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Someone is offering me an Astra Constable in 7.65. Any thoughts or experience? It looks in great shape but runs about $300. If it's going to work I'm OK with that but if it's prone to failure, I'll pass. Trying to find out what I can. Thanks in advance for any help
 

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It's a google search on your subject to posts on said subject here on this forum, since the forum search here blows chunks; not just a "lmgtfy" link. That would be rude ;)
 

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Sorry. Didn't mean to come off as being rude. I used similar parameters to limit the search, as well. Forgot everyone doesn't do that and some search the entire net. Thanks for the help. Doesn't seem to be much out there on this.
 

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Astra Constable Experience

I bought an Astra Constable in .380 earlier this year. Imported by Garcia Corporation and the model with one grip screw per side. Looked brand new. Opportunistic and impulsive purchase for $225. Took it to the range next day and at about the 80th round, slide-stop/ejector broke in two. I was able to find replacement part at M & M Gunsmithing of Hazel Green, Alabama, and ordered two of them. Rather than possibly screw up what looked like a simple drop in, I had a gunsmith, Jackie Summers of Franklin Co. Gunworks, replace the part. Shooting it thereafter, the rear sight came loose and I had to re-align, if that's the term, in order to hit what I was aiming at. PITA stuff. But the pistol shot without mishap. Took it home to clean, removed the slide - easy disassembly similar to Glock - and the ejector+odd-little-parts dropped out. Stupid of me not to have used a towel or some visual indexing way to keep track of little parts. Ordered replacement from M & M, had installed by Jackie, came loose again with further rounds, had fixed again. I should have saved my pocket change and bought the Glock 42 or 43.

Regarding how it shoots? I like the feel of the Constable, not even a little bit snappy, at least as accurate as I am at 10 yards or less, and fits all my PPK holsters except the shoulder holster. So bummed that this pistol into which I've now poured enough money to by a Glock 42 is clearly not reliable for EDC replacement for my PPK (which is too awesome to expose to the rigors and lint of EDC at the age of 51).

So, there you have it. Buy at your own risk. Or, save your money and get something that's more useful than an interesting curio. Maybe a CZ copy or FEG copy of the PPK?
 

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I can't account for your misadventures, but I am pretty fond of the Constable.

It's not a Walther "clone", but a distinctively different design.

Like the Walther PPK/s, it was completely redesigned c. 1980 to be manufactured with investment castings, but unlike the Walther, the parts before-and-after are not interchangeable. Hence the single-screw and two-screw grip models. The former are now over 40 years old and while it may look like new, its individual history is probably unknown to you. I can't help suspecting that if you'd let McClellan fit the first replacement ejector instead of buying the part and having somebody else fit it, you would have been assured both of the correct part and proper installation -- and been money ahead. But that's just a suspicion; all that I feel confident saying is that it's unreliable to base an opinion of any gun on a single example purchased used.

Constables in both series are not as finely finished internally as Walthers, but then they sold new for half the price. They were solid performers, and with a graceful grip shape that is more comfortable to shoot. Nobody ever complained about slide bite from a Constable. I have a Constable A-50 Sport in .22 that is, in my very subjective view, a smoother shooter than a comparable Walther PP Sport.

M
 

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I have fired a friend's Constable, and thot' it less rappy to shoot than the PPK in .380. Not sure of its history for overall reliability, but it ran just fine when three of us shot it at camp.
Crzy', I'd be all over that 7.65 simply because I'm a .32 junkie. Shop online for ammo, or roll yer own. Citing the ammo thing, talk him down a little? Not everybody loves .32s.
Catfish, nice writeup of a tale of woe. Just get that Glock 42 as something to carry, and then you can experiment with other things for grits and shins.
Some guns (and cars) are like the tar baby...once you've taken hold of them, there is no escape.
Mike, that Constable .22 just made me green with envy. Neat piece.
Moon
 
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Hi MGM - Hazel Green's about an hour and a half south of my home here at Lovely Stepford, Tennessee. But you're right, I should have taken the time on a Saturday and carried the Constable to the worthy Mr. McClellan. True also that I know nothing of the pistol's history beyond that a fellow I know said he'd had it in his frame-shop/gallery "for years." No box, one magazine.

I honestly do like shooting the Constable. It feels good and when it's running, it's a joy - like my deceased 1979 diesel Rabbit 2-door 4-speed. As I noted in another post, there'd probably been a labor dispute at Guernica the day they poured the pot-metal to make that Enterprise-nacelle-looking slide-stop/ejector part and I can only speculate about what the disgruntled worker may have added to molten mix. No earthly idea why the ejector came apart.

HMC - Tar Baby - :D - that's hysterical and accurate. I've got a friend thousands of dollars into a car like that. I'm saving my pocket change for the G-42 for carry.
 

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Mike, that Constable .22 just made me green with envy. Neat piece.
Moon
Moon: Unfortunately the only photo of the Astra that I had handy to upload was of the right-hand side. (Taking pictures is a daunting task for a child of the first half of the previous century.) Though this shows off its lovely aesthetics, the A-50's functional advantages remain hidden. Unlike most Constables (and all PP-series Walthers), the M1911-style safety is mounted on the frame --not awkwardly up on the slide. Thus it is instinctively reachable. Also it is not a decocker -- so the gun can be holstered cocked-and-locked. The A50 is single-action only.

I liked this setup so much that I bought a second, well-used A50 to cut down to a pocket gun with a "Gobble-dot" day-glo green pipe as the only mounted sight, like a shotgun. This project is not yet finished; someday I'll post pictures.

I tend to judge gun design competence at least partially by the design of the magazine. Astra's Constable magazines, particularly in .22, are impressive, and far more substantial than Walther's.

M
 

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Mike, I'm guessing you're battling some of the visual issues that trouble me. The ginormous, contrasting sights on a Glock are a help; your shotgun style front sight makes no small sense as far as establishing index.
Those of us who learned to shoot bullseye get a little too hung up on precision.
Keep us posted on the project.
Moon
 
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