Take an antelope 217 yards with your pistol … Auto Mag for hunting
Auto Mag is designed for the true pistol hunting enthusiast.
Weapon specialist for hunting with a pistol wishing to maximize
efficiency in the field.
Lee Jurras, 1975
No other person in the world has done more to popularize Auto Mag than Lee E. Jurass, an avid pistol hunter, world renowned gunsmith and a huge fan of Auto Mag. The phrase he used to describe the most powerful pistol at the time would have shocked today's animal advocates:
“He has great accuracy. It just turns the rabbit into a red mist."
It was only thanks to his enthusiasm and efforts that a whole series of original pistol modifications were born. Special ordering options, limited quantities of each custom model series produced, resulted in the rarest and most collector's coveted Auto Mag models ever produced.
It all started in 1973, when Harry Sanford (President of Auto Mag Corporation) sent Lee Jurras (Founder and President of Super Vel Cartridge Corporation) one sample of a.44 Auto Mag pistol with an additional interchangeable barrel in.357 caliber to see if he could to release cartridges for this pistol?
This was a very good move for Auto Mag Corporation, as Super Vel was an innovator in the production of high velocity pistol ammunition with powerful stopping action.
And the question of the production of cartridges for the new pistol was very acute at that time. In 1974 L. E. Jurras & Assotiates obtained the exclusive right to sell, distribute and service Auto Mag pistols worldwide. In addition to the above, the company had the right to supply spare parts, accessories, special tuning and non-standard modification of pistols. Some of the custom-made Auto Mag pistols were equipped with special leather holsters, magazine pouches, removable stocks and stocks.
It should be noted that Lee Juras was not actually engaged in the production of these pistols. According to its specifications, the weapons were made by the same manufacturers that at that time were producing standard Auto Mag. Lee Jurras's company was engaged in the sale, warranty service of Auto Mag, supply of spare parts, accessories, special tuning, fine-tuning and non-standard modification of pistols. And also by equipping cartridges for them.
In 1974, Lee Jurras founded an international club of owners and fans of Auto Mag - Club de Auto Mag International.
There was a monthly newsletter dedicated specifically to Auto Mag. It published stories of club members, ad rubrics, technical assistance, etc. These were useful and very interesting periodicals with extensive information on Auto Mag. Pistol owners had a great opportunity to exchange thoughts and ideas.
By May 1975, there were 700 club members.
The first newsletter was published in April 1974.
1. L. E. Jurras Custom Models - custom Auto Mag models from Lee Jurras
Lee Jurras offered the largest number of Auto Mag variations to customers. Custom pistols known as the 'L. E. Jurras Custom”, were supplied to customers under the names:“international”,“alaskan”,“backpacker”,“grizzly”,“condor”,“silhouette”, etc.
Some of them were equipped with a barrel chambered for the.41 JMP (Jurass Magnum Pistol) cartridge, developed by Lee Jurras specifically for the Auto Mag.
The pistols featured improved finish, engraving, meticulous fitting of parts, and precise sighting.
1.1. L. E. Jurras Custom Model 100
Lee Jurras prepared 100 custom pistols chambered for the.357 Auto Mag.They were distinguished by meticulous polishing, Mag-Na-Port barrels and custom-laminated wooden cheeks, made by craftsmen Clint Titers and Lee Jurras.
All this was packed in a special case for carrying. These custom Auto Mag pistols were labeled “L. E. Jurras, Custom Model 100”and assigned a special serial number from LEJ001 to LEJ100. All of them were equipped with 6.5-inch barrels with a ventilated bar, and pistols numbered LEJ80 through LEJ90 - barrels with a length of 8.5 inches without a ventilated bar.
The next 100 custom Auto Mag Model 100s were made in.44AMP.
They were issued with the same serial numbers as the Model 100 in caliber.357AMP, but with the addition of the letter "X" at the end of the number. All examples were also equipped with 6, 5-inch barrels with a ventilated bar, and pistols numbered LEJ80X through LEJ90X - barrels with a length of 8.5 inches without a ventilated bar.
Then came the.41JMP (Jurras Magnum Pistol).
The pistols were produced under the same serial numbers as the Model 100 in.357AMP caliber, with the exception of the 100-3 designation on the frame under the grip cheeks.
The inscription on the receiver was applied on the left side - the corresponding caliber was indicated first, for example:
.41 JMP - L. E. Jurras Custom Model 100 El Monte, Calif. Patented, "TDE in a Circle"
Only 35 of the 100 units of the.41JMP were fully made. The remaining barrels were sold separately.
It was possible to purchase all three models with completely matching serial numbers, which instantly became a collector's item.
It was estimated that 26.41JMP barrels were sold to those who already owned pistols with identical serial numbers in.44AMP and.357AMP calibers. Again, such supporting documentation is very difficult to obtain or does not exist.
It was from this custom Model 100 with a 6.5-inch.357 AMP barrel that Lee Jurras fired the record-breaking shot in New Mexico when he recaptured an antelope from a prone position at 217 yards (198 meters).
1.2. L. E. Jurras Custom Model 200 International
The.357 AMP pistol with an 8.5 "barrel with a vented bar shortened to 6.5" and a Mag-Na-Port compensator was equipped with a removable frame stock and a Leopold M8-2X telescopic sight - it was the best withstanding Auto Mag recoil.
Two types of base and rings were used to mount the optics on the Custom Model 200. Kent Lomont developed the first and Jim Herringshaw the second.
200 International was not only a beautiful piece of art, but also very practical. It was Lee Jurras' favorite pistol. He noted its very high accuracy.
In the 1975 catalog, the 200 model costs $ 3250 plus $ 200 for a removable stock. 11 units made.
Receiver lettering on the left side:
Auto Mag. 357 AMP - L. E. Jurras Custom Model 200 / INT`L El Monte, Ca. Patented, "TDE in a circle" and "lion's head" in a circle
In advertising brochures, the "200th" was often called nothing more than a mini-sniper system.
The weapon was designed for wealthy athletes and collectors.
Another luxurious pistol with rich engraving, gilding and bone carved grip cheeks was released for the 200th anniversary of US independence. This is the so-called Custom Model 200 International Bicentennial in.357AMP caliber.
The price in the 1976 advertising catalog is $ 13,000.
1.3. L. E. Jurras Custom Model 300 Alaskan
44АМР pistol equipped with a removable frame stock, shoulder strap and 12.5-inch barrel with Mag-Na-Port compensator without a ventilated bar and without an optical sight.
Issued 9 units.
On the left side of the receiver, the inscription was applied:
.44 AMP Alaskan L. E. Jurras Custom Model 300, Hagerman. N. M., "lion's head" in a circle.
The powerful, bone-crushing, Custom Model 300 Alaskan, equipped with a 12.5-inch barrel, propelled a 265-grain (17.17 g) sheathed bullet to 2,000 fps (610 m / s).
It should be noted that initially the stock, both for the 300th and the 200th model, was made of aluminum tubes. On tests, he withstood 200-300 shots without any problems.
But during the hunt, one of the participants, who fired a 300 Alaskan using such a stock (firing 265 grain bullets at a flight speed of 2000 feet per second - about 610 m / s), the tubular stock was slightly deformed due to too much recoil.Therefore, Lee Jurras developed a new shoulder rest made of round stainless steel bars with longitudinal grooves to facilitate construction.
In total, for the 200th and 300th models, a total of two tubular aluminum stocks and from eight to 10 pieces of stainless steel stocks were produced (some pistols were released and sold without stocks).
In the catalog, they were offered at a price of $ 785.
1.4. L. E. Jurras Custom Model 400 Back Packer
Compact Auto Mag in.357 or.44AMP with 4.5-inch barrel with Mag-Na-Port compensator and vented rib. The frame differs from the standard with a shortened 3/8 "grip and a 5-round magazine.
Only 5 pistols were manufactured - two of them in caliber.357 AMR.
Receiver marking on the left side:
.44 AMP Back Packer L. E. Jurras Custom Model 400, El Monte Calif. Patented, logo "lion head in a circle" and "TDE in a circle"
.357 AMP Back Packer L. E. Jurras Custom Model 400, El Monte Calif. Patented, logo "lion head in a circle" and "TDE in a circle".
The Backpacker (Tourist) has been designed as a backup pistol in case of emergency.
Only five of these "babies" were made.
The Backpacker was originally priced at $ 785. Later in the catalogs of weapons, the pistol was offered for $ 1175.
This is indeed a very rare variant of Auto Mag, and how much it might cost now is anyone's guess.
Even a photograph of a pistol itself is very rare. While preparing the article, it was with difficulty that we managed to find only five photographs of the "Tourist", two of which are published here.
1.5. L. E. Jurras Custom Model 500 Grizzly
44AMP pistol with a heavy barrel without a ventilated bar in lengths of 8, 5 and 10, 5 inches (1 copy).
It was equipped with a telescopic sight with a second generation bracket and designer cheeks: either bone or wood with lamination.
Only 5 pistols were produced, three of them with perfect metal polish and bone cheeks of the grip.
In the advertising catalog, the weapon was offered at a price of $ 1295.
Inscription on the left side of the receiver:
.44 AMP Grizzly L. E. Jurras Custom Model 500, Hagerman. N. M., "lion's head" in a circle
1.6. L. E. Jurras Custom Model 600 Condor
44AMP pistol with 14.5 "octagonal or 16.5" heavy round polished barrel without vented rib.
It was completed with a regular or gold-anodized telescopic sight and a braided leather shoulder strap. The choice was put on the handle: either wooden laminated cheeks, or bone.
Only two pistols were made - one with cheeks of each type. Both were priced at $ 1,475.
Amazing quality finishes.
A distinctive inscription was applied to the receiver on the left side:
.44 AMP Condor L. E. Jurras Custom Model 600, Hagerman. N. M., "lion's head" in a circle
1.7. L. E. Jurras Metallic Silhoette
41JMP caliber model with an 8.5-inch heavy round barrel with a vented bar and laminated wood grip grips.
It was a true masterpiece of the art of arms.
Made in a single copy.
It cost the customer $ 2100 - at that time an unheard-of amount for a pistol for shooting at metal targets (silhouettes). The next owner of the pistol had to pay $ 6,500 for this rarity! How much it can cost today, I do not even presume.
Another "silhouette" was made in caliber.357 AMP with a barrel length of 8.5 inches with a ventilated bar and bone cheeks of the grip in dark chocolate color.
The pistol was equipped with Liman's diopter adjustable match sight.
On the left side of the receiver of the pistols, the corresponding inscription was applied:
.41 JMP Metallic Silhoette L. E. Jurras Custom Hagerman. N. M., "lion's head" in a circle
.357 AMP Metallic Silhoette L. E. Jurras Custom Hagerman. N. M., "lion's head" in a circle
Both rarities are in private collections. And their owners do not advertise their "treasures".
The descriptions of this "couple" of Auto Mag are very scarce, so it was very difficult to imagine how they looked exactly.
It was only with great difficulty that we managed to find one photograph of each silhouette in the 2013 calendar.
1.8. L. E. Jurras Custom Hagerman N. M
The only other custom pistol was the.41JMP Auto Mag with a 10.5-inch heavy barrel without a vented bar and bony grip cheeks.
The pistol had its own individual markings on the left side of the receiver:
.41 JMP L. E. Jurras Custom Hagerman. N. M., "lion's head" in a circle
It was offered at a price of $ 995.
1.9. L. E. Jurras Custom Cougar
The.30 AMP model features a 12-inch heavy barrel without a ventilated bar, a telescopic sight and bony grip cheeks, and excellent metal polish.
Two copies and 3 additional replaceable barrels were made.
The corresponding inscription was applied on the left side of the receiver:
.30 AMP Cougar L. E. Jurras Custom Hagerman. N. M., "lion's head" in a circle
I must say that without exception, all custom Auto Mag from Lee Jurras were made with great love and professionalism.
And this has earned them wide popularity among professional hunters and collectors of firearms. They can be compared, figuratively speaking, with elite Mercedes models tuned by Brabus.
The name of Lee Jurras has become a kind of guarantee of the unsurpassed quality of Auto Mag Custom Model. And if the 100th model in one of the three calibers can occasionally be found at one of the auctions, then the rest of the non-standard rare Auto Mag L. E. Jurras Custom can sometimes be seen only in no less rare photographs.
It is thanks to the availability of a large number of options and the possibility of individual ordering that such a wide variety of Lee Jurras Custom Auto Mag models have been released.
Auto Mag owners could order barrels of various lengths and calibers, equip them with Mag-Na-Port muzzle compensators. It was possible to polish barrels and / or frames; installation of cheeks for handles made of bone, ordinary or exotic laminated wood; equipping with optical sights and removable butts, individual adjustment of the weapon and its modification.
Some of them are one of a kind, making them virtually unattainable for collectors.
Auto Mag owners and fans alike were offered a variety of accessories and promotional brochures, clip pouches, thigh and shoulder holsters (made by Safariland), bearing the Lee Jurras lion head logo.
Four editions of Lee Jurras' Auto Mag brochures have been published. The Auto Mag Club sold its members jackets, patches, flashlights, pens, Auto Mag pistols bearing the Lee Jurras logo. Also offered were Super Vel Auto Mag cartridges packed in branded boxes. All these are also rare things that are now very difficult to find.
Auto Mag club newsletters are of great educational value. And reading them will provide a good opportunity to study the history of Auto Mag during this period. A total of 15 such newsletters were published.
The main reason why custom Auto Mag models are produced in such small quantities is their cost. As you can see from the given prices, in the 70s it was a lot of money.
But you need to understand that Auto Mag was not only the world's first stainless steel pistol, but also the world's first self-loading stainless steel pistol for the most powerful cartridge.
Today, Lee Jurras' Auto Mag pistols cost a lot more than their original price tag.
2. Custom models Auto Mag, designed by Kent Lomonat (Kent Lomonat Custom Models)
In the mid-seventies, Kent Lomont, one of the most recognized experts in the arms world, created several wildcat calibers for the Auto Mag pistol. He also made unique barrels and scope mounts that Lee Jurras used on some of his custom pistols.
Kent offered custom barrels for.22LMP (Lomont Magnum Pistol),.25LMP and.30LMP cartridges. He also produced custom barrels for the.357 AMP,.41 JMP and.44 AMP cartridges and gave them his own designation.
Initially, as a marking, he wanted to use images of dinosaurs to identify the calibers of these barrels. But in the end, he used the figurines of the beasts. Each animal corresponded to the animal that could be hunted with that caliber.
Kent also experimented with the.45 ACP Magnum barrel.
All of Kent Lomont's Auto Mag rounds had a total length of 1.610 inches (40.89 mm).
In accordance with the caliber and model number, a certain inscription and an image of the animal were applied on the left side of the receiver:
Lomont Custom.44 AMP Model 180 Fort Wayne Indiana, TDE in a circle and bison logo.
Lomont Custom.357 AMP Model 160 Fort Wayne Indiana, TDE in a circle and antelope logo.
Lomont Custom.30LMP Model 150 Fort Wayne Indiana, TDE in a circle logo and cougar.
Lomont Custom.25LMP Model 140 Fort Wayne Indiana, TDE in a circle and fox logo.
Lomont Custom.22LMP Model 130 Fort Wayne Indiana, TDE in a circle logo and marmot.
It should be understood that the word "barrel" means a single barrel block with a receiver assembly and sights (either a sight or a base for optics). In this regard, the design of the Auto Mag was very successful. The barrel, sighted in advance, was changed as a single unit with a receiver and a sight, which, when replaced, practically did not require re-zeroing.
2.1. Model 180 Bison - bison
44AMP pistol with a 12, 5 or 16 '' octagonal barrel, designer grip grips, great finishes and a telescopic sight.
A distinctive inscription was applied to the receiver on the left side:
Lomont Custom.44 AMP Model 180 Fort Wayne Indiana, TDE in a circle and bison logo
2.2 Model 170 Grizzly - grizzly bear
Pistol in.41JMP caliber.
2.3. Model 160 Antelope - antelope
A.357 AMP pistol with a 6.5-inch barrel with a ventilated bar and designer wooden cheeks.
Only 4 pistols were made.
2.4 Model 150 Cougar - cougar
12-inch tapered barrel in.30 AMP without a ventilated rib with a comb front sight and with a telescopic sight base mounted on the receiver.
2.5. Model 140 Fox - Fox
12-inch.25 LMP tapered barrel without ventilated rib with comb front sight and with a telescopic sight base mounted on the receiver.
2.6. Model 130 Groundhog - marmot
12-inch tapered barrel in.22 LMP without a ventilated rib with a comb front sight and a telescopic sight base mounted on the receiver.
It is worth noting that Kent Lomont was engaged in tuning, zeroing, fine-tuning Auto Mag, equipping pistols with barrels of his own design and manufacture. He also equipped the weapon with sights and brackets of his own design.
At the request of the customer, the frame was also finished (polished or matted), the cheeks were replaced with designer ones made of bone or valuable wood.
It is not possible to find out how many and what modifications of Auto Mag Kent Lomont performed, due to the lack of any documentary evidence.
And only rare photographs can tell us what modifications of the "aristocrat" came out of the "pen" of the venerable gunsmith.
3. Barrels designed and manufactured by Eric Kincel and Brian Maynard
In September 1991, Eric Kinsel of GunWorld magazine and Brian Maynard, AMT's service technician, came up with a new cartridge for the Auto Mag.
It was.40 KMP (Kincel Maynard Precision).
The experimental cartridge was a.45 Winchester Magnum case crimped to fit a.40 S&W bullet. The cone of transition from the cylinder of the sleeve to the muzzle was 45 degrees. Its total length was slightly less than 1.6 inches (40.64 mm).
The new cartridge did not catch on with Auto Mag owners and only added to the list of Pasadena aristocrat calibers.
Therefore, the trunks of Kinsel and Maynard are as difficult to find today as the products of Kent Lomont and Lee Jurras. They can be safely attributed to rarities. They will decorate any collection.
I must say that the Auto Mag itself, despite the title of "aristocrat", as well as all its variants / modifications, was created purely for utilitarian purposes, namely, for hunting, in order to compete directly with large-caliber revolvers.
But today, these pistols have become collectibles, moving for the most part to the category of rarities.
And if we can still see the standard Auto Mag models in offers at arms auctions, then custom variations, settled in private collections, are available for general viewing only in no less rare photographs.
While preparing the material for publication, I hardly managed to find a photo of most of the Auto Mag modifications. And I tried to use them as much as possible to acquaint readers with the "pearls" of the American classics of modern weaponry.
But, unfortunately, only scanty descriptions in old magazines and other publications have survived about some rarities.
In conclusion, I would like to mention one more non-standard version of Auto Mag. It is only known for certain that a number of pistols were fired as an experiment with a barrel shortened to 4.5 inches on a standard frame.The so-called "backup" version of Auto Mag. When, and in what quantity - there is no documentary evidence on this matter. I only managed to find a couple of photos. Considering that there were very few short stacks made, the experiment, apparently, was not so successful as to launch the model into series. And this is confirmed by the opinion of the majority of Auto Mag owners that the optimal combination for a pistol is still the.357 AMP caliber with a barrel length of 8.5 inches. In this case, the automation cycle is reliably worked out and an acceptable recoil force is provided.