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Picked up an FI Industries .380 at gunshow

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Orion8472, May 19, 2008.

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  1. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    At a gunshow, I picked up a gun I had never seen before, though some people know about them. It is an FI Industries .380 caliber "mini 1911-ish" handgun. Metal frame, wood grips, looks about like a half sized 1911. I probably gave too much for it, but it is a great size for a summer conceal carry, when size matters. Only holds 6 rounds, though.

    The serial number is CPA006xxx . . . . the CPA part standing for Colt Pony Automatic.
     
  2. XDKingslayer

    XDKingslayer member

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    I'd ask you to put up pics but I can see it's just going to be yet another .380 I'll have to buy.
     
  3. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    I will take pictures of it in a little bit then will post them.
     
  4. jwr_747

    jwr_747 Member

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    zip on over to "defensivecarry.com" go down to the concealed carry gun section and a thread,probably from yesterday about "my new baby" it has a good read on the "D" series of pistols. jwr
     
  5. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    Thanks JWR.

    Now for the pictures, you can't really tell from the pics all that well, but the frame's color has more of a brown-ish color to it than the typcial blue, which is on the slide.

    Here are the pics:

    [​IMG]
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    [​IMG]
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    Size comparison between it and my Five Seven
    [​IMG]
     
  6. candr44

    candr44 Member

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    That gun looks a lot like a Spanish Star made pistol. Does it say where it was made on the gun anywhere?
     
  7. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    Star made them too. Apparently, Colt had the Star company believe that they would be making this small pistol for Colt, but the deal went through, so there were a lot of frames. A few companies made pistols, Star being one, and FI Industries being another.

    My knowledge on this subject is minimal, and may be complete boulderdash, but all in all, it's a pretty well made pistol.
     
  8. Ruger Redhawk

    Ruger Redhawk Member

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    I bought one of those FI Industries Model "D" back in the early 70's.It was a nice little gun. I later sold it and have never seen another one.I've just never cared for the little 380 cartidge.It seemed to be well made.If I remember right they said it was formerly the Colt Pony.
     
  9. lee n. field

    lee n. field Member

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    Iver Johnson as well, IRRC.
     
  10. Rex B

    Rex B Member

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    Here's mine

    The parent company of Star is who made these. I recently bought one for $350 locally. Nice gun, very well-made.
     

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  11. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    Rex, so is it safe to say that these pistols are made in the United States? Stars are made south of the border, right? I don't know very much about Star.

    By the way, are you saying that FI Industries is the parent compeny of Star?

    Also, is there a way I can know when mine was made based off the serial number?
     
  12. Rex B

    Rex B Member

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  13. romma

    romma Member

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    Looks like a nice find for you.

    Can I ask what it set you back Orion?
     
  14. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    Rex, mine doesn't have that writing on it, and the only location I can see on it is Wash. D.C.

    romma, probably set me back more than I should have paid. $450 due to my lack of knowledge on them, and because it was labeled (with a sign) as a Colt Pony.

    Would I have purchased it if it had said "Star 3.80"? Maybe not, but it seems to be a quality gun, none the less.
     
  15. XDKingslayer

    XDKingslayer member

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    Damn it, I was right...
     
  16. WinchesterAA

    WinchesterAA Member

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    ahh crap.. I want one.
     
  17. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Member

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    If you look at the barrel you will see Spanish proof marks, a spherical old style hand thrown bomb with flames on top. I'm of the opinion that a lot of these were made in Spain only in the slide and barrels, the frames right here in the US, but I can't prove it. The bad news, they are soft steel, the lugs get battered pretty fast. A shame too because they are sweet shooters, at least the one I have is. Another bad thing if you are a materials snob like I am, the base plate of the magazine is zinc pot metal! I have to make two up in steel or stainless for my two magazines. The design is entirely Star.
     
  18. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    Well, XDKingslayer and WinchesterAA, you never know, . . . .if I happen to find a different conceal carry gun, this one may be up for sale, probably the ammo too, because I may not find another .380 gun to buy. Just a thought. :)

    500 Magtech FMJ and 100 Golden Sabers.
     
  19. BerettaRacer

    BerettaRacer Member

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    I had one of those exact same FI Industries .380's given to me a couple of months ago. Mine was a little rough and needed cleaning up before it could be used. Seems nice now, cool little gun. Problem is I can't find any spare mags for it.
     
  20. Moonclip

    Moonclip Member

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    it's a Star all right. The FI marked pistols aren't all that common but there is little to no collector interest. I stupidly passes an ANIB example of a Star like this, a HK lancer in .22lr in nickel or chrome, for like Low to mid $200's last year.
     
  21. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    I believe that FI stood for Firearms International, and that they were the importer for the Spanish made parts. Star built them, but because of the GCA '68, they couldn't be imported because they didn't score enough points under the regulations. So a number of U.S. importers imported the parts and had the guns assembled here. FI sold them for awhile in the early to mid '70's, then later Iver Johnson also carried them. I think Star pistols, as well as the AMT Backup .380 were among the smallest .380's here in the u.S. before Colt came out with their Mustang in the mid '80's.
     
  22. capttom

    capttom Member

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    A nice little weapon

    I saw a good example at a fair price at the Houston show and was tempted. I had other fish to fry and passed on it, however. I'll regret it later, sort of like the old high school flame you see at your fifteen year reunion. For a flat back up piece, they're hard to beat, ir is that because I have a soft spot for 1911 style guns?
    Que lastima
     
  23. HisSoldier

    HisSoldier Member

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    "I have a soft spot for 1911 style guns"

    These resemble 1911's externally, and do have the lockup and swing link. Other than that they are totally Star internally, the way the safety works is entirely different, it blocks the hammer when on and lifts it off the sear a bit. The disconnector is totally different as is the entire trigger/hammer system. The recoil spring bushing works differently even. The Llama is much closer to a1911, the difference beyond caliber and size being only the external extractor. A lot of bad press about them but mine works fine.
     
  24. Orion8472

    Orion8472 Member

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    Is there anything wrong with Stars?

    The gun seems quite fine in its quality. Seems solid and functions well. As far as them not being a collectors item, I think it may be the case in general, but I would bet there is a small contengent of inthusiest out there.
     
  25. Rex B

    Rex B Member

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    Spaniards

    Star pistols are known for quality. I had not heard of any frame peening, but I have not shot mine much. Maybe it's that cheap US-made frame :D

    HisSoldier is right about the little Llamas. Very nice little pistols, my favorites. Almost too cute to shoot! I do prefer my Llama .380s for ergonomics, but I'd give Star the edge for quality.
     

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