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In Defense Of Star Handguns

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Gunmeister, Mar 2, 2008.

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  1. Gunmeister

    Gunmeister Member

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    It seems to me that the majority of us who own, collect, shoot or just plain admire semi-auto handguns have lumped Star pistols into the POS, Saturday Night Special, El-Cheapo catagory. Nothing could be farther from the truth. As famed gun scribe Stephan A. Camp says, "Star handguns are inexpensive guns that are not cheap". Although they are close cousins to Llama pistols, there is no comparison with regard to reliability and function. It comes to mind that the Spanish government saw fit to arm their entire military and law enforcement agencies with these handguns. They remained in service until the 1980's when newer more modern pistols became available.
    I have owned and operated no less than 7 Star handguns during my 71 years on this planet and have found them all (when properly maintained) to perform as well as any pistol I have ever owned and there have been over 100. The big trick to a reliable Star is in the magazine. Some folks will give up on a malfunctioning Star and view them as a POS when the only problem could be that the magazine has a weak spring, maybe a bent lip or could be just plain dirty. A clean, properly lubed Star with a polished feed ramp and a good magazine will run right up there with the best of them.
    Granted that parts can be hard to come by but if you Google up Star Parts(correct this to read "Star Pistol Parts") you'll find parts providers exsist like www.gun-parts.com/star/ he has just about every part that could cause a problem.
    My soul surviving Star is a beautiful Model BM that before being hard chromed, all the excess verbage removed from the slide, the innards were polished, likewise the slide and frame sides were brush polished to a nice shine, the magazines work as they should and this has morphed into a really fine looking and reliable pistol.
    At age 71, I have been "thinning the herd" so to speak, and selling off most of my small collection, now this beautiful piece is on the block with no takers. What a shame that the majority of folks who have never even touched a Star are experts on how bad they are. Fortunately there are hundreds of us out there who are pleased with their Star pistolas and know better.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
  2. rlgreen

    rlgreen Member

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    not sure i've ever seen criticism on this board anyway. personally have owned a firestar .45 for 16 years don't even know how many thousands of rounds through at this point (have posted about this on other threads) have kept the mags loaded for probably a total of 10 years without spring change, and shoot it just about weekly.

    my only knock is that, 16 years on, its relaged to rare, if any carry and then usually only winter as it was about as much as 3 khar's or 2 New Agents.

    anyway, where'd you get that hard chrome job how much $$. would love to do same to mine.

    thanks.
     
  3. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    [​IMG]

    My Star Modelo B has been a great gun. It allowed me to shoot 9mm on a 1911 like platform before I found a 9mm Commander, and it is a step-up gun for my daughter at present. My only problem with it was finding magazines and freeing up a rusty detent pin when I first bought it.
     
  4. NGIB

    NGIB Member

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    I had a BM myself and while it was a great pistol, parts for this one are near impossible to find anymore. Before I parted with mine I looked high and low for springs, firing pins, magazines and all the other common things that wear and break - with no success.

    While you can still find parts for the Firestars and some of the large framed Stars, the BMs have been abandoned as far as parts go. If parts were still readily available I'd never have parted with mine as they are truly unique as a single stack 9mm.

    I'm sorry yours didn't sell; however, your statement that parts are easily available is not true for the BM and that makes it a shaky investment except for a safe queen...
     
  5. Gunmeister

    Gunmeister Member

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    NGIB Did you check the web sight that I mentioned in my post?
    If you had you would have learned that the parts most liable to break are available.
    PLEASE don't make statements about someones post being not true until you do your homework.:cuss:
     
  6. sm

    sm member

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    Gunmeister,

    Excellent post!
    I would hold onto the one you posted a picture of. Someone will have a need and it was meant to be that one was held onto long enough for them to obtain it. It will be appreciated .

    XB shared additional thoughts of mine as well.

    These guns do fit hands, and not just smaller hands, also hands with some problems - physically limited in some fashion.

    The ergonomics are proven on a "1911" pattern and the controls are easy to reach and use - including Visually.

    One glance and one can see what position a hammer is, and safety switch.
    This too many folks is a comforting safety factor and many new shooters I dealt with prefer this. Just like being able to swing a revolver cylinder open.

    Recoil with these small ones are better for many hands , being metal guns, instead of polymer. Arthritis and post surgery "annoyances".

    Why are these called POS?

    My take is, we have always had those that put a lot of value in having the latest new and fangled.
    The minute something new and fangled comes out, that automatically makes something "old" and "antiquated".
    It is a state of mind and attitude about everything in life, not just Star handguns, not just handguns, everything "has" to be the latest and greatest.

    Err...I just "learned" S&W 3913 is a POS as it is a old gun and Police Depts got rid of them as these were "POS".
    So sayth teh Intrawebz....*wink*
     
  7. gc70

    gc70 Member

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    Gunmeister,

    I find the Star BM attractive, but worry about parts availability. The only parts specifically listed for the BM on the Bob's Gun Shop site you linked to were firing pins and magazines. Do you know which parts listed for other Star models might be interchangeable with the BM?
     
  8. NGIB

    NGIB Member

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    Yes I did and the only parts he lists are the firing pin and mags. When I called him a year ago he was out of both and unsure when he'd get more. Same for Numrich, Brownells, and the other big parts stores.

    I thought the little BM was one of the best pistols I'd ever had, just couldn't afford to keep shooting it as I didn't want to end up with a pretty paper weight. I'm not trying to rain on your parade as it's a very pretty and high quality gun but I also wanted to share my experience of actually getting parts for one.

    BTW, when I was parting with mine I had advertised on TFL and had no takers either, finally sold it locally.

    I actually didn't want to post this at all but as I'd rather not be negative about anything but I also wanted folks to know I had one and couldn't find parts for it. If Bob's has everything you say, I'd suggest you buy up some of the commonly breakable parts and sell them with the gun - I'd even consider buying it then...

    http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=270538
     
  9. Gunmeister

    Gunmeister Member

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    I wonder if we are looking at the same Bob's Gun Shop page. The one I'm looking at advertises that the following parts are available:
    Firing pin
    Firing Pin Spring
    Magazines
    Recoil Spring
    Recoil Spring Guide
    Sear
    Disconnector

    The most common breakage in these guns is firing pins because most firing pins are of the non-inertial type and can be broken by dry firing without a snap cap or previously fired shell casing. Second most common breakage are springs that Bob has available.
    I'm told by those who should know that many(but not all) Model B parts are interchangable with Model BM. The BM is a shortened B.
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2008
  10. NGIB

    NGIB Member

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    Sir, I'm looking at the page you provided the link to as I did a year or so ago when I wanted to stock up on parts for mine. I just looked at it again and the only parts listed for a BM are firing pin and mags.

    The parts you list show as available for a Model B not a BM and I asked at the time if they were interchangeable and they were not. I'm done on this one as you obviously think I'm trying to submarine your sale, I'm not...
     
  11. Gunmeister

    Gunmeister Member

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    I've learned that the worst kind of advice is that which comes unsolicited.
    If you weren't trying to "submarine" my sale, you certainly didn't help matters any. My dear old Dad taught me many years ago that if you can't say something good--don't say anything at all.
    Not that I care that much because I really don't care if I sell this piece. I just have reached an age where these guns have lost their appeal to me and having no immediate male heirs I would like someone who really enjoys them to have them.
     
  12. NGIB

    NGIB Member

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    Sir, had you not said in your post that all common parts are readily available I would have said nothing. I took exception to that remark only as I had done serious searches of parts for mine and very little was available.

    I truly hope the other members of THR don't think I'm being a jerk by telling the truth from my own personal experience.

    As I said, if you can provide a parts kit with it I'd buy it myself as it's one of the best compact 9s ever made...
     
  13. Mad Magyar

    Mad Magyar Member

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    I've had a few Spanish Llama's in the past, and surprisingly never gave me any problems...
    Presently, I have a Star Super A in the 9 Largo series and it's extremely accurate.
    The only problem I have is a sticky firing pin that is probably in need of a new spring...
    I also checked Bob's parts and not sure if any of the other pistols firing pin & springs are interchangeable with mine...
    If anyone knows, please advise...:)
     
  14. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Member

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    I have several Stars. Great guns, and a shame they folded.
     
  15. Mastiff

    Mastiff Member

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    I just ordered a Star Modelo Super A from Sarco. I got to actually hold it yesterday, but I can't take it home until Tuesday due to the gun laws. I was very impressed, it fit my hand perfectly. It is better balanced than my 1911. And it only cost $139! It shoots the 9mm Largo, but you can also shoot .38 Super and 9x23 Winchester in it. The pistol is definitely strong enough to fire those cartridges. 9x23 Winchester in a Colt would cost a lot more than $139. I am going to buy the $99 gunsmith special from Sarco to have spare parts for it.

    Incidentally, on one of the Star sites they stated that a good gunsmith could make most of the parts that might break.
     
  16. Gunmeister

    Gunmeister Member

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    MAGYAR-- Years back I had a Star with a sticky firing pin. I removed the slide and held the little red tube that comes with a can of WD40 right up to the hole that the firing pin comes through and sprayed WD40 into the pin chamber, at the same time I pushed the pin in and out from the slide end, it did free up because it had years of gummed up lube in the chamber, the WD40 cleaned out the chamber then blow dry with an air compressor if you have one.. Worked fine after that. I'm not saying that will fix your gun if the spring is broken but it worked for me as mine was just gummed up:cool:.
     
  17. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    John,

    I don't believe you are trying to sell your pistol in this forum, but if you are, you should be aware that you are in the wrong forum.

    This forum is for the discussion of autoloading handguns. It appears to me that a discussion is taking place. Let's not have it go down the tubes with accusations and such.
     
  18. Detachment Charlie

    Detachment Charlie Member

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    Chief,
    I had one of these BMs. It was a great pistol. The trigger was awsome and, at social distances, superbly accurate. I replaced the plastic grips with some nice exotic wood & carried it almost daily.
    I sold it to a gentleman of about our age from St. Pete -- he also appreciated these little jewels. It's a tad heavy for carry, by today's standards. But, by todays standards and my age, I'm about to replace my 1911 as my daily carry with one of those nice little Sig P6s that are coming in from German police departments.
    Keep the BM, they ain't makin any more of em.:D
     
  19. Gunmeister

    Gunmeister Member

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    Mr Administrator---I 'm not trying to sell my gun in this forum, not at all. My point was to illustrate how many people are misinformed and led to believe that Stars are junk. I'm trying hard to show otherwise and hoped that others would chime in with their opinion of these pistols. I was not seeking advice from anyone. Whether I sell the gun or not is of no consequence to me.
    Yes, I do have my gun listed in the For Sale threads and some of the rude and negative e-mails that I've received in response to my ad would surprise you. I've been a member here for quite awhile, I always felt this was a gentleman's forum unlike some others.
     
  20. mmay1

    mmay1 Member

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    Star 5.jpg

    This 1957 Modelo Super has proved to be a good shooter and was fun to restore. The 9mm Largo ammo is not especially plentiful but so far I have found enough.
     
  21. SouthpawShootr

    SouthpawShootr Member

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    I have a BM. One of the recent Century imports. Hate whatever that machine is that they use do the importer info. What's the matter with a plain old fashion stamp? :cuss:

    OK, to the gun itself. For many years, I ignored these due to the bad press surround Spanish handguns in general. A local gunsmith who had turned me on to some great little surplus guns highly recommended them, so I got one. Seems pretty obvious to me that it is a quality gun. Accurate, reliable, very smooth. Paid $170 for it and I'll shoot it till it breaks, then fix it if I can find the parts. If I can't, I'll be sad but I'm sure I already got my money's worth out of it. I've thought of having it hardchromed as pictured in this thread, but, for some odd reason, I prefer the blued finish, so I'd probably just reblue. Most likely I'll leave it be.
     
  22. XavierBreath

    XavierBreath Member

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    Mr. Gunmeister,

    If what you are trying to do is illustrate how many people are led to believe Star pistols are junk, you have failed. Not one person in this thread has said that. A few have stated that parts are hard to come by. You have failed to give links showing otherwise. Instead, you have provided a link where a Star BM firing pin appears to be available for $25, as well as a magazine for $35. You say these parts are available there.
    I, for one, don't see the other parts.

    You go on to say:
    Wrong sir. A Star BM is not a shortened Model B. I presently own both. I have worked on both. I should know.

    Now sir, you are the member here making accusations in this thread. This is a forum for gun discussion. You started a thread in defense of Star handguns, an admirable topic, and something I, personally, agree with. I consider them to be good guns. Your dear old Dad may have felt it was best to say nothing at all if one had nothing good to say, but we try to go beyond being a backslapping mutual agreement society here. Gentlemen are able to disagree and remain gentlemen. Other members are free to disagree as long as they do it in a well mannered form because this is a discussion forum. How on Earth can you claim that the discussion of Star parts availability is an attempt to "submarine" your for sale thread in another forum?

    The scarcity of parts for repair of Star pistols has been brought up in this discussion. Actually, I would appreciate it if you could post a URL for a website that has ready parts availability for these pistols. I would appreciate it if anyone would post a link to any parts availability.

    I'll start it off. Wolff stocks recoil springs for the Star BM.

    For those interested, here is a detailed page on the Star BM
     
  23. Rampant_Colt

    Rampant_Colt Member

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    I bought one of the first Firestar .40's when they came out in '93 or '94. It was sent back to importer Interarms in Virginia twice. Once for ejector replacement, and once for "reliability issues".

    It was sent back to me with a new extractor the first time, and the second time with a new magazine [as if..:rolleyes: ]

    If i needed that gun when IT hit the fan, i woulda got one round off and have been left with a 30-ounce anchor. Even with new magazines and extractor it wasn't 100% reliable with any ammunition. I refuse to bet my life on something that isn't 100% efficient

    There's a reason they're not selling guns over here anymore
     
  24. NGIB

    NGIB Member

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    Thank you XavierBreath,

    Never once did I say the Star BM wasn't a fine gun as I had one myself for 10 years. I was merely stating the fact that when I did a search a year or so ago I found parts not available.

    I personally did not appreciate being told to shut up and say nothing as I felt anyone considering this purchase need to be aware of the parts situation. Perhaps from now on I'll say nothing to avoid the confrontations and accusations...
     
  25. Gunmeister

    Gunmeister Member

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    Mr Administrator

    XB---Please take note that I am not the one who brought up the "Submarine" statement, that was NGIB not me. See 9th post down from my original post.
    As an administrator, I'm asking you to totally delete and remove this thread. I am seriously sorry that I opened up this bag of worms. It is clear to me that you can only see one side of the discussion.
    Lastly I don't need lectures from you or anyone else.
     
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