Finally got the Astra 400

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by cointoss2, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. cointoss2

    cointoss2 Guest

    gun runner john
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 251
    (9/11/01 7:10:48 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del All Finally got the Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bob,

    I finally got the Astra 400 that I won on Auction Arms. It's serial# 851xx, and has a small "SPAIN" on the right rear frame. It has very small "IAC" import stamp at the rear of the trigger guard. It's in decent shape, with just a bit of pitting right at the sight groove. I haven't got it "under the lights" yet, but here's the Auction Arms picture again.




    Bob In St Louis
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1036
    (9/15/01 10:13:09 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Finally got the Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Sorry I didn't get back to you sooner, been kinda tied up. Your pistol is one of a group of 15,350 pistols made from 1937 to 1938 for various armories in Spain. Yours is one of the numbers towards the end of this range, and was likely made in 1938. It has the checkered grips, which if original, means it was not of the late 1938 production - at that time Astra was hitting "war expedient mode" for the Spanish Civil War, and was slapping uncheckered wood grips on the pistols. Astra kept in production all through the war, and even came out of the bombing of Guernica unscathed and in full production - they just changed which party they delivered pistols too!
    Crusty Cruffler of Fine Spanish Pistols - Eibar Rules!

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1567
    (9/15/01 11:20:00 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Finally got the Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I still think they are butt ugly and boy do I want one...
    Well, I didn't win the Powerball, so I still collect Russian Crap and variants thereof. ( And am darn happy I can!)

    gun runner john
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 259
    (9/16/01 10:22:51 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Finally got the Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bob,

    I saw the "trip report", must have been unpleasant.

    I stripped the pistol down, and everything sure looks original, but it's obviously impossible to know for sure. The working parts look like new, hard to imagine this one was shot much. The bore looks great as well, which isn't the case with many guns from this era.


    Bob In St Louis
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1040
    (9/16/01 11:19:54 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del RE: Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A lot of the Astra 400s I have examined have been well maintained and the bores in good condition. The Spanish military must have been tough about equipment maintenance. I have also wondered if maybe the 9mm Largo wasn't that corrosive either.

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1573
    (9/16/01 11:32:28 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: RE: Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Stupid question from an Espanol challenged Polak...can you tell by looking if anyone has fed any other 9mm rounds through it?

    Like can you see bends in the extractor, or wear on some parts you wouldn't see if only Largo was fired?

    Did it hurt it to fire any other 9s through it, it was supposed to be able to function with most of them, according to some sources...
    Well, I didn't win the Powerball, so I still collect Russian Crap and variants thereof. ( And am darn happy I can!)

    Bob In St Louis
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1042
    (9/16/01 2:03:35 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: RE: Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    A close examination of the chamber area will show if a sufficient number of other types of 9mm rounds were fired. The 9mm Largo is 9 x 23mm, and the cartridge fit to the end of the chamber. The 9mm parabellum is 9 x 19mm, and the robust extractor held the cartridge in place - therefore if enough 9mm Parabellum were fired in the gun a compression ring would eventually develope over time at a point 4mm back from the end of the chamber. It is a dangerous practice to fire any ammo other than the 9mm Largo in these guns because of primer blow out in poorly supported cartridges and flying broken extractors because they are taking all the pressure. I hear folks all the time saying they have fired hundreds of rounds of 9mm Parabellum in these pistols with no problems. A lot of these folks also have no teeth and are married to their sisters. I am making no comparisons or correlations here, just making a statement of observed facts. Heck, I'm here in the Ozarks, ya know.
    Crusty Cruffler of Fine Spanish Pistols - Eibar Rules!

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 930
    (9/16/01 4:29:11 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: RE: Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Just wondering Bob.....is 9mm Largo brass available for handloading? Or is there some rifle brass that can be cut down?

    gun runner john
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 260
    (9/16/01 5:03:35 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del RE: Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bob,

    A point of curiosity. The slide is marked 9mm / (3 , and I've been told that it will also shoot .38 Auto as well as the 9x23, is that correct? It seems that the .38 Auto is about .004 smaller than 9mm Largo, so I suspect it wouldn't be ideal for the gun at the very least.


    Spanish Cruffler
    Member
    Posts: 123
    (9/17/01 6:02:01 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: RE: Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    There is 9x23mm brass available from several sources Starline makes it, and I believe Midway still has it. Check out 9mmLargo.com - they have several sources for the brass listed.

    Reportedly, the pistols were slightly modified (opened up the breach face a wee bit) to accept 38ACP, and that is the only cartridge really interchangeable in these guns. The 38 Super is dimensionally similar to the 9mm Largo, but is a hotter round and should never be fired in these old pistols. There is a lot of surplus 9mm Largo available, and Blazer makes a 9mm Largo loading. Frankly, I would stick with these.

    gun runner john
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 263
    (9/17/01 4:11:00 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: RE: Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I was just curious to the .38ACP, I know not to shoot .38Super in it!


    Bob In St Louis
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1049
    (9/17/01 8:06:04 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: RE: Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I figured you knew John, but it is suprising how many folks mix up 38ACP with 38 Super.
    Crusty Cruffler of Fine Spanish Pistols - Eibar Rules!

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1601
    (9/17/01 10:23:09 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: RE: Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    The Super SCARES me...back when I shot IPSC in the pre-.40 days, lots of "hotshots" were shooting Super in 1911s, and were right on the edge cranking them up to "major caliber..." Saw a couple of cracked and/or wrecked 1911s from the "idiot fringe loads" that barely made the ballistic pendulum...yeah, it held more rounds (then) and was flatter shooting, BUT it tore hell out of the 1911s, I stayed with the .45, thank you very much!

    Some SERIOUS pressure there, and if the Almighty Browning 1911 can't handle it....
    Well, I didn't win the Powerball, so I still collect Russian Crap and variants thereof. ( And am darn happy I can!)

    gun runner john
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 270
    (9/18/01 8:28:00 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: RE: Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    I've always viewed stuff like .38 Super to the answer to a question that nobody asked. I guess if I were competing that I'd have a different opinion, but I'm befuddled by all the caliber choices I have without throwing in odd-balls!


    Spanish Cruffler
    Member
    Posts: 131
    (9/19/01 5:21:24 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: RE: Astra 400
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    At one time, I sat down and tried counting all the different calibers made in the 38 (9mm) diameter bullet, and quickly gave up. I believe this is the one bullet diameter that has had the most variations in caliber cartridges.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Curio & Relics Forum Whitney Kennedy finally loaded with BP May 27, 2012
Curio & Relics Forum So, I Finally Found Thay Unaletered Remmie Mosin Apr 28, 2012
Curio & Relics Forum Finally, Finally, Got That Remmie Mosin Nagant Apr 26, 2012
Curio & Relics Forum Finally! May 1, 2011
Curio & Relics Forum Finally got my K98k to the range!! Jan 12, 2009