Star Guns

by
posted on November 20, 2012
wiley-clapp.jpg (2)

Not too many years ago, the Spanish arms industry was alive and producing guns in quantity, particularly with handguns. Like any product-driven industry, the Spanish companies made pistols and revolvers designed to sell at many price points. The best of these guns, particularly the automatic pistols, were fully competitive with other European designs. Then, almost overnight, and for reasons unknown to me, everything stopped. There were different companies producing firearms in the post-war era, but most of the well-made pistols came from one of three companies—Llama, Astra and Star. Look through any decent handgun encyclopedia and you will find many of the Spanish guns that bear a strong resemblance to the Colt 1911 pistol. This is particularly true of the 9 mm Luger Star Model B.

Model B pistols are an advanced form of the Modelo Militar that dates to the World War I era that were made until the 1970s. The pure Model B is a full-size service auto that is so like the 1911A1 as to confuse all but the most astute observer, as it is an all-steel pistol, beautifully machined from forgings. Hollywood prop men had an obvious need for 1911 pistols modified to shoot blanks and real 1911 45s were expensive and hard to functionally modify. However, the Model B looked enough like the 1911, to get by and it was easy to modify to shoot 9 mm blanks. A key to telling the difference between the two is the Star’s visible external extractor as opposed to the unseen internal one on the genuine Colt product. Try to spot them in the next war flick you watch.

Of course, Model B Stars were also used by armies and police agencies all over the world. In the 1970s, several new variations of the gun came along, including an abbreviated 9 mm for concealed carry. This gun came in both all-steel and alloy-frame versions and enjoyed a steady popularity in the United States. The most popular Star ever was the PD, which was a mid-size .45 ACP with an allow receiver. I carried one as a off-duty gun for a time and found it to be a handy and powerful gun. In the years just before all production ceased, Star made a series of modern DA/SA pistols that worked well. This included a massive double-wide service auto called the MegaStar, one of the few portable autos that managed the 10 mm cartridge well. At its best, the Spanish pistol makers in general and Star in particular made some fine firearms.

Latest

Springfield Armory Sa35 Rifleman Review 4
Springfield Armory Sa35 Rifleman Review 4

Rifleman Review: Springfield Armory SA-35

In 2021, Springfield Armory brought out its SA-35, a rendition of the classic Browning Hi Power, one of the iconic handguns of the 20th century.

New For 2024: Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport III

In a crowded AR-15 market, consumers are looking for the best bang for their buck. Most look no further than the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport, and the company has an updated generation out for 2024.

Handloads: A 10 mm Auto Loaded For Bear

The fear of a bear attack has likely sold more 10 mm Auto handguns than all firearm advertising combined. The 10 mm does deliver some impressive ballistics for a cartridge chambered in semi-automatic handguns.

The Rifleman Report: Creative Minds At Work

As all of us who experience this “mortal coil” eventually learn, the days seem more fleeting with each passing year. For those of us who make a living observing and reporting about the firearm industry, they eventually result in a somewhat disorganized pile of memories about companies, products and the people who create them.

Smith & Wesson Issues Safety Alert For Response Carbines

Smith & Wesson has identified a condition in which an out-of-battery discharge can occur when certain Response bolts fail to fully close before the trigger is pulled.

Review: GForce LVR410

With a long and storied history in the United States, lever-action carbines continue to be favorites among modern American shooting sports enthusiasts. This evaluation takes a closer look at the 24"-barreled LVR410, which is being imported by GForce Arms, Inc. of Reno, Nev.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.