Friday, December 9, 2016

Featured Gun: Accu-Tek AT-380

The Accu-Tek AT-380 was an American made, stainless steel pistol of the compact variety. Just another one of the guns made to fill the void left by the 1968 Gun Control Act, which outlawed the importation of small handguns.

The design was obviously inspired by the Walther PP series of pistols. The pistol weighs 20 ounces, is 4 inches tall by 5.65 inches long and features a fixed 2 3/4" barrel.

The single stack magazine holds 5 rounds of .380 ACP cartridges. The action is of a semi-automatic, single action, blow back design (this differs from the Walther's DA design). The exposed hammer facilitates cocking for the first shot. The slide mounted, manual safety blocks the firing pin, but unlike the Walther pistols it does not act as a de-cocker.

The design and finish of the gun may remind you of the guns produced by AMT (Arcadia Machine & Tool). There is a good reason for that. Larry Grossman, the understudy of AMT's Harry Sanford, worked at Accu-Tek after leaving AMT and designed the Accu-Tek AT380.

The AMT .380 Back Up II

The pistols were built in this unassuming building on Carter Court in Chino, CA.

Accu-Tek is now part of Excel Industries which includes Excel Arms, makers of some rather exotic pistols and rifles, see their lineup here 

The company has since moved production to Ontario, CA (near the Airport) and a second factory in Bullhead City, Arizona.

As stated, the design is similar to the Walther PP/PPK pistols, it uses a fixed barrel with the recoil spring slid over it, putting pressure on the front of the slide, returning it to battery. 
It also uses the same slide take down system, except Accu-Tek has added a screw to the front of the trigger guard.
The trigger mechanism is completely different and as mentioned before is a single action only

The PPK diagram for comparison

The AT-380 was retired and replaced by the AT-380 II, which has a longer grip frame and a 6 round capacity magazine. MSRP for the AT-380 II is $289.

Accu-Tek also introduced a lightweight version called the LT-380, it's aluminum frame brings the weight down to 15 ounces. MSRP for the LT-380 is $324

My Father purchased one of these guns (in .380 ACP) during his search for the perfect CC gun. He ended up selling it to buy a different gun. I am not sure his quest is over though, he currently carries a Ruger LCP and seems happy with it.....

He never complained about the AT-380's quality, reliability or accuracy, only that the gun was unnecessarily heavy.

In my research I wasn't able to find out what the guns original MSRP was, my Father paid $170 for his. He bought it new from a dealer about 10 years ago.

I would venture to guess that you would expect to pay around $200 or so for a decent, used one today.