Astra 600: Ugly, or Retro Cool?


October 21, 2012, 09:45 PM
What is your opinion on this one? To some it is simple elegance, to others, butt ugly. I kind of like it. Had one for awhile, and it was very reliable. I miss it. Fun range gun.

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October 21, 2012, 09:50 PM
Isn't that a 9mm Largo?
Those Astra's is oogly!

October 21, 2012, 09:53 PM
The pix looks like an Astra 400. The 600 had a shorter barrel.

Nice old pistols.

October 21, 2012, 09:55 PM
Isn't that a 9mm Largo?
Those Astra's is oogly!

The Astra 600 was chambered 9x19. The Astra 400 was chambered in 9 Largo.

Grey Morel
October 21, 2012, 10:12 PM
Not quite as nice looking as a Browing 1922, but still very good looking.

October 21, 2012, 10:28 PM
I agree. I think they are great looking and it is on my "someday I'll have one" list.

October 21, 2012, 11:53 PM
Astra 400, for comparison. 400 is 9mm Largo, the 600 is 9mm Luger.

October 21, 2012, 11:54 PM
I like the ole' stovepipe barrel. If I came across 9x17 or 9x19 at fair price I would certainly look closely at it. I'm not prepared to say it would get past my "doorstep" but it would get examined.

October 22, 2012, 10:37 AM
I have had this Astra 400 9mm Largo for a bit over 20 years and it has been a fun shooter.
Spare magazines are somewhat harder to find for the 9X19 Model 600 pistols but can be located for fairly reasonable prices.

October 22, 2012, 11:37 AM

I had an Astra 600 as one of my first semi-autos. Ugly? Well let's just say it was ruggedly handsome, but visually challenged in a rather functional way. Kind of like the girl on a blind date who was best described to you as "having a great personality".

And while it was incredibly accurate and super reliable, I would never consider it a fun range gun. After 100 or so rounds it just became too painful to continue shooting it. The web of my shooting hand would hurt for days afterwards and it would take nearly a week before I was able to shoot again. So the Astra 600 to me was a good gun but not necessarily a good gun design.

October 22, 2012, 12:58 PM
Mine says .38/9mmlargo so after a wolfe + P spring job a tried some non +p .38 super in it. Kicks like a Largo and I chronographed 50 fps difference in favor of the .38 super.

October 22, 2012, 01:43 PM
So fugly it's cute. Just like an inbred cousin. One of the standard bg guns in the original Mission Impossible series. It is an iconic cold war gun. I've got my eye on the .380 model for a shooter to add to my collection. Just for s&g.

October 22, 2012, 03:14 PM
We'll say it has character - not pretty, not really ugly, certainly not forgettable like so many modern guns. I love guns with character...

October 22, 2012, 03:27 PM
I think we agree. At the very least, it IS an interesting gun.

Vern Humphrey
October 22, 2012, 04:51 PM
Let me ask you this -- when you went to your 50th High School reunion, had the ugliest girl in class turned into a beauty?:rolleyes:

October 22, 2012, 05:02 PM
I vote Retro Cool all the way.

October 22, 2012, 10:42 PM
Astras are really well made. Those 600 series were standard/sustitute Wermacht arms and many were used by West German police post war.

Taking them apart I hear it a tad.. exciting.

David E
October 22, 2012, 10:59 PM
I vote "Retro Ugly"

October 22, 2012, 11:10 PM
Taking them apart I hear it a tad.. exciting.

Actually, taking the Astra 400 and 600 apart is is not difficult or exciting if you know the procedure.

Disassembly is not intuitively obvious so the uninformed can get a surprise.

el Godfather
October 22, 2012, 11:30 PM
Just not pretty

October 23, 2012, 12:44 AM
Very retro cool. I bought one through mail order many years ago when you could still do that sort of thing, then foolishly sold it. Now whenever I attend gun shows I am on the lookout for another 600 at the right price.

October 23, 2012, 12:46 AM
Those Astra's is oogly!

+1 and a big laugh for the way you said it.

October 23, 2012, 08:42 PM
Ugly, and poor ergonomics. And I own one also.

October 23, 2012, 09:53 PM
Kinda like a moped... Fun to ride/shoot but I wouldn't want my friends to see me doing it.

October 23, 2012, 11:10 PM
Pretty hideous. Can't really put it any other way and not have a mod chew me out.

Prince Yamato
October 24, 2012, 07:58 AM
I used to have one. Nice guns. They're direct blowback though, so they are not comfortable for all day shooting.

Vern Humphrey
October 24, 2012, 10:56 AM
Kinda like a moped... Fun to ride/shoot but I wouldn't want my friends to see me doing it.
Or like a fat chick -- for the same reason.:neener:

November 22, 2012, 08:03 AM
In think those European old timers are way cool.
But that may be because I am one too.

November 22, 2012, 08:47 AM
Raygun cool.

November 22, 2012, 08:56 AM
Retro Kool!!

November 22, 2012, 02:46 PM
Seriously retro cool as the "go to" gun for the UI bad guys in Mission Impossible viewed almost religiously as a kid. In our neighborhood, as the adult males were either Ford or Chevy, the kids were either Star Trek or Mission Impossible. I was always diggin' the baddies' Astras and Madsens.

November 22, 2012, 04:09 PM
I had one many years ago and have always regretted selling it.

November 22, 2012, 09:32 PM
The appearance of the 600 is ... different. The grip angle looks awkward to modern eyes.

Taking them apart I hear it a tad.. exciting.

Field-striping is a breeze; I could field-strip and reassemble my 600 faster than a Glock. OTOH, removing the recoil spring from the slide was an adventure often resulting in dents in walls and ceilings.

November 22, 2012, 10:04 PM
Had a 400 and shot it with 9 Largo only as there was a guy at the same show that had a bit of it. Oddly enough 20 or so years earlier someon gave me a mysterymagazine that didn't seem to fit anything I could think of and when I got the 400 home that myster magazine was no longer a mystery.

A buddy turned out to want it more than me and at the time ammo was hard to find and I did shoot and playwith it a bit so I sold it.

Buddy in the service while in Germany hada 600 as a personally owned weapon that he took to Germany from the states. I shot it likely as much as I did the 400 later and rather liked it. The right grip of the 600 had a NSDAP lapel pin of the larger variety with its promenent broken cross in let into it. The response to this at the local German gun club was shall we say mixed. Interestingly one of the older guys that had been a civilian politico of some sort under the nazis looked upon it nostalgicly and commented that he had one "just like it" right down to the inlet lapel pin. My friend had inlet the lapel pin him self and did not know what to think of that.

I can not see one with out thinking of the Condor Legion and their famous raid on Guernica a city that we are told in history classes had no military value or targets........take a look at the top of the slide of those Astra 400 (M1921) spanish service pistols and tell me where they were made.

As a youth (ute?) I wanted an Astra Condor, basically a 600 with an exposed hammer because I thought they were the coolist of the series.

I heard them all refered to as "Spanish Water Pistols" on more than one occassion.

I think retro cool is a good discriptor of their appearence.

Now I have a certain TV theme song in 5/4 time stuck in my head.....thank you guys very much!


November 23, 2012, 09:11 AM
Totally retro cool!

And vern, during a long drought, a guys gotta do what a guys gotta do, lol :evil:

November 23, 2012, 11:06 AM
I agree with Vern. And, not necessarily just in case of a "drought" :)
"Built for comfort, not for speed" can be very fun.

November 23, 2012, 09:10 PM
Ugly retro old school about sums it up :)

I'd jump on one if the price was right.

Parts are likely to be a problem.

November 23, 2012, 09:47 PM
I tend to think they're kinda ugly, yet very cool. I've wanted one for a LONG time.

Maybe not ugly, maybe just funny looking. But I've always liked tube guns.
Looking at the A400/A600, you can see where Bill Holmes got ideas for the upper of his home workshop semiauto pistol.

November 23, 2012, 10:06 PM
Even Glocks look better. It's better looking than a Hi-Point, but not by much.

Jim K
November 23, 2012, 10:13 PM
The Condor has a bit of a drawback. The Astra 400 and 600 are not quite straight blowback; the hammer is designed to cock at a considerable mechanical disadvantage; that causes those pistols to act as delayed blowbacks. But the Condor hammer is designed to allow manual cocking and its spring is lighter and the leverage is different, about eliminating the delay factor. So the feel is different and, IMHO, the recoil harder than the earlier guns. Also, reportedly for the same reason, the guns didn't hold up well.

The best description I have heard about the recoil of those three Astra pistols is that firing one is like hitting a baseball with a cracked bat.

(It has been said that those Astras don't have feeding problems - with that recoil spring, ANYTHING that is in front of the slide is going into the chamber, whether it wants to or not!)


November 23, 2012, 10:30 PM
Oh, I kind of dig it. Retro cool is my vote.

November 23, 2012, 11:24 PM
Call me Kooky, but I've always digged those oddballs. :D

November 26, 2012, 08:46 PM
Hi. Newbie here. Was firing my 600 this afternoon, had a misfire due to old ammo and the slide jammed. Did a web search on correcting the situation and one of the hits was a post from this site. Using the info from that post, I was able to free the slide and eject the round safely. While I was into it, I finished the field stripping and gave it a cleaning. I haven't had it very long. According to the SN (9XXX) it was in the ones that was used by the Germans. It's a great firing pistol and targets better than my Ruger. For me it's easier to disassemble for cleaning too. Anyhow just wanted to say that I was really fortunate to find this site and greatly appreciate the info.:)

November 27, 2012, 11:36 AM
Retro cool for sure. If you watch any or the original Mission Impossible series, it was always the Astra that the bad guys would pull out to hold Cinnamon hostage. It just looked like a bad azz gun to those Hollywood producers.

November 29, 2012, 09:30 AM
Way "retro cool".

It looks like something that Buck Rogers or Flash Gordon would carry. :D



November 29, 2012, 09:50 AM
Tokarev, 1911, and ruger mkii had a baby.

December 27, 2012, 10:24 PM
I have a 600, serial is 27,xxx. I've fired it once, and it's not a fun pistol to fire for a while, nasty recoil.

December 28, 2012, 02:26 PM
Maybe your recoil spring needs replaced. A stronger spring might make it just a gentle push instead of letting it slam back.

December 29, 2012, 11:16 AM
My 400 in 9 Largo has noticable recoil but it isn't at all nasty to shoot.
It isn't as hard to cycle the slide from hammer down as everyone makes it out to be either.

December 30, 2012, 12:12 PM
Many years ago I bought a box of Astra 600 gun parts &magazines . I was able to build. 6 pistols out of the parts. Traded 5 &keep a Port.Navy pistol in very good shape! Still have about 60 magazines left. Nice plinking gun! People always come over to check it out! I ended upon paying $80 per gun. About $1 per magazine! Great retro piece! :D

December 30, 2012, 12:30 PM
I agree to above, replace recoil spring. After building 6 I found them to be easy to assemble &disassemble. All of the ones I had didn't make it to Germany &were sold as surplus weapons. They were a favorite of the German para's as they could jump with it ready.

December 30, 2012, 12:42 PM
this may sound odd, but it kind of reminds me of the tokarev from a glance except with a little more james bond in it.


April 16, 2013, 12:50 PM
This thread only proves that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I love my Astra 600's spacey looks and love shooting it, but I'm not one to try to put 100 rounds at a session through any one gun I own. I'll take three of four along and spread out the wear and tear. Especially with my collectible ones like the Astra.

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