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Educate me on the Astra Constable

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by PBIR, May 10, 2006.

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  1. PBIR

    PBIR Member

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    I just picked this up as part of a trade. Why? I don't know, I guess it appealed to the walther ppk fan inside me. It's not walther sure, but the fit and finish isn't bad and it's pretty accurate with the wallyworld target loads I picked up.

    [​IMG]

    However, the decocker does not always work (it does rotate the block up and safety the weapon but I have to use my thumb to lower the hammer), any ideas what might cause this? Functions fine about 75% of the time BTW.

    I'd like to replace the grips too, but the only ones I have found for constables have a two screw setup per grip while this model only uses one per grip & a tab/hole attachment point at the base of where the two grips meet at the bottom of the backstrap. Any ideas on that?

    Thanks!
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2006
  2. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    Now go trade for a PPK/S or a PPK.
     
  3. PBIR

    PBIR Member

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    Got one you'll trade?
     
  4. kjack

    kjack Member

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    As I recall:

    I had one in .380 many moons ago. The design philosophy (and rough size) was, I think, very similar to the PP/PPK and Mauser HsC - blowback, double action first shot, decocker, in .22, .32 and .380, with an aluminum frame variant. They were imported from Astra in Spain by Garcia (who also brought in Mitchell 300 fishing reels and lots of other stuff from Spain and France).

    There is a slight range of windage adjustment on the rear sight (watch out for the little ball bearing if you choose to take it apart!), so I think it made all the wickets for the GCA '68 import rules (without the very high adjustable rear sight and "target" grips that Browning had to put on some of there hadguns).

    Mine was a pretty solid steel frame and it shot fine. It was a little large (in my opinion) for a pocket pistol, and I prefer other options to the .380. It got traded (of course).

    You've already run into the grips. The grips are a lot thinner than you would think and broken grips were a pretty common problem by too much tightening, made ten times worse in a redesign that went to screws in slightly different locations based on caliber and the 2 screw (early) variant. I think one set I saw for sale was priced in gold nuggets, with no guarantee of fit. Grips hold in a wire spring for the disconnector and the trigger bar (I think) and tight fit of the right grip is important. Duct tape repair won't do it.

    I got a photocopy of a manual from Numrich, I think.

    Any help?
     
  5. PBIR

    PBIR Member

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    KJack,

    That was some good info, thanks. My grips are still functional, I just don't like the thumb swell on the left grip. I think if I could find one that mirrors the right it would be a pretty good pocket carry. This one has no visible means of windage adjustment on the rear sight.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. bluto

    bluto Member

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    Location:
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    I have a Constable in .380 but it is the 4 grip screw model. It's been a great little gun. Didn't always fire in DA mode until I cleaned out the firing pin channel and since then it's worked perfectly. Fires every time in DA and SA. Quite sturdy. I have never babied it. I think the trigger on mine is very smooth and it is accurate. Recently bought a new magazine and recoil spring. Parts are still available if you're patient. My only complaint is that the grips seem to concentrate the recoil in the palm and it feels snappy to shoot.

    Since mine is 100% I'm keeping it. If you can fix yours without dropping too much money I think you'll like it.

    Below are a couple of websites that carry parts. Bob's has the single screw per side grips listed, but out of stock. I didn't check, but he may work on Astras.

    http://www.e-gunparts.com/products.asp?chrMasterModel=1070zCONSTABLE&MC=
    Numrich Gun Parts Corporation

    http://www.gun-parts.com/astra/
    Bob’s Gun Parts


    http://www.gunsworld.com/spain/astra_us.html
    Astra Guns Homepage
     
  7. PBIR

    PBIR Member

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    Seems like a pin running through the left side of the frame into the sear was loose and causing the problem with the safety. I secured it and no more problems so far.
     
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