Tell me about Star handguns


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.455_Hunter
November 28, 2013, 11:20 AM
Greetings!

I know very little about Star handguns. I am mostly interested in the 1945 - 1980 era. Are they good guns? Any concerns for soft parts? Any experiences?

Thanks for your input.

Hunter

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GBExpat
November 28, 2013, 12:05 PM
I own two Star PDs and four Star BMs (unfortunate model designation, that).

The PDs are alloy-frame .45ACP pistols. The BMs are all-steel 9x19 pistols. All are 1911-esque pistols.

The PDs, due to their alloy frames and shorter barrel length, are just lighter enough for me to carry for extended periods of time, compared to, say, a "regular" 1911. I have found them to be reliable pistols, the alloy frame requires a buffer at the rear of the recoil spring assembly (to keep the frame from being chewed) and I have to keep an eye on the condition of the ramp, which is also alloy.

The BMs are solid (and a bit heavy) little pistols, accurate, reliable and well-built.

My Stars are all good guns and I have experienced no evidence of the infamous Spanish Soft Steel that we have all read about in various places.

HTH some ... :)

C0untZer0
November 28, 2013, 12:05 PM
The Star Firestar was one of the first compact nines.

I wanted to buy one but I could never find one...

StrawHat
November 28, 2013, 12:10 PM
I had a Star Model P, a variant of the 1911. Accuracy was good and the pistol was reliable. The only problem I expereinced was the firing pin broke, twice. And it was a pain to find a replacement. No dryfiring these old pistols without snap caps in the chamber!

GBExpat
November 28, 2013, 12:11 PM
For several years I tried to find a Star BKM (BM with an alloy frame), but I never could find one at what I considered to be a reasonable price.

I always thought that the BM would make a dandy carry piece if it weren't quite so heavy.

Driswalds
November 28, 2013, 12:28 PM
I have a Star Firestar M40 but it falls out of the date range being produced in the 90's
No soft steel or issues with mine. Many many 150 grain rounds pushed thru it with a full charge of Blue Dot.

Furncliff
November 28, 2013, 12:42 PM
I've had a Star b in 9mm Lugar for about ten years (made in 1943). Beware the hammer bite if you have big or meaty hands. Mine is surprisingly accurate, but not reliable enough for carry. I've had it to the gunsmith twice for reliability issues, it's better but .... I'm content using it as a range toy. In retrospect I have a hunch the smith didn't want to work on this pistol for me. Mine has an awful trigger, but it has a size and heft that is somehow satisfying. I've not have any issues finding parts so far, but because they have been out of business for a while this is going to get to be more of a problem. No soft steel issues, one broken firing pin.

Here is a forum that specializes in Spanish firearms...

http://forums.gunboards.com/forumdisplay.php?40-The-Spanish-Pistol-Board

Walt Sherrill
November 28, 2013, 12:42 PM
Generally pretty good guns, but with some models, getting parts may be a problem -- as the company has been out of business for a number of years. (Extractors were scarce for a while, but it IS possible to get some parts from shops in Spain, via the 'Net.)

I've had a Star Model B (9mm), several of the single-stack 9mm and .40 late models, and several of their Firestar Plus compact models. Liked them all, but moved on to other guns.

Here's a good site that tells you a LOT about Star handguns:

http://star-firearms.com/firearms/guns/firestar/index.shtml

bannockburn
November 28, 2013, 12:59 PM
I had a Star Model B and found it to be a very reliable and well made gun. No issues whatsoever with parts breakage or improper heat treatment. The trigger was all right but the sights tended to be on the small side, much like you would find on an M1911A1. It was a great gun to take to the range when introducing a new shooter to using a centerfire semi-auto for the first time. Would love to find a Model BKM as well.

PawDaddy
November 28, 2013, 01:59 PM
I had an Ultra Star 9mm polymer pistol back in the early 90's. Seemed to be a well built pistol, but never put that many rounds through it. It was bought for conceal carry and was just too thick to be comfortable, so I traded it. Wish I still had it.

rodinal220
November 28, 2013, 06:18 PM
Star pistols are good guns and several models were way(decades) ahead of their time. The Star PD was the original compact lightweight .45acp. This gun was popular with savvy civilians and cops back in the day, Jeff Cooper liked the gun(one for training and one for carry). Only down side was the lightweight construction didn't hold up to heavy use.

The little Star DK .380 was the predecessor to the Colt Govt .380 and the little Mustangs/Pocket lites. It had a aluminum alloy frame and was like a mini 1911 but no grip safety.

Star made several compact 9mms such as the Firestar series.

http://www.star-firearms.com/index.html

dogtown tom
November 28, 2013, 08:37 PM
rodinal220 .....The little Star BKM .380 was the predecessor to the Colt Govt .380 and the little Mustangs/Pocket lites. It had a aluminum alloy frame and was like a mini 1911 but no grip safety.
The BKM was a 9x19.

The Star DK is the closest in size to the Mustang .380's.
My favorite is the Star S, closer in size to the Colt Gov Model .380's.

Mike J
November 28, 2013, 08:44 PM
I honestly don't know what the model number was or when it was made but back in the 90's I had a Star pistol in 9mm Largo. It was a neat little gun. I got strung out on deer hunting & wound up trading it for a compound bow with arrows, quiver, quick release , etc. I shouldn't have made that trade.

Valkman
November 29, 2013, 12:53 AM
I still have my Star Firestar in .45, haven't shot in 20 years since I discovered 1911's. :)

7mmsavage
November 29, 2013, 08:08 AM
I owned a 31p in .40 cal for about 18 years. I bought it back when I knew basically nothing about firearms, Hell I didn't even know how to shoot it when I bought it. My buddies and I shot that pistol so much, took it camping, fishing, left it under the car seat, etc etc. I have know idea how many rounds went though it, but I do know it never malfunctioned, FTF, FTE, nothing. It was well built, all steel, and heavy enough to be used as a bludgeon if it ever ran out of ammo. I finally sold it to fund something newer and lighter, and that I could easily buy mags and parts for, if ever needed. I kind of wish I'd kept it, but don't we all wish we'd kept all of those guns we upgraded out of.

rodinal220
November 29, 2013, 08:37 AM
Dogtown tom:"The BKM was a 9x19.

The Star DK is the closest in size to the Mustang .380's.
My favorite is the Star S, closer in size to the Colt Gov Model .380's"

Doh! Getting old, I stand corrected.Post corrected.Yes DK for the 380s not BK.

yamahawarrior89
November 29, 2013, 09:25 AM
But I have a Star PD and it is very accurate. I had to buy magazines from triple k and do a little file work for the mag catch holes since they would drop when it was fires. Wide mouth hollow points will sometimes hang up if you try and cycle it slow. I carry it with 185gr lead swchp.

I also have a Star 28M. It is a little heavy, all steel. Seems kind of like a cz or witness with the inverted frame rails. Holds 15 9x19 and is quite accurate as well. Great trigger. It is an interesting design because it doesn't need any tools to disassemble as it has a modular design.

Read up on this website. They are interesting firearms and I am glad I bought mine.

http://star-firearms.com/firearms/index.shtml

Weevil
November 29, 2013, 12:53 PM
I've owned a couple of Stars over the years and found they were well made quality guns.

Spain had a lot of gunmakers churning out cheap Saturday night special type guns but Star wasn't one of them. Star was an old and respected company that produced arms for the Spanish military and police.

The biggest problem is they went out of business and parts and mags are drying up quickly. If anything breaks or wears out lots of luck trying to find a replacement.

Fleetman
November 29, 2013, 02:37 PM
I have a Star Model B, PD, Firestar .45, and a 31-P. I wish they were still available. All of mine fall within your date range.

Jorzac
November 29, 2013, 07:13 PM
Would really like to have a 10mm Megastar. Pretty scarce.

Quentin
November 30, 2013, 02:35 AM
I bought a Star PD 30+ years ago and as others have said the biggest problem is getting parts and magazines. And the comment about using snap caps when you dry fire is wise. I believe that's how I broke a firing pin. I had to get one fabricated because factory parts are in short supply. Fortunately it works fine now.

Bo
November 30, 2013, 05:33 AM
Once had a Star PD 45. Now I have a tack driving Star BM?
http://i272.photobucket.com/albums/jj170/Bosbar/StarTaurus001.jpg (http://s272.photobucket.com/user/Bosbar/media/StarTaurus001.jpg.html)

LeftyTSGC
November 30, 2013, 08:44 AM
I own two STAR's in 9mm

STAR 30M

STARFIRE 30MI

The STARFIRE is actually a 30M that was exported from what i read, they are identical handguns. Shoot great, they are all steel military/LE grade built to last.

Walt Sherrill
November 30, 2013, 09:05 AM
At one time I had a Star Model B that was made for the German Army during (or just before) WWII. Covered with proof marks and Waffenamt. At the time, it became general C&R news that the guns, while good, were NOT authentic WWII German-used guns.

The distributor was later accused for making fakes, etc. Never heard the final version of that story, but mine was almost pristine, and good shooting. if you want a 1911-like 9mm, you could do worse -- and parts for the Model B may be easier to find than some of the later models. (Note: it looks like a 1911, but isn't really much like one, internally.)

351 WINCHESTER
November 30, 2013, 08:31 PM
The Star pd was the original lw .45 carry pistol. They shoot good and were easy to carry. They were well known for cracked frames as they were alum. alloy. These were well made pistols, but, parts are difficult to find, even magazines.

gym
December 1, 2013, 11:05 AM
I have a retired Marine friend who absolutely swears by them. He says they are his favorite pistols, he owns 2 and I can't get one from him, lol. This guy has one or two of everything, so for him to say that alone, is a ringing endorsement to me. I haven't fired either one. I know one is the Firestar 45.

evan price
December 1, 2013, 11:19 PM
I've got a Super-B in 9mm luger, surprisingly it's not having any trouble with SWC lead bullets, it's a well made gun (except for the factory brown plastic grips that are really cheap and cheesy and don't even fit the screw holes in the butt) and it's great on the range.

SC Shooter
December 2, 2013, 08:02 AM
I did a fair amount of research before I found one at a gun show that was reasonably priced. From everything I had read, they got mixed reviews depending on age, maufacturing location, etc. so I decided that they price fr me would be a factor. When I did buy one, I was well pleased. I take it to the range fairly often, and it is accurate and mechanically sound.

N.M. Edmands
December 2, 2013, 06:28 PM
"They were well known for cracked frames as they were alum. alloy."

Most of the 'cracked' frames were just above the slide lock opening in the slide, rearward from the slide stop pin. Early versions would crack in this thin area from frame flex, scared people but did not cause problems. Later pistols had this area machined open to stop this.
Gouging of the feed ramp on the receiver was a bigger problem.
I have one I bought about 10 years ago for next to nothing after spending 15 min trying to convince the shop owner he had a valuable piece with no luck. I would ,and have carried it. When I do I carry it with Win Ranger 230gr., but play with 185gr.HBRN light loaded to reduce abuse. I have put a lot of rounds downrange and will not part with it.
No longer my EDC, but still a go-to.

.455_Hunter
December 3, 2013, 11:21 AM
Thanks for the information!

I am looking at a pretty rare one, so I will see how it goes...

JR47
December 3, 2013, 11:49 AM
I've owned a PD since just after they came out. While it doesn't have 10,000 rounds through it, it does have between 2-3K, with no issues.

I also own a Star Super B, made in 1947, and a BM. All three have been reliable, accurate, and feed FMJ, what they were designed for flawlessly. Most will also feed JHP rounds that don't look like the opening of a storm drain, as well.

I've found that replacing the recoil springs on most used military guns is a good start towards reliability. So are good magazines.

Hacker15E
December 3, 2013, 12:24 PM
I have had a couple Star BMs for 6 years now, and they have been great little pistols.

Previous thread I created about them in 2006:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=202788

another_luser
December 3, 2013, 10:36 PM
+1 to N.M.Edmands post #29. My Star PD has the crack in the frame, but it hasn't caused a performance issue. I find the 230 RN loads have a little more "umph" in recoil than the 185 HP's (with multiple factory brands), but still controllable for a decent second shot.
I've read for many it was the gun to carry a lot and shoot a little, but I've shot the heck out of mine, close to 4000 rounds or so in the late 80's / early 90's. Don't shoot it much any more as I ran out of my stash of hard plastic recoil buffers and can't find any more, and I can't seem to get the soft rubber Colt style buffers to fit quite right.
But it holds a special place for me as it was my first handgun.:)

N.M. Edmands
December 4, 2013, 11:36 AM
another_luser try here.

Jack First Inc, Rapid City S.D.-Tel 605-343-9544
New production replacement buffers. Bought 3 6 or 7 years ago from these people. The buffers seem to be very tough as I'm still on my first. Jack First has a web presence @ http://www.jackfirstgun.com/,but just tells you to call.

HTH, Nat

N.M. Edmands
December 5, 2013, 03:07 PM
Here's a picture of a later production 'PD' with the rail machined out.:what:
Cracked on early or cut on late- never caused a problem. Mine is an early nickle slide W/adjustable rear sight.

another_luser
December 5, 2013, 09:43 PM
Nat,

Thanks for the tip - I will definitely give them a call. I'd love to make the PD reliable and put a few hundred downrange again.

another_luser

wford
December 7, 2013, 10:04 AM
I have 2 stars, they aren't bad, but not great either compared to others. I would have to find an amazing deal to buy another.

JR47
December 8, 2013, 01:02 AM
wford, I know how you feel. I feel the same way about S&W. OK guns, but nothing to compare to guns with actual QC.

sig228
December 8, 2013, 12:28 PM
I recently picked up one of these, cheap, off Gunbroker. Came with three mags, original case, unused cleaning tools. Gun is used but good condition. Cleaned it up, lubed it and took it to the range. I was very impressed. Heavier than the polymer guns I have, but recoil was barely there. Shot to the point of aim at 7 yards. Reliable, not a single failure in 100 rounds. Single action trigger broke clean and crisp. Mags drop free. It's single action only. Carry cocked and locked. No grip safety. Only negative is the low round count. Small and concealable.

I know about the firing pin issue on some of these. Since this gun is a keeper I bought an extra firing pin.

Bottom line: its a very fun gun to shoot. In fact, I was so impressed that I bought another one "new, old stock" on Gunbroker. I would highly recommend these. They sell online various places. Obviously Gunbroker, J & G Sales has some used ones listed too.

Later I will edit this post and put up a picture of this little beauty.

Edbo
January 16, 2014, 08:39 PM
My Star PD must love me too, even tho I put it thru all the abuse I can throw at it. I do clean it occasionally and feed it a recoil buffer when necessary. I've collected up a lot of spare parts just in case, but haven't needed anything yet. I've read forum threads both good and bad. Usually people think they are junk or they are "obsessed" with them. I'm quite obsessed and would be heartbroken if something happened to mine.

I'm actually looking for another PD and have my eye on a BM (w/broken firing pin) @ the local pawn shop.

Get Recoil Buffers from Big Dawg Guns ; bigdawgguns@comcast.net (James A. Brennan 503-591-5159. 3 for $18.95 w/shipping. With these you just hold the spring back, take off old one, insert new one. Work GREAT for 500+ bangs. Recoil springs & Spring kits come from W. C. Wolf Co.in Pa.,610-359-9600 or 800-545-0077 www.gunsprings.com . They also include a firing pin spring with the Recoil Spring. $11.88 w/Shipping. Get the 14lbs spring!!! ($$$ prices subject to change,due to our ever sucking economy)
**Peace be with You'ens**

MikeFrank
May 18, 2014, 11:28 PM
I just picked up a moderately-used PD for $315 with shipping & FFL. I put in a new buffer and replaced the springs. Looking forward to shooting it soon. It has the cut in the frame others have noted in this thread. The feed ramp has a tiny ding; what's the word on polishing it out?

LT.Diver
May 19, 2014, 01:02 AM
I carried a Star BKM alloy framed 9mm for years. Wish I never sold it. My buddy has a PD. They are both fine guns. The PD needed a new recoil buffer. My buddy didn't bother trying to find one, he just made a new one out of a piece of neoprene. No issues with either gun.

chriske
May 20, 2014, 06:36 AM
Of all the handguns I owned and traded/sold my Star BM in 9x19 is the one I regret most.
100% reliable, solid, well built, accurate... probably the best semi-auto in its size class I ever shot. (Far better than Walther PPK imho)
Never should have let it go.

Big Shrek
May 20, 2014, 03:30 PM
Had a Star 30P for years, was my favorite,
sold it when I hit hard times about 10 years ago, still miss that pistol...
still have two mags sitting in my desk drawer for when I do find another ;)

JeeperCreeper
August 23, 2014, 03:02 AM
I know that I am late to the party but.....

I have a Star 30M that was purchased many moons ago. Thing is a tank and will eat basement manufactured ammo that has jammed my friend's XD and Glock. It might not be as pretty, but it reminds me of a quote: "The world's fastest car is a rental car". Because the gun was basically free, I use and abuse it like no other gun I own... as if it were a rental car.

I believe (don't hold me to this) that is was based off of the CZ and BHP platform... so it is in good company!!

Walt Sherrill
August 23, 2014, 09:38 AM
From all accounts, the Star 30M seems to be a fine weapon. But it doesn't seem to be related to the BHP or CZ-75.
The CZ and BHP, while they look a lot alike, have almost nothing in common. Internally, they've very different, and the CZ is DA/SA, while the BHP is SA only. The 30M seems to be it's own design, sharing just a technical point or two with the CZ and BHP.

The Star 30M uses a BHP-like linkless Short-recoil system. It also has the slide running inside the frame (like the CZ and SIG P-210). Most modern semi-autos use a variation of the Browning short-recoil system, and the CZ and BHP use that system in two quite different ways. The fact that the BM's safety is found on the slide suggests some other internal differences from both the BHP and CZ. (That said, Tanfoglio did build some CZ-pattern guns with safeties on the slide.)

The Star site has a pretty good history. [Link follows...] The 30M is an improved version of the 28M, which was Star's first DA/SA gun. http://star-firearms.com/firearms/guns/283031/index.shtml

Info on the Star site says that the Star 30M was sold in the U.S. as the Starfire, and I've had several of those guns. I particularly liked the Starfire Plus model, which was a compact version in 9mm, using a double-stack mag and alloy frame. The 30M Stars were still used widely by police and military units in Spain until just a few years ago, when parts shortages started to be a problem.

Parts are scarce for many of the models, but some are still made by small shops in Spain and if you search diligently, you can sometimes find what's needed.

N.M. Edmands
August 24, 2014, 08:14 PM
Spotted the thread resurrection and wanted to post this link for anyone looking. Fixed income bites or I'd be all over this! Do I wish I was in a position to bid on these to go with my Starvel PD> 2 NIB unfired blue PDs with everything. :drool
CONSEC SET STAR MODEL PD .45ACP PISTOLS NIB NO RES : Semi Auto Pistols at GunBroker.com http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=435603666

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