I just recently acquired this Astra 400 and disassembled it today. Everything seemed to be in order except for one disturbing looking bit of damage. The place in the receiver where there are four small slots, separated by three ribs, has a bit of material missing, creating a hole. The top, back portion of the trigger can be viewed through it. Although the barrel has reciprocating groves and lands and snug together to hold the barrel in place I'm worried about the possibility of escaping gas rushing through that hole and either into the trigger mechanism or onto my finger.
I've included several pictures, including ones with the barrel held in place by hand.
This seems like it would be a tricky and pricey fix. The shop has claimed that any defects would be fixed by a gunsmith they work with. What I'm afraid is that they'll deem it too much of an expense and/or liability and insist on keeping it.
Thought that I'd mention that it has been pointed out to me that the detent and spring are placed underneath the pin the attaches the safety lever to the other side of the frame and are there just as they should be. It was this pin I was viewing directly beneath the hole not the trigger. So in other words this pistol is fine and just as it should be. Feel quite embarrassed at not figuring that out. Sorry about all this.
It was a good question. I used to have a Whitney Wolverine 22 where the cartridge case rim blew out about every third shot and sprayed my trigger finger with powder smoke. On a centerfire pistol - especially one with a loose chamber such as Astra 400's were noted for - that could be a genuine safety hazard.
Yeah, I've had my hands peppered with hot gas and lead fragments from one of my old 22 revolvers and it wasn't all that fun. The thought it something like that on a larger scale worried me a bit. Plus I didn't want to damage the gun, of coarse.