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Three for $750... what do you think?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Tallball, Jun 8, 2019.

  1. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I ended up blowing my summer gun budget all at once. All three of them were roughly $760 total, OTD. I didn't plan it this way, but stuff happens. :)

    I really like my 40 caliber Sig P229, and I had read that Astra made a pistol very similar to it. I accidentally found a 45acp example in nice shape for about $250 plus shipping. The lighting in the picture is poor; it looks much better in person. Other than the caliber, it is different than the Sig in a few aspects: it has a steel frame instead of aluminum, the takedown lever is on the other side, and it has a heel magazine release instead of a button. I know that there are some other technical differences, but those are the ones I noticed right away. The DA trigger is dreadful, but the SA trigger is excellent. It was imported by Interarms. It is dry as a bone and filthy. I will definitely clean it before I take it to the range.

    The LGS had a Bauer 25acp sitting in one of the glass cases for months, much longer than the owner has a tolerance for. When I came in to pick up the Astra and Kahr, I asked him how much he would take to get rid of it. He said he was in it for $189 and would give it to me for that. I offered $200 and skip the FFL fee on the two handguns I was picking up, and he said okay. I know it's a copy of the Browning design and I've heard they are well-made. It's in good shape other than cracked grips. The sights sure are tiny. I don't know much else about them, but it looks fun to shoot. It's the smallest handgun I've ever owned.

    I didn't own a pocket-sized autoloader in anything larger than 9mm, but I happened to run across a nice Kahr PM40 for about $250 plus shipping and couldn't resist. I have also never owned a Kahr, but have heard nice things about them. The trigger pull is kind of long, but very light and smooth. I ordered a slightly extended magazine for it that has a pinky extension, and also a DeSantis Nemesis pocket holster. Recoil doesn't normally bother me, so I am expecting to shoot it just fine as long as I can get my pinky on it (which I can't do with the flush mag). If I like it and it shoots a few hundred rounds with NP, I may start carrying it in the cargo pocket of my shorts this summer.

    I don't know very much about any of these particular pistols, so I would be grateful for any knowledge or advice that you could pass on to me. The Astra and the Bauer are pretty much just for fun. I might carry the Kahr some. Anything you could tell me about your experiences with them, their history or peculiarities, advice on ammo or spare mags, etc. would be much appreciated. Thanks for reading! :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
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  2. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Tallball

    I have found with other Astras I have owned or used that they're well designed and solidly built. My main concern here would be finding spare parts and magazines for it.

    Had a Kahr CW40 over ten years ago and while I did have some problems with it (even after the break-in period), I didn't feel the .40 S&W round caused all that much more felt recoil than a 9mm. version, though muzzle flip was certainly a bit of a factor!

    The Bauers I have looked at always seemed to be well made but I can recall reading numerous stories over the years about owners having reliability issues with the diminutive gun. Please let us know how this one does at the range.
     
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  3. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    I believe you, really I do...... :)
     
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    That little Bauer .25 is pretty neat.
     
  5. unclenunzie

    unclenunzie Member

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    I have Bauer and a PM40 (black with night sights).

    The Bauer is fun and is pretty much a clone of the Browning except for one part (I think only one). You can find parts for it if needed including new magazines. I recall reading that the slide and frame are made of the same stainless steel, a concern for galling. I have used synthetic grease and have not had problems, but I haven't shot it much. I put in a titanium firing pin and a set of new springs & magazines from Precision Small Arms. The original magazine spring was very weak and the mag tube very thin. It actually had cartridge impressions in it. I have only used the new mags.

    Safety things: If it falls on the rear the trigger can pull itself with the safety off. I think this is inherent in the design. Also it it uses the firing pin as ejector - so removing a live round should be done... carefully.

    I even picked up an original Roy's Leather pancake holster (basket weave with thumb break). I couldn't resist it being left handed.

    20161113_103619.jpg

    20161113_103550.jpg

    The PM40 took a bit of work to get it to lock back on empty reliably, but I bought it used & know the platform well (for a non-gunsmith person). It's not quite as comfortable for me in hand as the PM9, but close, and just plain excellent as a very small 40 you can actually pocket. Your picture shows the older blunt nose version, which many Kahr people prefer. Make sure you are clear on the recoil spring assembly types, there are 3 of them. Yours would be type 1 or type 2.

    Enjoy you new pistols!
     
  6. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Thanks for all of the info and encouragement. I am busy early next week, but hope to make it to the range by Thursday or Friday. The extended magazine for the Kahr should have gotten to me by then. I will also clean and lube all of them before they get shot. I read that the Bauer will take grips (and mags, IIRC) for the Browning, so I might eventually get some. The Astra and the Bauer are totally range toys, so if I only have one magazine for them, NBD.

    Walkalong: I really wasn't looking specifically for the Astra, but it was on my "If I see one for cheap I'll buy it" list. I happened to run across it while I was looking through what one of my favorite GB vendors happened to have up for auction. I like the sellers who put up a whole bunch of random stuff and start them all at one penny.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2019
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  7. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I bought my Bauer in 2015 when I stopped in an out-of-town pawnie looking to see if what would be my first 1911 would be there. It wasn't, but the .25 was, and I had been thinking of one for a while, having developed an interest in the caliber (I had recently acquired a Taurus PT-25 as well.)

    My Bauer was a disappointment on the one range trip it's been on, failing to feed two or three times of each mag-load. Later, at home, I was handling it and noticed a distinctive click when inserting the magazine that occurs before the magazine is fully seated. I feel it's possible that this click was making me think the magazine was fully-inserted before it actually was when I was shooting it, and that could have been part of the problem, but I honestly have not yet returned it to the range. Still, it's a nicely-crafted little pocket jewel that, for me, is not going to be a carry piece. I doubt many have ever been shot enough to make the potential steel-to-steel galling concern a real issue.
     
  8. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    Indeed, it happens to me all the time as well. A Colt 1908 Vest Pocket model is next on my list. I need a close quarter "lift up that rock to see if there's a snake" gun and this fits the bill. I've looked at the Bauer and they appear to be very well made. The Bauer may be the route I take to address this recently identified role deficit.
     
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  9. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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  10. Monac

    Monac Member

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    Tallball, you should get a Phoenix HP-25. It's the modern day equivalent of the two 25 caliber pistols in your last post - big enough to hold properly, with sights you can pretty much see, and a big enough magazine to actually get something done. It's got two safety catches (one for regular use and one for lowering the hammer), and one safety catch is connected to the magazine release and possibly the thigh bone - it's kind of complicated, but interesting. It's single action and made out of some fairly heavy metal, so it's overweight, underpowered, and obsolescent by today's standards, but neat if you like .25s. I'm not sure they make it any more, but there should be a lot of them still around, cheap.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  11. drobs

    drobs Member

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    Looks like a nice batch of guns. I understand those Bauer pistols have a bit of a following.
    I too, accidentally find deals searching gunbroker. So much so that I stay off there.
     
  12. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    I'm following that wise advice, Drobs. I haven't looked at Gunbroker for a week now (a new record).

    Monac, I have the Phoenix in 22lr. I got it used and it gave me problems. I need to install the new firing pin and spring that I recently purchased for it.
     
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  13. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I believe both the HP22A and HP25A are still produced. I purchased both a few months ago, new. I like them both and neither have malfunctioned, though I've not put many rounds through the HP25A.
     
  14. Ca survivor

    Ca survivor Member

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    Sorry, I always go for quality not quantity, but if you're happy that is all it counts.
     
  15. Tallball

    Tallball Member

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    Deleted grumpy post.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  16. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

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    Me too, we buy guns we think are cool or will be fun to shoot, or will be a good self defense gun, or simply because.

    And, as TB posted, nothing cheap about a Kahr, very well made guns. Yea, some of us like variety, and we can't buy all Cadillac, some will be Chevys, some Fords, maybe an Audie, with an occasional Yuga thrown in.
     
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