Astra 600/43


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JDCOOP57
February 15, 2009, 10:14 AM
I'm a newby to the forum.
I had a question about a firearm just aquired.
The firearm is a Astra 600 perfect condition 9mm.
Can this pistol handle +P loads of 9mm?
Don,t think this gun has been shot much, still had
cosmoline inside.

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Jim Watson
February 15, 2009, 10:44 AM
Considering that the Astra is a straight blowback action, depending only on the mass of the slide and the strength of the springs to contain the chamber pressure, I would not do it.

Also considering that a "perfect condition" Astra 600/43 is worth a good deal of money to collectors of WWII gear, I would not want to beat it up with hot loads. Lee Jurras once pressure tested several lots of WWII surplus German ammunition. Although corner cutting in wartime with ersatz bullets and cheap powder gave impressive muzzle flash and report, the chamber pressures were no higher than contemporary commercial loads.

JDCOOP57
February 15, 2009, 11:23 AM
yea thought so, the gun rocks considerably with regular 9mm.
Must be due to the stiff recoil spring in it.
thanks for the information.

Storm
February 15, 2009, 03:59 PM
No way, no how! When I shoot my 600/43 the recoil transmitted through that backstrap is quite enough as it is, and I'm not at all recoil sensitive.

Onmilo
February 15, 2009, 07:03 PM
The question isn't whether a Model 600 will handle modern U.S. made +P ammunition, which is ballistically similar to the hotter European 9mm loads, the gun will probably handle the stuff, the question is why you would subject a collectable example of a handgun to undue wear and strain?

If you want to shoot it, my suggestion is to stick to milder ammunition and enjoy the pistol for what it is, a shootable example of a collectable handgun.

Storm
February 16, 2009, 11:06 AM
BTW, this thread made me realize that when I recently shot my 600/43 I had forgotten to install the new recoil spring that I had picked up from Wolff Spring. Possibly a new spring will tame the recoil a bit.

I think Onmilo has it exactly right, stick with mild to normal strength ammo. The 600 may have been chambered for 9mm for WWII German use, but the gun was originally designed for 9mm Largo, a lower pressure round than 9mm Luger.

BTW, as you probably know the 600 was a shortened version of the 9mm Largo 400 intended for German use in 1944. My understanding is that most of the 600's being shipped into Germany in 1944 were intercepted at the German border by the allies and then distributed to the German police and border patrol after WWII. My gun, like many, was distributed by Interarms.

Astra 600/43 (9mm)
http://img105.imageshack.us/img105/4227/a2bpq4.jpg

Astra 400 (9mm Largo)
http://img525.imageshack.us/img525/6231/img3500fd8.jpg

bannockburn
February 16, 2009, 11:45 AM
JDCOOP57

I had an Astra Model 600 many years ago. Without question, it was a rather painful experience as that gun was brutal on both my hand and wrist. Usually two boxes of ammo was my limit. I wouldn't even want to contemplate +P loads through that gun.

Storm
February 16, 2009, 12:16 PM
I had an Astra Model 600 many years ago. Without question, it was a rather painful experience as that gun was brutal on both my hand and wrist. Usually two boxes of ammo was my limit. I wouldn't even want to contemplate +P loads through that gun.

Okay, so it isn't just me, it does hurt a bit, "brutal" is a good word, probably more than any other gun I've fired. Maybe a new recoil spring will make some difference...or not.

bosmith
April 4, 2010, 07:36 PM
I have recently received a astra mod 600/43 for repair. The gun was fired and its last round is jammed. The slide will move only about haftway back. Unable to remove the barrel and slide (field strip) to free the round. Is there another way that I can free the round? Could you help me with is problem. Thank you.

Onmilo
April 5, 2010, 01:35 PM
bosmith, welcome to the forum.
Do you know if the offending round is live or expended?
Have you removed the magazine?

bosmith
April 5, 2010, 04:17 PM
Onmile, Yes I have removed the megazine

Storm
April 6, 2010, 09:22 AM
If (and only if) the last round is expended you might try inserting a wood dowel from the muzzle end and give it light tap to try and loosen up whatever is stuck. I'm having a hard time trying to figure out what could be causing a jam like that. I'll pull my 600 this evening and have a look see at where a hang-up could be.

bosmith
April 8, 2010, 07:16 PM
Storm: -hard to said what caused the jam, the owner said he was buying -subject to a fix. so here i am trying to unjam the gun. I was looking at the possibily of removing the pin from under the grips (the pin that has the wire clip on it) - too see if that would free the slide, however if removing the pin did not allow the slide to move and free the shell, reinstalling the pin would be almost inpossibile. your thoughts ?

Storm
April 9, 2010, 09:31 AM
Hey Bosmith, I'll pull my 600 tonight and see if I can make any sense out of it.

Onmilo
April 9, 2010, 11:57 AM
If the slide will return to full battery, see if you can unlock the barrel bushing and remove it and the recoil spring.
This should take the tension off the slide and you may be able to tap it back enough using a piece of softwood and a rubber mallet to turn and free the barrel from the frame.

Once that is done, you should be able to tap the slide and barrel free from the slide then move the barrel far enough forward in the slide to access the offending cartridge case and dislodge it. HTH

Storm
April 9, 2010, 12:46 PM
Once that is done, you should be able to tap the slide and barrel free from the slide then move the barrel far enough forward in the slide to access the offending cartridge case and dislodge it. HTH

Exactly my thought as well. Once you get that muzzle cap off the whole thing should loosen up considerably. That recoil spring is under quite a lot of pressure. Watch out when the cap comes off as that spring will launch into orbit.

Myles
April 9, 2010, 01:50 PM
If this helps, here is a disassembly guide: http://www.marstar.ca/AssemblyAstra.htm

And an exploded parts view: http://stevespages.com/ipb-astra-400.html

I know I had a bear of a time with my 600 the first time - I wish I had these back then.

bosmith
April 9, 2010, 08:22 PM
Onmilo, yes I have removed the barrel bushing and the recoil spring. I will try to tap the slide and see if that will free the barrel from the frame.

bosmith
April 9, 2010, 08:24 PM
Storm , will give it a try. i will stay in touch

bosmith
April 9, 2010, 08:28 PM
Mlyes, Thanks for the links.

Onmilo
April 10, 2010, 12:59 AM
Only thing I can come up with since we are unable to inspect the gun is the firing pin has punched through the primer and become wedged in the primer pocket flash hole or the hammer has sheared the half cock or full cock notch and become wedged up in the slide recess, if this is the case, you may be able to insert a brass or nylon wedge into the rear of the slide to manipulate the hammer down into the frame while having a helper push back on the slide to free it.

If the firing pin is wedged, the retainer pins will be blocked by the frame so you may have to use a solid brass rod inserted down the barrel and into the expended case, be sure to use a rod smaller than 9mm/.38 to keep it from becoming wedged in the expended case,,, whack on the rod while keeping the barrel pulled forward and this should drive the slide back and access the ejection port.
Be sure to restrain the front of the barrel in a well padded vice when you do this to prevent battering or shearing the barrel lugs.
If you get this far, you should be able to lever the case off the firing pin.HTH

Storm
April 11, 2010, 04:55 PM
Bosmith, I have pulled my 600 and 400 (both pretty much the same, as with my 3000) and can't figure out what your problem could be. I think Onmilo has the best solution pegged, but if this is buy pending a fix I can understand your caution. Please let us know how it comes out.

At least in pulling my Astras I have re-discovered guns that I love owning and shooting, even if the 400/600 is a brute. BTW, the 600 has quite an interesting history behind it.

Just as a side note, my smith carries his 400 concealed carry! He's big enough to pull it off :D Gotta love that. This thread also got me to pull my two Steyr-Hahn 1911s, one of them refinished by said smith in a great way. They also will now see some range time.

bosmith
April 12, 2010, 07:49 PM
Hey guys, I put a small piece of 3/4 PVC pipe on the muzzle end of the barrel and tapped it with a hammer and was able to eject the round. After completly disassembling, cleaning and reassembling - the slide moves okay with a quick pull and release. However with a slow pull on the slide I feel a drag about half way back. This may have been the cause of the jam. I am looking into that drag issue now. Your thoughts???

Onmilo
April 12, 2010, 09:38 PM
since you didn't mention a pierced primer and did mention this stoppage occurred on the last round and you did mention getting drag on the slide to frame fit with an empty pistol and didn't mention the slide lock holding the slide back, i would look at a malfunctioning slide lock as the possible problem.

bosmith
April 13, 2010, 09:34 PM
Onmilo- as i stated earlier in my post-the gun i received was JAM meaning no movement in the slide, a fired round meaning a pierced primer ... and only when i freed the JAM was i able to find a drag on the slide. Thanks for your HELP <??<?<??<?

Onmilo
April 14, 2010, 01:35 PM
Like I said, take a look at the slide stop.
If the round jammed on last shot, primer wasn't pierced, lockwork functioning, the next area to look at is the slide lock.
Yes it is help I am offering,,,, for free<<??<<??<<??!!

Jim K
April 14, 2010, 02:31 PM
FWIW, the Astra 600 was never designed for or made in 9mm Largo. It was designed for the German order and never made in any caliber other than 9mm Parabellum (9mm '08).

All those Astra blowbacks have wicked recoil, the 400 is worst of all, feeling somewhat like hitting a baseball with a cracked bat.

The guns are actually something of retarded blowbacks because the hammer strut is deliberately placed at a mechanical disadvantage to slow the slide movement. That was not done with the Model 800 Condor with its external hammer, and the gun had some problems. Both the 400 and 600 are very rugged and very reliable guns.

The Germans purchased both the 300 and the 400 from Astra, but the 600 was designed specifically for the Germans in the 9mm Parabellum (9mm '08) caliber. 50,000 Model 600's were ordered and paid for in 1943, but only 10,450 were delivered before Spain was cut off from Nazi Germany by the Allied invasion of Southern France. Another 31,350 were made but were held in Spain until after the war when they were sold (again!) to West Germany and issued to police and customs guards.

Jim

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