+P Loads in Astra Model 960 38 Special


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Dakoma
April 23, 2008, 03:04 AM
Got one in trade awhile back,shoots decent.would like to load some +p but unsure about the strength of this Spanish made pistol.Anyone got an idea ?

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fireflyfather
April 23, 2008, 02:23 PM
I've used an astra .357 with +p .38 spl loads, but it's not the same gun/rating. My sense of the gun was that it was decently designed, but I've also heard of a guy that blew up an astra revolver with +p loads. Anecdotal, and guy was unclear whether they were +p .357 loads (who would be that dumb?) or +p .38 in a .38.

Dakoma
April 23, 2008, 04:15 PM
Thank you,I have been reloading for 15 years and have made a few mistakes but never blew anything up.Was wanting to know the strength of this revolver.It locks up rock solid,and is not on the small size,in otherwords it is a fairly hefty pistol that seems to be verry strong.Thanks for your reply,I haven't posted many ,as I am New here.

fireflyfather
April 23, 2008, 04:58 PM
More specifics: I was talking to a guy at a gunshop who claimed to own an Astra 960. I was inquiring about the make and model of the Astra .357 I mentioned earlier. He suggested that the .357 was a 960. In fact, Astra only made one model of .357, and as far as I know, it's called the "Astra .357". The 960 is a .38 spl only design.

Anyway, he claimed his friend had loaded hot, .357 "+p" rounds into it and blew the cylinder open, earning him a trip to the hospital. I think he was confused, either about the model his friend owned, or the caliber involved. Either way, an Astra revolver probably isn't meant to exceed SAAMI/factory ammo specs. The one I used had a HEAVY double action trigger pull, and it wasn't at all smooth. The guy that owns it, though, got it for $109 on consignment. I wish they had had two. A .357 revolver that can fire standard pressure rounds for $109? Egads.

One other thing about the Astra revolvers: I hear the trigger smoothes up nicely with a simple trigger job.

Dakoma
April 23, 2008, 06:48 PM
Trigger pull is about 2 to 3 pounds and is smooth as silk.The only thing I'm concerned with is cylinder notches are cut over the cartridge making a weak spot.Also with the Santa Barbra ammo(berdan primed and labled No corosive)158 softpoint ammo there is alot of room from the bullet to the end of Cylinder,could it be reloaded using good Starline brass with say 170 or 200 grain cast bullets a little hotter than standard 38 special and be safe.It apears that they used the same cylinder as the 357 Mag.As far as length of cylinder,I don't entend to make it shoot like a 357 Mag.it is clearly marked 38 Special,But has a verry Beefy frame. I have a Rossi 44 Special that they quit making,3" Stainless ,5 shot ,adjustable sights,Model 720 that I load with 180 hornaday XTP's.It can handle some verry hot loads.It is my traveling gun,I carry it when I'm not carrying my 45 Ballister Molina.Some people just don't like foreign made guns,I do and like the ones that only take one solid hit to stop an atacker.Thanks for your information

fireflyfather
April 25, 2008, 05:29 PM
Yeah. I loved that Astra, despite the nasty trigger (maybe .357 was a longer pull than .38?), but it is an apples-oranges comparison. I'd stick standard pressure loads. If you really want some hard hitting loads, buffalo bore standard pressure rounds can get some smoking hot fps out of even the heaviest bullets while staying inside of SAAMI specs. Of course, that's not loading your own, but they would probably be safe to shoot.

Dakoma
April 25, 2008, 06:45 PM
Thank you the 173 grain Keith load is within the 17,000 Psi.limit for the 38 Special.Been reading some of my old Handloader Magazines,Hollow point or for more range and penitration the solid.

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