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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just added an Astra 400 to my collection and I'm loving it. A local gun store has probably 300-500 rounds of surplus 9mm Largo for $15/box of 25 ($0.60/round) which is what I've been using and the cheapest I've found so far. I was wondering if I'll ever be able to find it anywhere else at around this price? I saw some PCI on AmmoSeek for ~$0.64/round, but due to nothing but terrible experiences with their ammo I'm VERY hesitant to buy it.

The boxes at the local store are a mix of FN Palencia and ENSB ammo. Is $15/box a good price for these to begin with, being as it's surplus?

Thanks for any help you all can offer!
 

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Does cheap 9mm Largo ammo exist?
Sure,, but only if you make it yourself.

There is no demand for it, thus there is nearly no supply, thus what there is is and will be, pricey.
 

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Price wise the surplus is about as good as your going to find. IT's also just about the last of it around so get it while you can. Now IMI is making a 9x23 round that is similar to the Largo. But it may be a copy of the 9x23 Winchester which is too strong for Largo chambered firearms. But if not then it may be useable in the largo. You would have to check with IMI on line to find out.
 

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There probably IS a lot of cheap 9mm Largo around, but you are only going to find it in the bottom of ammo safes owned by the people that bought that stuff, say, 30 years ago.;)

I am not sure of the head dimension of 9mm Largo, but if it is roughly the same as 9X19 or 7.62X25 (I seem to recall that it might be), you MIGHT be able to make it by cutting down .223 brass.

Yes, the .223 case head is slightly smaller, but not enough to cause any serious problems in the chamber.


EDIT. I did a quick look-up and the 9mm Largo, 9X19, and 7.62 X25 all do share the same base diameter of .390" (+/-). The .223 is .376".

I have more than a little experience shooting cut down .223 cases in a Broomhandle, and other than needing to use the .223 shellholder with my 7.63 Mauser dies, I have never had an issue caused by the slightly different base diameter.
 

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There probably IS a lot of cheap 9mm Largo around, but you are only going to find it in the bottom of ammo safes owned by the people that bought that stuff, say, 30 years ago.;)
This would be me. I still have around 900 rounds of the good noncorrosive Santa Barbara stuff. I'd consider selling it for .50 per plus shipping if you bought all of it. That reminds me, I have two of the pistols I need to sell too.
 

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There probably IS a lot of cheap 9mm Largo around, but you are only going to find it in the bottom of ammo safes owned by the people that bought that stuff, say, 30 years ago.;)

I am not sure of the head dimension of 9mm Largo, but if it is roughly the same as 9X19 or 7.62X25 (I seem to recall that it might be), you MIGHT be able to make it by cutting down .223 brass.

Yes, the .223 case head is slightly smaller, but not enough to cause any serious problems in the chamber.


EDIT. I did a quick look-up and the 9mm Largo, 9X19, and 7.62 X25 all do share the same base diameter of .390" (+/-). The .223 is .376".

I have more than a little experience shooting cut down .223 cases in a Broomhandle, and other than needing to use the .223 shellholder with my 7.63 Mauser dies, I have never had an issue caused by the slightly different base diameter.
Starline makes great 9 Largo brass and you can load it quite successfully with 9 Luger dies. If you are a reloader it is no big deal to keep em shooting.
 

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STARLINE brass is excellent quality, been using it for a couple years now and as ammolab said, reloading is easy. If you reload, that is.
Yes, but my mother was 100% Scottish (yes, I can attest that the stories about Scots being cheap are true).

I frequently have quantities of (not really all that worn out) .223 brass except for it being used enough to where I am starting to get neck cracks. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the rear end of these cases.

The other net plus I have found from using cut-down .223 over commercial brass is that it doesn't drive me 'ape nuts' if I can't find each and every fired case at the range.
 

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The writing was on the wall a few years ago so I stockpiled since I have a few Star Modelo Super pistols in that caliber. At the tie Long Mountain Outfitters had it (non-corrosive) but now I think Sarco is the only game in town left for surplus (corrosive).



 

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I reloaded starline when I had a Astra 400 and it worked great. Used regular 9x19 loads but mostly dud Italian BPD 1952 broken down ammo. Doesn't get cheaper than that. Oh, and I used .38 Super dies.
 

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.38 automatic and not .38 super functions perfectly in at least one astra 400 that i know of and a couple of file strokes on the breach got a star super to work with .38 super. 9mm largo is slightly smaller in the rim than most 9mm in my experience. I think the .223 has a thicker head (Less internal volume in that area) and the rims are I think slightly larger. I think it can be made to work, but it will be a lot of work to do. Much easier to get .38 automatic cases to function in the astra.
 

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I have used new 9mm largo produced by Reed's Ammunition and Research. My Super liked it. Ventura Heritage also markets new largo, but havent tried theirs. Slowly running out of Santa Barbar surplus.
I reload with 9mm luger dies & starline brass. Easy.
 

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A quick Google search turned up nothing concerning the load specs. on IMI 9x23 but until you do get something I would not drop the hammer on any of it in a firearm chambered in 9mm Largo.
It will fit and it will function but if it's anywhere close to the 9x23 Win. it will break things on the firearm and maybe you as well.
Now if you are reloading then the brass will work just fine, as will the 9mm Steyr (lf your extractor is tight or your FP is long) and 38 auto or 38 super brass (if your bolt face will accept it).
Properly head stamped Starline brass is good to go also.
FWIW, I've always gotten better accuracy using a truncated cone style bullet in the Largo as opposed to the round nose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for the help everyone. I do reload, but pretty much only for bolt actions and single shots now since I don't seem to have the time to reload anything in quantities suitable for blowing through a semi auto at the range. I'll probably end up getting some dies and starline brass since I don't think I want to shoot an almost 100 year old pistol that much! And I do feel bad wasting all this surplus ammo for a few minutes of range fun.

Has anyone had experience using PCI 9mm Steyr in theirs? I think that's starline steyr brass.
 

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Using 9 mm Steyr (9x22.5 mm) in a firearm chambered for the 9 mm Largo (9x23 mm) is risky (as is any use of improper ammunition). The too short 9 mm Steyr effectively creates a situation with all the risks of shooting a firearm with excessive head space; damage to the firearm and injury or death of shooter and bystanders.

It's your gun and your life - do what you want. But make the decision with an understanding of the risks.

As an aside, gun rag writers used to call the Astra model 400 the "shoot anything pistol" and tell people they could shoot 9 mm Luger, .38 ACP, .38 Super, and even .380 ACP in it. That advice destroyed a lot of pistols.
 

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Using 9 mm Steyr (9x22.5 mm) in a firearm chambered for the 9 mm Largo (9x23 mm) is risky (as is any use of improper ammunition). The too short 9 mm Steyr effectively creates a situation with all the risks of shooting a firearm with excessive head space; damage to the firearm and injury or death of shooter and bystanders.

It's your gun and your life - do what you want. But make the decision with an understanding of the risks.

As an aside, gun rag writers used to call the Astra model 400 the "shoot anything pistol" and tell people they could shoot 9 mm Luger, .38 ACP, .38 Super, and even .380 ACP in it. That advice destroyed a lot of pistols.
The difference in case length 9 Steyr / 9 Largo is about .004". I think that is well within manufacturing tolerances
and not approaching excessive headspace.
 
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