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Old June 23, 2010, 12:46 PM   #1
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Astra Constable 380

I picked up an Astra 380 yesterday. I haven't owned a 380 in over 25 years, so I wanted to try again - and it was cheap.

It might have had a low price but the build quality is very good! Nice trigger, and it feels nice in the hand.

I dug out my old dies and worked up a few rounds that shot well in the Barretta double stack I had. - Sierra 90 gr JHP

I got a few rounds - Monarch 92 gr ball, with the gun and bought some Rem 100 gr ball.

My handloads and the Monarch stuff were ok, but nothing to get excited about.

The surprise was the Rem 100 gr ball - tight cluster at point of aim.

I didn't stretch the distance, just an honest 7 yd check out.

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Old June 23, 2010, 01:23 PM   #2
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I carried a Astra Constable about 30 years ago but I sold it to a friend that begged me for it. I've always regretted that sale. It was a very accurate and reliable CCW. It never gave me any problems. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I did mine those thirty years ago.
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Old June 23, 2010, 03:44 PM   #3
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I wanted one back then as well. They looked like James Bond's gun at substantially less money than a Walther. Never got one, though. I also never bought a Walther, either. I did scratch the itch, though, and got a Bersa.
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Old June 23, 2010, 08:29 PM   #4
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I've had one for about twenty five years. I've probably had this gun longer than any other gun I've owned. It shoots everything without missing a beat, it's very accurate, and the trigger is very good. It didn't cost much back when I got it either. I've owned, and gotten rid of, a lot of carry guns over the years but for some reason kept this one. Some of the guns I got rid of cost two to three times as much but just didn't seem to be exactly what I wanted. I've never found any fault with the Astra. I never figured out why they weren't more popular than they are.
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Old June 23, 2010, 10:22 PM   #5
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I never figured out why they weren't more popular than they are.
I've always wondered the same about the Star S model. I had a chance to buy a Constable recently for $279 in good shape, but made my decision too late.
CNC produced 416 stainless triggers to replace the plastic triggers on Colt Mustangs, Mustang Plus II's, MK IV Government .380's and Sig P238's and P938's. Plus Colt Mustang hardened 416 guide rods, and Llama .32 and .380 recoil spring buttons, checkered nicely and blued.
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Old June 24, 2010, 07:23 AM   #6
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Thanks for the replies.

I think the Astra and most of the handguns made in Spain suffered in reputation due to the early crummy copies of american handguns especially the Ruby copy of the S&W.

That funny looking Astra 600 didn't help either.

The finish on my Astra is bad, a lot of wear from being in a gun rug. I did a field strip and found moisture damage inside - mainly reddish scum. A really good cleaning and moderate lube. It went to the range and performed well.

It was a good buy at $170.

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Old June 24, 2010, 08:34 AM   #7
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I never figured out why they weren't more popular than they are.
Spanish firearms have been a mixed bag. The early Astra 400/600 (I have both), etc. are great guns with lots of history. I'd warn that with the 600 in 9mm Luger the recoil can be very stout.

As to Spanish guns in general, some have been excellent, many others not so much. Even within a brand like Llama there are winners and stinkers often depending on when they were made. With Star there are defintely some very good guns, such as the minty Star 30M that I just acquired which is built like a tank.

I did have an Astra Constable that I ended up selling. I regret selling it. There is a part(s) that is prone to breaking and I decided to deal it out before I could experience that heartbreak. I seem to recall that it has something to do with the safety lever and an aspect of the grips. Parts availablity can be an issue with older Spanish guns. Overall it's a very nice gun and very nicely made. I suppose I'll pick up another one if the right one should present itself at the right price.
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