Astra Guns.


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SwordRapier
March 27, 2010, 01:39 PM
I bought a couple of Astra guns for $250. On I don't know much about them except that I love to shoot 'em. On second think, I my have only paid 150 for them. I don't remember exactly it has been a few years.

I would like to know a bit more about them.

The first and the most mysterious is a .357 revolver with a 6 inch barrel. There is no model number. It is just marked Astra Spain and the name of the importer. The Garcia Corp Washington DC. A quick internet search turns up information about Astra .357 with 4" Barrels not the 6". I would like to know a bit more about this revolver.

The second gun is an Astra model 1915. The information that I was able to turn up on that one indicates it is WWI vintage built under contract for the French. Is this correct?

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ccsniper
March 27, 2010, 01:55 PM
I need pics (not for clarification but more along the lines of gun porn).

SwordRapier
March 27, 2010, 01:57 PM
I have the 1915 all in pieces at the moment the top part of the trigger seems to be stuck. Any help on that would be nice.

TheNev
March 27, 2010, 02:07 PM
I inherited a blued Astra 6" .357mag. The model is "357 Double Action Revolver". It seems to be a very well manufactured revolver. The bluing is very deep, and I see no tooling marks at all. Mine seems to have an issue with timing. I have not shot it yet, and I have no idea the last time it was.

I have the 2009 Standard Catalog of Firearms. Here is what it says about the .357:
"...3", 4" 6" or 8.5" barrel, adjustable sights and 6 shot cylinder. Blued or stainless steel with walnut grips. Manufactured between 1972 to 1988."

NIB Pricing is $250, with good condition going for $125, according to the book. Take that with a grain of salt.

Ron James
March 27, 2010, 02:19 PM
On the 1915, need pictures for correct identification. Astra did make contract automatics for the French Army in WWI but only pictures will tell whether or not yours is a " Ruby" or run of the mill Astra. In reference to the revolver, Quality control seemed to be a hit or miss proposition with Astra. I've seen Astra firearms that seemed to be well made { at least on the surface } but then again I've seen some real dogs. They did not come close tp the quality of the S&Ws or Colts.

SwordRapier
March 27, 2010, 02:48 PM
the requested pics.


The Astra model 1915 does have the stars next to the magazine well. Couldn't get the camera to give me a good picture of the stars.

JR47
March 27, 2010, 03:25 PM
Astra, Star, and Llama were small businesses prior to WWI. The French, always looking for more guns during the war, contracted with all of the Basque region gun-makers. As the contracts grew ever larger, the small makers sub-contracted to the locals. This created a true cottage business in the region. Families would make a single part, and they would be final assembled at other places. Now, in WWI times, the idea of special steels wasn't widely acknowledged. The Basque farmers just knew that steel was steel. They manufactured parts from whatever steel they could lay their hands on. It got so bad that the French assigned inspectors to the assembly areas.

This was the basis for the oft-proclaimed "soft steel, and poor fitting" claims down through the years. I own an Astra Model 400, a Constable, and an A-75. All of them show equivalent fit and finish to American standards. Look at their prices, then look at the American guns in that range.

Confederate
March 28, 2010, 12:06 AM
Can't say on the 1915, but the .357 should be fine. The Astra isn't really a premium revolver, but I've seen some very good ones. I'd rather have one than a Taurus.

FTSESQ
March 28, 2010, 12:16 AM
I can remember as a kid my uncle had an ASTRA that looked like a Beretta Mod 70. I can't remember how it shot, but he loved it. He had a great collection of old Colt 1911s, a WWII Luger, and a bunch of other cool old guns, but that Astra was one of his favorites to shoot.

slick6
March 28, 2010, 01:26 AM
I have a 4" Astra 960 .38 Special revolver, which is the same gun as the Astra .357-except for being chambered in the .38 Special caliber. Regardless of the currently listed Blue Book values, I believe both the Astra 960 and the .357 are well made and reliable guns! My 960 shoots great and it has a wonderfully light trigger pull-so, double action shooting is a pleasure for me! I have read that Astra was the best of the breed in terms of gun quality-compared to the other Spanish gun manufacturers! These guns have a unique hammer strut adjustment ring located at the bottom of the grip frame-to enable adjusting the trigger pull spring tension via rotating this ring to one of four different depth drilled holes to put your hammer strut back into until you have found the best spring tension for your preference! My Astra 960 luckily wasn't imported into the USA because, evidently, someone from outside this Country had carried this gun here. At the time these guns were produced, only the Astra .357 was legally allowed to be imported into the USA-however, the Astra 960 .38 Special revolver was illegal to be imported here! This was a very strange situation indeed-since it's usually the other way around where the .357 caliber would be banned and not the .38 Special! In any event, my Astra 960 .38 is a fun gun to shoot and if I could find another nice Astra 960 or an Astra .357 I'd jump on buying either of these guns in a New York minute-and, that's how much I like these guns!

natman
March 28, 2010, 04:14 AM
I have a similar Astra revolver in 45 Colt. Generally speaking they are copies of S&W revolvers. Mine is interesting in that it has the bolt spring mounted in the old "5 screw" manner. S&W changed from that years ago but Astra never did.

Good quality revolver, much nicer than a Taurus.

GRIZ22
March 28, 2010, 05:15 AM
I found inconsistencies in some Spanish made handguns. Llamas? Either work well or would be useful as a fishing sinker. Star to my experience is usually a decent firearm.

I have never seen a bad Astra. Not saying there aren't any. I think Garcia was importing them in the 70s so that may be some help in dating that gun. I have an A80 in 45 ACP (action similar to a SIG) that has worked well for me for some time.

CajunBass
March 28, 2010, 07:29 AM
A buddy of mine had one (357/6") years ago. I never saw it, but he spoke of it often. He seemed to think it was a very good revolver.

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