December 23, 2021
Question: I have purchased an Astra Model 600. I always thought they were neat-looking pistols. Growing up in the ’60s, I remember them on TV shows being used by spies and villains. Now, I finally have a chance to own one. I was wondering what you could tell me about it: date of manufacture, current value, etc. It’s marked “UNCETA Y COM- PANIA S.A. GUERNICA ESPANA ‘ASTRA’ MOD. 600/43. 9m/m PARABELLUM”. It has a number on the slide 341XX, but 343XX on the frame. The grips seem to be made of a hard black plastic. Overall, it looks good; my guess is 85 to 90 percent for the condition and bluing. The inside of the barrel and rifling look good, too. I’ve yet to fire it. Were some of these pistols chambered in 9mm Largo? Any ideas on where to get an extra magazine?
-M.C. via Email
Answer: I also happen to be a fan of the 300/400/600 family of Spanish blowback Astras. Even though they look like squirt guns, or something out of a 1940s comic strip, they are well-made and highly reliable. The 600 was basically a variant of the 9mm Largo Model 400. It looked similar, had the same hefty recoil spring surrounding the barrel, but was slightly smaller and chambered in 9mm Parabellum due to an order by the Germans in 1943 who called it the “Pistole Astra 600/43.” The numbers on your gun should be the same, so somewhere along the line the frame and slide became mismatched. The range places the piece in a batch that was intended for the Nazis, but never delivered. They ended up being cached by the Spanish who peddled them to West Germany where they saw a degree of police use. Your piece is worth in the $325 to $425 range. It would have more value and interest if it saw use with the Germans in World War II, and if the numbers were the same. Depending on when a 600 was made, grips could be either checkered walnut or plastic. You can get a magazine from Triple K: triplek.com, or email email@example.com, or call 619-232-2066.
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