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4 Aug 2014 - mkillebrew

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Astra mod. 400 - 9x23

The Astra mod. 400 is a spanish manufactured direct blowback firearm in 9x23. The is no locking mechanism to speak of outside the mass of the slide that serves to delay opening. There is a slide lock on the left side above the trigger guard that doubles as a safety. Unlike most slide locks, when the slide is locked on an empty magazine, the slide must be manually manipulated to return it to battery. Like a large number of european handguns, the magazine release is on the heel and not on the side of the grip. Other than the manual safety on the side it has three more, the grip safety, disconnect and magazine safety. It fires from single action only with an internal hammer. The ejector, like many, is on the top of the frame. To disassemble, the slide is locked back, barrel is rotated into a recess in the slide, and the slide assembly can then be pulled off the front of the frame. To further disassemble the slide, it is advisable to rotate the barrel and drop it against the breech face again to lessen pressure on the recoil spring that is around the barrel, depress the sleeve around the barrel and turn the bushing. The bushing then slides off, or flies if the user in unprepared, as it is still under considerable spring force. To rassemble the process is reversed. The barrel is rotated back into locking lugs on the frame that look much the same as a floating barrel semi-auto, but it does in fact fire as a fixed barrel. The disconnector is actuated by the slide and moves the trigger bar downward, off the sear. A unique feature of the mod. 400 is that it is claimed to have the ability to fire multiple 9mm rounds, 9x19, 9x20, 9x21 and 9x23. The Astra, however, headspaces by case mouth and when a casing shorter than 23mm is chambered, the strong extractor holds it to the breech face tight enough for the firing pin to ignite the primer. Excessive distance to the rifling lead can result in damage, but the Astra seems to hold up fine under these conditions.

Right Side:

Left Side:

Slide Locked Open:

Slide Locked Open, Continued


Slide - Above Profile:

Grip Safety:

Slide Removed - Underside - Barrel Rotated Into Recess:

Slide Removed - Underside - at Rest Against Breech Face:

Barrel Bushing at Right - Barrel Sleeve at Left:

Recoil Spring:


Slide - Underside - Barrel, Recoil Spring and Bushing Assembly Removed:

Breech Face:

Chamber Face:

Frame - Above:

Hammer and Extractor:

Trigger Bar - at Rest:

Trigger Bar - Trigger Pulled:

Trigger Bar - Disconnected:

Heel Magazine Release: