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Astra 600/43....How'd I do?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by nwilliams, Sep 28, 2010.

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  1. nwilliams

    nwilliams Member

    Dec 10, 2006
    Santa Fe, NM
    I stopped my local shop today and I saw this gun on consignment and figured I'd give it a home.

    It's an Astra 600/43 with all matching numbers and in good condition and the bluing seems to be original, there was some surface rust but it cleaned off easily. It came with a leather holster that fits it perfectly. I couldn't find an import marking on this gun so I don't know if it's a bring back or if it was actually imported. It came with one mag.

    I really didn't know much about these guns until after I bought it and started doing some research when I got home. I normally don't buy guns unless I do some research ahead of time but the gun was priced at $200 so I figured I'd just take a chance.

    BTW anyone know anything about this holster? I can't find anything written on it to indicate who makes it and what it's value might be, I assume it's just something cheap because it was thrown in with the gun.

    Anyway here are some pics.



  2. SharpsDressedMan

    SharpsDressedMan member

    Feb 18, 2007
    NE Ohio
    Fun guns, and you saved about $200 over current prices. Holster is probably a hand made, one of a kind, by a person with reasonable talent for carving.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2010
  3. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    A good deal in the current market.

    Agree that the holster may be homemade or special ordered, there can't be much demand for a Texas Jockstrap holster for an Astra.
  4. tekarra

    tekarra Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Nice 600. I bought one back in the 60s when they were common and very cheap but let it slip away long ago. Thanks for the pics, it stirs a fond memory,
  5. Tecolote

    Tecolote Member

    Feb 8, 2003
    You did good. I missed one for $50 about five or so years ago. I should've been quicker to pull out my cash.
  6. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Member

    Sep 26, 2007
    My 400, arsenal refinished, cost $400, and yours is in better shape, you did good.
  7. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2002
    Centennial, CO
    That my friend was a steal at $200. You can't find the Largo versions for that $$.
  8. Lakeshore

    Lakeshore Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Wow, that was a steal. Last gun show I attended a guy was asking $1,000 for a 600 in similar condition. I owned one decades ago, fine shooting pistol.
  9. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

    Apr 24, 2007
    An Astra 600/43 was one of the first semi-autos I ever owned. Got it for $100 back in the mid '70's. It was in like new condition , with a Spanish military holster which also contained a spare magazine. The gun itself was very tight and capable of some very good accuracy, if not for those small, hard to acquire fixed sights. The only negative thing about this gun was that after awhile, my shooting hand would start to get a little sore from the recoil of the blowback action. That and it was difficult sometimes to work the slide because of that heavy recoil spring.
  10. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

    Jan 19, 2006
    Happy Valley, UT
    Very cool. Congrats.
  11. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    The Astra Model 600 was never a Spanish service pistol, though the Model 400 was adoped as the Model 1921 in 9mm Largo.

    The Astra 600 was designed in 1943 at the request of the Germans, and was made only in 9mm Parabellum. The Germans ordered, and paid in advance for, 50,000 guns. The first shipment of 2950 guns (#51-3000) was made in May, 1944. Germany obtained 10,450 guns before the liberation of France closed down shipments to Germany. The Spanish stored the remaining 31,350 guns and when, after the war, West Germany wanted guns for police, the Spanish sold those to the Germans, charging them again!

    Collectors distinguish between the first batch (which have Nazi German eagle stamps) and the later batch, with the earlier guns being worth more. It is from the second group that most of the imports came. Many were brand new, never issued, and came with new black leather German police holsters. (No, the holster shown is not one of them!)

    The guns are excellent, well made and reliable. Bannockburn has well described the drawbacks.

    While the guns are blowback, there is a hidden trick. The hammer strut is placed at a great mechanical disadvantage, so that it acts to make the gun a retarded blowback. The later Astra 800 Condor does not have that advantage (it has an exposed hammer) and is less durable.

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