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  #1  
Old 12-03-2009, 07:13 PM
SDWhirlwind
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AMT Challenge Edition



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Was just curious if anyone here had one of AMT's Challenge Edition custom shop rifles??? Twin brother and I each have one and was wondering if anyone might know how many might have been made. Brother purchased his new in later 90's('98 I think) and I bought mine slightly used a couple yrs back and it was made in '97 I think the original owner stated. I know Ruger sued them and production was halted so was curious is all. Love mine, a real shooter with Shilen barrel and Jewell trigger. Thanks.


Respectfully,
Dennis

Last edited by SDWhirlwind; 09-17-2017 at 05:13 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-03-2009, 08:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SDWhirlwind View Post
Was just curious if anyone here had one of AMT's Challenge Edition custom shop rifles??? Twin brother and I each have one and was wondering if anyone might know how many might have been made. Brother purchased his new in early 90's and I bought mine slightly used a couple yrs back and it was made in '97 I think the original owner stated. I know Ruger sued them and production was halted so was curious is all. Love mine, a real shooter with Shilen barrel and Jewell trigger. Thanks.


Respectfully,
Dennis
I don't have the complete answer to your question but I do own several of the AMT 25/22 rifles. I wish I had one of the Custom Shop rifles like yours. I know AMT lost the law suit over the AMT Lightning pistol, but I don't know why they quit making the rifle that was patterned after the 10/22. They made the 25/22 more than 20 years after the 10/22 came out so the patent infringement shouldn't have been an issue. (AMT may have made the 25/22 shortly before the 20 year patent life) The problem with the Lightning pistol is that it was made in Stainless Steel shortly after Ruger came out with the MKII. I think that AMT beat Ruger to the SS market. In fact, if it wasn't for AMT, Ruger may have never done it.
The nice part about the AMT rifles is that they were the first (as far as I know) to make a Stainless Steel 10/22 style receiver that was great for holding those heavy target barrels. I built a couple of custom rifles years ago with those heavy SS receivers. I have never built a custom 10/22 style rifle off of a Ruger receiver. Those AMT rifles were ahead of their time.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:45 PM
SDWhirlwind
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They used a Ruger type bolt in the later ones so that could be part of the legal issues??? A friend of my brothers in Kalispell,MT had one of the first Challenge Edition and it used a completely different bolt whereas my understanding that the later would interchange with a 10/22.

When AMT filed bankruptcy, reorganized and moved to Sturgis, SD and renamed themselves Galena Industries one of the big dogs was at the Rapid City, SD gunshow. I visited with him a bit about the Challenge Edition and he said he still had 2 in the safe! Tried my darndest to buy one from him but he said he couldn't sell them because of the law suit??

I believe I am correct in that the 25/22 utilizes a slip in barrel like the 10/22? Whereas the Challenge Edition has a threaded barrel, integral rail with a couple of slots for Weaver style rings unlike the 25/22 which has a built in rail similar to what attaches to a 10/22 and uses 'grooved' rings? The 25/22 was/is alot beefier receiver than Rugers cast aluminum. Keep thinking I "need" one to go along with the one I currently have.

I know brother gave roughly $950 for his barreled action back then. I think it also has a Shilen or perhaps a Lilja barrel and he had them chamber it for the then new Power Points for gopher shooting. That price also included the Jewell trigger.

Bought mine from a fellow in MI who wanted money for a custom centerfire and had only shot a few hundred rounds threw it in 10yrs. It has the Shilen ported barrel, Jewell trigger and a McM thumbhole stock. Just a hoot to shoot. Gave $200 less for it then brother did for his barreled action. IIRC brothers is #500? Mine was a custom serial number and is XXX-001!

Anymore info from members would sure be appreciated as I have only seen 3-4 ever sell in the last 10+yrs.

Thanks for your info.

Respectfully,
Dennis
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  #4  
Old 12-09-2009, 04:57 PM
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Question

At last, some info on the AMT actions.! I purchased an AMT action fitted with a Kimber fluted stainless barrel and mounted in a Hogue overmoulded stock from a friend of mine for $200 Cdn. He was having difficulty with jams and missfires and was happy to sell it to me. It has the slip in barrel as per the 10/22 and the springs etc which I needed to cure the problems were as used in the 10/22. I purchased a second hand laminated stock (ex Ruger) and fitted it in to that. Initially it wasn`t that accurate but after putting a thin strip of urethane in the barrel groove to exert pressure on the barrel, it has improved considerably. I still get the occasional jam but will try changing the ejector to see if that effects an improvement. I mounted a Tasco 4x16x50 scope on it and it is fun to shoot. I am thinking of modifying the action to allow another fixing screw to be fitted so as to make the barrel free floating . Any one done this.? Tony
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:43 PM
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I have an AMT Lightning rifle that I bought as one of my first guns - Im guessing nearly 30 years ago ...

Folding stock - Looks just like a 10/22 buts its true stainless

Im taking it and my new 10/22 target to the range this weekend to see which shoots better ...

The reason I registered here was so I could search for info on it however the search doesnt work for 3 character words and the Lightning ammo screws up searching for Lightning

Last edited by silver_2000; 12-09-2009 at 06:51 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2009, 07:45 PM
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TTT- Somebody else has got to have one of these Challenge Edition AMT's???

Come out of the woodwork will ya
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2009, 04:59 PM
gmanofsteel
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AMT rifle

Hey Dennis, I don't have a Challenge model of the AMT, but I do have a "Target Model". My rifle is all stainless and is marked "AMT Target Model"... .22 Long Rifle..... #A-0010X. The other side is marked, Stainless... Made in USA... Irwindale, Calif. At one point, there was an AMT Custom Gun Shop in El Dorado, CA. This is a small berg just adjacent to Placerville. The Challenge Edition rifles may have been made there . It is too bad that accurate info regarding the manufacture of the AMT rifles is so difficult to get. Good luck in your search. If you want a photo of my rifle, I will send to your email. I am a techno-dunce and haven't figured out how to post here yet. Take care, Dave [email protected]
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Old 12-23-2009, 10:48 PM
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Thanks, I would love to see a pic as I have never heard of a "Target Model"!

The "Challenge Edition" was a Custom Shop gun. I would have to dig it out of the back of the safe to be sure but am near positive it is marked Irwindale. There are at least 550 out there plus some special serial numbers such as the one I have which was the original owers initials and 001. I seen one for sale on either here or another forum 2-3yrs ago and I emailed owner and it was around 550 serial number. They could be had with the Jewell triggers like mine and my brothers both have. Also I am sure a reworked trigger. Mine is a Shilen which is ported and brothers is either a Shilen or Lilja but not ported. They are super accurate and beutifully done up.

Just thought there would be more info out there and or owners that frequent the forum here. Any info is appreciated. Thanks again and please email a pic to dmmartin at sdplains dot com
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  #9  
Old 12-28-2009, 10:39 PM
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Answers to questions on AMT Custom Shop & Diamond Precision Rifles

Hey guys:

Let me see if I can answer some questions about these rifles.

Let me first start by explaining the lawsuit against AMT by Ruger. AMT had begun making stainless steel copies of the Ruger standard rimfire pistol and then copies of the 10/22 (called the 25/22 and the Target Model). This was not in violation of any patent but Bill Ruger did not like this situation so he filed his lawsuit. Long story short, the suit was settled and in return for no longer manufacturing and marketing the AMT Lightning Pistol, Ruger would not object to AMT SS copies of the 10/22. That's it!

So one day I went into Harry Sanford's office and told him that although his rifles had a reputation for good accuracy, with a little work, he could produce some super accurate, highly customized rifles for the booming craze of Chevy Sportsman's Team Challenge. He was not interested in taking on the project but said if I got the machines necessary he would give the fixtures and the parts to produce the guns.

Two weeks later I opened the AMT Custom Shop out of my garage in Folsom CA. Soon moved to Diamond Springs. When Galena bought AMT from Harry's widow, we changed the name to Diamond Precision Industries. At that point we were no longer using any parts from AMT. Our SS receivers were custom made by Olympic Arms and were of very high quality.

Most of the barrels we used were specially made for us by Shilen and most of them were in 1 in 17" twist. Although we did make some 1 in 14", 15" & 16", we found that the Shilen Ultra Match barrels with 1 in 17" twist was one of the main reasons we could guarantee that each rifle could shoot sub .300" 5 shot groups at 50 yds with match ammo. Many of our rifles would consistantly shoot under .200" 5 shot groups and some were pretty consistant .100" shooters.

Our rifles were used for Chevy Sportsman's Team Challenge, Rimfire Metallic Silhouette, BR 50, and even some benchrest matches. They had victories in all types of matches mentioned, much to the distress of many bolt action folks. Actually, some of the bolt guys became our customers.

I did all the trigger jobs on all our standard triggers. All of them were between 1.5 & 2 lbs when they left the shop (none ever came back) and then Arnold Jewell developed a 6 oz adjustable trigger for us (not exclusive).

Most internal parts were hardened tool steel. We made our own guide rods and ee purchased all our bolts from Ruger (believe it or not we actually had a pretty good relationship with them).

We broke all the conventional wisdom when we developed these rifles. We took nothing as sacred and learned many things that we have since shared with anybody who asks. Things like polishing bolt faces and breech face, exchanging the trigger return spring and plunger with an internal spring that was amazing.

Sorry for the long post but if anybody has any other questions please ask and I will try to answer them.

Accuracy and reliability was what we tried to achieve. Precision Shooting
Magazine once said that we produced the most accurate 22 rimfire rifles in the world. We thought that was pretty cool especially when a few weeks before the article hit the stands we shot a five shot group that measured .007" with one of our rifles. It was witnessed by the range master and we printed a copy of the target on the back of our business cards. A great rifle, a whole lot of experience, and even more luck...but I still have the target at home.

Good shooting and if anybody wants any ideas on what they can do to improve their 10/22, just let me know.

Sam Paredes
former co-owner of AMT Custm Shop/Diamond Precision Ind.
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Old 12-28-2009, 11:01 PM
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Sam, welcome to the forum and thanks for the info. It sounds like you are a wealth of information on these great rifles. Why did you stop making them? Do you have any pictures of some of your excellent work?
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Old 12-29-2009, 12:23 AM
Samparedes
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Will go thru all my stuff to see if I have any good pix to post. We clossed down in 1998 after CA passed it's firearms manufacturers laws. They strangled our business and we had to shut down. We made close to 500 rifles and believe it or not we didn't build any for ourselves.

Would be happy to help anybody with their builds.

Sam
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:14 AM
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Sam. I have a Amt Lightning barrel and receiver that measures 16.5in. (just the barrel ). What do I have? I also have a Lightning handgun that I am very fond of. Thank you; Sonny
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:26 PM
Samparedes
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Standard barrel lengths for AMT Lightning 25/22 rifles and Target models was 22". I believe that if your barrel was not shortened by a buyer that it may have been a part of what was briefly called a Camper's or Backpacker's Model with a 16.5" bbl.
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Old 12-29-2009, 03:27 PM
Samparedes
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With a folding stock!
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Old 12-29-2009, 08:39 PM
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Sam
You don't know how much your info/experience on AMT and taking the time to post it means to me. I have been searching and searching but finding out little and alot of that I didn't know if factual or fiction. You know how the internet is.
My brothers is serial #500 and must be near the end of production. Ever since seeing and shooting his I wanted one but couldn't afford it. When I could afford it they were no longer being made. He has shot some super groups and literally thousands of MT gophers with his and had always been amazed with its accuracy and reliability. Think his longest first shot kill on a gopher was around 234yds and his longest kill after walking in some rds was 322yds using a 6.5x20 EFR. Think he said he pd $950 for just the barreled receiver with the Jewell?
I have only seen 4-5 ever for sale, one in Gunlist yrs back, 1 on Gunbroker for $1000+(I was broke then to). When I ran across this one I FOUND the money to purchase it. Original owner had it built with custom serial number and I believe end of '97. He always thought it too nice and claimed only a few hundred rds down it and no wear on bolt jeweling etc confirmed little use.
Mine is a pure work of art I must say. So well made, slicker than snot and I can tell by fit and detail that the builders were not Friday union employees.LOL It has the Jewell trigger, Shilen ported barrel with match chamber(would have to dig it out to see exactly how/what chamber is stamped on it. Mine has the McM thumbhole stock and fits me to a tee. It is a real dream to shoot. I haven't yet tried any match ammo in it. Have only shot Win PP and some Federal bulk on p dogs this summer and it was a real hoot.

Thanks again Sam for this much appreciated info.

Respectfully,
Dennis
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