Q. I would appreciate your help in identifying a Spanish pistol brought back from World War II. The pistol was captured somewhere in France during the war. The pistol is a Spanish Astra with a four-digit serial number. The slide is marked “cal. 9 mm Largo.”
A. Your Spanish-made, self-loading Astra pistol is probably a Model 400, judging by its 9 mm Largo caliber. These guns were intended to be able to fire 9 mm Luger, 9 mm Steyr, 9 mm Browning Long and .380 ACP rounds, interchangeably. Some may have feeding problems with certain brands of ammunition. The Astra 400 was introduced in 1921 and adopted by the Spanish Army. France bought a great many for its army in the 1920s. The Germans acquired a lot more of them when France fell in 1940.
Originally published May, 2006