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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The yard work can wait until later, on to more important matters! This past week in my wanderings I found this nazi contract Astra 400 rig. I suppose these would be considered somewhat rare as only 6,000 were manufactured for this contract order and it was fairly early in the war (4,500 Oct. and 1,500 Nov. 1941). This particular specimen is serial number 93,333. The contract serial range is 92,851--98,850 ("Astra Automatic Pistols" Leonardo M. Antaris pg. 75 & pg. 239). If you are interested in Astra pistols I would highly recommend the just mentioned book by Dr. Antaris.

This particular specimen is somewhat rough on the right side frame and slide. It has scattered patches of freckling/frosting probably from being holstered wet. It is however very nice internally where most surfaces and metal to metal contact points are prisitine. The barrel bore looks new with prominent and crisp definition between the lands and grooves and also very smooth and shiny. Probably carried a lot and used very little.

These Astra 400s for German procurement are not waffenampt stamped or proofed and bear only what Dr. Antaris calls the Type II late Eibar proofs. Consequently, this Astra 400 German contract order can only be identified by the serial number range. Apparently, the Heereswaffenamt (Army weapons office) had considerable confidence in the Spanish proofing process and thus no other German/Nazi marks are present. This sample is all matching with the serial number (or last few digits) on the right rear frame, right rear slide, left frame under left hand grip, barrel, & bottom rear of slide--see attached pictures.

The pistol came with two (2) magazines with the Astra logo on the magazine base plate and a very nice condition brown period correct holster. The holster in not maker marked or waffenamt stamped as is correct. The exact holster is pictured in Bender's book "Military Holsters of World War II" page 160. This is a well made holster patterned after other German holsters of the period but probably of Spanish origin.

Well onto the pictures and I hope you enjoy them:

Download Attachment: Nazi Contract Astra 400 Right Side.jpg
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Download Attachment: Nazi Contract Astra 400 Left Side.jpg
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Download Attachment: Nazi Contract Astra 400 Rig.jpg
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Download Attachment: Nazi Contract Astra 400 Holster.jpg
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Download Attachment: Nazi Contract Astra 400 Slide detail.jpg
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Download Attachment: Nazi Contract Astra 400 Barrel Hood Marks.jpg
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Download Attachment: Nazi Contract Astra 400 Slide rail serial.jpg
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Download Attachment: Nazi Contract Astra 400 Left frame serial.jpg
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Left frame serial marking under left wood grip.

Download Attachment: Astra 600, 300 & 400.jpg
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From the top Astra 600, 300 and 400 for comparison.

Download Attachment: Astras in their holsters.jpg
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Same pistols in their correct holsters.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dean,

Thanks! Yes, I would of course love to find a nice Nazi marked Astra 900. I believe Dr. Antaris had one for sale on one of the auction sites a while back with a starting bid if I recall correctly of $3,000. It was a very nice one. I don't think it sold, at least I saw it cycled through a couple of times and it didn't sell.
 

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Loyd,

here is my German army contract Astra 400 rig. Note the different holster.
It is strange, that the pistol shows on the left trigger guard a Spanish military acceptance stamp.

Fritz

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Pancho and Fritz,

You two have a couple of beautiful 400s. I have always liked the Astra 300, 400 and 600 style pistols and the history associated with them. I have shot all of mine with exception of the 400, I just got, but I will get around to it eventually. I like to know how they function and it gives me a feel for their mechanical and accuracy personality/potential. They are very accurate pistols and really a lot of fun to shoot.

Fritz, the Spanish military acceptance mark on a German contract piece is very interesting. I really have no clue why that would be there unless it was a mistake. What is the serial number on your 400? It does make your piece rather unique and interesting.

Thanks guys for your input and wonderful pictures! Best to you.
 

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Hi,

first of all, they are very very rare.
Collecting since 30 years I only saw 3 of them by myself.
If the described shape is correct, the rig will sell not under 900,- to 1000 ,- € here in Germany.
Perhaps the price will be much higher in the United States.

Fritz
 
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