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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I think the old Spanish "STAR" Brand Automatics are interesting for several reasons.

Most of them for quite a while, or from about 1920 through the 1970s or so, regardless of Cartridge ( whether in .380, 9mm P-'08, 9mm Bergmann-Bayard/9mm , or .45 ACP ) emulated the basic design or layout and amenities/features anyway, of the John Browning designed Colt Model "O".


They have always been thought of as having been well made, and, reliable, and, various of them in their day, were mainstays of many foreign Military and Police.

If you have a 'STAR" Automatic, please post some images of it, and, tell us a little about it?
 

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As I mentioned in the other thread, I have three of the Model BM 9mm autos, bought a few years ago when they were plentiful and cheap. I bought the first one out of a Shotgun News ad because I had read reviews of the gun and wanted a cheap truck and tractor gun. The one I got was well used and then some. Once I put a new recoil spring in it so it didn't beat itself to death, I found it to be reliable and accurate, and liked it so well that I eventually acquired two more before the supply of them dried up.

IMHO. the BM is one of the most "carryable" handguns to be found. I have replaced the beat-up black plastic grips with smooth wood from gungripguys.com and renewed the bluing on two of them. Most any holster that will fit a Commander will fit a BM, and many other holsters can be adapted to fit. For IWB carry, I have found no other handgun that is as comfortable to carry and yet provides a reasonable level of power. I have also not found a bullet type that mine will not feed with perfect reliability.

The most significant drawback to the BM is simply the fact that it has been out of production for so long and the maker is no longer in business. Parts are very hard to find. Fortunately the one part that always seems to need replacing, the recoil spring, is available from Wolff. Supposedly you cannot dry fire any of the Star autos because of the way the firing pin is designed and retained, as it will quickly cause the pin to break and they are very hard to find.

I think it would be great if some current manufacturer (like Taurus) would acquire the manufacturing rights to the BM design and make it in stainless steel, with some slight redesign of the firing pin retaining system to resemble the Colt design using a retaining plate. Talk about the "perfect packing pistol"!

Claymore
 

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We have four Star pistols: 1) a Model F Sport .22 L.R.that was my Dad's; 2) a Model F .22 L.R.; 3) an FR also .22; and 4) a Model A Modelo Super 9mm Largo / .38.
I've posted pictures of the Star Super and the 2 Model Fs on different threads, but I'll track the photos down and repost for our viewing pleasure.
I have an affinity for the Star pistols and my Dad's old Star is one of my favorite guns, and I think that this pistol is the reason I like the Star auto pistols so much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Gun Fictional character Trigger Airsoft gun

Image from a couple years ago - my Model of 1920 ( one year only production ) Star Military Model, in 9mm Bergmann-Bayard, aka 9mm Largo.

First time out with it, first shots with it, ten Yards, one handed, semi rapid fire...it seemed to do alrighty-enough I'd say..!

I was likely a little 'off', as the shots seemed to favor a little low and to the left. Or, maybe the Sights were a little off, don't know.


Another image from that day -

Firearm Gun Trigger Starting pistol Gun accessory

( One of the Stocks was cracked in the middle, through both Screw Holes, hence the Rubber Band. )

I think this was 'STAR's first emulation of John Browning's Colt Model "O" as it were...but they elected to have a kind of wacky 'Safety' built in to the Rear top of the Slide, which one has to rotate to have the Firing Pin in a firing position. Rotate 'up' and the firing Pin is pointing up and down, rotate to horizontal, and, the Firing Pin is in the 'Fire' position.

I can see why they abandonded this after however much of the first year of production, and, I wonder why they ever bothered doing it in the first place...it is 'way lame' as the saying goes.

1921 they deleted that goofy feature and instead, had a Grip Safety, just as the Colt-Browning Model "O" does. They did that for one year, then deleted that.

The Model 1922, has no grip Safety, but is otherwise clean and lean and elegant and has nothing not to like. All the early 'STAR" model "A" and "B" stayed that way then for a while. All the early ones had the 'straight' Grip, ala Colt m1911 proper.

But after a while they added a 'swell' to the location of the Main Spring Housing, like the Colt m1911A1 has, even though the Star did not have a removable Main Spring Housing like the Colt does.

Most all of these early 'STAR" full size Automatics were in the 9mm Bergmann-Bayard aka 9mm Largo Cartridge, soon named the Model A, although some, supposedly, were made and offered in 9mm P-'08/Luger...eventually being named the Model B.

Magazines for either interchange perfectly, but, the 9mm Luger Cartridges in a Model B, do not tend to feed properly when from a 9mm B-B/Largo Magazine from a Model A, so...no doubt many confusions have gone on with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Somewhat early "STAR" Model 'BM' ( 9mm P-'08/Luger ).


Gun Revolver Starting pistol Airsoft gun Trigger



&



Firearm Gun Trigger Airsoft Starting pistol

Images also from a couple years ago...first time out, first shots, ten Yards, one handed, semi rapdid fire...what a sweetie!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Those are some Gems kenhwind!

Nice to see..!

I do not have a .22 Calibre 'STAR" though I do like them a lot...maybe one of these days I will find one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
In case I have not said so enough times in the past..

I do think COLT ought to have offered a scaled down version of the Model "O" - maybe like say 4/5ths scale - in 9mm Luger, and, that they ought to have done so by 1914 or 1916 or so.

Wouldn't that be cool, to have one? That wonderful early Blue and everything!

Lots of European War personnel, on both sides, and their Governments, would have likely gone for it keenly. ( Or, at least till we got into the fracas, and then been obliged to cease sales to the offending party and their allies of course...and, I have never once felt we ought TO have, got into that fracas, but...)

If I am remembering it correctly, they ( Colt ) DID commission, or at least receive a Prototype from John Browning, which was just that thing, right before WWII, and, Colt declined to manufacture it.

Of course, the 'Commander' eventually realized the ambition, sort of, if doing so without being on a reduced Scale, decades after it ought to have been introduced. And the Commander instantly found praise, favor and acclaim...even as a 4/5ths scale version of the Model 'O' would have, in 1914 and on from there, if it had existed.
 

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I like Star pistols, but one has to be careful as there are a lot of "parts guns" or poorly assembled examples out there that were imported around the time of Star's demise and assembled or reworked in the US. They typically have problems with the safety, if you have to thumb the hammer back a little in order to apply the safety, you should probably avoid that particular gun. But a good example is a fine pistol. Here are a couple. The Model S in unique as it is recoil operated rather than blowback and is not as unpleasant to shoot as most small .380's. It takes down like a 1911, complete with barrel bushing, recoil spring plug and slide stop, and the barrel has a swinging link. The large frame Stars built around the 9mm/9mm Largo/.38 Super have a great feel to them being much thinner in cross section than a 1911, and the takedown lever of the Super models is a good feature.
Antaris' book Star Firearms is the bible. An expensive book, but huge, beautifully illustrated and full of serial number tables and other information not found anywhere else.

 

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Don't mean to sidetrack the thread, but how did the Llama pistols compare/fit in with the Star pistols? In the mid-'Fifties, while I was in the Army, a friend of mine bought a Llama Colt Government Model look-alike in .38 Super. I did a little shooting with his pistol, and with the exception of a separated case head the first day he had it, it was a servicable and fairly accurate pistol.

I sort of thought that Star and Llama were somehow connected, as both were imported and shown in Stoeger's catalog of the day.

Don't mean to be trepassing on the wrong thread.

Bob Wright
 

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I have accumulated 3¼ Stars:confused:. Unfortunately, I have never taken a picture of any of them.

  1. Firestar in 9x19. This is a very compact, fairly recent gun that I have used as a CCW. Compact, but a bit heavy, though.
  2. FR Sport .22LR. This looks a lot like Ken's except for a different barrel profile and a slide hold-open device. This is an extremely accurate pistol, just below High Standard, Colt, and S&W, and a good choice for Steel Challenge.
  3. Modelo B Super in 9x19. I like this, but I'd rather have one in 9mm Largo. I have several other guns in this caliber that I reload for with Starline brass.
  4. My "¼" Star. A few years ago, Collects gave me the slide for a Modelo A Ejercito del Aire (Air Force) pistol in 9mm Largo. I have since been searching for a suitable parts kit to rebuild with. I almost gave up and made a lamp out of it, but I am determined to "recover' this pistol, so the search continues. Thanks again, Collects, I will let you know when it's done.

Leonardo Antaris's books on Stars and Astras are very good reference books - they are sort of the "bibles" for those makes. They're still in print, and you can get both for about $140 directly from Dr. Antaris. Gene Gangarosa, Jr. has a less extensive book, Spanish Handguns, the History of Spanish Pistols & Revolvers, that covers Star, Astra, Llama, and lesser known guns, and costs about $21, and is also a worthwhile, inexpensive reference.

Buck
 

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Here is a Model F with the short barrel. There were 3 versions: The Model F; F Sport; and F target. The F Sport and F Target are very much alike except the Target has a longer 7 inch barrel, whereas the Sport is 6 inch.
 

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I had a couple of Firestars awhile back. Traded them off. A blue 9mm and a 45 nickel. Kinda wish I had held on to the 9 mm.
Firearm Gun Trigger Gun accessory Gun barrel Firearm Gun Trigger Gun accessory Gun barrel
 

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Don't mean to sidetrack the thread, but how did the Llama pistols compare/fit in with the Star pistols?
they did not compare, star had much better Quality control, its to bad they could never fully clean up their act because llama had good looking pistols and revolvers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Don't mean to sidetrack the thread, but how did the Llama pistols compare/fit in with the Star pistols? In the mid-'Fifties, while I was in the Army, a friend of mine bought a Llama Colt Government Model look-alike in .38 Super. I did a little shooting with his pistol, and with the exception of a separated case head the first day he had it, it was a servicable and fairly accurate pistol.

I sort of thought that Star and Llama were somehow connected, as both were imported and shown in Stoeger's catalog of the day.

Don't mean to be trepassing on the wrong thread.

Bob Wright


Hi Bob,


The impression I had formed via incidental reading and people's testimonies and digressions...is that 'STAR' was felt to have been the better of the two, better fit and finish, better quality all round, better metallurgy.

Not that many people have not had 'Llamas' which were apparently very good also, durable, trouble free and so on.

But, from what I gather, it is a little like say, the Italian 'Armi San Marco' thing with reproduction Percussion Revolvers - some appear to be pretty good, even very good...some are reliable, well made, good materials, good fit and finish, and, others, maybe most others even, not quite so 'good'...or likely to give disappointment.
 

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Here is a Model FR. With this version Star modified the grip frame to be more like the larger pistols, and added a slide lock. Its a bit heavier and beefier than the Model F, probably to absorb the high velocity ammo and to cut finishing time, although the round berrel was changed to the squarish one in later production of the Model F.
 

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This is a faux-Star DK. Forty years ago it was going to be made by Star for sale under the Colt name. When that didnt happen FIE subsequently got into the act. I'm guessing that Colt was nevertheless influnced, because this pistol readily accepts the magazine for the Colt .380 Government model. Terrible sights, but delightfully petite. I find its all steel, all milled construction, high polish finish, and checkered walnut handles aesthetically more pleasing than my .380 Govt model.
 

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