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Old 10-05-2010, 11:06 AM
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Default Anyone own a Star Starfire .380 ??? NOW WITH PICTURES !!!

Although money is a little tight while I'm on Worker's Comp, I think I'm going to put a neat little .380 on lay-away at my buddy's gunstore. It's a excellent little Star Stafire .380, looks just like a miniature 1911 except for no grip safety. And no, it is not a Firestar, the slide is stamped Starfire. I think these are very much like the Colt Pony but there is very little information on the web about this model. Anyone own one or had experience with them ? Looks like you can still get some parts for them. I don't plan on shooting it much, just something neat to own. Please let me know what you know, I think these were later made as FI models here in the States ??? Thanks, Shoo
UPDATE: I'm gonna go ahead and buy this very nice example, here's a couple of pictures, should have set a full-size 1911 near it for size comparison;

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Last edited by shooboy; 10-06-2010 at 03:17 PM.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:22 AM
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The ones I handled weren't bad little guns as I recall, but blowback guns like that were notoriously fickle about ammo and unforgiving of a weak grip, making them prone to jam. For someone who knows how to judiciously use a little crocus cloth and a set of needle files, a little slicking up goes a long way toward reliably getting through a magazine of rounds with these kinds of little .380's.

Most folks who don't know how to do that get frustrated with what they call a "jam-a-matic" and trade them off or sell them. Spotty quality control on magazines for these kinds of guns were a big part of the problem when I was messing around with such several years ago.

Unless the mags were the problem or someone had tweaked and ruined a spring, I've rarely seen one that could not be made to be fairly reliable if you made the effort.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:30 AM
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I had one back in the 70's. Aluminum frame, small 380. GCA'68 stopped importation. Carried it for 6 or 7 years. Functioned perfectly with FMJ. Not so well with any of the hollow point, etc ammo around at the time. Can be quite a handfull to shoot as there is not much there to hang onto and the light weight. I liked the external hammer design but don't carry with the hammer down on a cartridge in the chamber as the FP is not the inertia type IIRC. You're going to have to trust the thumb safety with the pistol on full cock with a loaded round in the chamber.
Traded it off for a Walther PPk postwar mfg in .22LR.

I don't remember if it was this model or another that Colt was going to import with their name on it and then changed their mind (GCA68 helped) and started producing the .380 Pony on their own.
FI and someone else (Iver Johnson?) marketed the one Colt rejected. Those have steel frames instead of the aluminum. Built in the US to avoid the import problem. Some parts may have been import and assembled here at least early on.

I almost bought another one at a show a year ago or so. Just to have I guess. But I hesitated and it was gone. That one was priced at $300 and in 90%+ condition w/2 mags. Probably could have bought it for a bit less.

Star collectors like the Starfire (I think it's the Model 'DK',,K designation for aluminum frame) They bring decent money. The colored frame ones bring the most. You could buy them with frames annodized in Blue, Gold and some other colors.

Last edited by 2152hq; 10-05-2010 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 10-05-2010, 12:13 PM
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I almost bought a nice example of one of those about 6 mos ago. I couldn't find any replacement mags for it. I've turned practical about buying guns, and I think I'd buy a .380 Ruger if I was in the market. If the Starfire is $149, thats different.
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Old 10-05-2010, 02:48 PM
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The Colt marked version is pricey as Colt never went through with the deal w/Star. Import problems, etc. Only a very few of the Colt marked guns were made up.

The FI and IJ versions were made in USA or at least assembled w/foreign parts here because of the import ban on the pistol.

Locked breech w/a barrel link as the Colt 1911 but just the one locking lug though as Moondawg says. I doubt alot of assembly line Colt 1911's actually lock on both lugs anyway.
I don't recall mine haveing a magazine safety as is common on the other Star autos. But it was along time ago.
Neat little pistol.
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Old 10-05-2010, 11:13 PM
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Hi Shooboy,

In 1971 I took one to SEA. It had an aluminum frame and I chose the chrome plated model to fight the humidity. It worked 100 % right out of the box. Later I used it as a backup in LE with Super Vel Hollow Points. It never choked except when I let it run unlubed for years. Even then it only required a shove on the back of the slide and it was, once again, up and running. The spotty QC mentioned by NFrameFred could be an issue. I may have just fallen into a good one. The only problem I had was after a number of years using those hot Super Vels the slide stop would work itself part way out when the slide was locked to the rear. However, it did continue to function. At one point I had the Starfire and a Walther PPK and did not need both. I sold the PPK and never regretted it.

I have been looking for another Starfire at a decent price.

Bill
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Old 10-06-2010, 12:28 AM
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Thanks to all you guys, I greatly appreciate the info. I'll take a couple pictures of the one I'm buying tomorrow so you can see what a fine little piece this thing is. Looks like someone took a 1911 and threw it in a clothes dryer and shrunk it down quite a bit !!! Shoo
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Old 10-06-2010, 09:27 AM
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I remember those, and the larger Model S and SI. Nice little guns. Probably wouldn't do to drop one, though, with a round in the chamber. The inertal firing pin issue has been mentioned above.

One made here with stainless construction and a proper firing pin system should sell well to M-1911 fans.
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Old 10-06-2010, 03:19 PM
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I'm gonna get it !!!

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Old 10-06-2010, 05:10 PM
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Nice! You probably have this link.

Star Firearms : D-Series Pistols

I have a Star Model S .380.

Star Bonifacio Echeverria, S. A. : Armas : Firearms
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Old 10-06-2010, 06:19 PM
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Thanks rocketdog, I did see that site when I was doing my research.
I like that Model S Star, I think I'll keep my eye out for one in the future.
I have owned a Star 9mm BM Model in factory hard chrome. I kick myself in the butt quite often for selling it. It was a very nice looking piece and performed flawlessly, eating everything I fed it, and was very accurate.
Thanks again, Shoo
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Old 10-06-2010, 08:03 PM
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Nice condition for sure. Should be a series of proof codes on the frame. Probably under the left grip on a later gun like this. The middle one will tell the year of mfg/proof.
Here's link to a chart with the code/year.
Spanish Year of Proof Codes
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Old 10-07-2010, 06:47 PM
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Nice little gun- I'd go for it! I have a Star BM 9mm. It's heavy (okay, "substantial"), and an absolute tack driver. Trigger pull is not the absolute smoothest, but it is probably one of the nicest shooting SA semis I have.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:41 PM
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I once owned the Iver Johnson Pony version...bought it brand new.
At the time, Iver Johnson was advertizing that every one was test fired at the factory...
When I tried to shoot it the first time, it wouldn't chamber ammo...I had to send it back. It was fixed and returned to my house, where the shipper left it on my front porch...In it's box with a pic on top and description on the side...sat there all day.
After the repair, it worked fine, and was a great carry gun...wish I still had it, but I traded it for an M1 carbine.
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Old 10-07-2010, 07:52 PM
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I had a Star Model B Super 9mm in new unfired condition, but I sold it to a brother-in-law.

But it might come back home one of these days.
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Old 10-08-2010, 06:15 PM
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If you like this DK Starfire, then you'll like the Star 'HK Lancer'.
Just about the same size as the D but in .22LR. Same grip frame shape.
Doesn't have the 1911 link, takedown etc of the D as it's a blowback operated pistol. It borrows from the Model F in takedown and slide construction. Nice little .22's. Kind of hard to find lately.

I had 3 of the Model B Super pistols in 9mmLuger. AIM was selling them in Excellent condition w/box, xtra mag and papers for something like $115 a few years back.
I resold one immediately, kept one and gave one to my brother. He still has his,,I sold mine.
Just like the Lancer and the StarFire,,,,Should'a kept it!

Last edited by 2152hq; 10-08-2010 at 06:18 PM.
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1911, 22lr, 380, carbine, cartridge, colt, firestar, postwar, ppk, ruger, takedown, walther

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