Astra 902: Because More Rounds is Better

Astra 902: Because More Rounds is Better

The Spanish Astra firm introduced its C96 Mauser lookalike, the Model 900, in 1927 to take advantage of the strong Chinese demand for that type of handgun. When Bestigui Hermanos introduced a select-fire machine pistol to the Chinese market, Astra quickly followed suit with their Model 910 and 902 in 1928. The 901 was really just a select-fire adaptation of the Model 900, while the 902 made an effort to compensate for the quite fast rate of fire (900 rounds/minute) by using a fixed 20-round magazine instead of the 901’s 10-round magazine.

A total of 7075 Model 902 Astra pistols were made, with the design followed in 1932 by the Model 903 and its detachable box magazines. In order to accommodate the extra-long magazine, the shoulder stocks of the 902s (all Astra 900-series guns were shipped with should stock holsters) had a deep opening cut out, which was then covered by a detachable leather boot to protect the magazine of the gun and close off dirt from the opening in the stock.

One very rare variant of the 902 is the semiautomatic-only type, of which only 50-75 were made (about half the number of 20-round Mauser C96 pistols). We have one of those to look at today, along with its intact original shipping box.

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Readers Comments (50)

  1. Wouldn’t the leather extra pouch get in your face if using the stock?

  2. Ian, can you do a video on the pp-19 Bizon Russian SMG if possible? Thanks.

  3. I have 903 model. Unfortunately spring which helps in working of this pistol in fully automatic is missing can some one suggest from where can I get that specific part ready to pay the cost.

  4. are better*? Gun Jesus LOL

  5. These are awesome no doubt, but the 903 is where it is at for me. I have wanted a 903 for a long time. I think it is a wonderful little home defense carbine. like all C96 and copies, kind of a goofy handgun, but a top notch carbine.

  6. Make a video about greek steyr mannlicher

  7. As a firearms enthusiast,and history buff..your vids are beyond awesome..

  8. Ian, on the pistol-caliber firearms with leaf rear sights, does the drop-off actually match the farthest ranges? I would think the pistol-calibers would face a more severe drop than can be accounted for on such a simple leaf. Love the videos, and thanks for all your hard work!

  9. jose carlos garcia December 3, 2020 @ 8:33 pm

    Bestewie Hermanos XD

  10. Is it possible that the metal bits on the stocks are not original to the wood?

  11. I own an Astra 400 and 600. Would love to own this.

  12. Picasso’s Guernica?

  13. Ian I’m curious, have you ever bought any of the guns you’ve done videos about at these auctions?

  14. Almost bought a 900 once, but I was acting too snobby going off "I want a C-96 Carbine blah blah blah blah blah!"

    I should of done it since they had Mauser good graces with them.

  15. I’m a big fan of your videos. I’m a longtime gun collector and a history buff. The two interests dovetail nicely and ,as a result, I’l always looking for material that covers older firearms.Your videos give obscure and hard to find firearms a three dimensional quality. I’m also a lifelong fan of the Broomhandle pistol. I’m 50 years old now (2018) and I’ve been a fan of the Mauser and Spanish versions since the Seventies! I enjoy the fact that you have made several videos about my favorite historical design. I actually own a post-WW 1 ‘Bolo’ which is my all-time favorite. Keep up the good work.

  16. Can’t hit your target? Then just fire more bullets! Get a Vlad Today!

  17. Those look like they wouldn’t even fit in their own holsters

  18. C96 Carbine

  19. Always nice to hear more about these. I’ve always wondered how much use these and other spanish arms saw in the Spanish Civil War. Great video as always. Thank you

  20. Burlats de Montaigne December 3, 2020 @ 8:49 pm

    I’m a sucker for a nice bit of engine turning. Take my money.

  21. 666 Ho Chi Minh 666 December 3, 2020 @ 8:50 pm

    I saw that 30-06 Chauchat, please do something with it

  22. I’m still stuck with "Wauser"

  23. Wow, the full auto is expected to go for about half of the semi auto. Incredible!

  24. Beautiful finish

  25. I love how the selector switch, instead of being labeled "S" and "A", are labeled "1" and "20". You fire one shot or all of them 😛

  26. Andy64878 Andy64878 December 3, 2020 @ 8:56 pm

    i live in spain. spanish are not known for wood work. one very few trees and just look at my shit door frames in my house

  27. Cavallino Rampante December 3, 2020 @ 8:56 pm

    Maybe the new guy did the stock fitting before moving on to actual guns later?

  28. It would’ve been a blast to see you firing the automatic one😺

  29. Hey Ian, Can you do a review of a SKS?

  30. in range TV just aint the same dude, good luck and well wishes on your endeavors

  31. Dominic Chambers December 3, 2020 @ 9:01 pm

    What model Astra did Henry carry in A Farewell to Arms?

  32. Jonathan Chappell December 3, 2020 @ 9:03 pm

    I’d really love an explanation some day for the seemingly ludicrously optimistic sight markings on the weapons of ~100 years ago.

  33. Not exactly quick draw holsters, are they?

  34. These are so freakin cool

  35. 6.58 made in Guernica Spain…ah now the bombing of said town by the Luftwaffe makes sense…they were pissed at the Spanish doing a Mauser knock off .

  36. You all heard it. More rounds are better. It’s a published fact.

  37. 半百雖有恙,
    自有後來人。
    動轍以數万,
    乃為愛好者。
    是以稀罕論,
    復有何所求。
    籃色貴金屬,
    槍價比黃金。

  38. Nice

  39. Is that an American .30-06 Chauchat in the background there?

  40. Very very cool!! Thanks Ian! Love your channel brother..

  41. allksjndlkasjdkl December 3, 2020 @ 9:11 pm

    3:23
    7.63, eh? I’ll take fifty!

  42. A stylish pistol but a pain in the ass to load, especially the original German specimen when one needs to use the clip to load the thing properly.

  43. One-thousand meters may seem like a stretch, but I’d love to see one of these being fired at a man sized target from 500 meters, just to see what they could really do.

  44. Ian, you don’t think the poor fit on the stock could be due to the fact that the wood is around 100 years old? I know wood likes to expand and contract depending on the conditions it’s exposed to, and I imagine that could play a role in the poor fit

  45. May I politely differ from your assessment by supposing that the optimism is in fact hilariously identical by its general totality whether fired one handed in automatic or singly from a ransom rest for all but maybe one of it’s graduated elevation zeroes? Sarcastically yours, et cetera halfwittington the thrid.

  46. Radioactive Reptile December 3, 2020 @ 9:17 pm

    I just see pistol carbines lf C96 pistols

  47. If you cut the stock then it will be used like a pistol/machine gun!

  48. Looked at the Auction estimates. I know it’s a super rare model in the original case, but jeebus. 2x the cost of the select fire model.

  49. I think that the wood of the stocks would have deformed in a 100 years just by exposure to heat and humidity while the pistols being metal are more resilient to deformations

  50. Any chance that the wood on the stockholster has shrunk or warped in the intervening 70 plus years? The quality of wood required that would not deteriorate without more care than the gun itself would be prohibitive.

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