Managed to get a Star PD, older Garcia import with wood grips, hope to find Pachmayrs to tame recoil and because the wood looks cheap! $200 in about 96% condition, what do you think?
I usually don't like compact 45autos but for the price and because I know my dad has wanted one for since they first came out and were a big deal as there was no real comparable gun on the market I gave it a chance.
I can't find much of my old refrence material on these guns but I remember they kind of need to have a shock buffer installed on them, any sources on them and the grips and can I modify a Colt officers acp one to fit if need be?
I'll probably load up with Remington standard 185gr hollowpoints as I feel this gun is not going to feed hydra shok and the short barrel velocities I doubt are going to favor expansion with 230gr and +P is out of the question in this gun.
Actually I should load up withn 200 gr Speer flying ashtray and pack this gun around in a disco suit to remember the era when this gun was a hot item to have, blessed by approval by Cooper himself!
Any onsetvations or comments on this gun would be appreciated except ones about how all Spanish guns are junk!
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December 19, 2005, 08:29 PM
For the money, Stars are absolutely one of the best brands made.
December 19, 2005, 08:51 PM
I think you did really well regardless of what you paid. Have fun
December 20, 2005, 02:07 AM
Better track down those buffers they are needed . Now for carry ammo Corbon has the new Compact 165 gr DPX round non+P and made for short barrels. 1000+fps. Their are several test around of this bullet. I now use in my compact and commander pistols.
December 20, 2005, 02:13 AM
If the pistol is really in that condition, you got a great deal. As noted, the general consensus is that shok-buffs are needed to keep these puppies operating ... Shoot, I paid over $300 for a used PD ten years ago ... A most underrated pistola (I have to confess a secret fondness for some of the older Star and Astra pistols -- I think those who know would never state Spanish pistols are junk).
December 20, 2005, 02:22 AM
Love the Star PD and have been looking for one for quite some time.
Kim duToit likes 'em too (http://www.theothersideofkim.com/index.php/ggps/5995/)
December 20, 2005, 10:20 AM
Congratulations on acquiring one of the best .45 ACP carry guns, IMO. As you stated, the Star PD-specific buffers are important to use to prevent frame battering. I believe Star recommended changing them every 700 rounds, which may or may not be excessive depending on your ammo choice. My personal poinion is that Star PD's are undersprung, too. My PD likes to run with a Wolff extra power recoil spring and functioning has been perfect. The only ammo I've had difficulty with has been some sharp-shouldered 200 gr. SWC factory reloads. Everything else, including Hydra-Shoks, has run perfectly. I wouldn't worry about the barrel length. The 4 inch barrel is plenty of pipe for a .45. The pachmayr grips do comfort the hand for shooting, but IMO are far to wide and sticky for carry. I've been much happier with the wood grip panels. Whatever you choose to do, you've got one of the all time great self defense pistols! :)
December 20, 2005, 04:31 PM
I think you did great! As has been mentioned, Shok-Buff's are manditory and beefier springs aren't a bad idea either. If you can't find the factory buffers, Wilson Combat sells blue poly buffers for 1911's that can be easily reshaped for the PD.
December 20, 2005, 04:48 PM
Congrats, you have probably the most reliable small .45 ever made.
as I feel this gun is not going to feed hydra shok
you would be amazed what these things will feed. Defense loads, dented range ammo, any weight, just about any profile. I had mine for 15 years and never found anything it didnt like. Carried 185 Silvertips most of the time.
Recoil with full power 230s will feel stout for a .45, and if you plan on shooting a couple boxes (100+ rds) of that stuff quickly, you may get a nice case of bleeding hammer bite, but it won't hurt much.
For whatever reason, a box of those WinClean rounds were positively abusive, so much so that I trashed them thinking it must have been a bad lot... recoil was like 2x normal. Stay away from those unless you have to.
185s are far more controllable, not that 230s are impossible or anything, but for a long range session, they will tire you less after 100-200rds. FWIW, I shot thousands of rounds (were talking over 5K) with this pistol before the stock buffer needed replacement. You will know when it needs replacing by feel, recoil sensation becomes "longer duration" and sharper at the same time.
Most industry rags that reviewed the PD said the frame would only last 2,000 rounds or so, and although there was lost color on the rails and some (additional) slop after those rounds, it still functioned fine.
Also, the S&W 8-rd .45 mags (black follower IIRC) should also work in the PD, but the Star mags are very nicely built and reliable. 1911 mags will snap in, but only with a smooth follower would they feed well enough for backup use.
BTW, if you can find the original SOF review of the PD, it is enlightening, and the reason I bought it those many years ago. Their torture test was pretty cruel for a compact carry piece and it came through with flying colors.
(I have to confess a secret fondness for some of the older Star and Astra pistols -- I think those who know would never state Spanish pistols are junk)
I drool looking at the new ASTAR Max 8800... wish somebody would import them.
December 20, 2005, 05:19 PM
Hoosier Gun Works (I think that's the name) may have some new buffers for the Star PD. Don't buy them all, I need a new one!
I like my PD a lot but find it a little torque-y on recoil. In my hands, it doesn't kick up, it twists away from the ejecting brass. Almost certainly the shooter and not the gun. It is a very nice carry gun. I don't put a lot of range rounds through it, being mindful of the alloy frame.
For daily carry, I trade off between the PD and a BKM, the alloy-framed version of Star's compact 9mm model BM. One story claims the BM/BKM were designed after Star offered the PD to Spanish police, only to be told the .45ACP was too high a caliber! Certainly the two guns have a great deal in common.
December 22, 2005, 03:18 AM
I had a late manufacture (1987?) PD and loved it. It was more accurate than my Glock 36 (fwiw) and more reliable (fwiw). It was pretty, too- stainless with the sides of the slide polished. I got mine for $300. My only complaint/issue was that the hammer would not stay back when the slide was cycled (once in awhile). It made me a little nervous and I ended up getting rid of it. Looking back, I should have kept it and tried to get it fixed.
December 23, 2005, 02:01 AM
How do you remove the captured recoil spring/buffer?
January 4, 2006, 07:46 PM
Yeah, how do you do that? The buffer on the one I'm trying to sell is beat to hell, and nobody (Numrich, etc.) seems to have them.
January 6, 2006, 05:33 AM
lol. use a shock buffer and shoot corbon.
if that gun were mine I'd shoot ball exclusively. after all, clint smith does and you want that gun to last.
February 25, 2008, 04:45 PM
I had the chance to buy a blued Star PD, early version (Garcia Import) for Swiss Francs 700.-- today. Upon close inspection i noticed the following three flaws:
1) Missing Buffer, the guy selling the gun told me he did not know and thus not notice it. He claimed to have shot some 100 Rounds without Buffer.
2) There was a clean crack (like a cut) direct above the slide stop cutout
3) The surface where the springguiderod rests in the receiver, meaning the supposedly flat surface taking the pounding from the slide in full recoil had a somewhat "chewed" appearance.
For those three reasons i decided not to buy the gun and advised the seller to take it to a competent gunsmith and have it checked before either shooting it or again trying to sell it.
I'd be grateful for any feedback whether i was rightfully suspicious or just overly cautious about those "flaws".
As to the price, Sfr 700.-- translates to about $ 600.-- which would be quite a stiff price in the US, but this was only the second Star PD i found for sale in the last five years in Switzerland and the other one was even more expensive. So it seems the PD is quite a rarity in Switzerland.
Thanks for any feedback
February 25, 2008, 06:07 PM
Gun broker has several but the price is much higher than what you paid. Good deal. I have held this gun and it is nicely gripped and balanced.
February 25, 2008, 07:07 PM
I had one in the '80s. Bought for $175 (in cherry shape - the seller at the gun show didn't know what he had), sold for $325 around '91 or so. I loved the gun except for - no ambi safety (I'm a lefty), hammer bite (even with a MILDLY bobbed hammer), and the captured spring assembly (I didn't know how long i'd find replacements).
Other than those things I thought it to be a great carry gun. Light, accurate and not bad recoil (my perception).
February 25, 2008, 07:28 PM
Entlebucher,the cut above the slide stop was intentional,it is supposed to prevent stress cracks...
February 25, 2008, 08:04 PM
What kirkcdl says about the cut...
I have carried a Star PD just about every day (for at least part of the day) since 1986...
Shortly after I purchased the blue PD, I sent it in to Metalife Industries to have it hard chromed. Today, the anodized frame looks somewhat worn along the sides of the trigger guard where the thermoplastic holster grabs it, but the rest of the gun (the hard chromed part) still looks new...
Early on, I replaced the wood grips with a set of Pachmayr Signature grips (which feel really good on the PD, although they increase the width somewhat).
Mostly, I have shot a reload that approximates the old Speer Lawman 200gr flying ashtray (a 200gr Speer JHP (flying ashtray) doing 925fps at 7 feet out of the PD)...
Currently, I am carrying the gun loaded with Glaser (Blue) Safety Slugs, with a backup mag containing the Speer 200gr 'flying ashtrays'.
In total, I have about 1000 rounds through the gun, and the original recoil spring buffer is still hanging in there. Thinking ahead, I have some original replacement ones to use when needed. I would never fire the gun without a buffer. A slightly heavier recoil spring is a good idea.
I have been very happy with this handgun. I think that you will be, too...
February 25, 2008, 08:06 PM
Star PD was the first .45 I ever bought. I carried it for 2 years, and it ate anything; ball, SWC, JHP - you name it. Only retired it when I got the funds together for a Kimber CDP.
Parts are hard to find, but there was guy selling Star parts on here that had a recoil guide rod assemblies.
February 25, 2008, 11:49 PM
Sprinco in Austin made a doublespring setup for mine so I did not have to worry about the buffers. I liked the old pistol, but carrying made me a little nervous with only one safety, so I went for a 1911 alloy, and sold the Star. I really liked the old pistol except for that. I still have the old rod, spring, and buffer.
February 26, 2008, 12:56 AM
I just trim-up standard 1911 polymer buffers as replacements.
I have 2 PDs, both acquired from Auctionarms or Gunbroker several months apart a few years ago ... $245 and $205 ... last of the good deals on them that I have seen there.
February 26, 2008, 07:25 AM
Entlebucher, are Spanish guns in general rare in your country? Also it's interesting that the PD you found was originally imported to the USA by Garcia then somehow made it to Switzerland instead of being directly imported. Is .45acp ammo widely available also? At that price, I'd pass and maybe apply it to another gun of this type if a small .45acp appeals to you. I assume parts/magazines for a Star would be hard to come by. As mentioned the crack/cut is normal and is also present in other guns like the Star BM. This thread really reminds me I need to get some buffers!
February 26, 2008, 09:49 AM
$200 in about 96% condition, what do you think?
Congrats, and a good price...I noticed that the reception for Star pistols are somewhat different than some of my "Llamas" I've owned....:D
February 27, 2008, 07:40 PM
Moonclip, no, Spanish guns are not generally rare in switzerland, mostly you'll find .22s though. I already have a small Star in .380 ACP and it handles and shoots really nice.
As to the importer, it's very common to find guns imported to switzerland which bear markings of an american importer, but don't ask me why. I can easily understand this where for example chinese or other overseas guns are considered, but european guns, well i don't get it.
.45 ammo, whether ACP or long Colt is very common in switzerland and gerally easy available, we just don't get hollow points anymore, this sort of ammo, regardless which caliber, got banned some five years ago. Mostly because it's oh so cruel to shoot somebody with it!???
I understand i was a bit overcautious about the "cut" in the grip, but can somebody either post or send me (firstname.lastname@example.org) some pic's showing a proper recoil spring with guide and buffer and the top of the grip with the bearing surface for the springguide? Just for peace of mind.
Because of the price i think it was good to drop the gun anyway. For this kind of money i'd be not much short for a subcompact glock or even an officer.
February 27, 2008, 08:18 PM
There is a guy from Spain on the Spanish Pistol forum who sells new Star parts. I bought a recoil assembly and some buffers from him, and parts for my BM. Great guy, fast shipper, small world.
February 27, 2008, 09:08 PM
Yes, I think his name is STAR on www.gunboards.com. I'm glad to see that the .45acp/.45LC as well as some Spanish guns are alive in well in Switzerland. I almost wish I was born Swiss so I could own a SIG 551:)
February 28, 2008, 12:17 AM
Can a Swiss citizen, currently, own a SIG 551?
Just wondering with all the recent changes in Swiss firearms laws...
(And sorry about the thread hijack, moonclip...)
February 28, 2008, 03:00 AM
Yes they can, but I'll let our Swiss friend comment more on that:) Just how many of you would have bought your service rifle if allowed to once discharged from the military and it was rendered semi auto only?
March 9, 2008, 06:10 PM
I learned to shoot a pistol using a Star PD 45. The only problem I remember having with it was it didnt function well with 230 gr FMJ ammo. but it worked great with 185gr STHP.
March 10, 2008, 01:41 AM
I carried a Star PD as an off duty pistol in the early 1980's. Mine was two tone (polished receiver/blue slide), Pachmier rubber grips. It fed everything including lead swc reloads. I never remember a ftf with this weapon. It's one of many weapons I regret selling.
March 10, 2008, 11:18 AM
"hope to find Pachmayrs to tame recoil and because the wood looks cheap!" I tend to have to Pachmayr when I eat alot of brain muffins and coffee.
July 18, 2008, 02:52 AM
/Was just offerred a NIB 1977 Star PD for $450. Any thoughts??
Its high for where they were a couple of years ago - but its 30+ years old and NIB (he's an old cop - followed Jeff Cooper's advice to get two. The first one has just never worn out and so he had this one which he wasn't going to sell until he heard me sing their praises.
ANyway, thoughts on that price for a NIB Star PD??
July 18, 2008, 04:16 PM
i bought a star pd 6 months ago from gunbroker. as new, in box, unfired. $385 . shipping, transfer, tax and insurance took the price to $455
i carry it daily. your price seems ok. mine is the newest model with the hooked triggerguard,and the factory hard rubber grips
July 19, 2008, 02:25 AM
I bought a new one back around 1980 and loved it. It was my hiking gun and first .45. I foolishly traded it away in 1992 and have regretted it for 16 years now. I'd get another in a heart beat if I found a clean example. Mine was a carried a lot, shot a little pistol. I recall that the 300-400 rounds I put through it were flawless.
July 19, 2008, 07:38 AM
Anyone in LA or OC county in Ca, mines for sale:)
September 23, 2008, 06:28 PM
Hi to all. I'm new here, so please bear with me.
I collect Winchester lever actions and other firearms. Just inherited a NIB Star PD s/n 1480xxx in .45 ACP. Need info on take down for cleaning, best loads, where to find/download a user manual (Dad put in another location amd can't remeber where), and any tips at all. Have read many posts indicating it is a desireable CC. Thanks in advance.
September 26, 2008, 05:58 PM
SkiNewMexico - Are you saying you bought a buffer for your Star BM?
Mine doesn't have one, wondering if it is supposed to.
September 26, 2008, 08:03 PM
Are you saying you bought a buffer for your Star BM
Don't know about the BM, but the PD's need them. I've used a trimmed down Shock Buff in mine.
Here's a link to field stripping: http://www.alpharubicon.com/leo/starpdserger.htm
and a schematic: http://www.e-gunparts.com/productschem.asp?chrMasterModel=2010zPD%20AUTO
October 25, 2008, 11:19 PM
Some of you have said you can substitute a 1911 buffer for a Star PD buffer if it's modified.
I've looked at most of the 1911 models schematics and do not see a buffer in the schematic.
Can you be more specific on the model of Colt 1911 and maybe even provide a link to the part and seller? It would be greatly appreciated.
October 26, 2008, 02:21 AM
This link shows some info on buffers that may work. I need to get some spares and probably replace the buffer in my PD so I may be trying this out since it's hard to find OEM buffers. I think you are supposed to replace them every 1k rounds or so.
October 26, 2008, 02:37 AM
i have the star bm, your guns little brother. i love mine. shoots right on, only jams when i use target ammo, and fits perfectly in my hands (i have small hands).
October 26, 2008, 10:05 AM
1911 buffers are an aftermarket item, not original, so you won't see it in any schematics.
Thanks for the help. I have ordered a package of 6 1911 Shok-Buffers from ATAFA.com for $7.47 + $10.49 shipping.
BTW, I purchased my used PD from my son-in-law about 7-8 years ago for $150 and have put approx 500-600 rnds thru it. The buffer is just beginning to crack, but looks brittle.
My son-in-law got the gun from his father, who used it for backup and off-duty. I'm not sure how many rnds he put thru it... probably a few.
I am attaching the service manual for the PD in case anyone needs it. I think it came from Star.
Those who have said the PD can give you a hammer bite are correct, but it doesn't affect everyone. 2 of my sons don't have a problem with it when they fire my gun, but my 3rd son and I get the hammer bite after shooting it for awhile.
Thanks again for all the help.
November 1, 2008, 11:26 AM
Hi Fellas, Oh, and Gals too.
I just stumbled across this site and noticed it was still an active site. Most of the ones I've seen have long since ended.
Anyway, I am now the owner of two Star PD's and after having carried one for many many years I found another one recently at newly opened gunshop in my local area and they are starting to draw out a lot of older guns from the locals to sell on consignment.
The one I just purchased is the spitting image of the one I already have and I have to look close to be sure which one I'm holding. The serial numbers are very close (141xxxx) and of the same Garcia series originally sold by Interarms and the finishes are identicle and in very good shape. The only difference at the present is that the grips on my recent purchase are like new but there is no finish on them so I will be carefully cleaning them and applying a clear Polyurathane finish to protect them from sweat and gun oil as I have already done with first one.
I believe that this recent purchase was probably laying in a nightstand drawer for most of it's life and I doubt that it has had more than a box of ammo through it and the shock buffer looks like new. By the way, speaking of shock buffers, I seem to remember having bought a small quanity (six or so)of spare buffers as well as magizines years ago. I need to hunt them down just in case.
Well I look forward to discussing things about the Star PD, it is a fine handgun and anyone who has one is very fortunate indeed.
Have a great week everybody.
November 1, 2008, 11:51 PM
Anyone have a pic of what a Star PD feed ramp SHOULD look like? All the ones I see seem to have had work on them.
November 3, 2008, 06:34 PM
Hi Guy's and Girl's;
Every Star PD feed ramp (the aluminum part in the frame) that I have ever seen has the appearance of being worked on. It was done at the factory after the frames were anodized and should be of no concern, and no, they don't need to be touched up or polished. Also, I've seen remarks about the inside of the frame being "chewed or battered up" where the buffer end of the recoil spring guide seats. Careful examination will reveal that it has been routed out with a Dremel type grinding tool at the factory to clearence the frame for the recoil spring guide to seat and is no cause for concern either.
I've been keeping my eyes open for a Star, BKM, they are as hard to find as a PD now days.
Have a great week everybody. Regards, Dan.
November 3, 2008, 07:18 PM
Also - do the shok buffs change out readily? I did not see pistol stuff on the link you sent.
Thanks for the info on the feed ramp.
November 3, 2008, 09:18 PM
Hi Guy's and Gal's;
On the shock buffer replacment of the original style buffer from Star or Interarms all that is needed is to slide the spring (forward) off of the buffer shoulder and push the buffer off of the guide rod then push the new one on and let the spring slide over the buffer shoulder which keeps it from coming off. Now if you adapt the 1911 buffer from Wilson as a replacment, it is flat and has no split shoulder to help retain it in place so you'll have to find out from someone who has done it. The guide rod itself unscrews at the back where the buffer is by using only finger pressure and torque (on mine), if yours won't budge then be carefull not to damage it what ever you do. I've seen several comments about the (split, crack, cut) in the frame rail above the slide stop on the left side of the frame and others have correctly answered this question already so all I can do is confirm it. If yours has a crack (early production) don't worry about it, forget it, it won't hurt a thing. If it has a thin cut, same thing don't worry about it, forget it, it won't hurt a thing. It's there to relieve stress so it won't crack and cause undue concern. I have read about other shooters being concerned about F.T.F. (failure to feed) and F.T.E. (failure to eject) and as others have already pointed out, it is a problem caused by the shooter not the hand gun. It's technical name is (limp wristing or loose grip syndrone) and as Sargent, R. Lee Ermy would say, "TIGHTEN UP THAT GRIP MAGOT". I used to work a gun shop and indoor range store and I clearly remember a fellow trying out one of my Star PD's and every shot malfunctioned and he blamed (of course) the gun, so I went into the range and fired off 13 quick shots without any problem and then told him what he was doing wrong. He was afraid of the recoil and wasn't holding it tight enough to make it function properly so I reloaded it and he tried again without any problems. "DISMISSED", oh I love that gunney.
Have a great week everybody. Regards, Dan.
November 4, 2008, 02:23 PM
I've seen a Star in a local shop - likely doesn't sell because it has only one mag - and that may be an aftermarket mag. Do promags work? Originals are EXPENSIVE.
November 4, 2008, 03:52 PM
Hi Guy's and Girl's;
The original Star PD mag has a chrome follower. I use the Pro Mags also, there just fine maybe even better because they have a small short extention on the bottom to hang your pinky on and it helps to ensure the mag is seated when loading. I find them at gun shows for about $20.00 and you might run across an original but it might run you more money.
Have a great week everyone. Regards, Dan.
November 29, 2008, 11:24 PM
These are pictures of two different Star PD recoil buffers, the one in the bottom picture is flat and has roughly the same outside dimensions as the one for the 1911 for which it is an option.
I called Jack First Gunshop today and the lady told me they had the recoil buffers in stock for the Star PD. That would be the kind in the top picture below. They are $14.00 each plus $9.50 S&H, I know, their pricey but they have them in stock and there cheaper than Hoosier Gun Works ($18.00 + shipping) The part # is STT10049. She also said they do not have any recoil guide rods complete or parts for them except the buffers. You can call them at 605-343-9544 after 9:00 am mountain time to place an order. I hope this helps all of the PD owners out there.
the Star PD I used to have fed anything. It would feed rounds that a Colt Officer would not feed. I carried mine with fed hydroshocks and the speer 200g flying ashtray. i was sorry i traded it away untill I got hold of a Sig 245. As good as the PD was, I like the Sig better.
If I ran across another one, I might consider it...Naw....;)
November 30, 2008, 11:38 AM
The original Star PD mags also had the end of the follower protrude slightly below when full. Slamming a loaded magazine could be painful if you hit it just right. :)
November 30, 2008, 04:17 PM
SkiNewMexico - Are you saying you bought a buffer for your Star BM?
Mine doesn't have one, wondering if it is supposed to.
Nope, no buffer in the BM. I think it was a recoil assembly that I bought for the BM. And some great, checkered walnut grips.
December 11, 2008, 07:22 PM
Hi Guy's & Girl's;
As a followup I dicovered that the screw (plug) at the back end of the recoil spring guide is held firm by a drop of Loctite and must be heated (carefully) to get it to loosen and screw out. I used a couple of wire connector crimper pliars to hold the parts and unscrew them. After cleanup of the threads I replaced the buffer with a "Wilson" 1911 buffer from "Brownells" and I didn't have to modify it at all and I made a shim out of 5/16" plumbers copper tubing 1/4" long to make it fit right and now it's just like new. Easy fix. Oh and I would NOT use locktite on the screw during reassembly, it's not going anywhere and it will be easier to change next time. I'm sorry that I peaced this together over several post. I should have got everything together and made one complete post. Below are some picture links showing how I did it.
I recently purchased a PD mag at a gun show. It's Triple K brand, # 957M. I paid $29, brand new. Hope this info is useful to someone.
March 23, 2009, 09:15 PM
I have a Star PD I purchased new in 1982. I call it my "pocket canon". It was the first handgun I purchased. It's one of those aforementioned "night stand" weapons. Kept loaded and readily to hand JIC. (Just In Case). I've gotten back into shooting after long hiatus and put a couple boxes through the canon, 230 grain Federals. While cleaning it afterwards, I noticed the guide was coming apart and shedding pieces. I have a couple of replacements on order from Hoosier. They tell me they;ve been filling a hundred backorders and my order should be shipped by next week. We'll see. What was the magic number to clue them into shipping parts to fill requests? 100? How long has the first 100 been waiting? My thanks to FlightSimmer for his 12/11/08 post. Next time they wear out, I'll use your fix to get my PD ready for use again. Interesting this thread has been going more than 3 yrs....
April 12, 2009, 02:03 AM
Since 1990,the P.D. has been my carry gun on an almost daily basis.I actually own 4 of them and keep them for spare parts with a gunsmith friend of mine.I also use it for Defensive Pistol shooting and used to use it for "combat" before it became known as practical pistol.In all the years I have owned it,it has been reliable and accurate.As a serious carry companion it is supreme.
All things in life are a compromise and therefore the Star has its drawbacks.The recoil does not worry me at all but the fact that it shows holster and usage wear badly does.It is not possible to keep it looking all that good even though I maintain it fastidiously.
I also own a Glock 23 and quite frankly the Star(IMHO) beats the Glock on all fronts,except capacity,as a defensive tool.It has a better trigger feel,is far slimmer for serious carry concealment and comfort,is lighter fully loaded and has about the same perceived recoil.
I am sorry that Star Arms no longer exsist.In the military I had a Star Model B in 9mm.It was the South African Defence Force official sidearm and I really respected and enjoyed the one I had.My love affair with Star has been going since the late 1970's and continues.
They are quite simply my favourite pistols.
Cocked and locked carry and the single action pistol may be out of fashion but it still is as relevant and effective as ever.
I am comfortable staking my life on this fine and under rated sidearm.
April 20, 2009, 08:55 AM
I am a new member to this board, and I'm excited to find a current thread on the Star PD, which I have recently aquired. I did'nt spend a lot of money (~$250 with extra mags), so I can't complain. I do find the accuracy a bit lacking. I'm trying to find details on adjusting the rear sights. Any advice?
April 20, 2009, 09:41 AM
Hi Randymaan, welcome to the group;
Well, you got a good price on it. That's about what I paid for my first Star PD.
Wait untill you get to a range where you can shoot off of a sandbag or rest with a few different brands of ammo before you judge it's accuracy. I know that may be hard to do with the ammo shortage here lately but I have yet to find a bad one myself. By the way, grip it firmly when shooting, a loose or limp grip will cause you problems and the shorter sight radius is a little harder to keep on target. It is not intended as a target or long range gun beyond 25-35 yrds, it is a concealed carry fighting pistol for fairly close quarters.
As to adjusting the rear sight, I have found them to be pretty straight forward, just use a small pocket screwdriver to adjust them. Clockwise to raise point of impact and clockwise to move it right. I'm assuming that you have usual adjustable rear sight that's found on most Star PD's. I like to put small white paint dots on the sights so there easier to see in dark locations.
Enjoy your new prize and have fun with it.
April 20, 2009, 03:17 PM
I love the PD. By far the best shooting small .45 I've ever owned. Good score! My habits have changed since the 80's when I ccw'd a PD every day. I Now prefer 5" 1911's but if I were going to carry a compact that would be on the short list.
May 6, 2009, 07:03 PM
Does anyone else have experience unscrewing the end cap from the recoil sping guide of the PD? I want to install a Wolff 16lb. spring but I don't see how to get the end cap off without destroying it.
How much and what kind of heat does it take to loosen that cap? How does one hold the guide and retract the spring while unscrewing the cap?
Thanks for any guidance.
May 7, 2009, 07:54 AM
All I can tell you is how I did it.
I put the recoil guide in a small (brass insert) faced vice with the buffer end up after I retracted and held the spring to the front of the guide with a pair of smooth faced wire crimper pliars so as not to damage anything. After you close and tighten the vice on the guide rod the spring is trapped on the bottom side of the jaws and you can pull the pliars out. Now heat the screw/plug with say a propane torch or heat gun or something just enough so that you cannot hold on to it with you fingers, this should soften the locktight glue enough that you can use the smooth faced wire crimp pliars to grip and remove the screw/plug from the end of the guide rod.
I would suggest not putting any locktight back on the threads when you re-assemble the guide rod. I've never had one of mine come loose but if it should you will notice it start to protrude out the front of the slide and warn you that it is coming loose.
If you cannot picture this proceedure in your mind, then let me know and I will try to post some pictures of how I did it. You can also see my previous post (above).
Have a great week everybody. Regards, Dan.
May 7, 2009, 03:21 PM
Many thanks to Flightsimmer for that description.
Pictures would be great.
What I really want to see is what kind of pliers you used to get the cap off.
BTW, do you unscrew the front end that protrudes through the barrel bushing, or the back end, where the buffer is attached? The diagram shows both of them being screwed into the recoil spring guide.
Thanks again for your post, because the recoil spring can't be changed without removing the cap. The Colt/Browning setup is a lot easier to get to.
You can clearly see the kind of pliars that I used but use what you want just so long as it doesn't damage the parts. Be easy on the heat required and use only enough that you cannot grab and hold onto it without hurting.
This will work on either end, your choice but if you install a new buffer as I did you will want to remove the rear screw cap, besides if you mark it up it won't show.
Have a great week everybody. Regards, Dan.
May 7, 2009, 06:09 PM
Thanks for the pictures. Great work!
They make it perfectly clear. (I think you ought to make up an illustrated instruction manual for dealing with Star problems and solutions.)
I can do this now that I see it illustrated. Much obliged.
June 23, 2009, 06:21 AM
Hi Guys and girls;
I have some good news and some great news for Star PD .45 owners.
You know that recoil buffer pad that's on the recoil guide rod that you cannot find a replacement for? Well now there's a new source for quality replacement buffers. That's the good news.
Now for the great news, these are affordable, $5.00 or less plus shipping depending on how many you buy.
I bought 10 of them and that got the price down to $4.00 each plus shipping.
I changed mine out in less than 1 minute per gun and they worked great. They match the originals perfectly.
This is who to contact if your interested in buying some for yourself.
Use these links to see pictures of them.
And if you need springs go here. http://www.gunsprings.com/SemiAuto/StarNF.html#StarPD
Have a great weekend everybody, Dan.
June 23, 2009, 01:04 PM
Years ago I was a FFL holder and bought Star PDs from InterArms 10 at a time for about $75 each. I used to sell them mostly to cops and soldiers at $100 each. I never had too many to sell. Everyone I sold was a valued addition to someones security. I wish I still had mine but it was stolen out of my car years ago.
July 13, 2009, 11:02 PM
For recoil spring plastic buffers, check out Hoosier Gun Works on the net. Bad news is theirs costs fifteen bucks. Good news is it is fresh manufacture with new plastic and it has a snap on design so can be changed without vise and blowtorch. They take orders by phone.
If your plastic buffer is torn up, consider a new recoil spring. I got one from Wolff's. Nice thing about them is they have +P springs. Mine is rated at 14 pounds instead of the factory 12 and you can get 16 or 18 for really hot loads. (I like the 14.)
Slide on the PD is small and light so recoil can be fierce and very hard on springs. Wolff's says your brass should go up to 6 feet and land fairly close to the others. If you are running all over looking for cases and bopping guys down range in the head, get a new spring.
PD can be very accurate. I have had very good luck with cast and lubed 200 grain flat points. I fire them over 4.5 grains of Hogdon WP38.
Hornady makes a primo 230 gr. swaged lead RN. Cost a bit more than the good old boy cast jobs but much less than jacketed factory bullets.
Leading is minimal and I don't get too excited about a bit of lead and lube in the barrel but do use patches to get out all the powder. I fire a few jacketed 230s at the end of the session which seems to clean out any lead. Probably do not have to do this.
July 13, 2009, 11:56 PM
good info, Noveldoc, thanks
There's a new vendor of buffers recently.
He posts under jimdawg on various forums.
His buffers are under $5 each and they look good.
July 14, 2009, 11:53 PM
Kewl. I will check him out. Thanks.
I will get the new spring and buffer installed by weekend.
Also ordered factory stocks to replace the Pachmeyers it came with. The Pachs spend most of their time trying to come loose and are a general pain in the patoot.
Also cop friend tells me there is a reason why the factory went with smooth polished wood grips. He said you get a wee bit of a rock with these grips that shifts some recoil impulse upward and saves the base of your thumb. Pachs don't allow slippage so recoil goes straight back and my thumb really hurt after about 25 rounds. For what it is worth, Trooper Max says to not be in too much of a hurry to change factory equipment because those engineers may actually know something sometimes.
Give you folks a review this weekend re: spring and grips.
July 15, 2009, 08:39 AM
Mine also came with Pachmyers, and I replaced them ASAP with OE wood grips. Much nicer pistol that way
July 19, 2009, 01:39 AM
Back from the range. Tine for the review.
Dropped the Pachs and went back to standard factory checkered wood grips. More comfortable in the hand and easier to point. And recoil was better with less pressure on base of thumb. I like them.
Substituted a 14 lb. recoil spring from Wolff and put in a new plastic recoil buffer. Much smoother recoil and pistol worked smoothly with no jams. Could not believe how weak the old spring had gotten when I took it out but it had probably been there 20+ years. Plan in the future to replace at least annually.
I used 4.5 grains of HP38 powder under a 200 grain cast lead flat point. Sweet load; groups well and the bullets are cheap. Comes out to about 0.11 a shot or under six bucks for 50. I got well lubed home cast bullets at a gun show that are accurate with basically no leading.
Gonna try some Titegroup powder. The 38 does okay but is very dirty. Looks like a little mushroom cloud out of that 4" barrel. I hear Titegroup is even faster burning and good with small loads in big cases.
Going to run down some of the Hornady 230 grain swaged lead round nose soon. A match level tack driver.
In Alabama, for pistol fun, you put a spot of sorghum on a phone pole or tree trunk about 50 to 75 yards away then you shoot the flies. Note it ain't fair to let them land; gotta get 'em on the wing. And you get extra points if you get one betwixt the eyes.
August 8, 2009, 11:32 PM
Have an older PD from the 70's and the finish is very worn. Anybody had one refinished and with what coating?
August 9, 2009, 07:47 AM
Finishes are very personal. Check out this link and then do a google search for handgun finishes.
August 9, 2009, 08:50 PM
Yes, they are a personal choice and I do have a pretty good idea what finishes are available. My question however was to what others had already tried and liked on the Star ie: hard chrome, annodized frame, Robar etc. Thanks for the link though.
August 15, 2009, 01:14 PM
Removing recoil spring and buffer is easy if you know how. The end screw on the guide is put on with lock tite. I pulled the spring and buffer back and locked it out of the way with a small vise grep. Then heated the end briefly over a stove burner. Heat softened the lock tite and it came off easily.
And while you are there replacing the buffer, put in a new recoil spring. I got one from Wolff on the net for under ten bucks. Went up 2 pounds on the rating and this does help recoil and brass ejection.
Multiple sites of the net for the recoil spring buffers. Just Google.
August 15, 2009, 02:12 PM
Going to refinish a slide soon with the Blue Wonder warm blue kit. Will post a review but friend used it and it looks good.
I don't think Spanish bluing was very thick. PDs tend to show a lot of holster rash if carried much.
And did you use lose the little metal thingie for the safety? I got a nail just the size of the hole and cut off a bit over 1/4" with my trusty Moto Tool. Rounded the end a bit and it works better than original with less tendency to pop out.
Promised to get back re: hand loads. I settled on 4.5 to 4.8 grains of Titegroup. Lighter recoil, cycles slide well and pretty accurate. Of course, test and check manuals before trying my load in your gun.
Gotta give a shout out re: cast lead bullets from Friendswood Bullet Co. They are very smoothly cast with a Brinell hardness of 18, just short of Linotype metal. Note you do not want to shoot with full tilt hardness 20 Linotype becuase it can shatter and that is not good. Prices are not the cheapest on the net but are decent and turn around in a week. I am using a 200 grain RN flat point in my PD and it loves them. Not even a smidgen of leading even at full 900 fps.
September 5, 2009, 06:14 PM
Another hint here. PDs take al the recoil impulse on the grip screws if you use wood grips. Steel stew in almuinum hole is not good. The holes will ream out.
I used plain old rubber cement on grip and frame. Put it on wet and pressed down hard. Gives a lot of extra support and works well. Also easy to peel grip off later.
September 5, 2009, 11:01 PM
Noveldoc, good info there.
Thanks for sharing
September 6, 2009, 09:25 PM
Thanks for the kind words. Rubber cement worked well. Also just found out I can wrap some plumber's tape on the screws to fill the routed holes.
When the grip stopped slipping, the recoil started knocking the mag loose. The supervisor at my range is a gunsmith and knows 1911 type guns very well. He said the mag catch was probably not worn too much; those things are very hard steel and very seldom wear out.
He said on thee type pistols some burned powder gunk can build up under the mag release button and gunk things up. He showed me how to remove the release assembly and I did. Sure enough there was gunk right where the button goes through the hole in the frame interfering with proper seating. Cleaned off with some Hoppes and a bit of steel wool. Reassembled and it works great. Now get a distinct click when I place the mag and mag pops out very smartly.
He also suggested taking a small needle nose and gently flaring the upper end of the notch on the mag a tiny but until it feels a bit rough. Gives the release more surface to bite on.
Can post procedure for removing mag catch assembly if anyone wants. Hint, that thing on the opposite side of the release button is NOT a screw and the assembly will NOT screw out.
March 11, 2010, 08:49 PM
Another tip on mags. The notch on the mag gets a little peened over after multiple uses. Use a very fine grit file, such as a diamond dust fingernail file, to dress it up. The mag will seat and release more smoothly.
June 5, 2010, 09:37 PM
On the subject of the grips coming loose on the Star PD and other Star autos such as the B and the BM.
Back in the 1980's, people around here with Star autos that got shot a lot put in 1911 grip screw bushings to repair the frame when the threads got chewed up. I did this to my two Star PD's back then and it was a very good fix. You can not tell that anything was done to the Star PD after it is assembled. You use the 1911 grip screws, and you have to machine everything a bit to make it all work. It is an excellent fix, and the grips do not come loose afterward. Basically what you are doing is putting the 1911 grip mounting system on your Star. The odd .236"-60 tap needed to thread the frame is easily obtained from Midway or Brownells, and an oversize tap and grip screw is available if you ever need it.
I did not stake the grip screw bushings in like you would on a 1911, I just used some Loctite. The aluminum frame of the PD is fairly thin around the grip screws.
October 28, 2010, 09:39 PM
Interesting to see this one still running.
I took out the Star PD for the first time in a long time, reviewing the collection, thinking about selling the ones I don't use.
I love the internet for this as you can get a lot of information. Found how to strip it down, checked the buffer (excellent shape) internal inspection. All pristine (for PD) except some scratched under the slide hold back?
I have put less than 50 rounds through it, looks like not all that many by previous owner.
Any idea what year a serial number 1365xxx would be? (
Star PD was one I had a malfunction with, only one, shifted the revolver to the bedside gun.
I like it, just can't see iron sights and thinking more Judge 3 inch 410 for that role. I like the new rounds for it
October 28, 2010, 10:07 PM
I pulled the grips and found a 6 78 under the left one with proof marks.
The date code is an X, 78 would be an X1, so would seem that its a 78, sounds about right for when I bought it.
October 29, 2010, 09:41 AM
[quote] Star PD was one I had a malfunction with, only one, shifted the revolver to the bedside gun.
I like it, just can't see iron sights and thinking more Judge 3 inch 410 for that role. I like the new rounds for it
The Star PD, being a very light pistol needs to be held very firmly or it will not cycle reliably, it's called "limp wristing" but on the other hand don't choke it to death, just a good firm hold and remember, the PD is a carry gun, not a everyday range gun.
I cleaned the sights real good and put a dot of white paint on them, three dot configuration and they work just fine for me.
There's a lot on the internet about the Star PD, check out Wolf springs and Jim Dawgs new buffer pads.
10mm, when you care enough to send the very best.
October 29, 2010, 01:31 PM
I am curious if anyone has what looks to be actual dates under the left grip? The 6 78 looks to be that, have not read anyone else mention it. With the X it seems to match, but I could be reading things into this. No room in that area for more than a single letter (or number) in that date space.
I had to laugh about limp writing (not a slam, just funny applied to me who you do not know). I grew up in Alaska (still here.) Call it the Alaska version of farm growing up (fishing, hunting, wood cutting, doing your own mechanic etc). Wrestled in high school at 175 and 185 and bulked up more when I went to work.
I went into construction before I got out of high school and after. My pistol was a S&W 41 magnum (after a stint with a 44 Rugger (ugh) and a S&W 44 Magnum (good gun, I liked the 41 better, less recoil, better shooting, better penetration for a bear gun).
I am shooting MSR (semi auto carbines!) and have found the difference between range shooting and hunting (careful well placed shots) and trying to simply hit something quickly and not too picky about where at 50-100 yards. At night with a break or an assault in I simply want to get rounds out in vicinity, get some hits and if they leave that's fine). I have more lethal options on hand given the time or if its outside the house.
Judge might be a car gun, but not a carry gun (my opinion). I do think its a close to perfect home defense gun. Adrenlien will bre up, average perosn is not gooing to be combat drilled. If you can keep your cool fairly well, the Judge looks to be a good choice. Not perfect, but good. 3 inch loads give you some interesting possiblites with load out (have carried a 12 gauge for baer protection with a mandated load out by the boss of double OO buck in 4 rounds and a slug gives you an idea of philospya and aproach for that type of weapon).
Ok, I ramble, worth some thought.
November 16, 2011, 08:50 PM
I have a Star pd model 45 cal. but I am having a hard time trying to locate a few parts for it. Can anyone help I tried numrich and struck out with a few others, any help would be appreciated because I really love this gun it is my favorite of all of my guns.
November 16, 2011, 10:00 PM
Check the earlier posts for info on parts.
November 16, 2011, 11:44 PM
member "Star" on gunboards is a spaniard in Zaragoza Spain, who bought up all the NOS parts when Star went out of business. He also has some parts reproduced.
Good guy, takes Paypal, ships promptly for reasonable money.
He's the go-to guy for Star parts. Don't mess around with anyone else.
August 11, 2014, 03:11 AM
Lots of good info in this thread, so I think it deserves a bump. Be aware that Jorge (Star) is no longer in the parts business, and that JimDawg seems to be the current maker of buffers. Every day, it seems a new shooter is introduced to the Star PD.
August 11, 2014, 08:53 AM
Thanks for the update.
August 11, 2014, 10:53 AM
Can anyone provide an updated email or web link to those that still provide STAR parts please. I have two STAR30M that i would love to keep going.:D
August 11, 2014, 11:13 AM
Sarco has some parts.
August 11, 2014, 12:08 PM
Sarco has some parts.
I have been to Sarco and Numrich, both are great, but have very limited supply of parts for the 30M. I am looking for any additional contacts that may have more items.
November 9, 2014, 09:35 AM
FWIW, I've read that S&W 59XX series mags might work in the 30M.
Also came across this as a possible source for Model 30 parts:
3401 W. Pioneer Drive, Suite 2
Irving, Texas 75601
November 10, 2014, 01:09 AM
Star PD was the first 45 ACP I ever fired.
Hooked me for a 1911'ish style pistol.
Had a Star Firestar 45 ACP (most accurate 45 ACP i've ever owned).
Had a Firestar in 40 S&W as well as a M30 model.
I broke an extracter on the 40S&W model and it was VERY DIFFICULT to get a replacement part.
When Star went under I divested myself of all the STAR products; primarily because I knew getting parts was going to be a nightmare.
I only regret selling the FireStar 45 ACP.
November 10, 2014, 09:42 AM
Excellent modification to replace the factory buffer. I have done this to mine and works like a champ. I even found a little aluminum bushing at the hardware store that drop fits instead of fitting the copper piece.
I can't seem to get anywhere with that link. Could you describe the fix?
November 11, 2014, 10:00 AM
The recoil spring guide is two piece on the PDs.You need to put a heat gun or torch(carefully) to break the adhesive on the threads.Separate the guide rod and clean the threads up. You need a a piece of 5/16" copper tubing about 1/4" long to make shim.I have also found in the hardware store little aluminum bushings that will work or the high dollar bronze ones.
The shim replaces the little "protrusion" on the factory stock PD buffer so you can use regular 1911 buffers.The shim, recoil spring and new buffer are all held captive by the two piece system. Its really quite simple and a better mousetrap.
Hopefully you will be able to open these links to see flightsimmers pics of the mod.
flightsimmer; 01-17-2009 at 11:44 AM Gunboards.com
The link is working, I just tried it.
But here is a picture.