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Old 03-29-2018, 03:44 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by stand watie View Post
shep854,

IVER JOHNSON once made one in that caliber. = It looked like a "sawed-off carbine".

Btw, I once traded for a Blackhawk in .30 carbine but didn't keep it long. = IF you missed a live target, you could always burn it to death with the muzzle flash

yours, sw
I wasn't counting the cut down carbine. I just saw that Ian just posted a Forgotten Weapons video on the Kimball .30 Carbine pistol:
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Old 03-29-2018, 04:34 PM   #22
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shep854,

I wonder if the Kimber ,30 cal. might actually have worked with a modification of the design to work similar to the Astra 400, i.e., with a BIG coil spring wrapped around the barrel, to retard that slide slamming back so hard.???

yours, sw
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Old 03-30-2018, 08:01 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stand watie View Post
shep854,

I wonder if the Kimber ,30 cal. might actually have worked with a modification of the design to work similar to the Astra 400, i.e., with a BIG coil spring wrapped around the barrel, to retard that slide slamming back so hard.???

yours, sw
SW,

The design of the .30 Carbine cartridge just makes it very unfriendly to blowback operation. There are some similarities between the .30 Carbine and 9mm. Both are fairly high pressure (9mm @ 35k PSI, .30 @ 40k PSI), and both have tapered cases. Yet, the 9mm works perfectly in a blowback firearm, while no one seems to have mastered the .30 carbine in a blowback weapon. Two prototype rifles for the M1 Carbine program were blowback, and both had issues with blown cases, and were eliminated from the competition.

The difference is, the higher chamber pressure of the .30 carbine coupled with a much more pronounced case taper made the cartridge essentially unfit for straight blowback operation. The taper of the .30 Carbine causes a great deal of backward thrust on the bolt, and M1 Carbines are known for breaking bolt lugs. In fact, an M1 Carbine that has a nice clean chamber will function pretty much 100% of the time without an extractor; which clearly demonstrates that the case really doesnít want to grip the chamber walls like the 9mm does.

The spring weight of the Astra isnít what makes the 1921 series pistols work; itís the chamber design. The 9mm P and 9mm Largo both have essentially the same case taper, and both will work in the Astra 1921 series pistols. Iím sure you have also seen Astra 1921ís & 400ís that are marked 9mm/38, and will work with 9mm L or .38 auto. This is where the chamber design comes into play. While the case is tapered, the chambers of the 1921 series pistols is nearly straight. So when the cartridge goes off, the brass expands to nearly a straight wall (not completely straight), giving the brass that much needed grip on the chamber to hold the breech closed long enough for chamber pressures to drop to a safe opening level.

With blow back operated firearms, the spring plays very close to NO role in lock time. Yeah, it does affect lock time, but it will never affect it anywhere near enough to turn an unsafe firearm into a safe one. So the ďsecretĒ of the Astra 1921/400/600 is the chamber, not the spring. So the reason for the massive spring on the 1921 series pistols was actually to help tame recoil. I donít know if you ever shot one, but a 600 in 9mm P recoils about the same or more than my LW Commander in .45 ACP. Itís a very sharp, and not too pleasant recoil impulse.

The Kimball took the Astra idea and expanded (no pun intended) on it, and came up with the chamber idea they had. It was a clever idea, just didnít work.
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Old 03-30-2018, 01:45 PM   #24
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GunGeek,

Fwiw, I've owned several Astra 400 & a few Model 300 at one time or other.
(Never owned a 600 though.)

I carried an EX-Condor Legion Astra handgun as a duty piece when I was a constable for 2+ years, until the sheriff told us NO semi-autos "in my county".
(I liked the Astra very much & saw nothing wrong with it as a handgun. - Our armorer had worked on the trigger for me.)

Btw, I paid 25 bucks for the Astra, holster & a gunbelt. = How times/prices have changed in a half century.
(I was paid 55 bucks a month as a deputy constable plus a dry-cleaning allowance & a county credit card for gas/batteries/tires/etc., when I hired on & thought that I was RICH. - Everyone bought their own uniforms & drove their own cars back then, too.)

ONLY Colt's & S&W .38SPL & .357 MAG revolvers were allowed, except for ASST Chief Deputy & higher ranks.
(The Boss only agreed to that change after the senior deputies raised H about having to stop carrying their Colt's 1911s pistols.)

yours, sw
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Old 03-30-2018, 03:41 PM   #25
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SW,

I have a little bit of a thing for Spanish handguns, and I find the “tubular slide” Astra’s very interesting. Their way of working certainly was something different. Its one of those guns that works well, but no one is standing in line to copy the idea or design.

I currently have a 600 and a 3000 and I enjoy them both. The tubular slide Astra’s were made exceptionally well. Take a close look at them and you’ll find very few machine marks anywhere. The finish is slow rust bluing, and the fit of the slide to the frames would make Armand Swenson proud. The ergonomics of the 1921 series pistols is way better than it looks in a photo. They really fit the hand well, and they point very well also. And yeah recoil is remarkably sharp for a little ole 9mm, but the pistols are tack drivers. By tack driver, what I mean is… Most 1921’s, 400’s, 600’s I have shot would hold their own against a Sig 210. Most have really bad triggers, but that can be fixed. For a pistol designed and made in 1921, it was one of the more reliable non-Browning pistols in existence in those days. Let’s not forget, it beat out the mostly 1911 copy Star 1920. And the Star 1920/1921 pistols weren’t poorly built Colt knock off’s; they were well made pistols.

When I think of auto pistols in the 1920’s, you could do a LOT worse than an Astra. Lugers may be pretty, but if I’m going to war, I’ll take the Astra over Luger or the P-38; it’s more reliable than either of those.

I’ve thought about he Astra as a cop’s gun. The 9mm Largo model 400’s would be “the next best thing” to a Colt .38 Super. And given that older Supers were rather erratic when it came to accuracy, the 400 would give you first rate accuracy, very good reliability, and often the Astra’s could be had pretty cheap in comparison to a Colt.
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:19 PM   #26
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GunGeek,

YEP.

yours, sw
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Old 03-30-2018, 04:34 PM   #27
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GunGeek,

Back in the long ago days/"daze" that I was stationed in BRD, I made friends with a former Luftwaffe (Sergeant) pilot who flew the Fiesler Storch, throughout WWII.

His comment on handguns was: Luger pistols are "badges of rank" & far too fragile for extended combat. IF your very life depends on it, get a P35, a PPK or an Astra & leave the Luger to the big brass & the SS.
(He said that he was NO fan of the P38, either.)

My problem with the P38 is I could never shoot it worth a hoot. = My choice in those days was a Canadian contract version of the BHP.
(In 1977, I bought a PAIR of the CDN versions for 100 bucks cash. - Kept one & gave the other to my 1st cousin for Christmas that year.)

yours, sw

Last edited by stand watie; 03-30-2018 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 04-02-2018, 07:02 AM   #28
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The P38 was a big improvement over the P08, but it was far from perfect itself. But at least it was reliable and could generally be counted on to go bang for as many times as you carried ammo/magazines on you. Can't say that about the P08. The P08 needed attention by someone who truly understood the design to keep it running. It was mostly about springs, most important of which was the magazine spring. The toggle action cycles crazy fast, and you need a VERY stiff magazine spring to advance the next round in time.

P38's broke slides and locking blocks. Those who knew the design weren't surprised at all with the US Military encountered broken locking blocks in the M9. Beretta got it all straightened out, but it wasn't pretty.
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