Astra A-90 9mm


February 18, 2011, 08:10 PM
Tell me about this pistol.

Caliber? It says 9mm Para (aka Parabellum) Which would be 9x19?




I'm interested in this pistol. Tell me about it, please.

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February 19, 2011, 12:53 AM
It is 9x19..I own an A-70 which is a completely different animal.

February 19, 2011, 05:30 AM
The Astra A70 has much in common with the Star Firestar in that it's lacks many of the modern bells and whistles that lots of buyers are searching for in a compact pistol. The A70 is an all steel, single action pistol which uses an 8 round magazine in 9mm, but there was also a .40S&W version available which used a 7 shot magazine. The standard A70 finish was a matt-gray coloring which looked very much like what you would see on an AR-15 type rifle. Nickel finish was available as an option and there was a very short run of stainless steel A70s produced but these are seldom seen. In my experience the fit and finish on the A70, while good, is not quite up to the standards of the Star Firestar, since my A70 shows a few tool marks and the interior of the slide has a few areas which could have used a bit more polishing. Unlike the Firestar the A70 uses a conventional slide which rides on the outside of the frame with only for about half of the frame's length in contact with the slide. On the other hand my pistol locks up tightly with no play detected between the slide and frame and the barrel on the Astra is also slightly belled at the muzzel to allow for a tight fitting without the need for a bushing.

The stocks on the A70 are made from extrmely hard synthetic material but the checkering is well done and affords a good grasp for the hand. The areas at the front of the squared off trigger gaurd, the front of the grip and the back strap are also checkered as well as the round magazine release button on the left side of the pistol. The slide release and safety lever, both of which are also located on the left of the frame, are grooved and this provides a solid feel for the thumb. None of these controls are ambidextrous so lefties may want to consider this issue carefully. The A70's single action trigger breaks nicely at around 6 pounds and has just a small amount of creep. The sights are low profile three-dots with the rear being adjustable for drift and the edges of the rear sight are beveled to be more snag resisitant. This is a nice little detail and one usually overlooked on most pocket pistols. Although the A70 feels a bit heavy at just under 30 ounces it must be remembered that this pistol is the same size as a Walther PP yet it fires either 9mm or .40 S&W so it's extra weight actually helps to make the A70 easier to shoot and keep on target. Although the A70 lacks the Star's extention on the rear of the frame to prevent slide bite. The A70's hammer is not nearly as large as the hammer on the Starfire so there is more danger when lowering the hammer on a loaded chamber with the A70. I have fired just about every type of 9mm ammo in my A70 and it has handled them all without complaint, including Winchester and Remington 115 gr. hollowpoints and 147gr Fiocchi hollowpoints. I like this pistol and while I like the Star a bit better because it has a few nicer features and better attention to detail, this is a minor matter when looking at the bigger picture: The A70 just plain works everytime it's trigger is pulled! It should be noted that Springfield Armory imported a limited number of A70 "type" pistols in the mid-1990s and branded them as the Firecat and I have no first hand information on the Firecat pistols.

February 19, 2011, 06:14 AM
The OP was about the A90, which is a full sized pistol that has a look similar to a Sig. They usually have a high cap mag, I think 15-17 rounds was standard.
They are very reliable guns, Astras tend to be very well made. As with most other Spanish gun makers, Astra is out of business, but parts are out there. If you can get it at a good price, an Astra is generally a dependable, accurate, enjoyable pistol.

TX expat
February 19, 2011, 10:43 AM
I can't tell you much about the A-90, but I own an A-100, which is pretty similar, but a little less complex in design. My Astra is a .45 and it's a very nice shooting gun. I don't get it out all that often, but that's mostly because I don't reload that caliber yet, so it does more safe lounging than range time.

They don't make any of 'em anymore but as already stated, you can get parts if you needed to. I wouldn't hesitate to pick one up, assuming it's a good buy. I wouldn't buy it for any collectors value, but I wouldn't hesitate to pick one up for carry, HD or range use.

Harley Quinn
February 19, 2011, 11:51 AM
Since others are mentioned I'll add my A80 (45 cal)...

Have not shot it much since Glocks have come into my hands...Not very accurate, inferior to Glocks for accuracy, but plenty good for the 10 yd situation...

Link is a good read...:)

February 19, 2011, 12:23 PM
They usually have a high cap mag, I think 15-17 rounds was standard.So which is it? "High cap" or "standard"?

It can't be both.

The term "high cap magazine" is a legal fiction, perpetrated by antis. We (as gun enthusiasts) should stop using the term.

February 19, 2011, 05:26 PM
I put a deposit down on this A-90 at my gunshop. The guy told me the same thing you all are and he has never lied to me yet, so I believed him, but also wanted another oppinion. I'm glad I did, and I'm gladd I'm returning next pay day to take the pistol home. 428 buck out the door.

February 19, 2011, 10:10 PM
That sounds a little pricey to me. My gunstore I deal with has one for 250 plus tax OTD. First Choice Pawn 229 242-2146. Just FYI.:what:

February 20, 2011, 04:06 PM
Well thanks for the info, but I don't live in Georgia, lol.

And I'm sure this pistol is worth it, the bluing looks damn near perfect and bore looks good as well. And since I'm planning on making it a carry piece, the 17 rounds is looking real good to me.

I am going to post pics when I pick it up, which will be around the 4th of March, and I think you'll understand why I'm paying 400 for it.:D

Harley Quinn
February 21, 2011, 11:38 AM
One thing you will not get is warranty on it, like you would a Glock or others...

For that reason it is pretty expensive price you are paying...

Used Glocks are that price:uhoh: And they will still work on them all it costs is shipping, to them oneway...

Might want to think about it more considering...:)

February 21, 2011, 06:42 PM
If something breaks, I'll buy the part and replace it myself... I'm mechanically inclined and once I see how it's put together, I can generally do the work myself... that's what I do with my rifles.

Harley Quinn
February 22, 2011, 11:43 AM
I hope you enjoy it, take it out and shoot it, get back with report:)


February 22, 2011, 07:36 PM
Definately will. :)

I did manage to get to the toy store today to fondle it, and thought I'd take a picture and show y'all.

(However, forgive me for crappy picture quality, all I had was my cell phone camera. Better pictures to come on the 4th.)

February 22, 2011, 08:07 PM
Numrich or Old Western Scrounger might have magazines.
My first centerfire auto was an Astra A-80. Looongest DA pull I ever owned, but I loved that gun.

February 22, 2011, 08:49 PM
And I'm sure that I'm going to love this one.

February 23, 2011, 12:26 AM
it comes with two mags, only shown with one.

The smithy even let me use a back drop and a display peg

March 1, 2011, 12:10 AM
Looks good, but the price seems a bit high to me. I paid $269 for my A-100 with three mags in 2009. I would go no more than $350 myself.

Harley Quinn
March 1, 2011, 10:20 AM
Well back in 1988, I bought a 17L Glock, and a M 80 Astra, paid twice as much for the Glock:what: Astra, 45 cal, 10 loaded, was for SD, 9mm Glock was a target shooter, still is, but got a std slide for it, and use if for SD, high cap mag :D

Any more news on Pistol and shooting it:confused:

March 1, 2011, 10:51 AM
Pictures are nice!

March 1, 2011, 05:59 PM
I went in yesterday to put the rest down on it, but couldn't take home because now it takes 2 weeks for a purchase permit to go through. I am not happy, considering they approve or no, and a typical background check takes a couple days tops... so... I am not understanding the wait.

Pictures and shooting will be about the week I take the pistol home.

Oh, and as far as the steeper price; it's an older guy who owns the shop, and it's small. He doesn't get terribly much business, and he's never led me wrong. I am happy to help him out in anyway I can. 400 some-odd bucks for a pistol does not bother me.

Harley Quinn
March 2, 2011, 10:44 AM
He put the business boots to you, you did more of a layaway situation and not purchase...He covered his butt thinking you may not really purchase...Typical in many, Pawn locations... Some times they buy the firearm and show it, in reality the holding period he is required to put on pistol before selling is causing you this grief...

The storeowner should have been up front with you, that is a problem some times, and also a red flag when dealing with them later...

I bought a DE, similar situation, but was told up front about it... Consignment in CA can be similar deal...A lot has to do with the person selling and his own moral conditions...


March 2, 2011, 05:56 PM
Well when I called him today and told him that it was going to take two weeks to hear back on the purchase permit, he was surprised himself about that long of wait. I doubt he's trying to screw me over in any way, shape, or form. Not to mention, all but two of my firearms were purchased at his shop and have turned out to be excellent shooters.

He's always been a fair man, and I've always considered to recommend him to the BBB for good business skills and customer service.

Harley Quinn
March 4, 2011, 04:10 PM

Not sure I am following, you mean location like DOJ is putting the extended period of time??? 10 days is normal in CA...

March 4, 2011, 07:25 PM
I'm talking about the Purchase Permit from the sherrif.

Harley Quinn
March 5, 2011, 10:04 AM
There are laws, and time frames for all purchase in CA, sometimes they will be extended, but not often...In CA it is 10 days now, before federal mandate, it was 15 days for a handgun...

But if a shop has a layaway program, they will not start the paperwork until you have paid it off:uhoh:

You started this on the 19 of Feb (I put a deposit down on this A-90 at my gunshop.) :confused:

So you paid more on the 1st, and then paperwork began it appears:confused:

Federal law is 10 day hold, if local is more they better have a good reason:what:

March 5, 2011, 10:30 AM
I agree with what some have said. The Astra is big heavy choice for a carry piece. Secondly, 428 is pretty high for an Astra. You could find used Glocks, M&Ps, XDs, that price. I do hope you like it though. It will throw lead like any of them so if you like it that is more important than what I think. Your not spending MY money, its yours. I've spent too much on several guns but they were worth it to me.

March 5, 2011, 12:15 PM
Gun is all paid in full. My dealer does not want to start paperwork until I get my purchase permit, through the sherriff. There's no wait permit here in Council Bluffs, IF I have my purchase permit. If I would have had that permit before I bought the pistol, then I'd have already put around 2-300 rounds through it already.

Again, as I've said, it's a small shop, this guy and his friend operate it, he's always been decent to me, and he doesn't get a lot of business, so yes, he's a tad pricey, but I don't mind helping him out.

Harley Quinn
March 5, 2011, 01:27 PM
This permit must be part of Carry Concealed Weapon:confused:

This is new to me, about getting permission to buy it in the first place:confused:

Norm is to go to dealer, buy the firearm and have Feds give the ok:confused: If you have a special request to carry (in your county or state) then all that is afterwards:confused:


March 5, 2011, 02:59 PM
Alright I'm gonna try to fix the confusion, lol.

In IOWA, at least in my part of this newly great state, you have the opportunity to purchase a purchase permit, though not required by all dealers.
This permit allows ease of purchase, i.e. less paperwork.

If I have this permit, I present it to my dealer in Iowa (the conceal carry permit in Iowa works the same way), and I do less paperwork, and I don't have a wait period. Essentially, I buy the gun (works for pistol and long gun) and take it home same day, same gunshop visit.

Recently, my dealer changed his policy. Before, I could buy this pistol, and wait the wait period, and then I can take the gun home, OR go and get this purchase permit and take home same day. He recently changed his poliy to Purchase permit only for pistols.

I wasn't aware of the policy change until after I paid my pistol in full. I am waiting now for the permit to be ready from the Sherriff. As soon as I get the permit, I go to the gunshop, and then I bring the pistol home.

I'm applying for concealed carry after I become competent with this pistol.

I hope this clarifies.

Harley Quinn
March 5, 2011, 07:09 PM

March 5, 2011, 11:56 PM
Anytime. I agree, sometimes I don't even make sense to myself.:neener:

Harley Quinn
March 10, 2011, 01:45 PM
Getting close:D

March 11, 2011, 12:19 AM
Yes, hopefully this next tuesday I should have my permit and able to bring my pistol home :D

March 15, 2011, 02:18 PM
Well, I got bad news...

I'm going to have to spend money on ammo, because I brought her home!:D

Took her off to put a couple mags through her, and no stoppages, and seems to be pretty accurate so far.

Here are some pictures.

Harley Quinn
March 15, 2011, 02:36 PM
I was hoping you would pick it up and give us some information about the shooting of it...

When I carried the A-80 I spent some time shooting it DA only, then/when dropping the hammer, the right way, and the wrong way, just to get used to it... I would load 3 into it and shoot, then load 3 more...Get a handle on the whole operating of the pistol that way...

Yours, probably has not been shot much by the look of it...:)

I would hold the hammer back with off hand and pull trigger to lower and then make sure you get you thumb out of the way :what:and shoot again:D


March 15, 2011, 02:49 PM
Well I can give you this much information.

Recoil isn't bad, I could shoot all day with this pistol.

The DA function on this pistol is pretty stiff, a little uncomfortable to shoot this way, but still, it isn't too difficult.

The sights are wonderful, I do like them, and they're pretty easy to use.

The SA of this pistol is just a dream! Slightly less than a pound of trigger pull it feels like.

But why lower the hammer and test out the DA when I got a decocker? :evil:

I plan on doing an in depth review sometime soon, along with some Youtube videos of disassebly, seeing as there aren't any videos there, and possibly a review that way to.

So far, this pistol is a must have in my book.

Harley Quinn
March 15, 2011, 03:28 PM
The decocker on my unit broke and was no good...Had to do it the way I mentioned so I was just saying if you practice other way it is still a viable unit...Of course I found parts and fixed it...

The DA is your first shot, if you think about using SA the off hand to the hammer is still a good one to practice, to get the hammer into SA...

All part of Self Defense, and if you practice it, not a biggie, then/when time might be needed to be used, not a problem, you already practiced, sort of like make sure you shoot it right and left handed and double handed, never know when you might need it in SD...:)

March 15, 2011, 06:47 PM
I plan on practicing a lot. I picked up a couple boxes of ammo. WWB personal protection functions flawlessly so far, and that's hollow points, I got a couple more boxes of other brnds that their names ezcape me for the time being, so when I get a chance to look, I'll talk about them too, they're both winchester so.

March 15, 2011, 11:13 PM
The brands I currently have are WWB 115 gr. JHP's, WWB 9mm NATO 124 gr. FMJ's, and Winchester SXZ 9 115 gr. JHP's.

Now, would the NATO 124 gr. FMJ's be safe to shoot through this pistol? The package states that it has a 10% higher pressure than industry standard pressures. Would this be safe to run through this pistol or should I exchange it?

Harley Quinn
March 16, 2011, 12:06 AM
Astra has always made a strong pistol and the had the 9mm Largo long ago, I would think the NATO rounds would be fine, I would buy some of the cheaper also and shoot them see how it goes...

White box is good to break it in, I have shot a lot of the cheapest 9mm and a lot of the NATO stuff also:) Shoot it to practise all you can and of course clean it once in a while:D

What you carry for SD you should shoot some of them, but not many as they usually are more expensive and once you get fairly good at shooting all ammo will be fine...By shooting various stuff see how the gun likes it and handles it...
NATO would be a good SD imho...


March 16, 2011, 12:19 AM
:DThank you for the info Mr. Quinn lol.

I plan on running a lot through the gun, especailly to see what it likes best, and like you said, the gun definately doesnt seem to have been shot very much.

I was thinking the NATO would be a good SD roug because of the high grainage and all that jazz, but it's a full metal jacket and not too enthused about pass through, but it definately seems like it's put one helluva hurtin on the bad guy so I may stick with it.

I'm probably going to go and run some of this and the SXZ9 through it tomorrow to see how the pistol likes it. Need some targets too lol:D

Harley Quinn
March 19, 2011, 11:29 AM
Hopefully you go out and shoot it this weekend...
Give me/us some more info on your feelings/findings:)

March 19, 2011, 03:07 PM
Went out to shoot it yesterday. I tweaked the sights on it a little bit because it was shooting to the right last time I had shot it. The tweaking did the trick. Me and a buddy were putting it through it's paces, with a total of 140 rounds put through yesterday and 60 rounds put through by me alone earlier in the week.

I am pretty impressed with the gun, I've only had one FTFeed in the 200 rounds that has been put through it and I am suspecting a recoil spring, because the round (FMJ and JHP alike) kinda start hanging up on the feed ramp, but only one stoppage, and it was during a reload so.

Harley Quinn
March 21, 2011, 11:05 AM
A couple of weeks ago I went to Wal Mart and bought some Federal 9mm...It is waiting to be shot:) Big scare in CA, about pistol ammo not being available, (fairly inexpensive considering) did not happen... :)

March 22, 2011, 01:42 AM
The walmart here has 100 round boxes of 9mm FMJ 115 grains for 24 bucks. Seems like a hell-of-a-deal.

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