by David Tong
David gives us a detailed look at the Astra 400 Service Pistol as this interesting collectible handgun is becoming harder to find and with good reason.
First off, it is a straight blowback mechanism. This method of operation is usually not found using high pressure cartridges, and the 9X23mm Largo round is equivalent to a standard-pressure 9X19mm Luger round.
Blowback automatics use a heavy slide and recoil spring in order to allow pressures to drop by delaying the opening of the action. Examples of pistols using blowback operation include the Walther PPK, Mauser HSc, and SIG-Sauer P230 among others. These pistols generally shoot the lower powered .32 and .380 ACP rounds, and are diminutive in size and weight.
The Astra 400 is neither. It measures a tick under nine inches in length, with a six inch barrel. It uses an interrupted-lug system to retain the barrel on the receiver, much like the Colt 1903 Pocket auto, a very heavy recoil spring, and a unique removable barrel bushing and nose cap that both rotate 90-degrees and …Read the Rest