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Shooting My Old Star Model B Custom...

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Stephen A. Camp, Dec 29, 2010.

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  1. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello. The first handgun I purchased as an adult was an Star Model B in the early '70's. If memory serves, the tariff was about $75.00 or so. I foolishly let that one get away but toward the end of the following decade I was able to buy another Model B from the last production run announced by the manufacturer, Star Escheverria, in Eibar, Spain. I saw the advertisement in The American Rifleman and I'm glad that I did. (By that time, the price was about three times what I'd paid for the first one!)

    I had my second one customized at Williamson Precision Gunsmithing in Hurst, Texas and have never regretted it, even though some folks will say spending more on custom work than the pistol itself cost was foolish. Others may have doubts about the quality of a "Spanish pistol", but I have consistently been pleased with the quality of the Star firearms I've purchased and used over the years. They may indeed have a few more toolmarks in non-critical areas than some more costly handguns, but the things seem to work and in my opinion provide more quality than their price may indicate. There are features of these older Star pistols that I don't care for but overall, I've been very pleased with the several Star handguns I've used and owned over the years.

    Realizing that I'd neglected this pistol for a couple of years, I took it out for a range session recently. A total of 200 rounds of factory ammunition was used. It consisted of Federal 115-gr. JHP, Winchester USA 115-gr. FMJ, Corbon 115-gr. DPX +P, some old PMC 115-gr. Starfire JHP's I had (Besides, "Starfire" somehow sounded appropriate), Fiocchi 124-gr. Extrema and Federal's sadly discontinued 124-gr. Nyclad hollow point.

    [​IMG]
    Right to left: Winchester USA 115-gr. FMJ, PMC 115-gr. Starfire, Federal 115-gr. JHP, Corbon 115-gr. DPX +P, Fiocchi 124-gr. Extrema using the Hornady XTP bullet, and Federal 124-gr. Nyclad hollow point.


    [​IMG]
    I fired this group using a two-hand hold with my wrists atop two sandbags. I was sitting at a shooting bench and there was no effort at speed. Some will say, "What does that have to do with how well you shoot a pistol?" My answer is that my reason for doing it is to try and get an idea of the mechanical accuracy capability of the handgun I'm shooting. I believe that the Star Model B is plenty capable of exceeding whatever I might ask of it with respect to accuracy...especially when shooting without a rest.

    There were no malfunctions of any kind and the slide never failed to lock rearward after the last shot was fired.

    [​IMG]
    I've been shooting this custom Star Model B around 20 years now with no complaints. This one has had Millett adjustable revolver sights installed along with a serrated front ramp sight. The front grip strap has been checkered and the slide and frame reblued. The magazine disconnect is gone but neither trigger work nor accurizing has been done.

    For those interested in more on the Star Model B, here's link to a more detailed report:

    http://www.hipowersandhandguns.com/shooting_a_customized_9mm_star_model B.htm

    Best and good shooting.
     
  2. Fastcast

    Fastcast Member

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    A buddy of mine has the exact same pistol without the custom touches. He picked it up for a super price, from a senior lady, whose husband had passed away. She said the pistol had been setting 20 years and she hadn't touched it.

    He said the mags were fully loaded when he received it from her. The pistol shoots beautifully with low recoil and accurate but is only 100% reliable with 6 rounds in a mag. If he tops the mags off with 8 rounds it will malfunction every time.

    It came with 2 mags and he picked up another used mag at a gun show that does the same thing. He thinks the mags springs are worn but he can't seem to find any mag springs for it. New mags are also virtually impossible to find.

    Any ideas would be appreciated. I know he really likes the pistol a lot but would like it much better if it was reliable with 8 rounds in the mags.
     
  3. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello. You might contact www.gunsprings.com. It is possible that they can provide a new magazine spring.

    Best and good luck.
     
  4. Janos Dracwlya

    Janos Dracwlya Member

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    Funny this thread should be here as I was just about to see whether the collective had any suggestions on where to find parts. I took my Star Model B to the gunsmith a few weeks ago to have a new firing pin spring installed and he informed me that the barrel link was stretched (or the pin was bent), so I need a new one. I've checked with the company in Spain that got all of Star's parts and with Sarco and Numrich Gun Parts. None of them have barrel links. Any thoughts? The gun smith says he can make one without too much trouble (or expense for time), but I wanted to see if I could find replacements.
     
  5. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello. Sorry, no, I have no ideas. I fear that this situation will get worse as each year passes.

    Best.
     
  6. Olympus

    Olympus Member

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    Have you tried Numrich?
     
  7. jcwit

    jcwit Member

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    SARCO lists the magazines
     
  8. Janos Dracwlya

    Janos Dracwlya Member

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    Yes, I tried Numrich (almost always my first stop when I need parts for an old gun). No joy there; very limited stock of Model B parts.

    Fortunately, as I mentioned, my gunsmith says he can make one with not too much effort (or cost).
     
  9. xr1200

    xr1200 Member

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    Bought one new in the 80's , great gun , but sold it a few years later.

    Currently I wouldn't buy any gun that is no longer made or out of production or that the manufacturer is out of bussiness.

    Except a 1911, hi power, luger or a mass produced military side arm.

    You have to remember that a lot of the gun companies that went out of bussiness in the late 80's , 90's , 2000's were run on what is called the JIT PRINCIPLE ( JUST IN TIME - manufacturing , warehousing and shipping)- this means most gun companies keep a small inventories or limited amount of spare parts for their firearms, and when they go out of bussiness, companies like SARCO and GPC buy what ever is left for pennies on the dollar.

    So replacement parts and service are always something to think about before buying surplus or antique guns.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2010
  10. mongo4567

    mongo4567 Member

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    Very nice Star, I especially like the adjustable sites and nice finish.


    I had a friend with one of these bending the slide stop. He bought a new one and it bent too. Turns out his recoil springs were shot. I would guess that your barrel link issue may be related to a weak recoil spring.
     
  11. Janos Dracwlya

    Janos Dracwlya Member

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    I'll put up with the occasional annoyance; having to stick with such a limited selection of guns would bore me to the point where I might as well get out of owning guns completely.

    That's just my opinion, of course.

    That's possible. I replaced the spring a couple of years ago, but there's no telling how long - since it's an old gun - it had been weak. I only have maybe 500 rounds through the gun in the years I've owned it. Initially, it worked fine, but then it started having problems with FTE's; I took it to a shop where a guy who was a 1911 expert worked, and he suggested I replace the recoil spring, which I promptly did. It's worked fine - 100% reliable - since then, and the link hasn't given me any problems that I've noticed.
     
  12. 918v

    918v Member

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    Mr. Camp,

    You should not have to justify your decision to thest the mechanical accuracy of your firearm. Shooting an inaccurate firearm simply isn't fun.

    -918v
     
  13. larryh1108

    larryh1108 Member

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    With the different sizes on the 1911 barrel link, wouldn't one fit since it is a clone?
     
  14. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello, 918v. I agree completely.

    Best.
     
  15. Janos Dracwlya

    Janos Dracwlya Member

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    I was thinking the same thing and hoping that someone here might know that.
     
  16. Gordon

    Gordon Member

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    I have a Star AS since the middle 70s. I was ignorant that 9mm/.38 does NOT mean it will digest .38 super until the late 90s. I shot maybe 1 K of .38 super thru it and it was more accurate than any Colt .38 super I've fired! I put Wolfe +p springs in it and fitted a Federal Ordinance 9mm barrel and replaced the grips with ones similar to Mr. Camps. I like the gun and it is just a tiny bit smaller(thinner) than a 1911 or BHP. Earlier Stars (mine was made in 1966) seem very high quality
     
  17. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Stephen A. Camp

    That is one very beautiful Star you have there. Just the right amount of customization on what is one of the most overlooked 9mm. pistols of the modern era. Thank you for sharing it with us.
     
  18. Stephen A. Camp

    Stephen A. Camp Moderator In Memoriam

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    Hello and thanks very much. I am glad that the post was of interest.

    Best.
     
  19. chucksolo69

    chucksolo69 Member

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    For the Barrel link, try Bob's Gun Shop in Royal AR. They were had a firing pin in stock for my Star Model B that was made in 1943. They are the only ones that have it. I tried for over a year to find one. Numrich sent me 2 of the same/wrong part. I finally sent the broken firing pin to Numrich and they couldn't match it. Bob's matched it quickly.
     
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