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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
To the Membership , Thought you might be interested in viewing this Astra 900 with Asian ( JAP ) Characters . Joe Fogarty did an article on this model Pistol in AutoMag February 2004 issue . This gun is in 98 percent condition , and part of my collection .
Also see Leonardo Antaris' Book on Astra Pistols pages 150-151 Mr Antaris states that the Serial numbers on this run of Jap marked pistol are found in 27,000 - 27,899 range . This Gun is # 27838 . Translated "Made in Japan" This serial run was earmarked for the Japanese - Chinese trade , but actual delivery of this block went to the Euzkadian Government in 1937 .This variation is SCARCE , with 5 known examples ?

Ron Heming


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Copper Bullet Member
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jan , Sorry for not respondind to you question on my Astra 900 post sooner . I added more info to the original writing . It gives some details about the Pistol and its markings . If you have access to Leonardo M Antaris "
book on " Astra Automatic Pistols ' , He gives in depth description on this model and He is a collector of Astras.
Ron Heming
 

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Japanese Military Cartridge Handguns 1893 - 1945 by Derby & Brown, on page 280, states "Another "Mauser type" pistol is known with interesting - and confusing - markings. Astra Model 900 serial no. 27035 is marked on the left side of the frame above the serial number with the kanji characters (shown but my keyboard doesn't have them). Although previously identifies as translating "made in Japan", the inscription actually reads "Made in Sun Country," which is the Japanese idiom for Spain.

Cliff
 

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Ron,

I have Antaris Astra book, too. The World's Machine Pistols & Submachine Guns by Nelson & Musgrave also give the "Made in Japan" translation. I was just trying to point out that new information is now available on the markings.

Cliff
 

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As to your new translation, it was I who had this translation made when I was stationed in Japan and provided it to Auto Mag in about 1974 or 75. The translation was made by my Japanese Foreman , who was an Imperial Naval pilot in WW2. At first, I could not believe or rather understand why he was saying it was "Made in Japan". He told me that it was issued through a Japanese own business and for political/propaganda reasons , the markings were made as such. He assured me that it read "Made in Japan", and that any Japanese of his age would read it as such. I have no reason to now change my mind.
 

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As to your new translation, it was I who had this translation made when I was stationed in Japan and provided it to Auto Mag in about 1974 or 75. The translation was made by my Japanese Foreman , who was an Imperial Naval pilot in WW2. At first, I could not believe or rather understand why he was saying it was "Made in Japan". He told me that it was issued through a Japanese own business and for political/propaganda reasons , the markings were made as such. He assured me that it read "Made in Japan", and that any Japanese of his age would read it as such. I have no reason to now change my mind.
 

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It's not my translation. Japanese numbers are all I can read. It's a direct quote from the new book on Japanese pistols. I'll check with James Brown, one of the authors, & see where he got his new translation.

Cliff
 

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It's not my translation. Japanese numbers are all I can read. It's a direct quote from the new book on Japanese pistols. I'll check with James Brown, one of the authors, & see where he got his new translation.

Cliff
 

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It looks like it's not going to be resolved. Here is James Browns reply.

Cliff, the "Sun Country Make" reading came from Shin Nimura. He told me that "Sun Country" was an old Japanese idiom for Spain, and that The Astras were produced for a Japanese arms merchant who was selling the pistols in China.
According to Len Antaris, a significant number of these pistols went into storage in Spain and were never sent to Japan/China, but wound up in the hands of the Basques.

Takehito Jimbo favors the "Japan Country Make" reading that you note. Since this is a disagreement between two native Japanese, I figured it would be more prudent to present both views than to take sides on the issue, but Antaris' work casts doubt on the latter interpretation, as the pistols clearly were not made in Japan. -Jim

Cliff
 
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