Picked up an FI Industries .380 at gunshow


May 19, 2008, 10:02 AM
At a gunshow, I picked up a gun I had never seen before, though some people know about them. It is an FI Industries .380 caliber "mini 1911-ish" handgun. Metal frame, wood grips, looks about like a half sized 1911. I probably gave too much for it, but it is a great size for a summer conceal carry, when size matters. Only holds 6 rounds, though.

The serial number is CPA006xxx . . . . the CPA part standing for Colt Pony Automatic.

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May 19, 2008, 10:12 AM
I'd ask you to put up pics but I can see it's just going to be yet another .380 I'll have to buy.

May 19, 2008, 10:31 AM
I will take pictures of it in a little bit then will post them.

May 19, 2008, 11:53 AM
zip on over to "defensivecarry.com" go down to the concealed carry gun section and a thread,probably from yesterday about "my new baby" it has a good read on the "D" series of pistols. jwr

May 19, 2008, 12:03 PM
Thanks JWR.

Now for the pictures, you can't really tell from the pics all that well, but the frame's color has more of a brown-ish color to it than the typcial blue, which is on the slide.

Here are the pics:


Size comparison between it and my Five Seven

May 19, 2008, 12:45 PM
That gun looks a lot like a Spanish Star made pistol. Does it say where it was made on the gun anywhere?

May 19, 2008, 01:47 PM
Star made them too. Apparently, Colt had the Star company believe that they would be making this small pistol for Colt, but the deal went through, so there were a lot of frames. A few companies made pistols, Star being one, and FI Industries being another.

My knowledge on this subject is minimal, and may be complete boulderdash, but all in all, it's a pretty well made pistol.

Ruger Redhawk
May 19, 2008, 01:53 PM
I bought one of those FI Industries Model "D" back in the early 70's.It was a nice little gun. I later sold it and have never seen another one.I've just never cared for the little 380 cartidge.It seemed to be well made.If I remember right they said it was formerly the Colt Pony.

lee n. field
May 19, 2008, 01:58 PM
A few companies made pistols, Star being one, and FI Industries being another

Iver Johnson as well, IRRC.

Rex B
May 19, 2008, 02:10 PM
The parent company of Star is who made these. I recently bought one for $350 locally. Nice gun, very well-made.

May 19, 2008, 02:26 PM
Rex, so is it safe to say that these pistols are made in the United States? Stars are made south of the border, right? I don't know very much about Star.

By the way, are you saying that FI Industries is the parent compeny of Star?

Also, is there a way I can know when mine was made based off the serial number?

Rex B
May 19, 2008, 03:06 PM
The FI pistols are made in Spain, says so right on them.
The long name also stamped on them "Eschevaria etc" is the same as you see on Star pistols.
Same company.

Here you go: http://www.star-firearms.com/firearms/guns/d/index.shtml

May 19, 2008, 03:36 PM
Looks like a nice find for you.

Can I ask what it set you back Orion?

May 19, 2008, 03:52 PM
Rex, mine doesn't have that writing on it, and the only location I can see on it is Wash. D.C.

romma, probably set me back more than I should have paid. $450 due to my lack of knowledge on them, and because it was labeled (with a sign) as a Colt Pony.

Would I have purchased it if it had said "Star 3.80"? Maybe not, but it seems to be a quality gun, none the less.

May 19, 2008, 04:03 PM
Damn it, I was right...

May 19, 2008, 04:22 PM
ahh crap.. I want one.

May 19, 2008, 04:31 PM
If you look at the barrel you will see Spanish proof marks, a spherical old style hand thrown bomb with flames on top. I'm of the opinion that a lot of these were made in Spain only in the slide and barrels, the frames right here in the US, but I can't prove it. The bad news, they are soft steel, the lugs get battered pretty fast. A shame too because they are sweet shooters, at least the one I have is. Another bad thing if you are a materials snob like I am, the base plate of the magazine is zinc pot metal! I have to make two up in steel or stainless for my two magazines. The design is entirely Star.

May 19, 2008, 05:09 PM
Well, XDKingslayer and WinchesterAA, you never know, . . . .if I happen to find a different conceal carry gun, this one may be up for sale, probably the ammo too, because I may not find another .380 gun to buy. Just a thought. :)

500 Magtech FMJ and 100 Golden Sabers.

May 19, 2008, 08:33 PM
I had one of those exact same FI Industries .380's given to me a couple of months ago. Mine was a little rough and needed cleaning up before it could be used. Seems nice now, cool little gun. Problem is I can't find any spare mags for it.

May 20, 2008, 01:31 AM
it's a Star all right. The FI marked pistols aren't all that common but there is little to no collector interest. I stupidly passes an ANIB example of a Star like this, a HK lancer in .22lr in nickel or chrome, for like Low to mid $200's last year.

May 20, 2008, 07:00 AM
I believe that FI stood for Firearms International, and that they were the importer for the Spanish made parts. Star built them, but because of the GCA '68, they couldn't be imported because they didn't score enough points under the regulations. So a number of U.S. importers imported the parts and had the guns assembled here. FI sold them for awhile in the early to mid '70's, then later Iver Johnson also carried them. I think Star pistols, as well as the AMT Backup .380 were among the smallest .380's here in the u.S. before Colt came out with their Mustang in the mid '80's.

May 20, 2008, 08:13 AM
I saw a good example at a fair price at the Houston show and was tempted. I had other fish to fry and passed on it, however. I'll regret it later, sort of like the old high school flame you see at your fifteen year reunion. For a flat back up piece, they're hard to beat, ir is that because I have a soft spot for 1911 style guns?
Que lastima

May 20, 2008, 10:03 AM
"I have a soft spot for 1911 style guns"

These resemble 1911's externally, and do have the lockup and swing link. Other than that they are totally Star internally, the way the safety works is entirely different, it blocks the hammer when on and lifts it off the sear a bit. The disconnector is totally different as is the entire trigger/hammer system. The recoil spring bushing works differently even. The Llama is much closer to a1911, the difference beyond caliber and size being only the external extractor. A lot of bad press about them but mine works fine.

May 20, 2008, 01:44 PM
Is there anything wrong with Stars?

The gun seems quite fine in its quality. Seems solid and functions well. As far as them not being a collectors item, I think it may be the case in general, but I would bet there is a small contengent of inthusiest out there.

Rex B
May 20, 2008, 01:59 PM
Star pistols are known for quality. I had not heard of any frame peening, but I have not shot mine much. Maybe it's that cheap US-made frame :D

HisSoldier is right about the little Llamas. Very nice little pistols, my favorites. Almost too cute to shoot! I do prefer my Llama .380s for ergonomics, but I'd give Star the edge for quality.

May 20, 2008, 02:01 PM
It's a Star. Seems as if Star and Colt were working up a deal to market these as Colts too, but something happened and the deal fell through.

I'll have to dig out my Colt books to see if thats a fact, but Colt did market a .25 auto for a while that I think may have been a Star.

May 20, 2008, 02:30 PM
Rex, yeah that Llamas looks nice too. :)

I will still try to pick up another 1911 style pistol in 9mm, though, like the SA EMP, but this one will serve me well until then, and after that, would make a great size for an ankle holster!

May 20, 2008, 05:15 PM

On page 232 of R.L. Wilson's book, Colt-An American Legend, there is a photo of a Colt Pony. It is identical to the Star .380, only with Colt markings on the slide and the Colt medallion on the grips. Wilson wrote that they were basically prototypes; built under subcontract, but never accepted or sold by Colt. The other Spanish made autos that Colt did sell were made by Astra and were marketed as the Junior Colt and the Colt Automatic .25. Importation of these models was ended by the GCA 1968, though Colt did bring back the Colt .25 model for a brief time in 1970.

May 20, 2008, 05:24 PM
Is there a way I can find out, by my serial number, when mine was made?

May 20, 2008, 05:35 PM
I had one of these years ago. I had extraction problems with it. A little filing fixed that but since spare parts were hard to find I sold it.

BTW the CPA in the serial number stands for Colt Patent Arms not Colt Pony Auto. ;)

May 21, 2008, 12:38 PM
Thanks for that bit of information.

I may keep mine for a while, sell it later. One never knows.

Still have my eye out for a Springfield EMP.

May 22, 2008, 06:55 AM
Spanish guns usualy have a date code somewhere on the frame, may be under grips usually a letter or a number and a letter, ie. D2 or N

Rex B
May 22, 2008, 09:16 AM
I haven't run across a date code on my Model D. It's not in the usual places, but I haven't thoroughly scrutinized it.

May 22, 2008, 10:36 AM
Maybe I should remove my grips to see what's under them. I'd like to know when mine was made. Serial number of CPA006xxx

But anyway, tonight, I will take it to the range to see how it does with a couple of magazines loaded with Golden Sabers.

May 22, 2008, 12:41 PM
Anyone have an idea where to pick up some spare magazines for this thing? Haven't had any luck trying the usual online dealers. Thx

Rex B
May 22, 2008, 01:22 PM
I understand they are in short supply.
I have two spares, but the springs are incorrect.
I intend to try some Keltec springs.

May 23, 2008, 03:20 PM
You can try Tom Forrest.

Tom Forrest, Inc., PO Box 326, Lakeside, CA 92040. Tel: 888-486-6247; Fax: 888-486-2547. Obsolete and current magazines, firing pins. April 2005 - web site not complete. Phone: 888-486-6247 - Fax: 888-486-2547

Just make sure they don't send you a Triple K magazine. I find them pretty junky. The only other source I can think of Gun Parts in West Hurley NY...not cheap on anything.


Rex B
May 23, 2008, 05:00 PM
Numrich does show magazines in stock. $33.60

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