Star Firestar Plus Help


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Endall
February 26, 2012, 07:06 PM
I purchased a Firestar Plus back when Star was still in business. Thought it would be a great car gun. Never did anything with it. Sat in a nylon holster with mags since mid 90's.
Got it out today to clean. Removed the slide stop, but the slide will not go forward to come off the frame. Seems to be hitting around the trigger.
Have not gotten rough with it. Tried changing the safety from on to off, putting a magazine in and removed, even cyclig the trigger. Also tried flipping it upside down to see if something loose is keeping the side from going forward.
Figure if I break something, this NIB Firestar Plus is toast.
If no one here has an idea, may just go run a box through it. Maybe cycling it 50 times will lossen something up.

Just joined, but have been lurking.

George

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HisSoldier
February 26, 2012, 07:38 PM
I have a Firestar, but not the aluminum framed version. Have you tried youtube?

Walt Sherrill
February 27, 2012, 12:18 PM
Really strange. I wonder if the guide rod (inside the slide) has somehow been mispositioned as your messed with it?

I can't think of anything else that would cause that situation/problem. (I've had several Firestar Plus handguns, plus some others Star guns. I liked them all...) I don't have one now, so can't play with mine to see if I can duplicate the problem.

I don't know what to suggest, other than taking it to a nearby gunsmith. Chances are he'll have it apart and the problem explained in a few minutes.

Endall
February 27, 2012, 05:43 PM
Got it fixed. The guide rod was the issue. Jiggled it around and the slide fell off the frame.
BUT, it slipped again when going back together. I forced the the slide stop pin. Ended up with the locked slide. The pin would not let it go back far enough to remove the pin. The guide rod stopped it from going forward.
Got a screwdriver and worked the guide rod spring enough to get it moving. Finally pushed the rod out the front. Grabbed with vise grips. Worked for maybe an hour and got the barrel positioned the barrel. Slid the slide far enough to pull the stop pin.
Put it all back together. Works perfectly.
The original issue was either factory or transport related. The had never been shot or taken apart. It is NIB.

George

Walt Sherrill
February 27, 2012, 07:29 PM
The triggers on these guns can be easily improved by a gunsmith. You won't believe how smooth and crisp they can be. Makes me want to look for another Firestar Plus... (I've got enough other guns, though, that it would end up in the gunsafe and be sold a couple of years later.)

I also pine for a Daewoo DP51. I had one that was REALLY a tack driver, and foolishly traded it away for a pretty nice 8mm Husqvarna, which I never shot...

Some people (me, among them) do stupid things.

Endall
February 28, 2012, 01:42 PM
The frame to slide fit on the Plus is not tight. It is one thing I noticed when purchased. They were closing them out, 239 or so. Regular price was 399.00.
Hope to run a 100 rds through it later this week. If it will keep ten on a target at 10 yds might get the trigger looked at.

Walt Sherrill
February 28, 2012, 04:21 PM
A tight slide to frame fit is the holy grail of 1911 shooting, but increasingly, folks there recognize that S-F fit isn't nearly as important as good barrel-to-slide fit. (As has been noted elsewhere, with 1911s it's more a sign of the level of care taken in the build of a 1911 by a custom gunsmith. A tight S-F fit is not really all that common with other semi-autos, nor is it really important.)

I suspect your gun will shoot well with aimed shots. And if it doesn't, it will have little or nothing to do with slide-to-frame fit.

johnnydollar
February 28, 2012, 11:57 PM
I've had my FS Plus for a few weeks now and it's gone thru more than 600 rds with good accuracy and excellent reliability. It is rather hard to understand why these guns did not sell better--they are about the same size as my HK P7, with the magazine capacity of my Hi-Power, in a lighter package (empty) than either one of those fine pistols. I am very happy with mine.

Walt Sherrill
February 29, 2012, 07:06 AM
I suspect the reason Firestars Plus models didn't sell well was all of the other Spanish-made guns with less-stellar reputations: assumed lower-quality by association. The Plus came out at a bad time -- all of other other Spanish guns were having a lot of quality issues. Star also introduced a polymer framed model about that time that was pretty good, too. I don't think it ever got a fair shake in the marketplace, either.

The ones I've owned (which included the standard Firestars in both 9mm and .40, a Model B, and a bunch of Firestar Plus models) were all good weapons, as reliable and as accurate as those made in Italy or Germany.

Endall
February 29, 2012, 07:13 AM
In the mid 90's when I purchased mine, it was the nicest looking compact 9 in the case at Carter's Country. Cannot understand why it went into the gun safe and sat for the last 17 -18 years. Only manually cycled a few rounds through.
I paln on running a 100 box of Federal Champions through it tomorrow, then some mixed fodder. Still have about five boxes of Speer GD from the same time period. That was my thoughts, Gold Dot in it as a car carry.
If I can put a clip on target with it might end up there after all.

Endall
March 2, 2012, 06:37 PM
Went to the range today. Put a mixed box of Silvertips, Rem JHP, and Win Ball. These were close to 30 years old, the Silvertips were green brass. Then half a pack of the Federal Champions from Wallmart.
No issues. Fed everything. Ejected like a demon. Functionality was perfect with some OLD stuff.
But, this is the longest trigger I have seen. Almost full travel to break. And consistant low to the right. Since I am left handed this may be the trigger. Shot the center out of another target with a 100 rds through a PT1911.
I will adjust the rear sight and see if it dials in. Want to run couple 100 more through it before looking at the trigger. It is definately a keeper for SD. Small and goes bang when the hammer falls.

Endall
March 28, 2012, 09:17 PM
Will take Walt's advise and get a smith to work on the trigger. Works great but the trigger is too long and mushy.
It is a nice looking and reliable shooting gun. No +P loads, but has shoot everyone tried so far.


George

Walt Sherrill
March 28, 2012, 09:25 PM
The trigger will probably still be LONG after the 'smith works on it, but with mine, it was very crisp and -- like a good 1911 trigger -- it broke like glass.

Nice little guns.

I'd get another, but I don't have the time (or money) to shoot the guns I have, now...

johnnydollar
March 30, 2012, 09:15 PM
Will take Walt's advise and get a smith to work on the trigger. Works great but the trigger is too long and mushy.
It is a nice looking and reliable shooting gun. No +P loads, but has shoot everyone tried so far.


George

I still like mine a great deal:). I'd be interested to know how it comes out after your 'smith works it over. I might have something done with my trigger....This thread has reawakened my interest in this pistol, so I went to the safe and got it out, changed the cant on the Crossbreed Supertuck holster I have for it, and put it on. Wow, does this thing carry well! (I bought the CBST for something else, maybe a long gone Taurus PT-111, but it works great with the Firestar Plus.) I carried it some during the winter in a Don Hume JIT belt side (which I'd ordered for a BHP), but put it away when warmer weather returned and I could no longer conceal anything OWB. But the Supertuck may just turn the trick. Hopefully I'll shoot her this weekend.

Endall
April 19, 2012, 09:17 PM
Put an old box of Hanson Combat through it. Was shooting better. Trigger is cleaning up.
Still not a tack driver. But shoots good. Shot the same ammo in a CZ 75B and spread was much smaller.
I will look for a smith. But it is accurate enough for me as a carry model.

George

Walt Sherrill
April 19, 2012, 09:33 PM
I've found that some guns like certain ammo better than others. What shoots well in one gun might not shoot well in another (even if it's the same kind of gun). Try several different brands, including a variety of carry ammos, before you give up on the gun.

Endall
April 22, 2012, 12:48 PM
They feed fine, but seem to give loose grouping. The Hanson Combat were a lot tighter.
Still breaking it in. Plan on running another 100 rounds of plinking rounds. Hope it likes the Speer Gold Dots. Found more boxes in the attic. Hope to use these once settled in.
The design is very close to a CZ. Guess all are copies of the BHP.

George

Walt Sherrill
April 22, 2012, 02:15 PM
The design is very close to a CZ. Guess all are copies of the BHP.

I presently own two of those three (CZ and a BHP) and have had at least three Firestar Plus models. (I like the little "Plus" guns a lot.) I've detail-stripped all of them. (If you compare parts diagrams from one of the on-line gun manual sites, you'll see just HOW DIFFERENT they really are.)

The Star, the BHP and the CZ have little in common, and all have much different internal mechanisms.

The Star is not a copy of the CZ, and neither of those two are are even close to being copies of the BHP. Only the CZ has a double-action mode and a firing pin block (although newer BHPs have a FPB), which adds extra complexity to the design. The Star does have a magazine safety (easily deactivated) that doesn't affect the trigger; the CZ doesn't, and the BHP's mag safety really messes with the trigger. About the only thing these three guns have in common is that they use the Browning lockup -- but that's true of most most semi-auto pistols.


.

Jaymo
April 22, 2012, 03:03 PM
I bought a Firestar .45 in the early 90s and sold it to buy a Maadi AK, that I ended up selling to buy a Marlin .44 mag lever action.
I had missed that Firestar for quite a few years, when I came across a used one, also .45, at the LGS for a good price.
It sat in the safe for a few years. I never shot it. I lost interest in it and was going to sell it.
I decided to take it to the range and shoot it before selling it.
I decided not to sell it.
It's accurate and reliable, just like it's predecessor.
It stays.

Endall
April 22, 2012, 03:18 PM
I was referring to the slide inside the frame design. This feature is listed as why the CZ are such good designs.
The trigger designs are variable in some models now. There are models of CZ and clones with SA triggers. Of the three I have two are DA/SA and one is SAO.
Taking the Plus apart it sure looks like like my three CZ/clones. The guide rods are two full length and one short. I like the full length better. But the Plus has a single yoke on the trigger bar. The short bull barrel also is a different feature, but another CZ clone I want is full size with bull barrel and SAO trigger.
This Firestar is growing on me. It looks good and is solid. Even the sights are good.

George

Walt Sherrill
April 22, 2012, 03:43 PM
The slide inside the frame is a similarity, but that's about it.

Some folk suggest that feature is the reason for CZ's accuracy, but I'm not so sure. The theory is that as the gun gets hot, the slide expands to fit more tightly in the frame. And they cite the SIG P-210 as a model.) My experience with CZs -- and I've had a bunch of them over the years -- is that they stay are equally accurate throughout a range session, regardless how long that session might be.

The similarities you cite are real, but quite superficial. The BHP, for example, uses a barrel bushing to keep the barrel aligned. The CZ puts much more emphasis on the barrel lockup design at the rear of the barrel, and doesn't rely on a barrel bushing for consistent lockup. The BHP is a much simpler design.

The BHP doesn't have that "inside the frame" feature, and it's guide rod is quite different from the CZ's and Star's. Put it in upside down and you've got a big problem. (I speak from experience.) The CZ guide rod isn't that different from many other guns.

I also like the Star Firestar Plus guns. Great for concealed carry if you can find a suitable inside-the-waistband holster. There are (or have been) hi-cap mags available, too, with (I think) 13 or 14 rounds possible. CDNN had them for a long time.

Endall
June 30, 2012, 11:44 PM
I have run 300 - 400 rounds through it now and it is shooting better. Since it sat for close to 20 years, replaced the recoil spring and firing pin spring with a Wolff replacement set. Ordered a hammer spring, but will wait to see if it starts to light strike. Lubed the trigger mechanism well and wiped excess.
Two questions; one it shoot low. Say 6 inches at 10 yards. Hate to file down the front site low enough to bring up. Rather raise the rear. Do others exhibit low pointing like this?
The other question is toughness. All my practice ammo is hot. Normally S&B 115 gr. Also Winchester Ranger NATO P+ 124 gr. The S&B is hotter than the NATO ammo. It is rated at 1280 fps with a 4" barrel and most who chronograph say it really is this hot. Feels hotter than the normal Speer Gold Dot and the NATO. At least in a CZ 75 and Tanfoglio Witness.
Will shooting +P and +P+ pressure ammo shorten the life of the alloy framed Firestar enough to be a concern? The 10.00/box S&B is my favorite ammo. Cheap, pretty, and hot.
Also I picked up a couple high cap mags online sold as high capacity M243 mags. On arrival they are labeled as being for a Firestar 30. 9mm, 15 round, black. I thought I was getting 14 round mags for the Plus. Anyone have a gun these fit? All my mags are the factory 10 round Starvel. Wanted the 14 round for some reason. Doubt I will ever NEED 14 round mags.

George

Ash
July 1, 2012, 06:32 AM
The Firestar already starts off as a solid, rugged pistol. But, the aluminum frame will be susceptible to galling. +P shortens the life of virtually every pistol, even a Glock, because it is physically harder on the pistol. +P+ is an unknown, some is stout, some is actually less than +P.

Since replacement parts will be less-likely, your Star can be viewed as a consumable in much the same was as a car. In your case, you have a very nice car from a maker long out of business without any re-badged counterparts. You have a DeLorean (okay, it might be better than that, but bear with me and for the sake of this dream sequence, forget Texas). You can drive it, in your case you can even take it to the race track to really see how she goes. But she will wear out eventually, like all cars do. You will reach a point when it cannot be repaired. It might happen when you are 90 years old with a uber-tactical walker, two mechanical hips, and cybernetic eyes, or it could happen in ten years.

If it were me, and I like less-than-common designs, I would shoot it to keep up with it, but not use it as a range toy. I would keep competent with it, expecting that every shot brings it one more shot to retirement, but enjoy it all the same. I would not worry about the design, but would keep an eye on it. At that point, perhaps decades away depending on shooting, When it is too battered I would retire it.

But, considering how effective standard 9mm is, I would be tempted to simply find a good standard 9mm to use in it and let my kids figure out what to do with it when I'm gone.

Endall
July 1, 2012, 04:27 PM
I treat my alloy framed 1911 the same way. The steel framed one gets most of the practice rounds.
My question comes from having shot up all the normal pressure 9mm ammo I had. The S&B is not labeled as +P, but is hotter than any +P I have found. The full size steel frames guns I have can take it.
I guess some regular FMJ is needed. It did not shoot the Champions very well. May try some Blazers as practice fodder. I have a lot of Speer Dot to carry. But am too cheap to shoot it for practice. They run almost a dollar a shot.

Walt Sherrill
July 1, 2012, 04:42 PM
The S&B is not labeled as +P, but is hotter than any +P I have found.

I've used SELLIER & BELLOT a lot over the years, and have never considered it to be hotter than standard 9mm (non- +P) ammo. When friends have chronographed it, some lots have been a bit on the anemic side. I'm surprised that you've found it hotter than some of +P ammo available... In fact, I'm surprised you've found it hotter than ANY of the +P commercial ammo.

I've be interested if others have had your experience with this ammo.

Endall
July 22, 2012, 02:22 AM
I have run this S&B through my full size 9mm's and it is hotter than the WWB, Federal Champion, and Speer Gold Dot (not +P). Feels hotter than the Winchester Nato loads also. But back to the Plus.
I looked it over to see why it is a little loose shooting, and consistently low. The locking lugs on the barrel appear to be the culprit. They are tapered on both sides. The lugs in the slide are square shouldered. The barrel seems to be made this way. It has less than 500 rounds through it. There is no lip, ridge, or damage that can be felt. The fact that both sides of the three lugs have the taper should rule out lug peening.
Does anyone else have a barrel with lugs cut like this? I may look for another barrel, but finding one may be impossible. Parts, even original mags are scarce. Every other locking system. I have seen has square shouldered lugs on both the slide and barrel.

George

Walt Sherrill
July 22, 2012, 11:14 PM
It's been several years since I last had or examined a Firestar Plus, so I can't speak to your question about the shape of the barrel lugs. What you describe, however, wouldn't necessarily cause the gun to shoot low -- and really sounds like a design feature. Particularly given there seems to be no wear. (You'd typically have to put a lot of rounds to get that sort of change.)

Heavier rounds -- like 124 gr might cause the point of impact to move up, as would doing something to the bottom of the barrel bushing to raise it up a bit. (Dinging it with a center punch would dent the center of the point of impact on the bushing, but raise the surrounding area. I've seen that done on a Witness to raise the point of impact.)

Your term "loose shooting" doesn't have any particular meaning for me - what are you describing? (Inaccuracy, patterns rather than groups, or looseness in the slide/barrel fit when the slide is closed?)

RE: S&B ammo. Several years back, Sellier & Bellot ammo ran afoul of some IDPA match administrators -- they chronographed it and found it didn't quite meet their minimum power standards.

Endall
July 23, 2012, 06:47 AM
Walt,
Thanks for all the good ideas. The shape of the lugs looks like a factory design. Not sure why, maybe to help go back into and up of battery.
The barrel has a little fore and aft movement when the slide is off. And can be pushed up a little. I need to put a set of calipers to see if the botton lugs are locking the barrel against the slide, or if it needs to be built up.
I may get a "smith to look at it. Just dimpling the barrel cause more issues, the steel barrel riding on the alloy frame.
The wear pattern on the barrel is wider on the bottom than on the top. This is a shiny circle all around the bull barrel. It is about twice as wide on the bottom, I think this indicates the barrel is riding low when not supported by the slide. The loose upper lugs may be allowing the recoil spring to cock it a little.

Walt Sherrill
July 23, 2012, 08:05 AM
The ONLY time you should really be concerned about barrel movement is when the slide is in battery: slide closed and the gun is ready to fire. Movement at other times is generally normal (and necessary).

The wear pattern on the barrel doesn't tell you much -- as the barrel must tilt as the slide moves to the rear, and in doing so rubs against the recoil spring as the barrel moves back and down. That rearward movement and tilting is not symmetrical and there's no reason to expect the wear pattern on the barrel to be symmetrical or uniform. (If you are talking about a different type of wear pattern, you'll have to explain.)

Unless you're planning to shoot tens of thousands of rounds through the gun over a relatively short period of time, I would only be concerned about the "shooting low" issue. That said, does it shoot low when you're shooting from a rest, or when another shooter uses it?

(By "rest," I mean firing very slowly from sand bags [or a large bag of rice, etc.] so that any shooter issues are minimized. Use both hands, and rest your hands holding the gun on the bags, not the gun on the bags. And squeeze the trigger very slowly. If you're using the trigger properly, the results you see will help you determine the gun's capabilities.)

If it does STILL shoot low, a gunsmith can make adjustments to raise the point of impact (by adjustments to the barrel bushing area, or by tweaking [lowering] or replacing the front sight.) If it doesn't shoot low when shooting from a rest, then you can improve things by working on your technique.

Endall
July 24, 2012, 06:38 AM
Yes, even from a rest it shoots 6" low and 10 yards. So the 7 yard would be about 4". The front sight is not tall enough to correct, it is a low profile to begin with.
I like carring in the car when travleing. That is what it was purchased for back when new. A trip to a smith is in order to see what can be done to slick up th trigger and raise the point of aim.

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