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  #1  
Old 04-23-2010, 06:05 PM
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Default UNAMERICAN HANDGUNS: DANI'S ASTRA .38 SPECIAL SPORT-REVOLVER

This is the introduction of the Astra Sport .38 Special. The spanish gunfactory built this gun many years ago. The highly polished surface, the blueing,
the pure single-action, the lockwork and timing is first class. The rearsight and the frontsight delivers a great sightpicture.
The frontsight is changeable.



The gun shows some very good solutions.
1: The DA-function is not in operation. The cylinder turns, but the hammer don't move, when you pull the trigger.
2: One can adjust the triggerpull with the screw on the back of the grippiece. No opening of the gun is necessary. The screw got direct influence to
the spring of the sliding-piece.




3: The ring in the grippiece got 4 holes with different depths for the main spring. Turning this ring one fourth, will change the pressure of the hammerspring in a fast and easy way

4:The uncommon remaining material on the grippiece adds additional weight and you can hold the gun very stable in the hand.

Dani payed less than US$ 350.-- for this gun. In my eyes is this not to much for a gun with this quality.

Any comments? We take them all.


Dani and Swissman

Last edited by Swissman; 05-16-2010 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:09 PM
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Supernice!!!

I have never looked at Astra before, but you have opened my eyes- very, very nice!!!
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:28 PM
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Very nice. Reminds me of a J frame inside.
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:43 PM
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Does the DA not work or is it designed that way?
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Old 04-23-2010, 06:46 PM
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I really like that one-interesting engineering regarding the different pull weights. Sip it looks like it is designed to be a single action target revolver. Look closely at the trigger and you will see that it lacks that double action do-hicky that you see on the Smith.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:22 PM
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Their double action triggers are fairly similar but that one is obviously made for single action only.

Quote:
4:The uncommon remaining material on the grippiece adds additional weight and you can hold the gun very stable in the hand.
I've always preferred a butt heavy handgun myself, and for this very reason. While heavy barrels may dampen recoil from light target loads, it seems to magnify wobble too. Butt heavy versions seem to hold rock steady and are especially nice for long range shooting.

It's worth would depend on how it feels, how smooth the action is, how accurate it is and mostly how well you like it. I would buy it over a new S&W, Colt or Ruger myself.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:33 PM
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Astras were one of the better made Spanish guns. I used to see very nice examples of their revolvers at a shop that dealt alot in police trade-ins and imports. That shop is gone and the only Astras I see anymore have had alot of rough use.
You found a gem there. Congrats.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:23 PM
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Hi fellas. Nice gun, Dani. So when are you headed back this way?
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Old 04-24-2010, 12:21 PM
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The internals look very similar to S&W. I wonder about patent infringements?
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Old 04-24-2010, 01:08 PM
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Very nice ideas and engineering.
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Old 04-24-2010, 05:45 PM
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My current daily carry is an Astra .44 mag Terminator snubby.
I am amazed by this gun... the feel, accuracy, shootability.
It really is a gem.
CONGRATS!


Jim
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  #12  
Old 04-24-2010, 07:33 PM
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I really like that Astra revolver. Thanks for the post. Don
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Old 04-24-2010, 07:38 PM
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nice! [lust mode /on]
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Old 04-25-2010, 01:28 PM
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Default A quick first testfiring with the Astra Sport

Each of us two made some .38 Wacutter loads and we had to learn, that this round needs a lot of attention. Keyholes and tumbling bullets
are a standard routine until the right load for a specific gun is found. What works great in my Model 52 was a desaster in Dani's Astra.


The gun got a big potential. Dani made this 27.5 yard 5 round group in a free standing position. The powder was Solo 1000.


The gun will get now a special treatment by Dani. Complete disassembling, cleaning and oiling will additionally improve the feel of the fine lockwork.

Swissman
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:36 PM
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Very nice gun. Nice classic lines. Congrats to Dani on great find.

I am just getting my feet wet with S&W revolvers and you have to show me something else I might want! Thank you for advanced gun educating.
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Old 05-16-2010, 11:05 AM
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Default More details about this gun!

Dani is very fascinated about the improvements of the known technique in this spanish made revolver. The lockwork is similar to the S&W, but here is another speciality
of this bullseye-gun. The transfer of the "let-off"-power goes via a metallplate that is linked with two axis with the trigger and the slide. Please excuse the bad picture-quality.
They were taken with a cellphonecamera.



In between, Dani customized his gun with a selfmade triggerstop. He set the pin into the trigger and secured it with some "super-glue".
Then he filed the lenght of the pin that the trigger got only 0.007 inch overtravel. That's enough for a positive hammer-let-off and a reduced movement of the gun.





Swissman

Last edited by Swissman; 05-16-2010 at 11:46 AM.
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Old 05-16-2010, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Swissman View Post
Dani is very fascinated about the improvements of the known technique in this spanish made revolver...
Let me see. "Improvements."

"Improvements"...

"Improvements"...

"Improvements"...

There, I think I've got it right! You two are having a real field day with your un-American handguns, but we cannot let that one slide.

You could build two guns with the unnecessary parts in that thing.
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Old 05-18-2010, 01:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M29since14 View Post
......

You could build two guns with the unnecessary parts in that thing.

Hello M29since14!!

I know exactly ninety-two unnecessary parts, that will never, ever become a weapon!

Swissman
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Old 05-18-2010, 05:18 PM
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Greetings Swissman!

For members who may not have the pleasure to know Swissman so well, this last remark refers to the 92FS/M9, which he is so determined against it borders upon the theatrical.

For some reason, I once made the fatal mistake of telling Swissman his newly-acquired S&W Model 59 was roughly the equal of my Beretta 92. He has never let me forget it.

Swissman is no slouch with his Model 59 - but he cheats! He resorts to Swiss military ammunition, which appears to be of pretty good quality compared to ordinary 9mm ball that we buy here in the U.S.

Actually, the number of parts in the Italian pistol is around 80, IIRC. Probably still too many for Swissman...

Anyway, interesting revolver that Astra!
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Old 05-18-2010, 08:56 PM
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Default P&R Flat Latch

Nice looking Astra. Plus, its a .38 Special with recessed cylinder (unlike S&W .38 Spl)...and has a pinned barrel plus is a flat latch.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:50 AM
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hey Swissman
I was looking for more information on the .38 special Astra (longer barrel) and found this thread. I am from South Africa and I am the new owner of the exact same type of revolver as in your picture. I will attach a photo as soon as I can. I inherited it and unfortunately have no information at all on it. I was looking for more info on it, can you maybe help. Approximate year of manufacture? What was it made for? Why the longer barrel? Best ammo to use?
Thanks
Frikkie
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H Richard View Post
The internals look very similar to S&W. I wonder about patent infringements?

In the 1920's, sure. Now? For a design that old?

Those were sold here, but I don't like the shape of the frame, and the hammer looks like a cheap casting.

I understand that they were very well made. Their little Cadix model that competed with the S&W M-36 looked pretty modernistic for a revolver.

Dani, how are you feeling? I recall that you were ill awhile ago. I trust that all is now well? I sent up a prayer on your behalf.

The price seems fair. I suspect that Swiss prices tend to average higher than here, except on Swiss guns, where the reverse is true. I suspect that this might sell here for maybe $200-300, if it sold at all. The lack of a DA trigger would turn off most buyers. I do know that S&W made a similar SA-only version of the K-38/M-14.

I suspect that it will shoot quite well. Parts and repair, if ever needed, may be difficult to find.
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Old 01-09-2012, 10:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frikkie View Post
hey Swissman
I was looking for more information on the .38 special Astra (longer barrel) and found this thread. I am from South Africa and I am the new owner of the exact same type of revolver as in your picture. I will attach a photo as soon as I can. I inherited it and unfortunately have no information at all on it. I was looking for more info on it, can you maybe help. Approximate year of manufacture? What was it made for? Why the longer barrel? Best ammo to use?
Thanks
Frikkie

Frikkie-

Welkom!

I'm not Swissman, but have the late David W. Arnold's, "Shoot a Handgun", which was first published in South Africa, before David moved here to work for Petersen Publications. It does picture an Astra, and I think the book appeared in the 1970's. As you presumably know all too well, the US and other gutless nations imposed an arms embargo on your country in those days, but most types got there, via various means.

The longer barrel was very popular for target shooting, which is the purpose of this model. It was normally made with a selective double action, like most revolvers. Shorter barrels were available. This parallels the S&W M-14 with six-inch barrel and their M-15, the same basic gun with a four-inch barrel that also tapered.

I don't know Spanish proof house standards, so can't comment on the ammunition. I'm sure that standard velocity .38 Special is okay, maybe Plus P. Some of these were made in .357 Magnum caliber, and were proofed for that round.

If you can carry openly, the six-inch barrel will not be a problem, and it would suffice as a house gun, especially if yours is not this SA-only target model. If you can shoot small game there, or snakes, the .38 is ample, with the right loads. The .357 version will take the smaller buck, like Springbok, and bail you out of any difficulties with a python or Nile monitor lizard. I think the Afrikaans name is leguuan, if I spelled that right. (My Afrikaans is largely limited to Welkom, Tot Siens, Dankie, and Mooie Meisie. ) Hope I spelled that last right. Been awhile since I saw it in print. Means "prettty girl". Or, so a book glossary said... I need to remember that in case I ever meet model Candice Swanepoel signing autographs in a Victoria's Secret shop...Might impress her that I can speak any Afrikaans at all.

Swissman can probably tell you the caliber marked on the barrel, or it should appear on your gun. I'd be interested to know if you have the SA-only model, or regular DA and if yours may be a .357. The six-inch barrel gives an improved sight picture and higher velocity than shorter barrels. It is not inherently more accurate, but the added weight helps to hold the gun more steady.

BTW, we have another South African member, but he mostly posts in the forum for guns made from 1896-1961. His name is Peter.

Tot Siens,

T-Star
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Old 01-10-2012, 04:16 PM
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Dankie T-Star. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. After looking more closely I realize it is not exactly the same gun as Swissman. This is the Astra .38 Special Cadix 4 inch barrel and not the 6 inch barrel. Seems like the regular DA if I am not mistaken? and it is definately the .38 and not .357. More info on this gun welcome! See my photos attached.















T-Star, I like the Afrikaans! It is Mooi Meise and I think you were looking for the word Likkewaan (monitor lizard). We can shoot game here on game farms, but for now I will stick to some target practicing.

Thanks,
Frikkie

Last edited by Frikkie; 01-11-2012 at 02:33 AM.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:13 PM
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The Astra Match is one Single action only revolver.
Build from 1978 till 1990. Just 1000 pieces where made.
kaliber is .38 special
Barrellenght 5", 5,5"and 6".
According the book Baskische Pistolen & Revolver from Albrecht Simon.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:56 PM
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I know that this has been pointed out before. But the term "unamerican" that you use in your title should really be "nonamerican". There is a difference!
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Texas Star View Post
I suspect that it will shoot quite well. Parts and repair, if ever needed, may be difficult to find.
Parts? Repair? They are Swiss! they will fabricate their own, better, faster, stronger!!

Nice gun!
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frikkie View Post
Dankie T-Star. Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate it. After looking more closely I realize it is not exactly the same gun as Swissman. This is the Astra .38 Special Cadix 4 inch barrel and not the 6 inch barrel. Seems like the regular DA if I am not mistaken? and it is definately the .38 and not .357. More info on this gun welcome! See my photos attached.











T-Star, I like the Afrikaans! It is Mooi Meise and I think you were looking for the word Likkewaan (monitor lizard). We can shoot game here on game farms, but for now I will stick to some target practicing.

Thanks,
Frikkie
Frikkie-

You can easily tell if the gun has selective DA just by pulling the trigger and seeing if that works and if you can also cock the hammer for a shorter SA pull. Probably so, and the Cadix is a more practical gun for general carry than Swissman's larger target model.

Do you know if the Likkewaan/Nile monitor ever attacks people there? There is a breeding population of them in Florida, from released pets, and they have been eating pets and scaring people. I read that they can grow to eight feet.

Thanks for the mooi meise spelling. BTW, Candice Swanepoel comes from a town called Mooi River, I think in Natal. Saw it on some entertainment show.

Your photos are just red X's, but I know what the Cadix looks like. I think I may have read that the grips can be adjusted to suit your hand and the grip angle better. Maybe just on some versions?
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Old 01-11-2012, 02:52 AM
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hey T-Star

I've changed the photos to public, hopefully the pictures will show now in the post above?

Thanks for clarifying that, it is then definitely DA, I can pull the trigger or cock the hammer for shorter SA pull. Yes, the Cadix 4inch barrel seems more practical size for house gun.

I dont know of any incidents where the Nile monitor attacked people here, they get big but they are very shy and you rarely see them and it would normally run away if you approach it. We do have some problems with Pythons catching pets in the farm areas.

I live in Pretoria, Gauteng, which is about a six hour drive to Mooi River. I will put in a good word for you if I see Candice Swanepoel here in South Africa... lol.

Is the photos showing now, I dont see anywhere where I can adjust the grip of the .38 special...

Frikkie
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frikkie View Post
hey T-Star

I've changed the photos to public, hopefully the pictures will show now in the post above?

Thanks for clarifying that, it is then definitely DA, I can pull the trigger or cock the hammer for shorter SA pull. Yes, the Cadix 4inch barrel seems more practical size for house gun.

I dont know of any incidents where the Nile monitor attacked people here, they get big but they are very shy and you rarely see them and it would normally run away if you approach it. We do have some problems with Pythons catching pets in the farm areas.

I live in Pretoria, Gauteng, which is about a six hour drive to Mooi River. I will put in a good word for you if I see Candice Swanepoel here in South Africa... lol.

Is the photos showing now, I dont see anywhere where I can adjust the grip of the .38 special...

Frikkie

Frikkie-

Ja, I see the photos above now. Look at the way the grip plates fit the frame. It looks as if you might be able to loosen the grip screw and rock them back or forth a bit and get a different fit. Then, re-tighten the screw. ?? Maybe someone knows more. I gather that you didn't get a factory manual?

I'll ask on another board and see if anyone there knows about this, and tell you if they do.

I imagine that Candice visits her family in Mooi River, but she seems to live in London and in New York. I believe she has dated another (male) model in London for several years. You can find quite a few videos of her on YouTube. She is one of the Victoria's Secret spokesmodels, called Angels.

I also saw a pictorial on another Afrikaaner model named Candice Boucher. Swanepoel is blonde; Boucher has brown hair. Of course, Charlize Theron lives here now, and is probably the most famous Afrikaaner woman in the world. Don't know that I'd want to date her, though. She seems to hold pretty typical Hollywood values, although I think she sees through the plastic nonsense and smirks about it. But she is also pretty "PC". Probably has to be, to nurture her movie career. Anyway, I think she's taller than I am.

Thanks for the word on the Nile monitor. They seem to have an aggressive attitude in Florida. Burmese pythons are now common there, but I don't know of any attacks on humans yet. I've read that the pet trade regards the African Rock Python as an aggressive species, but the pet business is not the same as seeing the snakes in the wild.

Is the Musgrave gun business still there? I saw some of their rifles here at the SHOT show years ago, but sanctions ultimately prevented them being imported.

BTW, I once sold an article on South African wines to a major newspaper's food section. We do see those here, and sanctions are a thing of the past, thankfully.

Oh: funny story. I once helped a Dallas college girl who had been hired to help two men from your consulate in New Orleans at the Texas State Fair, a large event. They went to lunch, and she couldn't answer some questions from visitors. I answered most, and got her 'phone number and we dated for several months. The guys from the consulate were so happy with my interest and knowledge that they gave me some Castle lager and a subscription to, "South African Panorama", a beautiful magazine. And I published an opinion editorial in the, "Dallas Morning News" defending South Africa's positions of the day. I called it, "The Other Side of the Krugerrand." It was about the only positive thing that I read about your country in those days, in the mainstream press. Can't say more here without getting political, and that was yesterday, anyway. The world has changed.

T-Star

Last edited by Texas Star; 01-11-2012 at 09:07 AM.
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Old 01-12-2012, 05:35 AM
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hey T-Star

I am taking it this weekend for some target practice. Will fiddle around with it and see if the grip can adjust and will give feedback.

Musgrave changed their name to Denel many years ago, but they are still in business, I think they specialize more in military type of equipment and aviation since then.

I was ten years old when the sanctions stopped so for me it is only a story that my parents tells, not a reality for me. Yes, we are proud our beer and wine we produce.

Anyway, thanks for the response. Will let you know how it went at the shooting range.

Tot Siens
Frikkie
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Old 01-16-2012, 05:58 AM
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Okay, took my .38 special astra cadix to the shooting range this weekend for the first time. Was a lot harder than expected. Recoil is heavy and my shooting skills apparently not so good. The target swissman is showing off on page 2 of this thread at 27.5 yard is very impressive compared to our efforts. We shot from 15m (16.4 yards) free standing and sometimes missed the target completely. Maybe we just need some practice... We bought the cheapest ammunition (reloaded) we could find, I suspect the ammo is also not performing so good, had some that was deformed a little. Not sure if the quality ammo could affect the accuracy...?

T-Star, I tried, but could not adjust the grip at all.

Overall I am very impressed with the revolver. The 4 inch barrel seems to be more accurate compared to the snubnose, less noise and little less recoil.

Next I am looking into getting affordable ammunition that is decent quality for target shooting or maybe I should start reloading myself...

Frikkie
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Old 01-16-2012, 08:34 AM
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Frikkie-

Sounds like you need both better basic handgun instruction AND better ammo.

I avoid cheap ammo and reloads from other people.

If you know someone who is a really good pistol shot, let him try the Astra with fresh factory ammo of good brand. I suspect that it's just a matter of learning how to aim and squeeze well, with the proper sight pcture, and getting better cartridges.

A good quality revolver should keep a cylinderful of ammo in about a two-inch span at 25 yards. I've shot groups offhand that were all in one jagged hole at that distance. Don't know if Astra will do that, but Colt, Ruger, and S&W guns have.

Thanks for getting back to us and good luck with getting better results. Practice will surely help, but if that ammo in .38 Special recoils that badly and looks that bad, don't shoot it.

Last edited by Texas Star; 01-16-2012 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 01-16-2012, 10:14 AM
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There is nothing more confounding than not knowing the quality of your ammunition! By all means, do not waste your time and money on ammunition that you suspect may not be of good quality. Besides being frustrating, bad ammunition can be dangerous to you and your gun.

Frikkie, have you practiced dry-firing your revolver? If you are missing a target of fairly decent size at 15m, I suggest you do some dry-firing. Pay particular attention to your sights as the hammer falls. If your sights deviate from the target as you release the trigger, then your shot will deviate too. This is called "follow through." The gun must be held on target as the discharge of the cartridge occurs.

If you dry-fire your handgun at any place other than at a range, you must observe strict safety precautions. A small paper could be written about that, but the easiest way to think about safety during dry-firing is to assume that somehow - despite all your best efforts - you might have an accidental discharge some day while doing it. Whatever you are aiming at should be such that if a discharge would occur, it would not harm anyone.
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Old 01-16-2012, 01:56 PM
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Frikkie,

It is nice that this post, long ago made in Switzerland about a gun which was made in Spain, found by you on a forum,
originated in the U.S. of America, can help and gives some input to a shooter in South-Africa.

Don't give up on the gun. Ammo is important, but most of the problems which came up in the shooting-sport, got the reason,
right behind the gun. Get an instruction-hour at your range to avoid that bad shooting-habits will taking place. It is much
harder to loosing again bad habits than learning the right way from the start. This will save you a lot of ammo and frustration.

Please keep in mind, that the Cadix is not made for bullseye-shooting as the most important feature. It's more a self-defense/duty-gun.

Texas Star and the other very experienced members here will give you the necessary advice to wring out the best of this spanish gun.

Swissman

Last edited by Swissman; 01-16-2012 at 02:03 PM.
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  #36  
Old 01-17-2012, 02:38 AM
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Thanks Texas Star, M29Since14 and Swissman for the feedback. Thanks to all of your advice my plan forward will be to practicing dry-firing, buying quality ammunition and try and get someone that is experienced to go along and help with the teqnique (unfortunately we dont have any instructors at the shooting ranges). Will give feedback how it went in a month or so.

Frikkie

Last edited by Frikkie; 01-17-2012 at 03:52 AM.
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  #37  
Old 01-17-2012, 09:35 AM
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Frikkie-

See if you can find that book by David Arnold: "Shoot a Handgun". It's one of the better such items.

Good luck.
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