Questions about my new Astra .44 Mag...


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TNplinker
January 24, 2011, 01:21 AM
I just purchased an Astra .44 magnum revolver. Blued finish, wood grips, 6'' pinned barrel, heavy, and as somebody on the internet put it, "built like a brick !@#$house (ha ha), see pics, and I have a couple of questions..



This is my first DA revolver, and you can see there's a big mark all the way around the rear of the cylinder where the bluing is rubbed off. I can slowly dry fire the gun and see the little piece (sorry for my lack of terminology) above the trigger re-engage and pop back up, and snap up against the cylinder early in the trigger pull, making a noticeable click, which is the first of the two clicks I hear before the hammer will fall. Is this little part supposed to be doing that? It's rubbing against the cylinder for most of the rotation and it's removing the bluing. You can see it in both pics.

Second, I have read that the design of the wood grips on the gun makes for especially harsh recoil (I can testify to this, having fired it for the first time with hands that were a little sweaty and it smacks against the web between thumb and first finger pretty badly). Got kinda small hands, would love some rubber grips like they have on the Taurus Judge....here's the question: Are S&W model 29 grips interchangeable with the Astra .44?

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waidmann
January 24, 2011, 09:57 AM
A bit of cylinder drag is normal while pronounced yours doesn't seem extreme. The clicking??? The grips I don't know but I would surf for Pachmayr, Houge etc. as well as checking the auction sites parts sections. The finned Taurus grips are unique to them but given the 455 and Judge I've seen without grips I don't believe thats an option.

I'm guessing you are in the Volunteer State tell me what city or area and I will try to get you a referal to a competant smith to look over your piece.

natman
January 24, 2011, 10:45 AM
It's normal for the bolt to rub against the cylinder when turning slowly. If it didn't it would miss the notch when turning fast.

IIRC, the Astra 44 takes S&W N frame Square Butt grips. At least that's where I'd start looking.

Walkalong
January 24, 2011, 11:15 AM
Normal.

I have a 6" SS Astra .44 Mag. Very nice guns, and a bargain IMO. Congrats.

BCRider
January 24, 2011, 04:51 PM
I'd also suggest trying out some Hogue grips. They are a little wider than the Pachmayr but I found the Pachmayr too thin for a full pressure around the whole grip. And the Pachmayr's are deeper front to back in addtion to being thinner. All of which makes for a less than ideal grip IMO for my hands. But they may fit your hands better.

The most satisfaction in .44Mag comes when you reload your own. You can then set the power level to suit your taste in recoil and you have the option of powders that can provide the most impressive and grin making fireballs by choosing slower powders such as H110 or 2400. The upside of these being that these slower powders give the hand more of a THUMP than a SMACK when they go off. All of which is intended to try to convey that unless you get into reloading and play with a variety of different bullet weights and powder charges you're missing out on half the fun and flexibility of a big bore revolver. It's not just the show of the fireball, it's also the ability to load from mild to wild that makes reloading so much a requirement of these big bore guns. You can tailor loads down to so mild that they kick less than a .38 wadcutter target load in a K frame and use such things to let even the most recoil sensitive new shooter enjoy a day at the range with you. And then you can load up a real shoulder smacker that'll toss your arm into the next state, if you like that sort of thing. Reloading gives you the full range of options that you just can't buy off the shelf.

amd6547
January 24, 2011, 07:18 PM
I used to own an astra 44mag, back when they were being sold new.
At the time, you could buy a Pachmayr rubber grip specially for the astra...I doubt any Smith grip would fit without alteration, but you might find an old pair of the Pachs if you look around.
My astra started going out of time after about 300 rounds, so I sold it.

bluetopper
January 24, 2011, 11:08 PM
You've got the best Spanish made 44 Magnum ever built.

TNplinker
January 25, 2011, 08:29 AM
Ok, thanks for all the responses. The "skid mark" on the cylinder isn't a scratch in the metal or anything, just kind of cosmetically bad looking. I guess it's just a functional reality of how the mechanism works. I took the revolver apart and cleaned everything and put it all back together (with an hour or 2 of head scratching, but I got it all back:) I just don't remember there being a white ring on Dirty Harry's gun in the movie.^^ As for the grips, thanks for the info, I'll try to find some old Pachmayer L-frame grips and modify them. I would ultimately like to reload for all my firearms, but you know, $$$. Someday. I love the gun, tho.

natman
January 25, 2011, 09:59 AM
I used to own an astra 44mag, back when they were being sold new.
At the time, you could buy a Pachmayr rubber grip specially for the astra...I doubt any Smith grip would fit without alteration, but you might find an old pair of the Pachs if you look around.

Reading your post jogged my memory and you're right, the Astra did have it's own Pachmayr grip.

Astra SMALL grips on ebay (http://cgi.ebay.com/Pachmayr-ATR-S-Grip-Sm-Presentation-Astra-357-Magnum-/160537193402?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2560c32bba)

Note that these are the small grip. I expect that the 44 may take a large grip.

I'd suggest you contact Pachmayr directly and get their advice.

http://www.pachmayr.com/contact/

Guillermo
January 25, 2011, 10:49 AM
You've got the best Spanish made 44 Magnum ever built

what are the others?


Plinker...nice looking gun

TNplinker
January 25, 2011, 03:35 PM
Used to own this Star BM 9mm. Also built like a tank, shot great.

BCRider
January 25, 2011, 04:37 PM
TN', setting up for reloading may seem like a big cost. But if you shoot much, and ESPECIALLY if you shoot commonly expensive ammo then the cost break even point can occur within a year or so. And if you're shooting much at all of .44Mag, .45acp, .357Mag or other oddballs that are commonly double the price of 9mm and .38Spl then the break even point can occur even sooner.

Even if you don't set up for a full progressive press and just get a simple single stage press even JUST for the .44 Mag you can see a breakeven in as little as 4 to 5 boxes of ammo reloaded vs buying factory ammo. A single stage press and dies along with a few other basics plus the bits to reload a few hundred rounds is CHEAP compared to what it costs for the same amount of factory .44Mag. Shop around for factory ammo and then do the same for bullets, powder and primers and a simple press and other supplies needed to reload. I think you'll be surprised and go with reloading real quick.

Red Cent
January 25, 2011, 05:51 PM
The "rub" mark is the bolt stop popping up and rubbing the cylinder prior to entering the groove and locking up. Every time you close the cylinder, the bolt stop will rub until it locks up. Unlessyou take great care to place the groove over the bolt stop every time. No big deal on a DA.
The other click should be the disconnector snapping back in place. When you release the trigger you may hear another click.
http://www.genitron.com/
Click on "handgun basics". Bottom item revolver). Click enter. Each time you cock and fire the revolver a new part will come up.

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