Astra A-80 .45 ACP handgun
Hand held at 20 yards (Virgil Caldwell for TTAG)
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The pistol illustrated was manufactured by Astra of Spain from 1982 to 1989. It was once a common pistol in American gun stores in both .45 ACP and 9mm Luger (and even a few in .38 Super), eventually being replaces by the A-100 model. The primary difference between the A-80 and the A-100 is the A-100 uses a Browning type magazine release while the A-80 uses a European heel-type magazine release. While most Americans prefer a Browning type mag release, the heel magazine catch is secure and trouble-free…if not quite as fast.

The Astra A-80 bears a strong resemblance to the SIG SAUER P series pistols, but this is at best skin deep. The operating mechanism differs on several points. The pistol uses a single locking lug to lock the barrel versus the SIG’s system of jutting the barrel hood into the ejection port.

Astra A-80 .45 ACP handgun
Virgil Caldwell for TTAG

The Astra de-cocker and slide lock are similar to the SIG pistols, too. The Astra’s takedown lever is located on the right side of the pistol. The P-80 was available as a fifteen-shot 9mm and nine-shot .45 ACP. The pistol here is the .45 ACP version.

The A-80 uses a double action first shot trigger pull. On this point there is no comparison to the SIG. The Astra double action trigger pull weight is a whopping sixteen pounds with plenty of stacking. The single action pull is spongy, but breaks at much more agreeable 5.1 lbs.

Astra A-80 .45 ACP handgun
Virgil Caldwell for TTAG

The hammer may be de-cocked by a SIG-like de-cocker lever located on the frame in front of the grip and behind the trigger. The pistol features a firing pin block/drop safety similar to the SIG.

The sights are average to good for the time, comparable to many service pistols. The front blade is painted white on the shooter’s side. The rear sight has a vertical white line below the notch. Line them up and you’re on target.

This pawn shop find was purchased along with two magazines. One holds nine rounds and doesn’t lock the slide open on the last shot. The other will accept only eight rounds, but the slide stays open when empty. Extra magazines can be found from time to time on the usual auction sites, usually for anywhere between $40 and $60 or so.

I have fired this pistol and found it very reliable. It’s certainly accurate enough for personal defense use. It will place an entire magazine into a ragged hole at seven yards and will feed hollow points admirably.

Astra A-80 .45 ACP handgun
Virgil Caldwell for TTAG

Most of the ammo the gun has seen since I’ve owned it has been with the Black Hills Ammunition 200 grain LSWC. Since the Astra features a steel frame and weights 35 ounces, recoil is very reasonable.

I have fired the pistol at a long 20 yards to evaluate accuracy potential. It will place five rounds in about four to four and one half inches at 20 yards and this one fires slightly low in relation to the sights. That’s accurate enough for most chores considering the pistol usually runs about three hundred dollars or so used.

While I wouldn’t seek out an A-80 as a combat handgun, it’s still a good deal for anyone needing a pistol right now that functions and is reliable. In today’s money this is still a quality piece for relatively little cash.

Specifications: Astra A-80 Semiautomatic Pistol

Caliber: .45 ACP
Action: DA/SA
Overall Length: 7.1 inches
Barrel Length: 3.75 inches
Weight: 35 ounces unloaded
Capacity: 9+1
Price: Anywhere from $300 on up depending on condition and magazines included

Ratings (out of five stars):

Reliability   * * * * *
No failures to feed, chamber, fire or eject. It’s fired and cycled everything I can afford to feed it.

Accuracy: * * * 
It’s not a tack driver, but it’s well within minute of bad guy. Accuracy is fine at personal defense distances. Things break down a little beyond 10 yards partly due to a spongy trigger.

Handling and Ergonomics * * * *
If you like the SIG you will like this pistol. The steel frame soaks up recoil. The high bore axis, as with the SIG, makes for a fair amount of muzzle flip.

Concealed Carry * * *
It really isn’t much bigger than a SIG P228, the slide is more rounded and the barrel hood isn’t as blocky. Stick it in a Falco fit them all and go about your business. One caution- spare magazines, grips and other parts may be difficult to obtain.

Overall * * * *
It isn’t handsome, but it isn’t ugly either. This old Astra has a decent finish, too. The best part is it’s reliable and accurate enough in a big boy caliber. This used gun is an affordable, shootable .45 option that lets you leave some money in your pocket.

 

 

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Astra is one of those second tier companies. They make functional pistols for budget minded folks. Nothing at all wrong with that.

    I’ve owned several pistols with the heel mag release. I’ve seen folks with the typical push button release dump mags unintentionally on the range. Never seen it with a heel release.

    I’ve settled on the 9mm for my semi autos. Just makes logistics simpler.

    • Hey genius Astra went out of business years ago as well as Star. You are a laugh a minute oh self anointed gun expert.

      • Hey jerry p. How’s the weather in Canton?

        You’re beyond a doubt the dumbest human being I’ve ever encountered.

        • Is this that guy Vlad the Kent State dropout that used to troll here and got himself doxxed? I’m kind of surprised something similar hasn’t happened to that c*unt miner49r.

        • Yes, Blue. Same retard. A drop out that brags of his smarts. Would not be shocked to find that he was antifa. He has the makings of a true fascist.

        • Ah yes Miner….the person who insisted the installation of a globalist demented Chi-com asset would be so excellent and wonderful. But, muh orange man bad, orange man make mean tweets and is racist. Uh huh. If you are black and didn’t vote for Biden, you ain’t black. Also we wouldn’t want Biden’s kids to have been subjected to racial jungles do to the coloreds being integrated. Notable sentiments from your unifying savior and chief. Everything is now objectively worse and we are only a half year in. Out of control stagflation that makes the Carter years seem reasonable. The US went from energy independent and a world exporter to being reliant on other countries, many of whom hate us. You liking that price of gas, lumber and increased prices across the board? Or all the child sex trafficking and drug business the fake president pedo in chief is drumming up for the Cartels? Miner, you are a typical shitlib and complete garbage human being.

      • “Star and Astra combined into one company under the ASTAR name, with a new factory, which manufactures a range of new firearms with distribution in Spain and some South American countries.” -Wikipedia

        Agrupacion Social Trabajadores Armeros, S.A.L. (ASTAR)
        Barrio Boroa, 19
        Boroa
        48340 – AMOREBIETA-ETXANO
        Vizcaya
        SPAIN

        Tel: 946 731 147
        Tel: 344 673 1147
        Fax: 344 673 1147

  2. “The A-80 uses a double action first shot trigger pull.”

    In my non-humble opinion, the ideal mode of operation for concealed AIWB carry, if that floats your boat.

    And, pretty much what JWM said. They are nothing flashy, and tend to be boringly reliable. For 300 bucks, he got a *solid* deal…

  3. I like this…where do I find this 45acp you speak of?!? I noticed my LGS has a few boxes for 32bucks. Not HP. Yeah I’ll stick with 9mm JWM.

    • Logistics. I’ve tried to simplify and down size the numbers of ‘odd’ or mismatching calibers or gauges. 12 ga. for shotguns. .243 for rifles. .38/357 for revolvers and 9mm for pistols.

      I only still have a few 20 ga. shotguns and my one Mosin because they’ve been promised to various grand kids when the spuds get big enough to handle them.

      One good thing about the shortage of firearms and ammo is that it keeps my impulse buy itch in check.

        • I do have several .22’s. But I bought pellet guns during the last ammo crisis and I hardly use them now. Mostly I’m holding them until the grandkids are old enough for them.

    • Not knocking that choice but, I’ve kept my ammo options open for that exact reason. I like having a few non mainstream calibers because they don’t suddenly disappear overnight. I’m worried 9mm became the new .22 in that it’s SO popular you can never find it.

      • I do both. My carry guns are all 9mm (or at least have a 9mm conversion barrel in them). My collecting guns are in a wide array of calibers. If they are easily convertible to other calibers then I try to get the conversions.

        I have had some Astras over the years and had no complaints about them, or Llamas. But the lines never did appeal to me the way Stars do. There’s something about a Star pistol that tickles my fancy. Insert comment about me being a closet 1911 lover below 😉

        • I do like my Star BM. Looks good, dependable, and shoots great. There was a major dump of BM’s to the public in the not too distant past. Too good to pass up. One for me and one each for two of my sons.

  4. The .45 version of this pistol was known to break the lug off the barrel replacement parts are unobtainable. Use low power rounds.
    The 9mm version is perfectly reliable as is the .40 though.
    One neat trick with these guns is the slide and mag can be swapped with 9mm and .40 cal for a new experience. A few 9mm slides had a safety switch, mostly police models.

    EAA imported them in the 90s. Good guns for self defense because they are cheap, reliable and easy to let sit in an evidence vault.

    • “Good guns for self defense because they are cheap, reliable and easy to let sit in an evidence vault.”

      And that’s the primary appeal to me of stock Glock handguns… 🙂

    • Could you site your sources for the barrel lug breaking off. I am not doubting you its just that I have never read that in print that I can recall.

  5. I had a chromed one in .45 Acp.

    The Astra slide was steel bar stock not the cheap ass stamped sheet metal slide of the original Sig P series of pistols (now they are bar stock at least the U.S made ones are) The stamped sheet metal slide of the Sig P series was known to crack and was one of the major reasons they were rejected by the U.S. Military in the U.S. test trials when the U.S. decided to go with the Beretta 92.

    The Astra accuracy was sub par compared to the Sig p series.

    The Astra frame was bar stock not cheap ass aluminum like the Sig P series which were known to crack.

    The Astra was a very heavy pistol because it had a bar stock frame and slide making it less comfortable to carry. The butt was long and not very concealable. It had no manual safety so you could not carry it locked and cocked. These three reasons were why I got rid of mine. In some ways I wish I would have kept it as it was a good range gun because of its rugged construction with no cheap ass manufacturing short cuts like the Sig P series of pistols.

  6. I never fired an A-80 but I carried an A-75 in .40S&W for a few years, unfortunately I let it get away from me. Yes, it was heavy for its size (smaller and lighter than the A-80) but the A-75 was smaller (and lighter) than most other steel frame 9mm and .40S&W handguns of the time. Absolutely reliable, adequately accurate, and attractively priced.

    The A-75 was rather peculiar in that the .40 and the 9mm shared the same magazine, with witness holes for 9mm on one side and for .40 on the other side.

    • Astra’s A-70 is a rare gem that manages to combine the best of a 1911 with most of the best features of modern pistols (I wish someone would do the same in full or Commander size). I have a parts kit, and would love to build it up some day.

    • I have an A-75 in 9mm, and it’s one of my favorite guns. I had one in .40 and I found it pretty unpleasant to shoot, as I have messed up hands from decades of working on cars and old radios, so I sold it and got the 9mm one. The DA pull on it is super smooth, and it eats anything. Over the years, I’ve owned a lot of Astra guns and never had any issues with any of them. 2 A-80’s, an A-100(all 9mm), the 2 A-75’s, and an A-60 .380. All were accurate enough for self defense and the only thing I had to do to any of them was clean a couple of the mags that came full of unburned powder.

  7. can do worse than an all steel decock. prefer frame safety down off/ alloy frame for carry, take this before plastic strikey.
    price is right.

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