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Old 10-11-2020, 11:23 PM
SG-688 SG-688 is offline
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Default Astra DA .44 Magnum spotted in LGS

A local shop has a 6 inch blue Astra .44 Magnum DA revolver on the shelf looking for all the world like a model 29 at first glance. I was surprised how good it looked.

The dealer mentioned last year that he had a "Terminator" that he couldn't sell despite many lookers, so I expected to see a 3 inch revolver with an $800 price tag. No to both. $490.

My old Standard Catalog says made 1980-87 with no production numbers given; a little late for the Dirty Harry sales crush. That reminds of the High Standard Crusader that should have been successful in an attempt to fill the supply - demand gap but never made it to production.

Sorry. I should have taken a picture.

Bonus points trivia question: What long-running TV LAPD cop carried an Astra Terminator 3 inch for a couple of seasons in the 80's?
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Old 10-11-2020, 11:26 PM
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I have a stainless Terminator. Great gun, but a real handful with full power 44 mag loads.

Basically an N-sized frame with a K-sized grip. The hammer-spring preload adjustment system (which also adjusts trigger weight of course) is really ingenious.

Fred Dryer carried one in the series Hunter.
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Last edited by BC38; 10-11-2020 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 10-11-2020, 11:43 PM
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.... The hammer-spring preload adjustment system (which also adjusts trigger weight of course) is really ingenious.
.
THAT I didn't know about. How's it work?
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Old 10-12-2020, 12:01 AM
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If you look at the attached photo, the ring a the bottom of the grip frame slides out of the frame sideways. There are 4 different holes drilled around the perimeter, and each one is a different depth. The 4 different holes range from around 1/16" deep to almost 3/16" deep, and they are the "seat" for the hammer mainspring.

If you seat the spring in one of the shallower holes the spring is more pre-compressed which increases the force of the hammer fall, and thereby increases the weight of the trigger pull as well.

If you seat the spring in one of the deeper holes, the spring is less pre-compressed and that lightens the hammer fall and trigger pull.

To change it you just slide the ring out of the frame, choose the depth of hole/amount of pre-compression you want to use and slide the end of the spring retaining rod into that hole then slide the ring assembly back into its hole in the grip frame.

Really simple to use, and as I said, very ingenious. You can set it to have the lightest hammer fall and trigger pull, and if it reliably ignites all your ammo, great. If it doesn't and you get light strikes, adjust it to the next shallower hole and try again. When you get to the lightest setting that reliably ignites all ammo primers with no light strikes, that is the setting to use.

Mine has never failed to fire, even at the lightest setting, and I would estimate the DA trigger pull at around 6 pounds.

And just for grins here are a couple of photos of mine...
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Astra DA .44 Magnum spotted in LGS-gripsoff-jpg   Astra DA .44 Magnum spotted in LGS-dscn2578-1-jpg   Astra DA .44 Magnum spotted in LGS-dscn2575-2-jpg  
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Last edited by BC38; 10-12-2020 at 12:35 AM.
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Old 10-12-2020, 04:24 AM
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I have a stainless Terminator. Great gun, but a real handful with full power 44 mag loads.

Fred Dryer carried one in the series Hunter.
Also used by George Clooney in From Dusk till Dawn.
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Astra DA .44 Magnum spotted in LGS-img_0474-jpg   Astra DA .44 Magnum spotted in LGS-img_0475-jpg  

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Old 10-12-2020, 07:40 AM
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Been Looking For One For A Long Time....
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Old 10-12-2020, 11:14 AM
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Just bought this Astra Terminator Friday. Local pawn shop had it. Some finish wear, but solid and clean otherwise. Got it for short money too.
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Old 10-12-2020, 09:26 PM
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The two pictured have notably different profiles; I'm guessing BC38's is a later, revised edition.
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Old 10-16-2020, 08:11 PM
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I have a stainless Terminator. In almost new condition with the box. Mine says “TERMINATOR” on both the gun and the box. I was on a quest to find one and paid a decent amount to get mine.

I’ve noticed that some are marked “Terminator” while some are not. Mine looks like the stainless one that BC38 has.
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Old 10-17-2020, 11:35 PM
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Here's a funny little tidbit for you.

When I found mine at a LGS for $350 a few years ago, I posted on here asking about them and had a BUNCH of people tell me all the Spanish guns were junk and not to waste my money!

After reading about the history of the Terminator and that they were built by John Jovino with the Astra 44mag as the base gun, I decided it was probably a worthwhile purchase, so I bought it anyway.

I'm glad I did...
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Last edited by BC38; 10-18-2020 at 12:16 AM.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:01 AM
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I put an Astra Terminator in my 2019 book, Turn Red Tomorrow. Didn't know about the connection to the show Hunter, but I did mention its appearance in From Dusk Till Dawn.

Hollywood likes big handguns because they show up much better on screen than the compacts and belly guns.
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Old 10-18-2020, 12:17 AM
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Quote:
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I put an Astra Terminator in my 2019 book, Turn Red Tomorrow. Didn't know about the connection to the show Hunter, but I did mention its appearance in From Dusk Till Dawn.

Hollywood likes big handguns because they show up much better on screen than the compacts and belly guns.
Next time we go shooting at Boggs Pit, I'll have to bring mine along and let you shoot it, seeing as how you put it in your book and all!
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Old 10-18-2020, 02:53 AM
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Next time we go shooting at Boggs Pit, I'll have to bring mine along and let you shoot it, seeing as how you put it in your book and all!
Sounds good! I'm pining to go out there myself.
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