Research new manufacturing technologies and materials that have come about since the original design. (Done)
Connect to the current Auto Mag owners to find those that are passionate and knowledgeable. (ongoing)
Engage the community into guiding us as to what issues, features, and options should be addressed in the new Auto Mag. Also, get referrals to others that would be interested in being involved. Reproduce original parts that are in short supply as well as reduce prices for original parts. Create a spare parts replacement kit at a reasonable price that should include the most likely parts that will fail on the original Auto Mag. (ongoing)
Focus on anything that will keep the look and feel of the original but improve the safety, reliability, and functionality of the Auto Mag.- to date we have made more than a dozen changes. These have been made to make the gun more reliable, easier to operate, stronger, and easier to repair.
Produce tooling for an improved stainless steel magazine. We have now done a test run and are tweaking the dies) update Should have the first test sample in December 2016. Many delays but should be in production in April 2017. We recieved the first samples for testing April 10th. Production should start in May 2017.
Make a small number of prototype uppers. (Completed bolts, all small parts expect firing pins & springs, barrels should be complete by March 1st) This have been done multiple times and the latest version should be ready end of April or first of May. About 8 guns will be sent out to 15 people for a "Beta Test" These people are some of the best gun designers and shooters in the country. We will take their feedback before we go into full production.
Test these new uppers until they prove out the change or redesign what fails and retest.(testing started) Second round to start in October. Multiple test in October and November 2016 with changes made to the manufacturing line. December the gun fired flawlessly. Completed January 16th start endurance testing. Hopefully we will complete endurance test in April 2017.
Once we have a good upper then offer them to the existing community with a discount/credit for early sign-up.(started) Completed November 2nd 2016. We delayed the manufacture due to changing the type of stainless from 416 to 410. We found that the original 416 stainless had sulphide streamers which caused a potential for cracking around the chamber next to the accelerator. The 410 barrel stock is due April 3rd and then it will go to heat treat and on the drilling and rifling. This should be done by the end of April.
Start a "beta test" of 15-20 of the new prototype and ship them to Auto Mag fan boys that will give us good feedback on what if anything we show change.
Complete the five hundred plus remaining frame castings that we have and offer complete guns with the new uppers and original lowers. (We may or may not use the existing frame castings) Update September 22, 2016 We are building 30 frames so we can test the second run of new uppers. Update November 30th 2016. Many of the casting are out of spec so we my use the good ones in special cases but the production model will be milled. We started the process on making a milled lower in November. Started building a drill fixture for the original frames in January. We are relooking into using a cast frame.
We have ordered a frame investment cast mold. This will take 14-17 weeks to complete. Estimated delivery July/August timeframe.
Purchased a Milltronics CNC Tool Maker lathe and mill for making prototype parts. Completed set up and training March 31st 2017.
When this process is complete we plan on having an event which will include dinner and presentation the night before at a hotel near Columbia, SC. The next day, all will be taken to a range for test firing. This review will be for the media and key people in the Auto Mag world.
Offer to sell to those that participated the first guns available, and give those that signed up and gave feedback or referrals to build the community discounts for up to two items.
We have developed an ambidextrous safety, several improvements for the magazine, improved bolt, barrel latch, quick removable/replaceable front sight, improved cocking piece, and a .22 conversion. All of these will be put into production after the gun. We have switched materials from 416 stainless to 410 stainless. We have made over 20 improvements to the Auto Mag.
January 11th shipped the first Founder's Edition Auto Mag.
Currently we have made enought parts sets to assemble 220 Classic guns less barrels. Due to poor service and unreliabilty of Grover Gundrilling we moved barrel blank production in house. The first barrel blank should be complete in the next two weeks. At that point we can start shipping additional guns.