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Old 04-12-2018, 11:26 PM
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I picked this up at a local gun shop a couple weeks ago for $249. It has some honest holster wear but doesn't appear to have been fired much. The bore is in perfect condition and the locking lugs and recesses show no indications of rounding or wear. The pistol was nicely polished and the blued finish still wasn't bad for it's age. The color case hardened hammer and extractor appealed to my S&W revolver tastes.

Historically speaking, I found that a total of 217,682 Star BM pistols were made between 1972 and 1992. BM serial numbers ranged from 1,226,501 to somewhere around 1,942,445. The pistols were made without mechanical variation throughout that period, but there may be a lot of different cosmetic variations depending on agency issue and commercial sales.

In general, earlier pieces were more highly polished and later ones were more of a matte finish. After serial number 1,560,901 in 1981, all BM pistols were fitted with a ramped and serrated front sight. At approximately this same serial number a few other shortcuts were used to expedite production – a shorter rollmark/slide legend, coarser polish limited to side of the slide and frame, and all the small parts were given a bead blast matte finish. The slide cocking serrations are also reduced in number on these later pistols.

The pistol has a total of three serial numbers on it. The original seven serial number on the left side of the frame in 1,500,000 rang between the trigger and the grip panel. There is a second five digit number on the right side of the frame and slide, which I suspect was a property number for a military or police agency, and it appears a crest of some sort has been milled off in front of the number. There is third number farther forward on the right side of the frame put there by CAI after "SER:" Apparently because they could not decide which number was the serial number, they figured a third number and the "SER:" prefix would clarify the situation. Idiots. I don't have a high opinion of CAI. I'll buy their imports, but I won't touch anything they've built from a parts kit on a US receiver.

There's also a "79" on the right side of the trigger guard, which I suspect was used to indicate the year it was made or acquired, as that is consistent with the date of manufacture based on the (original) serial number.






I took it out and put 50 rounds of Hornady 124 gr XTPs through it and noted an average velocity of 1,098 fps from the 3.77" barrel. I put another 50 rounds through it with a 124 gr plated round nose and 124 gr truncate cone cast hand loads. All of them shot quite well.

Functioning was almost perfect with one of the cast hand loads suffering a stove pipe ejection. I noted however that the ejection pattern was a bit too vertical and noted the recoil spring felt weaker than it should, which is one of the potential causes of stove pipes in a 1911 style pistol.

I ordered a new recoil spring from Wolffe and when it arrived, I noted it was in fact much longer and stiffer than the original. I suspect the spring it came with had been in it since it was made in 1979 and had taken a set after being in compression for nearly 40 years.

The recoil spring assembly is interesting. The front section rests in the barrel bushing and keeps it in position, while the rear section has a 1911 like base that rests on the barrel in front of the pivot pin. But it's also a captive design with the full length guide rod screwing into the base. The spring can thus be easily replaced by unscrewing the guide rod from the base while you keep the spring compressed.

The Star BM uses a barrel link like a 1911, but field stripping is a mix of 1911 and Hi Power. The slide locks back like as on an early Hi Power and the slide release lever comes out at that locked back position, unlike the 1911. However the barrel comes out through the front once the barrel bushing is removed.

I also ordered 2 surplus magazines for it for $24 each listed in very good condition. They arrived in what I'd call closer to excellent condition. Interestingly the magazine followers were flatter on these than the one in my pistol and I'm not sure when Star changed the design. Both worked equally well with all the point types I tried in the pistol.

With the new spring installed, and with three magazines in hand, I took it back to the range and put another 50 rounds of 124 gr XTPs through it as well as another 100 rounds of 124 gr plated round nose hand loads and 50 more of the 124 gr truncate cone cast hand loads. This time, functioning was letter perfect with all three loads.

I tried another slightly lower 1,000 fps 124 grain cast load and finally had it fail to lock open on the last round a couple times, which was nice since it indicates it is probably properly spring for the heavier 1,100 fps loads.

Accuracy wise it was shooting 8 and 9 shot groups that averaged 1 1/4" with the XTPs and 1 1/2" with the plated and cast loads. Now, to be fair to the pistol these are groups shot two hand, standing and it would no doubt do better off a rest - but I don't know anyone who ever shoots a semi-auto pistol that way.

This works out to about 3" at 25 yards with the XTPs and about 3 3/4" with the plated and cast loads at 25 yards. It probably isn't going to win any bullseye matched, but that's more than acceptable combat accuracy and on par with the service grade 1911s and Hi Powers I have owned over the years. The frame to slide fit is fine and I suspect if someone made a snugger match grade barrel bushing for it, it would shoot tighter groups.



The pistol is all steel and weighs 38.25 oz fully loaded (8+1), so it's not a lightweight to carry but that weight makes it very comfortable and controllable to shoot.

The trigger on it feels very good. Unlike a 1911, it pivots from the top, but after some slight initial take up the pull is very short, very crisp and breaks at 6 pounds with no creep. I tested it several times as it doesn't feel that heavy and you'd swear the scale was wrong. The trigger has a very short 1911 like resent and it is capable of producing excellent double taps and controlled pairs. It's a fun pistol to shoot.

There is no grip safety on the pistol despite the 1911 lines, but the manual safety is very positive, and doesn't just block the sear, but also lifts the hammer off the sear. I'd have no qualms carrying it in Condition 1, given that the manual safety is much more positive than the average Browning Hi Power.

The sights on the pistol are typical mid 1970s semi auto pistol sights - large enough to be easy to acquire and use for combat type shooting, but not quite as large as current practice today. They are comparable to what you'd find on a 1911 or Browning Hi Power from the same era.

The target above was shot using a 6 o'clock hold, and consequently it is shooting 2" high at 10 yards, and 5" high at 25 yards. At 50 yards it is 8" high.

I crunched the numbers and with the 124 gr XTP at 1,100 fps, it would be a maximum of 10" high at 80 yards before coming back down to 9" at 100 yards and finally zeroing at 150 yards. The good news here is that you don't have to worry about covering the target with the front blade, and at practical self defense ranges it won't matter. In fact, if you hold center of mass on a torso sized target, hitting 2"-5" higher is better anyway.

There have been some reports of cracked slides in the corner of the slide stop cut. The three I have seen personally all had a hole drilled here to provide a radius to prevent a crack from forming. With that preventative measure, I think it's a non issue.

There are some things I don't like about it however. The grip is very familiar to anyone with 1911 experience, but at the same time feels different as the front and back straps are slightly rounder, with almost no flat between the curve and the start of the grip panel. As a result, the pistol doesn't index in the hand quite as well as a 1911. The factory grips are checkered plastic, and I get the impression they were comparatively smooth when new. Mine are even smoother due to carry wear, which aggravates the indexing issue. I've ordered a set of fully checkered walnut grips for it, which should help alleviate the problem.

On the plus side the rounded grip and in particular the rounded heel on the butt make if much more comfortable to carry IWB than a 1911. Kimber charges big bucks for a rounded butt on their 1911 that is standard on the Star BM.

----

The bottom line is that it is a well made, very reliable and acceptably accurate pistol that is very enjoyable to shoot. It's also well suited to being safely carried with none of the oddities you find on some other low cost surplus pistols. And it's chambered in 9mm Para.

That is saying a lot for a $250 pistol.

Last edited by BB57; 04-12-2018 at 11:29 PM.
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:47 PM
HOUSTON RICK HOUSTON RICK is offline
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All in all, not a bad little shooter for $200. Only problem is that magazines are difficult to find at a good price.
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Old 04-12-2018, 11:59 PM
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Nice. Most of the ones I've seen around here are real beaters.

I have 3 Stars, 2 Firestar M43, blued and Starvel, and a Firestar Plus, I got them in the 90's when they were still in business, and importing. They're in the safe now, parts are hard to find if I break something.

I'd like to find a descent BM.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:14 AM
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About 20 years ago I noticed the Star BM pistols being imported at very nice prices ("good" for about $209, "exc" about $239 or so). Had some good experiences with Star pistols in the past, thought these would make pretty good "car" or "truck" guns, so I ordered 3 of them with the idea of having one to keep locked up in each vehicle as an emergency piece.

All 3 were very good shooters, very reliable, good accuracy. Thought I had made a pretty good investment. Then one son needed a carry pistol, but couldn't afford to buy one, so I gave him a BM. Then other son thought he should have one, too. Then oldest grandson had an urgent need, and #3 went home with him.

I really liked those pistols. Wish I still had one. Maybe, if I'm real nice, one of the kids will let me play with one.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:19 AM
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Mine doesn’t cycle with wolf 115gr round nose 9mm ammo. But it cycles with 124gr ammo. It likes the 9mm parabellium Spanish ammo too.
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:22 AM
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Good example. I read on a Spanish pistol board that there recently was about 45,000 of these imported, so now would be a good time to score one (I did). This has opened up the supply some on parts and mags, I think AIM is selling spares for $19. Mine came with 2, and it's part of a stable so I'm ok with that for now.

Just recently took mine to the range, and thought I'd share (it's a shame I don't have a chrony).

I took several brands of ammo; Magtech, Sellier & Bellot, and Yavex. For those who don't know, Yavex is a Turkish brand and perhaps the hottest/biggest flash-bang ammo out there. I generally shoot it from my CZ and Sig, but this time I decided to shoot it from the Star.

S&B and Magtech, no problem and nothing noticeable. Gun is heavy so it comes back on target nicely.
Shot a mag of Yavex- functions good, but BOOM! with 2+ ft fireballs. It was like a camera flash, and I don't mean a cheap cellphone flash either, I'm talking like a real strobe. Definitely more muzzle flip too.

Had people glance over at that

Gun seems solid, but I think I'll stick to the S&B for now in that. Will leave the Yavex for the bigger guns (have a Star 30MI that also likes this stuff).
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Old 04-13-2018, 12:39 AM
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Gun show prices seem to be running around $250, mainly in original box. I am tempted but not enough to buy one. I said the same thing about Maks about 15-20 years ago and wish now I had bought one or two for under $100.
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Old 04-13-2018, 01:41 AM
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I bought one about a year ago at my LGS before the current crop. I've only run maybe 200 rounds thru it, and have been very impressed. My one complaint is it doesn't consistently feed Federal 9BP with the stock magazine. The recent manufacture aftermarket mags seem to feed it consistently, but I haven't tested them thoroughly because around the time I got it I rediscovered revolvers and have carried one ever since. The BM is in one of my safes, but I should dig it out and shoot it a bit.

All that said, if you want a single stack 9mm CCW and like the 1911 manual of arms, the BM is an absolute steal. For that matter, if you currently carry plastic guns and just want to experiment with a all steel 1911ish gun on the cheap, IMO the BM will fill that gap nicely for ~$200.
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Old 04-13-2018, 09:28 AM
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Nice write up on a great pistol.

There was one design change on the Model BM towards the end of of production. That was to change the 'positive ignition' firing pin to the 'inertia firing pin' type.

Most all the STAR semiauto pistols had the positive ignition style up to that point where with the hammer down, the firing pin tip protrudes from the breech face. That made it unsafe to carry w/a loaded round in the chamber and the hammer down. A dropped pistol or a hit to the hammer would/could fire the gun.
The inertia style firing pin is simply a 1911 style where the pin is shorter than the breech and rebounds under spring tension after hitting the primer. A hammer down on the inertia style will not protrude from the breech face making it safe to carry as w/a round in the chamber.
Some still dispute it is safe to do so,,the reason Colt installed the Series 80 firing pin block in their 1911A1's.
But that's the story on that anyway.
Easy to check for. Pull the slide back and lock it. Push the back end tip of the firing pin iin till it's flush with the slide abutment and hold it there. Then see it the tip is poking out from the breech face.
If it is,,it's the Positive Ignition Style
If not,,it's the Inertia Style firing pin.

Th captured recoil spring and guide was a new feature from STAR and introduced on the Model BM.

That little slot in the frame that slices downward from the rail and into the slidestop cutout is specificly there to avoid a stress point.

The extra CAI Ser# on the gun is part of the Import Marking regs.
The Fed regs read that the Imported cannot use the manufacturers applied ser# if that number is duplicated on ANY other firearm that that importer brings in/sells.
With the thousands of firearms they import, and possiblilty of one of the Ser#'s being duplicated somewhere, sometime on something,,CAI and some others have gone right to slapping an Importers Applied Ser# on the pieces.
They've showed up on several different CAI imports much to the disgust of customers as they look at a perfectly good mfg'rs stamped number on the same gun.

It's a CYA by the importers I suspect,not knowing if the Murphys LAw of chance will come back to bite them or not.
The Importers applied ser# becomes the legal ser# of the firearm as far as transactions in this country are concerned.
The Fed reg about altering, removing, obliterating a manufacturers applied ser#,,blah, blah,,,now includes '..or Importers applied serial number..' to the language.

It's most likely easier for places like CAI to inventory as well, They run the items through Dottie the dot matrix marking monster machine and they all get the import markings AND a new ser#. Very convenient for a computerized program to inventory, sort, ship and keep records of.

Those Spanish Police and Armed Forces inventory numbers have always caused problems in the past.
It was CAI that logged a large number of Model B and Model B Super pistols imported in the 90's and used the Spainish Armed Forces Inventory # as the ser# instead of the real ser# on the pistols.
Maybe that was an early lesson in all this.

Those are good prices on the spare magazines, Anything in the $25 range is good.
The last time these Model BM pistols came in, the extra magazines quickly dried up and prices went to $50 and above,,and that was 15yrs ago or so.

Proof date code (triad of 3 proofs) is probably under the left grip on these later made STARS.
One of the proof mark is the date code and will tell you when it was proofed.
Star Firearms: Dating your Star Pistol with Proofmarks
Ser# charts are avail for production as well as you have found.

If you want to remove the magazine safety feature,
Remove the grips,,** make sure each grip screw is accounted for as to which placement and grip hole position it was removed from. They go back in the same positions as they came out**.
The mag safety is implanted on the right side of the frame along the backstrap w/an intrgrel pin that goes thru to the left side of the frame.
Simply push the pin out from the left side. The mag safey spring will come out with it (all one piece).
They usually come out easily as the grips are the only thing that captures it in place.

Once removed,,the magazine safety feature is removed. You are removing a factory designed and installed safety feature,,be aware and take note of that. Make sure that is what you want to do.

The magazine will be a drop free feature. If the mags still do not drop freely, check the grip screws once installed and make sure they are not too long and extending inside the mag well riding on the mag body.

Can't hardly buy an Aimpoint for the price.

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Old 04-13-2018, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
..../

/....The extra CAI Ser# on the gun is part of the Import Marking regs.
The Fed regs read that the Imported cannot use the manufacturers applied ser# if that number is duplicated on ANY other firearm that that importer brings in/sells.
With the thousands of firearms they import, and possiblilty of one of the Ser#'s being duplicated somewhere, sometime on something,,CAI and some others have gone right to slapping an Importers Applied Ser# on the pieces.
They've showed up on several different CAI imports much to the disgust of customers as they look at a perfectly good mfg'rs stamped number on the same gun.

It's a CYA by the importers I suspect,not knowing if the Murphys LAw of chance will come back to bite them or not.
The Importers applied ser# becomes the legal ser# of the firearm as far as transactions in this country are concerned.
The Fed reg about altering, removing, obliterating a manufacturers applied ser#,,blah, blah,,,now includes '..or Importers applied serial number..' to the language.

It's most likely easier for places like CAI to inventory as well, They run the items through Dottie the dot matrix marking monster machine and they all get the import markings AND a new ser#. Very convenient for a computerized program to inventory, sort, ship and keep records of.

Those Spanish Police and Armed Forces inventory numbers have always caused problems in the past.
It was CAI that logged a large number of Model B and Model B Super pistols imported in the 90's and used the Spainish Armed Forces Inventory # as the ser# instead of the real ser# on the pistols.
Maybe that was an early lesson in all this. .../


/....If you want to remove the magazine safety feature,
Remove the grips,,** make sure each grip screw is accounted for as to which placement and grip hole position it was removed from. They go back in the same positions as they came out**.
The mag safety is implanted on the right side of the frame along the backstrap w/an intrgrel pin that goes thru to the left side of the frame.
Simply push the pin out from the left side. The mag safey spring will come out with it (all one piece).
They usually come out easily as the grips are the only thing that captures it in place.

Once removed,,the magazine safety feature is removed. You are removing a factory designed and installed safety feature,,be aware and take note of that. Make sure that is what you want to do.

The magazine will be a drop free feature. If the mags still do not drop freely, check the grip screws once installed and make sure they are not too long and extending inside the mag well riding on the mag body.
I neglected to mention the ease of magazine safety removal, or that like the high power with the magazine safety installed, the magazine won't drop free.

The Star BM is notable in terms of how easy the magazine safety is to remove and re-install.

----

The ATF's guidebook is actually sub regulatory guidance that was not open to public inspection and comment.

The intent of the law as to ensure that multiple firearms were not recorded with the same serial number. That's why throughout the document you see references to the manufacturer, type model, and serial number. With all of those recorded, you don't get firearms that cannot be distinguished from one another. Adding the importer's name and address just adds one more level of discrimination.

ATF over stepped itself and/or mis-stated the intent when it stated "the serial number cannot duplicate the serial number appearing on any other firearm the importer previously imported." CAI may well have imported a firearm with the serial number 1,508,855 in the past, but that previous firearm would not have been a Star Model BM 9mm pistol in 9mm Parabellum.

There is sometimes confusion with arms like the P.08 or P.38 where the German military used 4 digit serial numbers with an "a" suffix after the first 10,000 and the next letter in the alphabet used for each successive block.

That can cause some confusion when a P.08 manufactured by Mauser in 1942 has a low 4 digit serial number and a N suffix, making it one of the last Mauser P.08 Lugers produced. Mauser cycled through the alphabet three times just on it's P.08 production (not counting DWM, Erfert, etc).

But the differentiation occurs when you consider the manufacturer, the year of productio stamped on the pistol, and the serial number including the suffix letter. Put all that together and each P.08 Luger is uniquely identifiable.

Writing a requirement for, let alone even allowing, a second serial number just creates room for confusion and misses the larger intent of the statute.

For example, when I bought mine, the person filling out the paperwork was confused about which number to use, since there were three choices. I pointed out that the CAI number was probably the one it had been logged in under, but advised her to check for sure, as if it had been logged in under the original number and was then logged out with the CAI serial, the ATF would cite that as a violation. On the other hand, it the gun were logged in and out with the original serial number ATF would never know.

The problem is that if the future the gun was used in a crime and the CAI serial was used by the police officer requesting a trace, the gun would fly under the radar completely. The same would be true if the trace was done on the original serial and the gun had been logged in/out on the CAI number. The presence of a more prominent property mark on the gun is already a problem as an officer is far more likely to see that number on the slide and frame than the less prominent serial number on the other side of the frame just in front of the grip panel.

The underlying problem is that ATF attorneys get involved and simultaneously start thinking very narrowly while catastrophizing, and thus come up with a requirement that is not only useless but counter productive.

P.08 Lugers and P.38s are as complicated as it gets, but each of them is uniquely identifiable if you capture all the data that is intended to be used. A requirement to record the production year on the firearm, if present, along with the serial number and any prefix of suffix letters is sufficient. The only caveat that would be needed would be for parts guns where the serial number on the slide (and thus the date stamped on the slide) does not match the serial number on the frame (the part that counts as the receiver). In those cases, and only those cases, a separate importer applied serial number would be needed.

From the importer perspective then, CAI knows that it will never import two Star Model BM pistols with the same serial number on the frame, as Star is a company that did not use duplicate serial numbers on the same model or even the same family of firearms. The ATF knows that as well and would never be successful in an enforcement action for a practice that fully met the intent of the law, even if it could prove that CAI imported a Star BM 9mm pistol that had the exact same serial number as a CAI imported Mosin Nagant 91/33 7.62x54R rifle as the two are clearly identifiable as distinctly separate firearms.

But CAI has it's own attorneys who think narrowly and catastrophize.

----

To be fair there are some oddities out there. For example, There are some other arms that can fall in that ambiguous category. For example I have a friend with a P35 with serial number 27. No, it's not the 27th Browning Hi Power ever made, but it is the 27th Browning Hi Powered delivered under a specific French police contract, and they asked for them to be serial numbered in that manner and Browning obliged. In that case, that pistol, if imported now, would need a unique serial number applied, as the actual 27th Browning Hi Power produced by Browning might also be imported and/or Browning may have done the same thing on another contract leaving the possibility of 3 or 4 Hi Powers with serial number 27. That means that any Hi Power with a low serial number that is not consistent with it's other features would need a unique serial number applied, and that just means CAI would have to set aside low serial number arms and make a case by case determination, or just serial number all low number firearms it imports.

Last edited by BB57; 04-13-2018 at 10:57 AM.
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:25 PM
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I bought a Star BM a couple days ago and just shot it today. Using cheap FMJ 115gr it functioned perfectly. I was worried about hammer bite but it didn't happen. I have 2 mags and 1 will only hold 7 rounds, not 8. Fun gun to shoot and solid as a rock.
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Old 04-13-2018, 02:43 PM
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Over the years I have owned over a dozen Star semi-autos. F, SA, S, SS, BM, BKM, A, BS, PD. Other than typically needing new springs, I never had the slightest problem with them. All but a BM have been gifted to children and good friends, but I would not hesitate to purchase another reasonably priced one should our paths cross.
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Old 04-13-2018, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB57 View Post
The underlying problem is that ATF attorneys get involved and simultaneously start thinking very narrowly while catastrophizing, and thus come up with a requirement that is not only useless but counter productive.
........
But CAI has it's own attorneys who think narrowly and catastrophize.

.
This is where these regs come from.
I couldn't agree more...


??
Will the bunch of 1911A1's that are talked about to be sold through the CMP subject to Import markings?
I don't recall any markings on those in the past but I don't follow that very closely at all.

I'm thinking not,,
but it just occured to me that if they are, they might appear with a new ser# on them too.
Sequential numbered and from several different Mfg'rs. Good chance of dupl ser#'s from the several contracts involved over the span of production.
That would be sad.
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Old 04-13-2018, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Papaw View Post
I bought a Star BM a couple days ago and just shot it today. Using cheap FMJ 115gr it functioned perfectly. I was worried about hammer bite but it didn't happen. I have 2 mags and 1 will only hold 7 rounds, not 8. Fun gun to shoot and solid as a rock.
Compared to a Hi Power or a 1911 there is a LOT of clearance between the hammer and the tang.

Check to be sure the magazine spring is facing the right way. There is a small loop bent in one end of the spring. It should be in the magazine follower, and facing forward. If the spring is installed backward (loop side down) you will only be able to get 7 rounds in it. That's a common problem with a number of magazine designs where the spring is not symmetric.

Last edited by BB57; 04-13-2018 at 10:11 PM.
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Old 04-15-2018, 11:51 AM
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A bit of an update.

The new unfinished grips arrived and 3 coats of Tru-oil and 5 hours later they both looked great and improved the controllability of the pistol.

I also traded off a truly horrible S&W Bodyguard for store credit and said "why not" and used it to get another Star BM. I got the pick of the litter with this one and it cleaned up really well and since it was detail stripped for cleaning when the grip arrived it got the grips. I've ordered a second set of grips for the other Star BM as well.




This 'new' Star BM was made in 1977 with a serial number in the 1,435,9xx range. You'll note the purple area where the frame was spot annealed and then drilled to prevent any cracking. My other Star BM, made in 1979 with a serial number in the 1,508,5xx range seems to have had this done at the factory. Consequently it appears Star made a change somewhere between these two pistols.
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Old 04-15-2018, 07:08 PM
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The entire production of Model BM pistols had the small hole in the corner of the slide stop cut of the slide. It facilitated a squared corner be cut yet avoids a stress point.
The Model BKM (alloy frame version) has the same cut in their slides.

The discoloration is most probably just the hot salt bluing showing it's age after 40+ years on heat treated and spot annealed (or spot hardened) steel.
Some will turn shades of red and purple, sometimes not depending on how good the bluing bath was that day they were done and by who.
Sometimes the change is within days or weeks, sometimes it takes years to flip.

I've also found some info that states that all Model BM production has the inertia style firing pin and that it was in the design from the beginning (1972).
Stars first pistol to use that style was the BKS (Model B w/alloy frame and mag safety) when they made the change in it in late 1972.
Would make sense.
But I've seen many of these Model BM pistols with the older positive ignition style in them.
Best to simply check them so you know what you have.

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Old 04-15-2018, 07:55 PM
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I love mine. It lives in my truck in an IWB holster with a spare mag.

I took out the mag disconnect and just load it with 124 grain ball. Iíve added a Hogue slip on grip sleeve since this picture.
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Old 04-22-2018, 09:20 PM
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For the love of Pete, stop post reviews about these things!! I'm having enough trouble convincing myself not to pick one up.
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Old 04-22-2018, 10:53 PM
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It takes but one bad apple to spoil the whole barrel....or so the saying goes.Spanish manufacturers have a bad reputation because of shoddy copies they made in the '50s,60' and 70s(maybe a little before and after)but the Star is one heck of a good gun.
Great buy you done there!
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Old 04-23-2018, 02:23 AM
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Very thorough write up! But, I much prefer the looks & feel of my BKM. They're so much lighter to carry and I just love the way the anodizing wears on these old Stars!
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Old 04-23-2018, 03:06 PM
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I don't think Star, Astra, and Llama made any "bad" guns, at least I haven't seen one. The poor reputation for Spanish handguns was mainly a result of those made during the period between WWI and the Spanish Civil War as many small Spanish sweatshops were making them cheaply for export at that time.
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Old 04-23-2018, 04:04 PM
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Nice !
I always liked Star pistols. My first 45 acp was a Star model PS, loved it...accurate, no pesky grip safety, good extractor and trigger.
Stolen in 1995 and I still miss it...never came across another Star PS so I replaced it with an AMT Hardballer....the first stainless steel 1911.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:41 PM
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I’ve had my Star BM for many decades. If you don’t own one yet you should. I enjoy mine. It came in a clear plastic case with a extra mag and cleaning rod and owners manual.

I have star and Astra pistols in the safe growing roots. At that time I purchased a ton of cheap largo ammo the enjoy the ones that shoot largo ammo.
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:15 PM
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Very thorough write up! But, I much prefer the looks & feel of my BKM. They're so much lighter to carry and I just love the way the anodizing wears on these old Stars!
One of my sons has my old BKM. The ENTIRE frame is that gold color.
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Old 04-23-2018, 08:53 PM
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Just got one on a trade...........the guy wanted 150.00 for it.......got it for 100.00!
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Old 04-23-2018, 09:23 PM
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I found one on Friday at the pawn shop. It goes well with my B Super. Both have 3.5 pound triggers and shoot very well. Iíll take these over a lot of plastic guns made today.
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Old 04-26-2018, 08:05 PM
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My LGS has a few of these in stock. I checked them out and they seem to be well built and a heck of a deal at $225.

Must Resist...
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Old 04-26-2018, 08:41 PM
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My LGS has a few of these in stock. I checked them out and they seem to be well built and a heck of a deal at $225
Must Resist...
You must not resist, you will regret it!
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Old 05-12-2018, 09:58 PM
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I broke down today and one came home with me. Could not resist...

Great piece for $200. May have to stockpile a few of these at this price.
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:29 PM
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Thanks for the extensive write-ups, guys, I have been equivocating about buying one of these little gems. I have had several Stars in the past, and let them all go in trades. These seem like great deals.

Best Regards, Les
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:40 PM
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I ordered one with 3 mags. Less than $300 all in. Great shooting and well made firearm. I like the wood grips. Makes it resemble a Combat Commander for far less dinero!
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Old 07-22-2018, 09:51 AM
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I finally had the time to take mine to the range for a workout. Fantastic shooter! Good trigger, decent accuracy and a real *****cat to shoot due to the weight. I had one jam on a Remington HP towards the end of the session , so it may have been getting a bit dirty.

I did replace the recoil spring as well, prior to shooting.

BB57- Where are you getting the Walnut grips?
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Old 07-22-2018, 10:08 PM
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Well, as usual, you guys are a bad influence on me. Or good, depending on one's perspective. I received an email from Centerfire Systems on Tuesday advising that the Star BMs were back in stock. So I equivocated until this evening, and just ordered one. They are $199.99. Extra magazines $22.99 each. Free shipping on the gun. I ordered a couple of extra magazines, I was afraid that if I waited to see if I would like the gun (which comes with one magazine) that they would have sold out of the mags. All told, with shipping on the mags, and a "signature fee", and "credit card fee"......$268. that's Hi-Point territory.

Not too happy about the mutilation that CAI is doing when they put on the new "serial number", and wish the Spanish had just left on their unit markings, but for the price, can't complain too much!! (I have a bunch of imported guns which are marked much less obtrusively).

Just to sweeten the pot, a friend recently gave me 900 rds of 9mm that he wanted to get rid of because it had gotten "too old"!! So I'll have plenty of range fodder. Plus I reload, and have a few thousand rounds laying around anyway.

Edit: I really want to thanks the above posters for their fantastic reviews. In fact, just seeing such extensive reviews is an indication of the value of these imports. In a world of plastic guns (and I own a few myself) it is refreshing to see steel guns, which somehow seem more reassuring to me. So thanks to all the reviewers above!!!

I'll let you guys know haow things work out when it comes in!!

Best Regards, Les
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Old 07-22-2018, 10:21 PM
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Well, as usual, you guys are a bad influence on me. Or good, depending on one's perspective. I received an email from Centerfire Systems on Tuesday advising that the Star BMs were back in stock. So I equivocated until this evening, and just ordered one. They are $199.99. Extra magazines $22.99 each. Free shipping on the gun. I ordered a couple of extra magazines, I was afraid that if I waited to see if I would like the gun (which comes with one magazine) that they would have sold out of the mags. All told, with shipping on the mags, and a "signature fee", and "credit card fee"......$268. that's Hi-Point territory.

Not too happy about the mutilation that CAI is doing when they put on the new "serial number", and wish the Spanish had just left on their unit markings, but for the price, can't complain too much!! (I have a bunch of imported guns which are marked much less obtrusively).

Just to sweeten the pot, a friend recently gave me 900 rds of 9mm that he wanted to get rid of because it had gotten "too old"!! So I'll have plenty of range fodder. Plus I reload, and have a few thousand rounds laying around anyway.

I'll let you guys know haow things work out when it comes in!!

Best Regards, Les
Way to go! Drink the Kool Aid!

Make sure you give it a close inspection. If the condition is not up to snuff, send it back and make them send you another. My LGS had two and I took the one that was in noticeably better condition.
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Old 07-22-2018, 11:17 PM
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Nice. Most of the ones I've seen around here are real beaters.

I have 3 Stars, 2 Firestar M43, blued and Starvel, and a Firestar Plus, I got them in the 90's when they were still in business, and importing. They're in the safe now, parts are hard to find if I break something.

I'd like to find a descent BM.
I'd forgotten about this thread.

2 weeks ago I stopped by my LGS, they had a BM, in great shape. 1374xxx, 1976 vintage in the original cigar box with Spanish Manual and cleaning rod, the shop had picked up a spare mag for it and included it. Mine for $250.

He had ordered 2 extra mags, told me he had one more, so I took it. "Who are you going to sell it to, these things are rare."

Stopped by last week, they had 2 more BMs, one mag, plastic box. Who turned on the faucet?
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Old 07-23-2018, 12:33 AM
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By the way.... Here's a shooting impressions review that seems pretty straightforward....

Surplus Star Model BM 9mm Single Stack Spanish Pistol Review

But I ordered before I saw this....

Best Regards, Les
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Old 07-23-2018, 03:08 PM
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They are now $150 at classic firearms
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Old 07-24-2018, 01:07 AM
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By the way.... Here's a shooting impressions review that seems pretty straightforward....

Surplus Star Model BM 9mm Single Stack Spanish Pistol Review

But I ordered before I saw this....

Best Regards, Les
Les, something I noticed in the video, that makes me cringe:

don't dry fire it without a snap cap. Stars are pretty infamous for snapping firing pins that way. Yes, I know it's a function check, but if you do it, at least use your thumb to control the hammer.
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Old 07-24-2018, 05:40 PM
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They are now $150 at classic firearms
Now why ya wanna go and do a thing like telling us that?


BTW, they also have the extra magazines for $20. And even with $20 shipped, that comes out to $190 ($189.90, to be exact).

I considered going additional $20 for handpick best of 10, but passed on that. The ones at $149 are described as "fair", but they did a video with 6 pistols, and 5 looked great. I'll take my chances; I already have one with a great armory refinish (you can see where they blued over some scratches, so it's definitely refinished), this one will be the budget version. I know, they're already 'budget', but this will be extra-budget
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Old 07-24-2018, 06:31 PM
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it appears a crest of some sort has been milled off in front of the number.
The crests that were milled away are from the Spanish Guardia Civil. They are like Spain's national police but they mainly operate in the rural areas of the country. The crest is a diamond with a Spanish rapier sword crossed over a Roman Fasces - an axe bound inside a bundle of wooden rods.

I got mine for $225 OTD at a local pawn shop a week or two ago, but the finish isn't nearly as nice as yours. Mine is a '73 model. It has the two crests on the slide and frame and only two lines of import markings instead of 3 lines plus a newly engraved serial number. I'm guessing it was an import from the batch that came in about 6 or 7 years ago from Century.

Good little guns for the price.
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:22 PM
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Anyone else look at the video of the "fair condition" guns at Classic?

A couple don't seem to have the same milling. I remember reading on gunboards that there was another agency besides the Guardia Civil that had these, and those might have a different appearance.
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Old 07-24-2018, 11:46 PM
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Well, I just took a look...and I can't tell. I'm on my iPad, and most of them look like they have the milled circles where the police markings were removed, but on a couple, I couldn't tell. Sure looks like a deal at $149.99!!, though. I'm still waiting on my $199.99 version, and will let everyone know what shape its in when it gets here.

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Old 07-25-2018, 12:02 AM
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Well, I just took a look...and I can't tell. I'm on my iPad, and most of them look like they have the milled circles where the police markings were removed, but on a couple, I couldn't tell. Sure looks like a deal at $149.99!!, though. I'm still waiting on my $199.99 version, and will let everyone know what shape its in when it gets here.

Best Regards, Les
If you look over the last 2 or so, the slides look untouched.

Looks like a football divot milled into the frame, though.

Les, is this your first BM? If so, let me tell you, you're in for a surprise when you pick it up. They are smaller, but very solid. It might be heavier than my CZ 75... it's certainly more massive considering the size. It's not the modern perception of what a carry compact is, for sure. But mine, at least, seems to ooze "quality"; solid and heavy, nice bright steel followers in the mags, everything seems slick and smooth.

I do have to press in the mag release to insert one, otherwise it seems to hang up on the catch.

The magazine safety is easy to remove (mine already was), it's under the right hand grip. I'm certain there are videos.

Like I said, it isn't light to carry, but that weight does a great deal in controlling the firing. You barely notice the recoil, considering it's got a short barrel.

I look forward to hearing about yours, hope you get a nice one.
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Old 07-25-2018, 07:43 AM
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Anyone else look at the video of the "fair condition" guns at Classic?

A couple don't seem to have the same milling. I remember reading on gunboards that there was another agency besides the Guardia Civil that had these, and those might have a different appearance.
I will let you know. Even though I had one I bought 6 years ago, when I saw the ad at $149, I couldn't resist any longer. I'll post some pics when it arrives in a few days. I did not do a hand select for $20.
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Old 07-25-2018, 10:52 AM
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My Star BM shoots really well as long as you can seat the magazine properly. I think that I need some new magazines.
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Old 07-26-2018, 01:11 AM
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Nice !
I always liked Star pistols. My first 45 acp was a Star model PS, loved it...accurate, no pesky grip safety, good extractor and trigger.
Stolen in 1995 and I still miss it...never came across another Star PS so I replaced it with an AMT Hardballer....the first stainless steel 1911.
Gary

I thought the Randall was the first stainless M-1911 type. ?? But both preceded Colt in doing stainless.

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Old 07-26-2018, 01:15 AM
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Originally Posted by jmace57 View Post
I will let you know. Even though I had one I bought 6 years ago, when I saw the ad at $149, I couldn't resist any longer. I'll post some pics when it arrives in a few days. I did not do a hand select for $20.
The Spanish Navy used them, and I think the Cuerpo General de Policia did, too.

Believe some of these agencies now use H-K USP pistols.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:25 AM
scoobysnacker scoobysnacker is online now
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My Star BM shoots really well as long as you can seat the magazine properly. I think that I need some new magazines.
I find I have to press the mag release when inserting, otherwise they hang up on it.

Is that what yours is doing?
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Old 07-26-2018, 02:54 PM
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Everyone says their Star BM serial number ends in XXXX. I thought they all ended with 4 oughts like mine.
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Old 07-26-2018, 07:30 PM
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My Star BM came in today. My only other Star was a PD that I owned back in the 70s. I took some photos before I cleaned the gun, just to show what they are looking like. Here it is in the Star box...I also ordered a couple of extra mags, so I have three:



I couldn't wait to get it home and take it for a spin!! It sure wasn't the "pick of the litter", but pretty is as pretty does!!

I test fired it at 10 yards...right out of the box, after running a swab through the barrel to make sure that it was clear. Two of the magazines only held 7 rounds, and one held 8. Looking at one of the posts above, the springs may be in backwards. I'll vpcheck later. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the performance. Here's my target at 10 yards, all FMJ ammo, one called "flyer", when I jerked the trigger. No malfunctions of any kind. Flawless feeding, and the weight of the little gun negates recoil.



I've got the gun broken down (super easy takedown and assembly) and soaking in some Hoppes #9. I'll be back with some more reflections on my new "Truck Gun" shortly.

Best Regards, Les
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Last edited by les.b; 07-26-2018 at 07:45 PM. Reason: Add Photos
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