This Astra Model 300 pistol is a single action, semi-automatic pistol that is chambered for the 7.65 Browning(.32 ACP) cartridge but this pistol model was also offered in 9mm Corto(.380 ACP). The pistol utilizes a ramp front sight and a notch rear sight, both of which are cut into the slide and are not adjustable. It is fed by a removable single column box magazine with a 7 round capacity. The pistol has a slide hold open feature to inform the operator that the last round has been fired and to facilitate reloading when a fresh magazine has been installed. The main parts of the pistol have been finished with a rust blue while the smaller parts such as the barrel, barrel bushing, trigger, thumb safety and magazine release were highly polished and left in the white. The extractor, grip screws and lanyard ring were all heat treated to a fire blue finish. The grip panels are a checkered walnut.
The Astra Model 300 is actually a scaled down version of the Model 400, and besides the magazine release location and the slide retention feature, it is virtually identical to its predecessor, the Astra Model 400 in functionality. Production began in 1923 with serial number 350,001, and ended in 1946 with serial number 630,475 for a total of 153,085 pistols being produced. The math is correct as blocks of serial numbers were skipped during production. Production ended in part due to the Astra Model 300 being replaced by the Model 3000.
During World War 2, Nazi Germany purchased 85,390 Astra Model 300 pistols. They ordered 63,000 pistols chambered for the 9mm Kurz and 22,390 pistols chambered in 7.65mm. Only the 9mm version will have a German military acceptance stamp which is the stick eagle over WaA 251.
The Model 300 was never officially adopted by any branch of the Spanish military, although a number of governmental agencies did specify that it was to be their standard issue pistol. These agencies included, the Spanish prison guards(Cuerpo de Prisiones), Harbor port security(Seguridad de Puertos), the Coast Guard(Vigilancia de la Pesca), the police school in Madrid, the Spanish Navy and Naval school, various security guards, the Carabineros, the Army Artillery corps, the Euzkadian government, the German Condor Legion and many others. The Astra Model 300 was an especially popular pistol.
How to field strip the Astra 300.
1. The first thing is to remove the magazine and make sure that there is not a round in the chamber.
2. The next step is to depress the barrel bushing that is located at the muzzle. This can be accomplished by using the floorplate of the magazine.
3. Turn the barrel bushing a 1/4 of a turn while applying rearward pressure as the bushing is under the recoil spring tension.
4. Now carefully ease the barrel bushing and lock off of the slide, and remove the recoil spring by pulling it outward.
5. Pull the slide back as if to put the pistol into battery and then move the slide forward and position it so that the indentations on the right side of the receiver and slide are lined up.
6. Rotate the barrel in a counterclockwise direction to the limit of its movement.
7. Lastly pull the slide in the barrel forward and off of the receiver.
Reassemble in reverse order.