Astra Cub .22 short - Neat little gun!


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Fu-man Shoe
December 25, 2007, 09:07 PM
I recently acquired this little gun, and I just wanted to
show it off a little to some other gunnies who might be
able to appreciate it on some level.

...Because I think it's just too darn nifty not to do a little
bit of show-and-tell! :)

It's an Astra Cub, chambered in .22 short. It was made
in 1958. When I got it, it was a paperweight.
Very poor condition, rusted shut, badly pitted and completely inoperable.

Over the course of a day or two, I disassembled it, cleaned it,
sandblasted the frame and slide, parkerized it, and put it all back together.
It works well now, and is quite an amusing little
shooter. I think the most amazing thing is that it will shoot
and cycle .22 CB shorts with no problem at all.

it certainly makes for an interesting conversation piece at the
range. Everyone who handles and shoots it can't keep a big
grin off of their faces.

Here's a before and after picture.

http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h88/Phineas_Phizzlebottom/astracub-before.jpg

http://i62.photobucket.com/albums/h88/Phineas_Phizzlebottom/astracub-after.jpg

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wditto
December 25, 2007, 09:14 PM
I love it - glad it's working, betcha' 1t draws stares when it "pops", huh?

Fu-man Shoe
December 25, 2007, 09:25 PM
Thats for sure!

At the range, it goes kinda like this..


Everyone else: BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!

Me: *pop*...*pop*...*pop*

Everyone else: :confused:

Me: :cool:

HammerBite
December 25, 2007, 11:57 PM
That sounds like fun!

HisSoldier
December 26, 2007, 03:29 AM
I just got my Astra Cub a few days ago, wanted a .25 but got tired of waiting for one for the right price so I bought a .22 short version. It's in about 98% condition. I've been shooting it indoors, in my shop. Pretty accurate for such a short sight radius. I changed the magazine so it will accept 7 rounds and it works well. I'm going to remove or deactivate the stupid magazine safety, as it makes mag removal a chore. Without the mag safety the mags should drop out, with it they have to be pried out with a fingernail. I wish I had the one that says "Colt" on the side of it in the same shape, it would be worth 4 or 5 hundred bucks.

Fu-man Shoe
December 26, 2007, 07:53 AM
I know exactly what you mean about the magazine safety, it
does make changing the mag kind of a PITA. However, I think
it's neat how such a little gun even *has* a magazine safety.

I am amazed at the workmanship and craft that went into this
little gun. I wonder how much it would cost nowadays to make
an equivalent pistol? I would imagine more than most people
would want to pay for a little .22 short autoloader.

Wil Terry
December 26, 2007, 12:51 PM
My ASTRA CUB has well over 5M rounds through it and shoots up a storm. It'll easily hit popcans at 25 yards and tomato juice can at 50 yards are no problem. I buy 22SHORT ammo whenever I find it on sale in case lots. Some years ago I bought a case of 7400 rounds of Russian International rapid fire 22SHORT ammunition. It shot beautifully but to operate the CUB I had to replace the recoil spring with the lightweight GLOCK trigger spring from WOLFE GUNSPRINGS which worked perfectly. This Russian ammo also shoots like a champ in all my 22 revolvers including the BEARCAT which will put 'em all in one hole at 40 yards and sounds like a pellet rifle shooting.
I also have the COLT JUNIOR 22SHORT version of the CUB. It is indeed fancier but will not shoot with the ASTRA CUB. Also the magazines are not interchangable.
Whoops, forgot to mention here that the AGUILA 22SHORT ammo from Mananaland is high speed stuff that shoots great in the two 22SHORT ASTRA/COLT pistols as well as the 22 sixguns. I buy it by the case of 5M from an outfit in Texas.

isp2605
December 26, 2007, 12:59 PM
Bought this Colt Jr in .22 Short in 1968. Paid $25 for it.
Fun little gun.

http://i26.photobucket.com/albums/c125/ispcapt/guns/COLTJR.jpg

HisSoldier
December 26, 2007, 01:10 PM
And it's worth a great deal more now! I was shocked at the prices on those. Collectors, Harumph! :)

isp2605
December 26, 2007, 01:14 PM
Yup for sure. I had not bothered looking at them at gun shows to check prices for quite a while. A few years ago I saw one on a guy's table and was surprised at the price. I looked his over really close thinking there was something special about his that was different than mine. Couldn't see anything different other than mine was in a lot better shape than his. Mine in the picture looks like it has some blue wear on the muzzle end of the slide, wear around the rear of the slide, and the blue looks dull. No wear and it's not dull. Just reflection from the lighting.

HisSoldier
December 26, 2007, 02:35 PM
Yes, and I like the walnut grips on yours better than the plastic ones on my Cub.

HisSoldier
December 26, 2007, 03:24 PM
Here's mine;
http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc225/partsproduction/astra2.jpg

Fu-man Shoe
December 26, 2007, 03:49 PM
That little gun looks like it's in great condition!

Kind of puts my sad looking, pitted old relic to shame... :o

I'm glad to see there's some other folks out there who seem to
"get it" in regards to some of these really neat little mouseguns.

I see a lot of threads where people just seem to like to dump on
small caliber weapons for no apparent reason. I can only speak
for myself, but honestly I just think they're very interesting and
cool. I realize they don't have a lot of "stopping power", and they
fire a low powered round. To me, that's not really the point.

A lot of guys get hung up on that for some reason, I don't know
exactly why. But then, I tend to appreciate the more offbeat,
funky, and novel things in life. Glad to see it's not just me though!

:D:D:D

HisSoldier
December 26, 2007, 03:53 PM
You took a lemon and turned it into lemonaid, and it looks great. I'd sure like to get a Colt .25 Junior in mint shape that I could afford.

Fu-man Shoe
December 26, 2007, 04:45 PM
Well thanks, HisSoldier. It was a fun project, restoring this little gun back into a shootable condition. From time to time, I'll fancy myself some sort of amateur gunsmith, and when things like this come along, I like to see what I can do with them.

I used a technique I've never tried with this one before. I sandblasted the frame and slide, then parkerized them gray with a zinc solution, then I applied liquid permablue to them. It's an interesting finish, that gives the metal a very dark, even, matte black finish.

I suppose I could have just parkerized it with manganese to make it black to begin with, but I was feeling experimental. I think it turned out well overall.

I would have like to sandblast it deeper with a more abrasive grit, but I didn't
want to take off the lettering and the serial numbers stamped into it. You also have to be careful with a sandblaster, as you can erode pinholes enough that the original pins won't fit anymore. It only takes .0003-.0004 of an inch
on a very small pinhole and you have done gone and ruined it, and have to install a larger pin.

bannockburn
December 26, 2007, 06:05 PM
Looks like the Astra Cub Club meeting has been called to order. Here's my entry, purchased earlier this year at a gun show. Pretty much LNIB, complete with the spare mag and the little cleaning brush. I had always wanted one of these pocket marvels for as long as I can remember. It never ceases to amaze me the amount of quality and engineering that went into making these little pistols.
http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc231/buckeroobanzai/Picturex1004.jpg[/IMG]

HisSoldier
December 26, 2007, 08:02 PM
Bannockburn yours looks exactly like mine down to the tiny overdepth of the ball end mill below the muzzle on the left side. On mine it doesn't exist on the right side. My date code is M1, I bet yours was from the same date code?

bannockburn
December 26, 2007, 10:40 PM
HisSoldier

Sorry, but your one letter off-mine is an L1. I'm still hoping to find a .25 to pair it up with.

Spyvie
December 26, 2007, 10:47 PM
A gun store near me has a Colt that looks just like isp2605's gun but in .25 ACP, I didn't handle the pistol as they were pretty busy today but it appears to be in very good to excellent condition.

They're asking $399, is that a reasonable price? I wouldn't mind owning it...

bannockburn
December 27, 2007, 06:55 AM
Spyvie

That's a little high, especially for what it is; basically an imported .25 caliber semi auto. But it's got the Colt pony on it, so it's going to command a higher price versus it's Spanish sibling. If you're interested, make them an offer and see what they come back with; never hurts to ask.

jgoforth
December 27, 2007, 05:25 PM
Hate to show you guys up, but this was my christmas present to me. But mark me down as a fan of pocket pistols.

Got it on gunbroker for 200+Shipping+FFL Transfer (About 250 total). So 399 is mighty high if you ask me. This one is chambered in 22 Short.

I want to get some custom grips made for it. But that will have to wait for now. Anyone know what to do for the flaking plating?

If you want to check out a cool little mouse gun you should look into a Galesi. They had one on GB for 299 in 25 ACP (Also engraved and plated.) The run of the mill ones run about 100-200 though depending on style and condition.

HisSoldier
December 27, 2007, 05:51 PM
That looks nice, and not a bad price for an Astra. Is that a .22 or .25? The Colts get a lot more than they would seem to be worth when in pristine condition, for the name I guess.

But value is based on supply and demand.

I paid $175 for my Astra. BTW, I did take the magazine safety out, the mag drops out now.

bannockburn
December 27, 2007, 06:19 PM
jgoforth

Congratulations, that's a very nice Cub you've got there. Not much you can do about the chrome plating flaking off. Try not to use any copper solvent, like Hoppes No.9, to clean it, as it will attack the copper plate underneath the chrome plate, and cause further loss of plating.
The Armi Galesi autos are nice little hammerless pistols; besides occasional problems with the extractors, they're well made and fairly reliable.

jgoforth
December 27, 2007, 08:02 PM
Yeah its a .22 Short.

175 is a good price. Under market value.

But still 399 for a baby colt 25? I mean the name carries a lot to it but I got a 45 Colt 1991 for 550 last year in pristine condition. I know it was a heck of a deal but nearly half a g for a 25? It would have to have a good story behind it and some paperwork for me.

HisSoldier
December 27, 2007, 08:16 PM
A pristine Colt Junior may go for $550 to $650, especially if it has the box. I always wonder how one figures out how to enter at the low end of the curve, once they start going up they never come down.

jgoforth
December 27, 2007, 09:20 PM
The best thing I have found to do is to find out when a pawn shop is close to tax time. You can usually see this when they start to heavily discount jewelry. They will generally negotiate on prices better at that time just to get it out of inventory. Pawn shops are generally going to make money even if they sell something to you at half off. So if you can wait them out on certain items it works out for you. I got my Beretta for 20% of the tag price this way.

Offering cash instead of credit can shave off a percentage of it as well. I always offer to get cash if their is a discount for it. Otherwise, I'm not doing them the favor.

Pawn shops that only partialy deal in firearms are a good place too. And the ones that have just stopped selling firearms have great deals. A shop here expired on there ffl and decided not to renew it. I asked if they had any guns they couldn't move before they did. They had two and no-way to move them. I offered to push them through the FFL i use and buy both of them for a nice price reduction. They agreed unfortunatly I didn't have the cash to complete the transaction at the time.

I live in NC so I'm near Fort Brag. Military guys get in tight places sometimes and pawn things like they are going out of style. If they supply is greater than demand this will work in your favor.

Lastly, trading with other firearms owners works. When you go to the range or go shooting I always take a gun I'm willing to trade. If someone falls in love with it then I see if they have anything. Sometimes a person can get carried away when they fall in love with a gun. When I first saw an Astra cub the guy that owned the pawnshop basicly tried get me to trade my Ruger 22 and 100 bucks for it and I nearly did just because I fell in love with the gun. Even though I would have LOST money on that deal instead of buying at sticker price.

Hope this gives you some ideas of how to get things on the low end of things.

jgoforth
December 27, 2007, 09:23 PM
Sorry glitch post.

cubowner.22
April 30, 2010, 05:06 PM
I just picked up my Astra Cub .22 short today (4/2010). However it came without a magazine. Do you know where I can pick one up? Do you have any tips for disassembly/cleaning of the Cub? Anything you can give would be helpful..

Thanks,

bannockburn
April 30, 2010, 06:26 PM
cubowner.22

You might try Bob's Gun Shop (www.gun-parts.com), for both a magazine and an instruction manual.

heyjoe
April 30, 2010, 11:16 PM
http://www.gunpartscorp.com/catalog/Products.aspx?catid=8585

they have a magazine listed for the astra cub. I got baby browning parts from them. they were very fast.

I had a problem with Bobs gun shop. It took a long time to come and when it came it was the wrong spring. It wasnt for a baby browning. I sent it back, packaged it well, heard nothing and when i called they told me the spring was damaged when they got it back.

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