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 Post subject: A little Hi Power-ness
PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:04 am 
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Fixing the four things that suck about almost every BHP safety. This one was the worst ever. Although the gun is great mechanically, the old girl has probably never had a thorough cleaning and there was lots of sludge-induced gumminess.

This is one of the surplus ones currently available from AIM Surplus, very reasonably priced (but I don't remember how much).

The task—make the safety bigger. I have not yet seen the aftermarket one that I like; anyway I love doing a little silver brazing. I have made the piece from scratch in the past but this time I thought I’d graft on something from the BHP’s older brother:
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I determined I would do this hacksaw, file and torch style, no fancy machining.
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A groove has been filed into the old safety to help locate and lug-in the new paddle. A silver joint is super strong but it’s always nice to have some added features to increase the soldered area and give positive location to the piece to be added, because “holding it in place while you heat it” rarely works well. This pic also illustrates one of the “four things”…..
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Just prior to getting the torch out, trying to figure out how to fixture it all up…. when you have odd shapes that you can't just clamp together, sometimes it's hard to come up with a way to hold things in place. I have a high pain threshold but holding it with fingertips ain’t gonna work for me….
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I put a small toolmaker’s clamp onto the paddle that my hold-down could rest on. Bit of a balancing act but it worked well.
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The finished product. Not suitable for a magazine cover but neither is the rest of the gun, this was a utility enhancement, not a custom build….. now the safety is util y positivo.
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:16 pm 
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Wow, always fun to see a master problem solver's work...


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 5:10 am 
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Great work Ned. Now when someone wonders why it cost so much for a hand made gun and it takes so long to finish one, you have a perfect example of why. Check out the detail you see in some of these parts and what the one man shops do. Thanks Ned

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:14 am 
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That's cool Ned!


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:20 am 
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Thanks..... and it's still fun.

This one now has a safety that can be "found". Detents before were non existent, it was "mmmushhh" now it's on I guess, and "mmusshhh" I think it's off now. Now it has positive up and down positions. Part of the typical mush is due to the safety shaft being the hammer pin; the tremendous down-bias on that shaft by the hammer spring makes it hard to get clear safety efforts...the detent feel is often lost in the general dragginess. Getting more leverage over and above the old original lever format helps reduce the apparent drag; then detent efforts can be adjusted to the point where they can be perceived distinctly from the drag.

One of the other things that goes wrong with these is the more recent two-piece construction. A clever bit of manufacturing expedience I must say, but of the BHP's I've worked on that had this style of safety, more than half were loose. So I separate them, clean them up, and silver-braze them together.

I have a design for the ultimate BHP safety that fixes all this but-- just too much else going on, maybe some day.


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:53 am 
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Another little ergo improvement, silver to the rescue, coincidentally involving another Belgian:

An AR15 bayonet lug, sawed from the front sight base, starts its new life…...
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The issue: mag changes with a FAL rifle are slow due to being somewhat limited to doing it all with one hand—remove the old, retrieve the new, lock it in. If you’re a lefty you may be at an advantage as you can use your left index finger to actuate the magazine release while your right is going for the next magazine. But if you’re a righty, your right index finger can do nothing but “wait”…..
Unless……
We silver-braze the aforementioned piece of bayo lug to the FAL mag release….
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…shape it and checker it. Now the right index finger can contribute something while the left hand is going for a fresh magazine:
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2016 9:03 pm 
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Ned Christiansen wrote:
...I put a small toolmaker’s clamp onto the paddle that my hold-down could rest on. Bit of a balancing act but it worked well.
Image...


So, does the front sight you milled into the hold down help with alignment? :lol:

The FAL is my favorite battle rifle. The one we should have adopted. I've built about a dozen or so and find them to be a great piece of engineering.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 6:47 am 
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Does kinda look like a front sight, doesn't it? Just part of the hold-down system I've some up with for silver jobs.

Yeah the FAL is cool. Darned long though and I'll bet in armies where they were issued, a lot of them got bent barrels..... so long and skinny.

This Hi-Power, I was wishing it was more accurate. I have a length of 9mm barrel cut from an unfired Colt 9mm carbine...... wish I had time to sleeve that into this Browning but.... nope.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 25, 2016 11:21 am 
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That BHP is mine. Snagged it when the price on imports was just too low to ignore.

The trigger is pretty nice for an un-modified factory set, so i handed it off to Ned for a set of Novaks and "what can you do about the safety?" work.

I've got a bin of extra BHP barrels on hand, so I can swap them in and out until I find one that comes closer to Ned's idea of accurate.


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PostPosted: Sun Aug 30, 2020 8:18 am 
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Some more Hi-Powerness. I would call this one a test-bed. I have the best welder in the world (and cannot share him BTW), but sometimes, for some things, I would rather silver braze it.
One of the keys to this is locating the piece to be added. I like making the two parts to be joined so that they positively locate one to the other so I don’t have to “hold it in just the right place” while putting the heat to it. A sliver-brazed joint is incredibly strong but some consideration needs be given to the stress on the joint vs/ the area of the joint. I’ve done these before with silver where the beaver tail was not T-slotted in as seen here and—they are still going strong. One is about 20 years old but I confess I don’t know the round count. This could really have been done by making the “T” joint a press fit, sliding the BT in place and just cross pinning it, but I wanted it “permanenter” than that, and a joint as close to imperceptible as possible. Silver won’t take bluing but this one will some day get a spray and bake over fresh Parko, so that joint will disappear.

Testing the fit between the frame and BT. It is machined from a chunk of prehard 4140 from Crucible Steel, which used to be a part of Colt Industries…. not sure if it still is. So, is it reasonable to say this Browning now part Colt? In this one you can also see how far forward the rear of the slide has been moved. It's not as much as it seems due to the normal "bulge toward the rear" form; but still, if and when I do this again I might go a little less far:
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Silvering went well; surfaces shaped and trimmed to match. The area under the BT is about as high as it can go, the limiter of course being what cuts are inside. One does not want to go to this much trouble and then cheat for another .015 only to break through.
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Yet to be done on this one, the safety mods as described in above posts. I will probably just lop off the right side of the safety shaft and run this as a non-ambi safety.
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The ejector still needs a little trimming.
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2020 9:13 am 
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Those who really use the Hi Power and run it hard will appreciate what this is for. Even administrative loading of a BHP is hitchy because of the full-width front. All BHP mags should be made this way at the factory, far as I'm concerned. It makes all the dif in a reload and if you look at just about any other double stack pistol mag they look more like the modified one than the unmodified one. Not offering this as a service but as I get this BHP dunner and dunner I'm going to do all the mags for it this way. I would like to see someone like Mec-Gar make them like this.
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....and..... the BHP grip safety on the inside. It pivots on two 1911 mainspring cap retaining pins. An experiment, nothing more. Not a smashing success but neither is it a failed experiment, since I did learn some things.
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Grip safety from the outside, now pinned in place and maybe some day to be welded in and smoothed off "like it never happened".
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 13, 2020 3:30 am 
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Jesus

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 7:01 pm 
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Yeah, and I...... hey wait a minute, which way do I take that...? :P

I put a new sear spring in it today; I had been using the old one to power the grip safety and although it didn't compromise anything with regards to that spring's normal function, I figured if I'm not using the extra tine, let it be gone. I don't recall bending the original but I must have. Or maybe the previous owner did but I doubt it. Trigger was just too darned light. I'm just not a believer in "I gotta have 3 pounds or I can't shoot it". The new spring is good an stout-- a little too far the other way but I'll get back to it some time soon.


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 09, 2021 7:35 pm 
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When random things happen and combine to make another random thing.

Random thing #1: A magazine for a Sterling 9mm carbine that had a deformed feed lip. Sterling mags are often said to be the best-ever of the type due to a follower that has two rollers in it. I agree they are really good; not sure it's the rollers, these mags also have other advantages like integral feedramps and really solid construction in every other aspect.

Random thing #2: A Browning High Power magazine with a floorplate deformed from a mag change, where it had landed on the rear corner on concrete. Made it impossible to get the floorplate off without first doing some tinkering with it.

Random thing #3: I ran across them both in the same day and decided to pick a special spot to keep mags that need work. In a drawer they went with three old Wilson 1911 mags that had got fat at the top and no longer would drop free. This is a common thing at least with these oldies-- back when they were my first-line mags for competition I would squeeze them back once a year at least, usually right before the Single Stack Nationals.

Random thing #4: As the day wore on I started feeling a need for some instant gratification. I grabbed those two 9mm magazines and..... fixed them.
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 11:35 am 
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A backup gun for the zombie apocalypse.....


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 10, 2021 9:22 pm 
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Silver solder?

Now if it just had the "silly switch" located on the right side above the trigger..... :lol:


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 4:34 am 
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That beaver tail is something. What did you start with. On the main spring housing that looks like a shoulder stock attachment from the base piece. I probably missed something not paying attention to the who thread.

Browning safety the original has always been something that needed something.

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PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2021 5:46 am 
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BBBBill, yes. I was going to have my TIG guy weld it but to get it fixtured up for him was going to be a job unto itself. Can't just tell him, "Hold it well centered side-to-side and front-t-back the inside back wall needs to be flush." Plus I really wanted to see it done, so I did it here.

PT, that was an experimental grip safety on the backstrap. The beavertail, what I started with was a block of chrome-moly steel.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 25, 2022 7:18 pm 
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Regarding the above post (Sept. 9, 2020) about reshaping the Hi Power mag to narrow-up at the side towards the top, like every other double stack 9 mag in the world-- I talked to MecGar at SHOT the other day. Had to wait for SHOT because they could not be reached by phone in many tries and like most places, do not respond when you use their message for on their website. That's frustrating: "leave us a message, we want to know what's on your mind!"

Those messages go straight into a low orbit around Pluto. Not whining about MecGar, it's almost everyone.

The guy at MecGar was knowledgeable and friendly enough. I like everything they make, it's not for nothing they OEM a ton of mags for a ton of brands. The bottom line was, of course, it is a tooling expense, which is absolutely true. But if you look, BHP mags seem in short supply which means people are buying them. "They'll buy more if you make them this way," says me. The response translated, was, "we sell every one we make the way they are now". Ya know..... that is logical and I cannot find fault with it. A little disappointed maybe but-- it makes sense I guess.

This is what I'm proposing. Well, I'm proposing the same outer profile but "factory done", not modified and laser welded as in the pic:
Image

So I go to SHOT and having found out the day before about the release of FN's new "re-imagined" High Power (they are calling it that and not Hi-Power), one of the first things I did was go to the FN booth to tell them "you guys gotta do the mags like this (iPhone pic)!" Well...they already did. All-righty then ! That's a start! I note that the MecGar guy told me they are not OEMing the mags for the new gun.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2022 6:13 am 
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Ned,

I was curious about the new FN notahipower mag, and thought back to this thread when I heard about it, I concur, the OG Hi Power mag is probably one of the most obtuse things about operating the guns.

BTW your tail work on that thing is A+ cool, with notes of Boland, Love it

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2022 8:09 am 
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Thanks Karl and Boland's work, the little of it that I saw in the mid-80's, definitely stimulated some pathways! The new HP mag is not as changed as it might have been but I'm sure there were other considerations. This whole project no doubt got under way more than a couple years ago.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 26, 2022 9:55 am 
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Thanks Karl and Boland's work, the little of it that I saw in the mid-80's, definitely stimulated some pathways! The new HP mag is not as changed as it might have been but I'm sure there were other considerations. This whole project no doubt got under way more than a couple years ago.
No doubt, soon as I saw the news break and realized it was far more than dusting off some old forgings/prints, I thought 'They have been at this since the Hi Power got canned 2018/19'

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2022 9:07 am 
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While on hold for a bit on a project, I have a little time to take care of some of the other little things that need doing but normally might hang fire for..... a good long time. This is essentially a parts gun, you don't see that so much with the BHP. The barrel is a BarSto..... in 7.65 Parabellum. Ya gotta know this gives a recoil impulse that is somewhat "lesser" than that of a 9mm and indeed the action would barely open at first.

Brownings in my opinion are typically way overspring. Not to say they don't know what they're doing, but man! The hammer spring and firing pin spring are stout! I started tuning for the low impulse by reducing the hammer spring to "reasonable" levels.

Now mind you, the work on this gun is not and is not presented as high-end custom work. It's "can you put this together and make it work". I'm anxious to meet that requirement without making a weeks-long project out of it so, reducing that hammer spring was done by shortening it. It's fine. Except the expected misfires. Take out the firing pin spring. By far the strongest in any pistol available today. At first I replaced it with a spring I made and misfires were greatly reduced.

Reduced but not gone. The hammer provided was a ring hammer. This thing was just.... giant. I cut off the ring and slotted it up the back. Misfires gone. Let there be no doubt that a lighter hammer, a lighter complete firing train, hits harder. I've proven this many times over the years. Not to include lightweight firing pins though. As these, like a 1911, have inertia firing pins, you get under a certain mass and the inertia is reduced so much that it can't hit hard enough.

After all this I found a Wolff FP spring for BHP, stronger than the one I made. I put that in and still no misfires, so, good.

As a parts gun it came with a C&S wide trigger. I'm not a fan of wide triggers but beside that this part was a little rough and took a bit of fitting, which-- having the trigger in and out of a BHP a bunch of times is not fun. Finally got it working OK.

One thing about the BHP is extreme trigger overtravel in some cases. This leads to binding on the bell crank mounted in the slide (OK, its official name is "sear lever".) Pull the trigger far enough to drop the hammer, and if it goes too far beyond, the trigger lever pins the sear lever up. You can feel this in hand cycling-- the slide won't move. Oh it moves when you fire it, but things are being stressed. Indeed, on this frame, you could see where the sear lever had deformed its place in the frame a little in previous use. Here's where it would have been nice in an aftermarket trigger where they leave extra metal on the forward extension of the trigger so a guy could file it to be an effective trigger OT stop. I added some metal there and all's well.

The RDIH extendo slide stop provided-- I think they're OK. I don't really have any high-mileage info on them. I find the factory part perfectly adequate but there's nothing really wrong with the RDIH.

The thumb safety used was off a Tisas, which had been fitted with a C&S safety. This was the original format safety and, not Tisas' fault, but they are just.... bloody.... awful. They give you about 3/8" of leverage which is practically below flush with the grips and frame. With the hammer pivoting on the safety shaft there can be considerable drag. The detent efforts can vary. Send lawyers, guns, and leverage! As with the safety in an above post, I did a quick-ish job of extending it. Using a broken 1911 safety, I took the paddle off, and silvered it into a slot filed into the original. Again not suitable for zoomed-in pics in a gun magazine but so..... much..... better. AND, yes, safer. I put a little silver on the part of it that blocks the sear, which it needed. Pulling the trigger with the safety on was resulting in about 20% of sear movement occurring. A guy could live with this if he had to-- many Brownings come from the factory with this condition. But now this one is solid. Is silver the ideal material for blocking the sear? Not in theory but in reality.... more than adequate.

Image
Image
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Image

What passes for a "tang" on these is pretty objectionable, and usually left sharp on the sides. They vary a lot. Well, I didn't really want to start filing on the guy's frame but I do know that if it's a problem he's good with a file himself and can take care of it.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2022 8:33 pm 
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Did ya have to sleeve the barrel to fit the 9mm slide or was the BarSto big enough to fill the bushing? I've got a factory 7.65 barrel that I'm going to have to sleeve to fit. Much smaller than the 9mm barrel OD.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 28, 2022 9:13 pm 
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I never even thought of that, like some Commander barrels are small, eh? No, BarSto made it specifically to be a drop-in to a 9.

I talked to Irv the other day at BarSto. I was the first one to call with the question. What was the question? Anybody...?


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 1:11 pm 
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You wanted a barrel? 8)


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2022 10:46 pm 
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Quote:
I never even thought of that, like some Commander barrels are small, eh?...
Yeah. The factory 7.65 slide is different, too. Besides the bushing issue I believe that it is milled thinner and possibly at a slight taper from top to bottom. Look at a photo of one if you can find it. The extractor sits proud of the outside of the slide significantly more than the 9mm guns. So less mass, the opposite of the 40 cal slides.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 02, 2022 10:02 am 
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Makes sense. I carried a borrowed P38 briefly in .30 Luger but did not have a chance to really examine it WRT springs and slide mass.

Patrick, yes.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2022 5:39 am 
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Ned. Ran across a real different Browning from Italy in 9X21. Seems in Italy you cannot have a military caliber. I bet that cartridge really was hard on that pistol

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 05, 2022 8:43 am 
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That's a rare one, still have it? The funny thing, talk about a rule-beater for a rule that was so dumb in the first place-- Item 1) The Astra Model 400 was manufactured in 9mm Largo and said to function equally well with 9mm Luger even though it's 5/32 shorter....confirmed with my own hand. You can even shoot it with .380 but of course it doesn't cycle fully (or at all). So, Item 2) I'll betcha anything that 9X21 Browning will work as well with 9mm Luger. As long as the firing pin will reach the primer, it would fire the cartridge, which would move back to the breech face and clip under the extractor, and physics takes it from there. At least that's how it works in the Astra.

The big question on the Astra 400 is, "why 9mm Largo", which of course did not stand the test of time. The cartridge was not more powerful than 9mm Luger anyway-- good, since the Astra is an oddity in that it is straight blowback. The slightly later Astra 600 answered the question by being chambered in, you guessed it, 9mm Luger.


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