From Service Sidearm to Match Gun: the Astra 400 Target Model

A very small batch of special target model pistols was made at the very end of Astra 400 production in 1945. They were fitted with Patridge front sights and adjustable revolver-style square-notch rear sights, much improved over the stock Astra 400 sights. In addition, they were fitted with a special single-set trigger system in which the sear engagement was dramatically lightened to give a very short and light press. However, the sear engagement was so light as to risk doubling under recoil, so a hammer catch was added. Before each shot, a button on the back of the frame had to be pressed to release the hammer onto the sear.

A handful of ex-service Astra 400s were also retrofitted to this pattern in the late 1950s; these can be identified by their salt blue finish instead of the regular rust bluing.

For more information on these and other Astra pistols, I highly recommend Leonardo Antaris’ book “Astra Pistols and Selected Competitors“.


  1. I was looking forward to seeing an actual set trigger,

    Something that forms it’s own separate little spring.loaded mechanism

    Rather than just a reduced sear engagement and perhaps a slightly re worked sear geometry.

    Absolutely beautiful pistols though. Astra and Star seemed to finish their pistols to a very good standard

  2. By the way, I have found this:
    “In 1957 and 1958 a limited edition of 200 were made with 7 inch barrels and designated the »Falcon 7.«” – Ed Buffaloe: The Astra Tubular Slide Pistols Model 400, 300, 600, Etc.

    But I could not find any other information or a picture. – Has anyone had better luck?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.