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Old December 19, 2005, 04:01 PM   #1
Moonclip
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Star PD

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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Old December 19, 2005, 07:29 PM   #2
IndianaDean
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For the money, Stars are absolutely one of the best brands made.
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Old December 19, 2005, 07:51 PM   #3
timothy75
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I think you did really well regardless of what you paid. Have fun
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Old December 20, 2005, 01:07 AM   #4
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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.
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Old December 20, 2005, 01:13 AM   #5
Old Dog
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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).
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Old December 20, 2005, 01:22 AM   #6
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Love the Star PD and have been looking for one for quite some time.

Kim duToit likes 'em too
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Old December 20, 2005, 09:20 AM   #7
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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!

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Old December 20, 2005, 03:31 PM   #8
m39fan
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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.

HTH,
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Old December 20, 2005, 03:48 PM   #9
antarti
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Congrats, you have probably the most reliable small .45 ever made.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
(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.
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Old December 20, 2005, 04:19 PM   #10
Herself
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Hi!

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.

--Herself
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Old December 22, 2005, 02:18 AM   #11
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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.
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Old December 23, 2005, 01:01 AM   #12
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How do you remove the captured recoil spring/buffer?
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Old January 4, 2006, 06:46 PM   #13
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Bump...

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.
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Old January 6, 2006, 04:33 AM   #14
Gordy Wesen
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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.
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Old February 25, 2008, 03:45 PM   #15
Entlebucher
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Question Oportunity to buy a Star PD

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
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Old February 25, 2008, 05:07 PM   #16
12many
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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.
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Old February 25, 2008, 06:07 PM   #17
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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).
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Old February 25, 2008, 06:28 PM   #18
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Entlebucher,the cut above the slide stop was intentional,it is supposed to prevent stress cracks...
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Old February 25, 2008, 07:04 PM   #19
ftierson
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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...

Forrest
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Old February 25, 2008, 07:06 PM   #20
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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.
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=189151
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Old February 25, 2008, 10:49 PM   #21
res1b3uq
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Pd45

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.
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Old February 25, 2008, 11:56 PM   #22
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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.
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Old February 26, 2008, 06:25 AM   #23
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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!
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Old February 26, 2008, 08:49 AM   #24
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Quote:
$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....
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Old February 27, 2008, 06:40 PM   #25
Entlebucher
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Star PD

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 (entlebucher@bluewin.ch) 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.
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