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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Gents:

Have a 400 mixmaster, different numbers on slide, frame, etc. It is finished in a kind of white-gold parkerizing (I can just hear the purists gagging…) and is a nice shooter. However it has a slight tiny 1/16 inch hairline crack near where the round metal plug was inserted in the back end of the slide. Tho this could be welded up, it would mean having to re-parkerize the white gold finish or stripping the white gold finish and bluing….either is probably not worth the effort.

Thought it might be simpler to just shoot milder ammo. For example, the chamber could be necked down to accept the mild 380 ACP, (cartridge seems to slip in ok).

Was told another option might be to shoot the milder 38 ACP (barrel marked 9mm & 38). However I can’t find any 38 ACP…only 38 spl and 38 spl +p and 38 super +p. What gives, are they the same cartridge?

Comments and suggestions appreciated.
 

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Where is the crack going? That part of the slide does't take any stress; the only reason for the plug is to fill the hole that must be drilled during manufacture in order to drill the firing pin channel. I've seen a few M400s on which the plug was missing. Its absence didn't seem to affect anything.

More important, what ammunition are you now using? You can still get .38 ACP but you'll probably have to special order it. It's the same case as .38 Super, but a lot lighter load; .38 Super is literally the +P version of .38 ACP. .38 Spl. is a rimmed cartridge for revolvers, entirely different.

9mm Steyr is actually the best substitute for Largo, and is more mildly loaded. Forget about sleeving to .380 and similar nonsense.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hey MG,

The crack curls up off to the left into the right corner of the open rectangular slot…see pic.

The gun came with a brand new 9mm para (9x19) barrel which is uncommon, but hey, ammo is everywhere…unlike 9mm largo. The barrel I was going to neck is from another 400 that is in pristine never fired condition, it is a regular 9mm largo barrel (9x23). Never fired cuz I’ve never had any 9mm largo. The plan was to swap barrels…I can hear the purists again…

Using Fiocchi 124 gr (mv 1280 fps me 445 ft lbs) which I was told is very similar to WW2 era Luger. Also use Remington and CCI, but they don’t kick near as much.

The slide is a very low number and the frame a very high number, I tracked down the historic records and unit assignments some time ago and it looked as tho it might have been used in the Spanish Civil War and then maybe with the Blue Legion on the Eastern Front…how could you not like a gun like that? …no wonder the original barrel(s) is (are) long gone.

I agree sleeving is somewhat unnecessary, but it’s a simple collar insert and easily reversed (takes 5 minutes), and using 380 would put little strain on the old vet.

Didn’t know that 38 ACP and 38 Super were that close…38 Super is quite plentiful and affordable but it is somewhat hot. As for Steyr ammo, it’s a lot pricier than 380 or 38 Super.

Thanks for the suggestions,

Regards,

Sailor
 

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Sailor, with respect, you're already in deep water, and headed for trouble. Retire that gun before you hurt yourself or somebody else.

M
 

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I agree with the others, retire that gun. As far as changing it to .380 NO. First you would have to bore out the chamber. Then make a plug that would fit the bored out hole. Then drill and chamber that plug and silver solder it in the bored out hole. And then what you would have is a single shot low velocity pistol that would not feed from the magazine and would not open or eject the slide. You see the Astra 400 is a blowback action and it has to have a pretty hot cartridge to move that heavy slide. Hence the 9 mm Largo cartridge it is chambered for. The little .380 is not hot enough and will not fit the magazine well enough to feed. The Astra 600 is made from scratch to be a 9mm Para. pistol so it will work with the lower pressure Lugar cartridge. The 400 needs the high pressure cartridge. I am not sure the 9mmL barrel will work your action, but if you use factory ammo it might.
Sarge
 
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