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Astra Revolvers

Discussion in 'Handguns: Revolvers' started by lowercase, Nov 21, 2015.

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  1. lowercase

    lowercase Member

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    I'm looking at getting an Astra 960 revolver in .38spl.

    Does anyone have an Astra revolver of any kind? I want a 960, but also see NC-6 and Cadix .38s for sale. I looked up the "Terminator" .44 Mag snubbies, but those seem to be cult classics these days.

    I have seen that astra threads are a dying breed because they stopped production in 1997.

    Astra 960 pic found on internet:


    [​IMG]
     
  2. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Astra revolvers are of good quality, though not (IMHO) equal to S&W. They were used as police guns in many countries because they cost a lot less than S&W or Colt.

    Whether it would be a good buy depends on the price. If close to the price of a used S&W, spend more and buy the Smith. But if the price is right, the Astra probably will give good service. Remember, though, that if anything breaks, parts may be difficult or impossible to find, and parts from other guns (S&W, Taurus, Rossi) will not interchange.

    Jim
     
  3. adcoch1

    adcoch1 Member

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    I had an Astray CADIX in 22 and it was a well built, good handling, smooth triggered revolver. I did sell it but I miss it. A smith&Wesson it was not but it cost 1/4 the price of one. I have played with the 38s too and they are awesome but parts are hard to find. Buy it if its cheap and pass if it is at a premium. My .02
     
  4. Monac

    Monac Member

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    I have an Astra Cadix in 38 Special. When firing in single action mode, the cylinder hand fails to advance the cylinder about 1 time in 3. I asked about the problem in this forum, and the consensus was that it was probably a weak cylinder hand spring, which is a simple problem. My gun may well be 40 or even 50 years old. It does not look like it has been used hard, though.

    I've also owned an FN Barracuda, which was an Astra 357 Magnum / 9mm Parabellum convertible revolver. It was made made by Astra for sale by FN around the time that the European cops were replacing their 32 automatic pistols. The S&W 9mm Model 547 revolver and the Ruger 9mm Speed Six date from the same time.

    That gun had no problems at all, except that I could not find any 9mm moon clips for it. Plus I didn't like to shoot 357 Magnum, and I had a couple of better guns for shooting 38 Special, like a S&W Model 15 and a Colt Police Positive.

    The fact that FN was willing to put its name on it speaks to its quality, I think.

    To sum up: The Cadixs were meant to be decent but inexpensive guns, I think, whereas the 357 Magnums were a top of the line product for Astra.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015
  5. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    lowercase

    I remember seeing Astra revolvers years ago in a number of large sporting goods chain stores. Pretty much agree with those that say while they weren't S&W quality in terms of overall fit and finish they were a fairly decent buy for the money.
     
  6. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    while older 29s and some of the earlier 629s up to maybe -5 , MIGHT be "better made" than this Astra .44mag, I would rather have this example than a lot of the other later example. That is just me and my craftsman eye. I shot my Terminator quite a bit before selling it for a good price, It never gave me any trouble. As I sell my collection down as I age :( , this Astra may be one of the last guns to go as the other would fetch more money and it will still do what I want a large frame >44mag to do, and do it gracefully :)

    [​IMG]
     
  7. CajunBass

    CajunBass Member

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    I came close to buying one of those Astra 44 Magnums like Gordon's a couple of years ago, just for grins and giggles. It was something different, and I like to try different stuff. It certainly appeared to be a well built gun, and the fit and finish certainly "wasn't bad." I forget why I didn't. Probably waited and someone else grabbed it.

    I remember I had a buddy who had one in 357 many, many years ago. He shot his wife's cat with it one night and got into a world of trouble with her. ("I swear if I'd meant to hit it, I'd have missed." What's what rule? Never shoot at anything you're not willing to destroy?) Anyway, I never think of or see an Astra revolver, I don't think of him.
     
  8. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I have an Astra in .357 and .44 Mag. I really like them a lot. If I find a good deal on one in .45 Colt I will be all over it. But, as posted, I won't pay close to S&W prices for one.

    I don't know about the Cadix, but the 960 should be a good revolver. For the right price I would buy one of those in a heartbeat.
     
  9. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    I recently purchased an Astra Cadix .22LR after searching for the right one for many years. It is very well made and a solid gun. I can't say for sure if it will last for 100,000 rounds but it seems to be a very good gun for <$300.

    [​IMG]
     
  10. natman

    natman Member

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    I have a Cadix in 38 Spl and an N-frame sized 45 Colt. They may not be quite as nicely made as a good Smith, but they're not far behind either. The 45 Colt is especially accurate.
     
  11. JC111

    JC111 Member

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    FN marketed the Astra 357 magnum with the 3" barrel as the Barracuda back in the eighties. The Barracuda was FN's first and only venture into revolvers. FN marketed the Barracuda from 1974-1989. Most of the Barracuda's were made in the 1970's. It was a solid frame, double action revolver with a swing out cylinder and fixed sights. A sturdy if unspectacular revolver. It was only manufactured with a three inch barrel. A 9mm Parabellum cylinder was also manufactured for the Barracuda. The 9mm rounds required a full moon or half-moon clip in order to load in the 9mm cylinder. The Barracuda saw some use by by police and private security, but it appeared just as the semi-automatic handgun was beginning to take over the police market. Consequently it wasn't the success that FN had hoped for. Every so often used specimens are found for sale in the United States for very reasonable prices. More often than not the .357 magnum cylinder is installed and the 9mm cylinder is nowhere to be found. Regardless of the company name they are Astra revolvers through and through. If they were crap I really don't think FN would have put it's name on them.
     

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    Last edited: Nov 25, 2015
  12. Carne Frio

    Carne Frio Member

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    I have a 44 magnum Astra Terminator. I carry it quite a lot.
    Never had a problem with it. I would buy another if available.
    [resize=500][​IMG][/resize]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2015
  13. silicosys4

    silicosys4 Member

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    Lol, my Astra Terminator fits like a glove into a holster made for a 3" lew horton N frame.
    It actually conceals pretty decently too, especially during the winter months.

    As for quality, they are actually pretty decent quality. The terminators were brought in by Jovino, and they weren't known for importing or working on cheap guns.
    I would say mine is about the same quality as my Smiths, maybe a tad lower. Not a Rohm or LLama revolver by any stretch though
     
  14. montanaoffroader

    montanaoffroader Member

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    I have an Astra Cadix .22 revolver, very decent gun for the price. As others have mentioned, it's not quite the quality level of a Smith & Wesson but it's not bad either.

    It shoots reasonably straight with no apparent problems and I have no plans to get rid of it any time soon..........
     
  15. Confederate

    Confederate Member

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    Quite right, though many of the later Astras were remarkably well made. For several years I had an Astra .44 mag DA that was exceptionally well made. Put side-by-side with a production S&W, it was tough to tell which was the better. Clearly the S&W is the one I'd trust just because of the name, but the workmanship on the Astra was clearly impressive.

    Here are some photos that are better than the ugly photo above:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Side-by-side with my S&W 629, it's tough to tell which is the better made.

    As to whether the gun you're interested in is worth it, it all depends on the shape it's in, the finish and how much you're paying. If you can get a Ruger in the same price range, I'd go with that.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Another Astra pic.

    [​IMG]
     
  17. skidder

    skidder Member

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    I have the 44 Mag.
    It is not a 629, but it works for what I need it for.

    Last time I shot it the cylinder jumped halfway to the next chamber. This only happened on MAX powered loads. The medium and 44 special loads were fine. I think it is just needs a new cylinder notch spring. Mine used to be 6", but I cut down to 4".

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Mk VII

    Mk VII Member

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    These Astra Cadix revolvers had a certain notoriety here as the gun used in a (largely unsuccessful) attempt to kidnap the Queen's daughter in 1974.
     
  19. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Very nice job. Looks great.
     
  20. skidder

    skidder Member

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    Thanks bud!! I was incredibly nervous when the hacksaw hit the metal, but there was something wrong with the accuracy. Whatever it was seems to have been fixed with the 2 inches removed.

    Here's my thread from a couple years ago if you are interested. I've since had the original sight reinstalled by a gunsmith drilling and tapping the original back in place. But I still have the threaded hole for the bead sight if I ever want to put it back on. It shoots really good now.

    http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=745881
     
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