Star BM in Condition One--procedure to safely eject round?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Mizz Maddie, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. Mizz Maddie

    Mizz Maddie Member

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    I have a Star BM in Condition One (round in chamber, hammer cocked, safety on). I want to safely eject the round in the chamber. During the procedure I know to keep the muzzle pointed in the safest available direction. First I'll drop the mag. After that my questions are:
    1. Do I need to disengage the safety before I rack the slide or is it possible to leave the safety engaged?
    2. Should I place my dominant (grip hand) thumb on the hammer and hold it in place while I rack the slide (in slingshot fashion) with my weak hand? I read the latter advice on a 1911 forum.

    I've performed these actions with snap caps plenty of times, and I've shot maybe 100 rounds through the gun at the range, but this is the first time I've had the gun loaded and in Condition One while at home and suddenly I'm feeling very nervous about how to safely unload the firearm. Thank you in advance for your advice!
     
  2. JRadice45

    JRadice45 Member

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    It looks as if there is a notch cut out in the slide for the safety to lock the slide in place, just like a 1911 so that means you cannot have the safety engaged while you manipulate the slide.

    All while pointed in a safe direction with a normal dominant hand firing grip on the frame and trigger finger resting along the slide (away from the trigger / trigger guard) -
    1.Withdraw the magazine.
    2. Disengage the thumb safety.
    3. Rack slide and observe the live cartridge eject from the firearm.
    4. Lock the slide to the rear, Visually and physically inspect the chamber (you can use your pinky) to verify the chamber is clear.

    Done.
     
  3. 40-82

    40-82 Member

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    You're completely correct to feel a little nervous about doing this the first time. To unload the cartridge in the chamber you're going to have to disengage the slide safety, which means the pistol is in ready to fire condition.

    Grip the pistol with the dominant hand, making certain no fingers are inside the trigger guard, and rack the slide back with the weak hand, which will eject the cartridge.

    The Star is a little touchier than most 1911's because there isn't a grip safety.

    My personal preference is to avoid loading and unloading a semiautomatic inside a building whenever possible because either process calls for putting the pistol in ready to fire condition. If it's possible, step outside to do this, and point the muzzle at a safe backdrop like soft dirt where if you did have an accidental discharge the only consequences would be embarrassment.

    But if you can't do it outside, because you live in an apartment, or don't have a place in a backyard away from prying eyes, you can manage this safely inside with a little care. I'd personally avoid trying to hold the hammer with the thumb of my dominant hand. It's awkward, and this is one time when you can't afford to be awkward.
     
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  4. ATLDave

    ATLDave Member

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    USPSA and IPSC and IDPA shooters unload guns (including lots of 1911-ish things with light triggers and no ability to apply the safety while the slide can move) at the end of every course of fire. If they discharge the gun, they are disqualified.

    It's a thing that can be done very reliably and safely with a little practice. However, accidents do happen, and it is imperative to maintain control of the muzzle and have it never point in an unsafe direction during the process.

    Do not try to baby the slide. As long as you keep your finger off the trigger, the most risky part about ejecting a live round is the possibility of getting it hung up during ejection and then ignited outside the chamber by some part of the the closing slide. Yank the slide to the rear just as forcefully as if you were clearing a jam.
     
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  5. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Good questions and answered in post number 2 except for where he says that the trigger finger should be placed on the slide. It should be on the frame and away from the trigger and the slide which you will be racking.

    It's a good idea to practice this at home with dummy ammo and at the range with live ammo and the gun pointed safely down range.

    The Star BM is not a 1911 but aspects of it are similar. This is one.

    With all hammer fired guns cocking the hammer makes it easier to rack the slide (provided they have external hammers of course). It's useful to practice this with an empty gun pointed in a safe direction.

    I also encourage you to go here http://www.corneredcat.com/contents/ for some advice and knowledge on these matters.

    http://www.corneredcat.com/contents/
     
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  6. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but, leaving a thumb on the hammer when pulling the slide will result in at best a painful pinch or at worst a sliced open from the slide running over it.....
     
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  7. H&R Glock

    H&R Glock Member

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    what bothers me is that you did not experiment with Snap Caps before asking the question. Nobody ever got shot with Snap Caps. Racking the slide is obviously impossible with the safety locked up.
    One should become educated about their firearm before loading it.
    Sorry to be so firm with you, but it may save a life.
     
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  8. jar

    jar Member

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    IIRC the slide locks open on an empty magazine with the BM. If that is the case I usually insert an empty magazine before racking the slide. this acts as an additional safety against mess ups or hangups.

    BUT, check twice to make sure the magazine really is empty.
     
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  9. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    Some one pointed out earlier that you can't rack the slide with your thumb on the hammer. It's not needed to try it either. Just cock the hammer, resume the standard grip then rack the slide.
     
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  10. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Rather than point the thing traight away from you, it can be mechanically simpler to hold it parallel to your front (muzzle in a generally safe direction). Then you can cup the right hand around the grip in one "U" and the left hand in another "U" over the slide. Then you can use one had "against" the other. This leaves the right thumb handy to lock the slide open.

    Some Stars have a magazine safety, which locks the trigger (I would not test this with a loaded weapon).

    As noted above, investing in some snap caps (Tipton, A-Zoom, Traditions, et al, widely available online) is probably a good idea. Getting into the habit of checking what is in the mag, and chamber checking, is a good one to develop.
     
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  11. Mizz Maddie

    Mizz Maddie Member

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    Actually, I did practice with snap caps, many times (which I stated in my original post).
     
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  12. Mizz Maddie

    Mizz Maddie Member

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    Thank you all for your helpful and patient responses. I was able to unload the gun without incident and I feel I've learned a lesson about firearm safety and awareness. Cheers to all of you.
     
  13. vzenmn

    vzenmn Member

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    Keep in mind the Star bm has a magazine disconnect safety. Unless you removed it, the gun should not fire with the mag removed.

    But still treat that trigger like a like it is made of lava until you are sure the chamber is clear.
     
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  14. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Having asked some Reasonably Knowledgeable Individuals, it seems my inability to remember which Stars have magazine disconnects was--somewhat--justified. This, as apparently it's middling common to find that feature disabled (to lesser and greater degrees).
    My intent was to err on the side of caution.
     
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  15. H&R Glock

    H&R Glock Member

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    For "this" lover of the Star BM-- all my Stars have the magazine safeties removed. I want my gun to fire when I pull the trigger.
    MVC-003L.JPG
    None of my Star BM's has ever jammed, but clearing a jam from a S&W auto, with mag safety, can be troublesome. That's why I removed the Smith mag safety too.
    BTW grips on the center gun are courtesy of the Gunny. Thanks Gunny/
     
  16. Monac

    Monac Member

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    How does the mag safety make clearing a jam more difficult? I don't own any S&W automatics, unless you count a .35 from about 1915. I do have some pistols with magazine safeties (Beretta 71, Sauer 38H, Bronwing HP), but they are all hammer fired. Are you talking about striker fired S&Ws?
     
  17. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    It's always best to err on the side of caution. I can't say for sure if all Star pistols have the magazine disconnect but it's a safe bet to say that they do. And it is also a safe bet that a lot of people remove the magazine disconnect. I have left it in my old Star Model A Super but have removed it from both of my Firestar M40 and M43.
     
  18. MikeJackmin

    MikeJackmin Member

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    My preferred method of racking the slide is to begin by extending the trigger finger straight along the frame, palm down, muzzle pointed down and forward. Then grip the slide with the other hand, placing the thumb alongside the extended trigger finger.

    At this point, a push-pull motion is easily applied, and is aided by applying pressure with the extended trigger finger against the frame.

    I like this method for three reasons - it naturally puts the muzzle forward and down, never sideways; it reinforces the habit of extending the trigger finger; and it provides a lot of comfortable mechanical advantage, the push-pull motion really makes a difference.

    If you live in an apartment, you can copy the military habit of pointing the muzzle at a bucket of sand while clearing. A small bucket would be plenty for a typical handgun, maybe 4" deep or so.

    I'll add that I store my pistols with the slides locked back, unless they are intentionally stored loaded. Opening the action is the first thing we'd do when we pick them up anyway, and it eliminates the temptation to drop to hammer before storage, eliminating an entire class of hazard.
     
  19. H&R Glock

    H&R Glock Member

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