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Old May 16, 2015, 01:11 PM   #1
leadcounsel
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New/used Star B with questions including loose safety lever

I bought a WWII era Star B 9x19mm today. Has a loose safety lever (seller did disclose this). I scored it for only $210 (with the background fee - here in WA we have to go through an FFL. ). Seller said he inherited from his deceased grandfather, who he used to shoot it with. He said it shot fine with no issues, except the loose safety lever. I asked him if he was sure if he wanted to sell it, and he seemed fine with selling it, and is more of a rifle guy and not interested in pistols.

A few points, and questions:

Condition: Very worn finish, I'd put it at probably 50%, with bare metal in a few spots. But no visible rust. No import scroll marks visible. Wood grips are in perfect condition (I know these are expensive to replace). Came with two magazines, which are also expensive. Trigger is smooth and crisp - and the lockup of the hammer and slide are positive. I know not to dry fire these due to the fragile firing pin. It does not appear to have a magazine disconnect feature (I think these came along later?).

Serial number is 250,000 range, and the proof marks from my research put this as a German issued pistol from 1944. It has the matching serial numbers on the frame, barrel, slide, safety lever, and slide release - so it appears to me that it's all original and matching. Proof marks include the circle with flames on top and with a "P" inside on the frame and slide (indicating it passed proof testing and was used after 1929), and located on the frame it has a shield topped by a knight and an "X" inside the shield (indicating it passed proof test and was used after 1931). An "O" stamp on the slide puts this at 1944 manufacture.

In addition to 2 mags, it also came with the original leather holster, stamped "LPN" with fancy hand-written calligraphy lettering, "A. Stark P.I.D." The seller said in his research he thought it was a German issued police pistol and the officer's name was written on the holster.

Two issues to correct:

The first is safety. It locks into safe with the weapon cocked, but offers very little resistance to drop the safety. I assume it's a weak spring or something needs to be tightened. How much hassle is it to take apart the pistol and tighten the lever, assuming this is fixable?

Next is the finish. I'm torn between just cleaning it and leaving it as is, or getting it reblued, or even having a modern protective duracote or ceracote or chrome finish put on it. Refinishing it would destroy some historical properties but I'd love to shine this old girl up and get her all pretty again. And with the bare metal in parts, and me living in a damp climate pacific NW climate, I'm concerned about corrosion.

Thoughts?
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Last edited by leadcounsel; May 16, 2015 at 06:23 PM.
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Old May 16, 2015, 06:28 PM   #2
leadcounsel
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I've found this helpful Youtube video on the detailed dissassembly. But still looking for any other advice.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WOvwQraNZtc

So I took it apart. Sadly I'm missing the spring and plunger.
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Old May 17, 2015, 05:37 PM   #3
leadcounsel
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A few pictures.





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Last edited by leadcounsel; May 18, 2015 at 03:27 AM.
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Old May 17, 2015, 07:04 PM   #4
joem1945
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That spring and plunger can be a real PIA to get back in. Check with Gun Parts Corp. I bought a spare set when mine flew out. Any time you disassemble things with springs and pins, do it in a large plastic bag.
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Old May 17, 2015, 07:58 PM   #5
il.bill
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Obviously you want to fix the safety if you can - good luck on the parts search.

As far as the finish, just keep it clean and oiled up. Once it is again fully functional and you have shot it enough to confirm that you will be keeping it, go ahead and have it refinished if you want. You scored a nice pistol at a great price and it is hard to imagine that it will have any serious collector value down the road making you want to keep it original. It is your firearm, enjoy it as you will.
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Old May 17, 2015, 11:42 PM   #6
FROGO207
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I have one that somebody nickel plated and added fake Ivory grips. It looks sharp and it shoots accurately as well as being reliable as can be. You did well.
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Old May 18, 2015, 06:46 AM   #7
bannockburn
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leadcounsel

Hard to say concerning refinishing. On one hand it does have some historical interest to it but given it's condition unlikely to have much if any collector's value. On the other hand you have a valid concern as to wanting to prevent rust but there a number of products out there that can do the job quite effectively with gun in it's current condition. Rebluing, Cerakote, or hard chrome plating are also viable choices for improving the gun's appearance while also providing a measure of protection for the metal surfaces of your gun. Up to you and if you do go the refinishing route let us know how it turns out.
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