SOLD - Rare, Immaculate Astra 900 Rig - Nazi Contract Range
In 1927, the Spanish firm of Astra-Unceta y Cia, Guernica began producing their own “look-alike” version of the of the “Mauser C96”; The “Astra Modelo 900”. This was in an effort to compete against Mauser in the export market and cash in on the lucrative far east arms trade. Astra’s Export Director Ernesto Borchers traveled to Asia to promote sales of the new weapon. He returned to Spain with a three-year contract for 72,000 M900’s in 7.63 mm Mauser caliber. A total of approximately 35,000 of the standard Model 900’s pistols were produced at the Astra factory, with about 30,000 of those exported to China. After the long and devastating Spanish civil war, the nation of Spain was finally united under the right-wing dictator General Francisco Franco in April 1939. As an immerging nation, Spain’s new government was officially “neutral” during World War-II, but was a consistent supporter of Nazi Germany and the Axis powers. “Neutral” Spain, in contravention of the “international Neutrality Act”, was a major supplier of armaments to the Wehrmacht throughout the war. In 1941, Spain’s Astra company sold 6,000 Astra Modelo 400 pistols directly to the German military. Additionally, Astra subsequently sold about 63,000 Modelo 300 pistols chambered for 9mm Kruz and about 10,500 Modelo 600’s chambered for the 9mm Parabellum to the German Army during the war years.
In March 1943, 1,052 Astra Modelo 900 semi-automatic pistols with their matching holster/shoulder-stocks were procured by the German forces in southern France. This well documented last shipment of Astra M900’s to the German Army were delivered to the Army Headquarters in the town of Hendye, France but for unknown reasons were not die-stamped with the typical Army Waffenamt acceptance stamp. Therefore, these units must be identified by their serial numbers. This Model 900 Pistol was manufactured in 1941 and delivered to the Wehrmacht in March 1943. Unlike the other Astra model pistols procured by the German Army, these few Astra M900 weapons did not see extensive service or harsh use with the Wehrmacht.
The consignor put together a file giving comprehensive history and description of the items here, as well as internal photos. It can be included or provided upon request.