Book Review: Astra Automatic Pistols

Our book today isn’t particularly flashy or exciting, but it is a solid piece of research. It is Astra Automatic Pistols by Leonardo Antaris – and the subject is pretty self-explanatory. Antaris follow a simply and effective layout, with the book divided into chapters on each model of pistol (made very neat by Astra’s simple system of numbering different models). Each chapter includes a history of the pistol, production variations and tables, and photos of different variations, including prototypes, engraved examples, and accessories like holsters.

You can pick up a copy of the work from Simpson Ltd here.


  1. Dr. Antaris regularly attends the Ohio Gun Collector’s Association show in Wilmington, Ohio and usually rents a table. He is very engaging and always willing to discuss Astra and Star pistols. He also likes to see any oddball pistols you might bring to these shows. More information here:

  2. I am a fan of Astra. The 900 is the C96 improved. They shoot better for me and the holster stock is better crafted therefore less likely to split.C96 holster stocks are plagued by cracks. As for the Astra 300 its a fine pistol;reliable and accurate.My Astra 600 is one of the most accurate 9mms I have ever shot.It is equal to my HK P7M8. Astra even made a good version of the Ruby .

    • I really regret having passed on the chance to buy an Astra 300 a few years back. They’ve gotten a lot more expensive since.

  3. Astra 900, was a rather simplified copy of Mauser C96. Its locking block was
    a pinned member on the receiver and either its lockwork, with a side plate
    opening left for repair and regular remaning being not similar on C96 which
    a separate housing from which Tokarev and French Peter pistols were derived.
    The Astra 900 was a very well made handgun that even Germans got use of it.

    All simple blowback Astras were very well made pistols and high powered 9mm’s
    were the longest lived handguns on this configuration. However, they might be
    classified in “Delayed Action Blowback” since the return spring they used were
    forced to fit into a compression tube being nearly the same diameter with that
    springs of on uncompressed mode, therefore slowing the spring torsion time.

    Locked breech Astras of latest production followed the SIG/Sauer fashion, but
    some of their earlier made samples had flaws on barrel construction with rather
    unsupported chamber.

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