Astra .357 revolver - what is it?!


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Caimlas
November 26, 2007, 02:36 AM
So, I was at a gun shop the other day and I noticed a blued .357 revolver they had tagged as an "ASTAR" and were selling for a hair under $200. (Upon reflection I believe it's got a 4" barrel.) It looked to be in pretty good condition so I asked to take a closer look, and noticed it was an Astra. I'd heard of the company and, despite being slightly pressed for time, took my time to drool over it. :P

I did a quick inspection of it for mechanical fit, damage, rust spots, finish wear, and things like that, and couldn't find anything wrong with it aside from the screws (all of them that were visible, I think - grip screw as well as 2 in the frame that I can readily recollect) had been stripped slightly, and the grip wood was kinda cheap and ugly.

But, now that I'm home (was visiting family out of town), I can't find any sources indicating what the heck the thing is (ie which model and what it's reputation is). I've found a site which states (in the form of a chart) that it might be the Astra Standard, but I can't find any pictures of what that might be. Upon seeing it, I thought it looked a bit like a buddy's S&W 386 but I couldn't be sure - I'm not much of a revolver person and the features - and online I've read of some Astras being compared to the S&W model 27 (but I don't think it looked like that). So,

Anyone possibly able to point me in the right direction? I'd like to find out a little bit more about this piece before/if I end up trying to pick it up.

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slick6
November 26, 2007, 05:23 AM
Astra is an old Spanish revolver company-now out of business. They were a top quality Spanish made gun manufacturer. The Astra .357 was actually known as the Astra .357 and this was the Model number. This same revolver was also chambered in .38 special and was known as the Astra 960 Model and was identical to the Astra .357-except for their different chamberings. These revolvers were built on the same frame size as an Smith and Wesson N-Frame-such as the Model 28 .357 magnum revolver. These were known around the world to be reliable service revolvers.

bannockburn
November 26, 2007, 07:22 AM
slick6

I always thought that the Astra .357 was closer to the S&W K frame, rather than the N frame. I remember that in the mid '80's they also made a .44 Magnum which should have made that closer to an N frame in size. Didn't they also make the Cadix series of revolvers, that were close to J frame dimensions? They were all decent revolvers pretty much priced at where Taurus and Rossi are today.

slick6
November 26, 2007, 01:58 PM
1)Before I had ever purchased my Astra 960 .38, upon seeing a picture of this revolver and it's sister, the Astra .357, I also was under the impression that these were a similar size to an S&W K-frame. However, I was surprised to learn that these Astra's were in fact based on the larger S&W N-frame size. I compared my 4" Astra 960 with my 4" S&W Model 28 and they both were the same size. Then, I compared it to my Model 19 Combat Magnum .357 K-frame, and it was obvious that the Astra 960 was larger and much more massive.

2)I was lucky to have discovered my Astra 960 .38 special revolver-because I later learned that for some reason, the Astra .357's were allowed to be imported into the U.S.A.-but, not the Astra 960 .38? I had questioned this because my Astra 960 didn't have any importer markings on it? Therefore, I believe that my Astra 960 was likely carried into this Country by it's owner.

3)Yes, the Astra Cadex revolvers are similar to the S&W J-frame size. There happened to be an Astra Cadex .38 in the gun case along side my Astra 960 and I was much impressed as to how much better quality the Astra 960 was than the Astra Cadex .38!

Shear_stress
November 27, 2007, 12:18 PM
slick6 is correct. The model number is "357". I actually had one of these a few years back that I greatly enjoyed shooting. Seemed to be accurate and very well made.

If I remember correctly, you can adjust the trigger pull of these guns by removing the grips and turning a tensioning nut on the hammer spring.

slick6
November 27, 2007, 02:44 PM
Well, I haven't adjusted the hammer spring tension yet on my Astra Model 960 .38 revolver-since the trigger pull was already perfect, as I had received this gun. However these astra revolvers have a unique metal ring inserted into the base of the grip frame that has several adjustment holes in it, to enable you to increase or decrease the hammer strut spring tension-simply by placing the hammer strut into these different holes(I forgot now, how many holes there are(Probably 3 or 4?))? So, you don't need to turn any nuts or anything to adjust the hammer strut spring tension-at least not on the Astra Model 960, the Model "357", or, the Astra .44 Magnum revolvers as well! The Astra Cadex might have the adjusting nut-and I don't know this, because I have never owned nor, have taken a Cadex apart before?:what:

Lone Star
November 28, 2007, 01:20 AM
THese guns were also sold by FN as their Barracuda model.

LS

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