with no incurred ill effects from welding.

I agree that the welded rib is not likely to come off although I did see a couple that had come off in the parts Patrick had and some where one or more rib posts had let loose. A trick I have used for years to find a loose rib is to thump the top of the rib with your index finger. If it rings ( like a tuning fork) in a particular area it is loose. This works on any rib as on shotguns etc.

Another advantage is if you want a caliber change this is easily accomplished by just changing barrels or if you damage a barrel extension it is possible to save some money by using you existing barrel and replacing the barrel extension.


Guess that sums it up. Hope this answers the question.


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Pasadena-Joe View Drop Down
International Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pasadena-Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2018 at 9:58pm
Great response Tim!

Some of what I was told over the years was different. Most of what I was told came from a fellow in Hawaii named Dan Gibbons.  Many years ago he was THE go to guy for AutoMag parts and information for repairs.  Really seemed to know his stuff and he had a full inventory of parts and barrels and guns.  And if you wanted to hear about crazy AutoMag history he was your guy, he seemed to have the inside scoop on all the crazy stuff that had gone on over the years.  Think he sold out to a fellow named Nixon who sold out to the guy selling AutoMag parts on on gunbroker today. 

If memory serves, Dan said they were working with different versions of stainless steel at different times (switched from 455 on early guns to 17-4 on later guns) I only remember this because the original ads or catalog talked about the 455 stainless and I know that 17-4 is used in my industry (boats) for props.  I didnt know they had been mixin and matchin barrel and receiver metals for the same finished barrel assembly.  Seems like a recipe for potential problems given their lack of experience with such exotic metals. 

Im surprised by your explanation about the welding, I know about the e-beam welding for the rib and claims there was the odd stand that didnt get fully welded and would break free, but I have seen barrels cut out of the receivers and even seen barrels where the weld looked like it had a crater on the face of the receiver and it sure looks like a regular weld that goes the way around the face of the receiver.  Are you sure that was e-beam welded?

I got no issue with the barrel being threaded in vs welded, it just seems like a more expensive option.  My disappointment in the new barrel is really about appearance, I just prefer the simpler taper of the original barrel and the clean look of the big open windows in the original style rib. Well also like that slot on top of the barrel that the rib fits in ;-)  And sorry I cant help but notice where the barrel and rib come together on the new barrel vs the seemless look of the 1-piece rib.

Would a bolt on rib like the Wildey be a middle ground?  It would not be as clean as the original rib, but I think it would look better than the "broken" look of the 2 pieces of the current rib. 

Again, this is just my preference.  Could be no one else sees what I see or cares either way. 

Functionally the original gun had its challenges that had not been fully worked out, but from this owners eye, they got the look just perfect for me.  

Keep writing Tim, love reading all you post.  -Joe

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Pasadena-Joe View Drop Down
International Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pasadena-Joe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 Feb 2018 at 10:04pm
Meant to also say sorry about the funeral.  Hope it wasn't someone too young.  Its not easy to lose anyone, but you can accept it as part of the cycle of life when they are past a certain age, but when its a young person it always feels like a greater loss.  -Joe
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Bellarmament View Drop Down
International Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bellarmament Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Feb 2018 at 10:44pm
Thanks for the condolences Joe, 78 year old aunt. Hated to lose her ( cancer had her weak and then flu finished her).

I am up to my gills in work and no time to post right now. Burning the candle at both ends working. I have some photo's and info on the welding subject. Should be caught up in a day or two and will get back to posting.

Thanks
Tim
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TRX302 View Drop Down
Callahan's Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TRX302 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2018 at 3:22am
Some of the Bob B barrels had different profiles from the usual, if I remember right. And so did some of the Lomont barrels.

I had thought the omission of the rib on the later guns was to save money, but maybe heat treat problems were coming back to haunt them...
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Pantera Mike View Drop Down
International Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pantera Mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2018 at 5:03am
Here is another video from the SHOT show:

Automag SHOT show video
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Pantera Mike View Drop Down
International Auto Mag
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pantera Mike Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Feb 2018 at 5:09am
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