Opinionns on Star 1911 9mm clones (BM, BKM, etc.)

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by USMC03Grunt, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. USMC03Grunt

    USMC03Grunt

    Messages:
    975
    Likes Received:
    190
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere in 14T NT
    With the boy getting older now, I am begining to look ahead to handgun training in a few years. What I am looking for is a single stack 9mm for smaller hands and a single action trigger with a mechanical safety to account for smaller fingers that may lack the strength of length to work with a double action trigger otherwise, a Sig P6 might fit the bill nicely. I have a Hi-Power that fits many of these criteria as well but the wider grip to accomidate the 13 round magazine may make it a bit fatter in the grip area than would be desireable. An ideal pistol would be a 1911 in 9mm but the prices are pretty steep for a training pistol so that has lead my search to the Star 1911 clones. Now we have the right caliber, smaller grip, shorter single action trigger and best of all, a price tag that falls into the $250-$400 price range depending on the model and condition. Perfect!:thumbsup:
    However, the big question is what kind of quality can I expect? Does anybody have one of these Spanish guns and can give me some heads up about accuracy, reliability and durability? I seem to recall in the 80's when LLama guns were still around having a reputation for soft steel but I'm don't recall much about the Star pistols. For some reason, the Star BM IIRC correctly wasn't a bad gun but that was also printed in the pages of Pistolero magazine who's reviews I would consider suspect at best!:eyebrow: So does anybody have any information on these old pistols they could pass along? Thanks.
     
  2. WoodenPlank

    WoodenPlank Who?

    Messages:
    7,958
    Likes Received:
    12
    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    Location:
    NW Florida
    My dad has a Star Firestar in .45. It had served him well for many years until one day on the range it began to malfunction. We stopped and looked to see what the problem was, and discovered two serious cracks in the slide. The slide was no more than a few rounds from a catastrophic failure.

    He has since discovered that parts are VERY hard to come by for these guns, and often go for absurd prices.

    Edit to add: Almost forgot, I believe he had the slide lock retaining pin fail twice - once on the factory part, and once on a part he made (he's a machinist) after he couldn't find a factory replacement.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012

  3. countrygun

    countrygun

    Messages:
    17,069
    Likes Received:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    I know from personal experience that the PDs in .45 sere great and the people I have known with the small 9mms have been happy, but, as noted, parts can be problematic. There was a man in spain that had apparently the factory parts inventory and was seeling them one at a time on the internet. I don't know if he is still around. If you have a model in ming you might check with Gun Parts Co. and others to see if you can get some of the small parts before you buy the gun.
     
  4. Steel & Wood

    Steel & Wood Build the Wall

    Messages:
    10,155
    Likes Received:
    3,078
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006
    MAN!!! I love my Star BM!!!!!:hearts:


    Have you considered a 1911 in .22LR? They are all the rage these days because of ammo prices on the rise.




    Did I mention that I love my Star BM? :whistling:


    TGG
     
  5. J_Rico

    J_Rico

    Messages:
    6,608
    Likes Received:
    7,140
    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2007
    Love the Star BM. Bought one several years ago. Soft shooting. Accurate as well. My son liked mine so much, I had to buy him one.

    And he was 7yrs old when he started shooting it and never had trouble with it.

    I own a bunch of firearms and the Star BM remains one of my favorites. The steel frame really soaks of the recoil which makes it a nice gun for tansitioning people from rimfire to centerfire. Had quite a few new shooters try that over the years.


    Parts can be tough to find. On the BM the barrel link is a weak link. Had one fail a couple months after I bought the handgun. Replaced it and it has been working now for about 8yrs. Replaced the slide stop on the other BM right after I bought them. Have a few spares set aside.

    Not too bad. Bought two used handguns. Replaced one part on each and been shooting them quite a bit for the last 8yrs.

    Also bought a Star B. It has never run very well and is now missing a part that a local gunsmith lost (not kidding). I know these were popular, but I got a bad one.
     
  6. bac1023

    bac1023

    Messages:
    124,978
    Likes Received:
    26,788
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2004
    Location:
    PA
    I have a Model B and its been fine.
     
  7. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Messages:
    30,167
    Likes Received:
    17,073
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Location:
    WA
    Other than being ammo sensitive, I like mine.
     
  8. PzGren

    PzGren

    Messages:
    2,810
    Likes Received:
    777
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2001
    Location:
    Texas
    The Star B was officially used by the Wehrmacht, marked für Patr08. They are good shooters but since the demise of Star, parts have dried up.

    They were also sold for around $100 in 9mm Largo about 15 years ago.
     
  9. countrygun

    countrygun

    Messages:
    17,069
    Likes Received:
    63
    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2012
    FWIW my LGS has a new RIA 1911 in 9mm around $450 IIRC. I wasn't interested in it as a 9. The owner of the shop ordered by mistake, he wanted a .45. But it seems well built and their .45s get good reviews. (Pssst, I think you might be able to beat my LGS price)
     
  10. MrMurphy

    MrMurphy ********* Moderator Lifetime Member Millennium Member

    Messages:
    12,970
    Likes Received:
    13
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2001
    Location:
    Buried in the X-files
    Pretty much what the others have said.

    I've shot a couple Model B's (which were also used by OSS Jedburgh teams not just the Germans) and several BM's. I passed on a BM regretfully because of the parts replacement issue, which for me, outweighed the cost of the pistol at the time. They were good shooters and quality was quite good (these were all '70s and earlier production pieces from what I knew, and given the varying quality of Spanish pistols, somewhat surprising).

    I also shot some late production Astras (A-70 and A-80 IIRC) which came out just around when the company closed down, and the general QC and fit of the guns (for the money) rivaled anything I've seen Ruger put out in their P series, so it was a shame they stopped production.
     
  11. maxpower220

    maxpower220

    Messages:
    209
    Likes Received:
    3
    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Location:
    Florida
    Why not get a RIA in 9mm. Mine has been flawless. I got the "tactical" version as the trigger is a little better than the GI version. My tactical was around $400 new.

    I looked at the Star when I was shopping, but I'm glad I went with the RIA.
     
  12. Steel & Wood

    Steel & Wood Build the Wall

    Messages:
    10,155
    Likes Received:
    3,078
    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2006

    That's the understatement of the year so far!!!!:wavey:

    RIA = best bang for your buck......EVER!!!!


    TGG
     
  13. shark_za

    shark_za Woes

    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    JHB - South Africa
    I learnt to dislike the Star when it was my issue pistol in the army. You could not shoot the two mags without a stoppage of some kind.
    We had a competition against other units once and I drew one and got it working well enought to shoot so it was not universally bad.
    I have one in my collection now and it works ok with longer 147gr HP and ball. (military marked BS)

    My wife has a DKL that is pretty much what the Sig P238 is to Americans now. Its very reliable and shoots well. Her Dad has a BKM that is ok with ball and its all he wants.
    Both friends who carried PDs now carry Glocks.

    Star is a great first gun to learn with,specially the BM and BKM.
     
  14. 4Rules

    4Rules

    Messages:
    4,738
    Likes Received:
    1,688
    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
  15. Berto

    Berto woo woo

    Messages:
    30,167
    Likes Received:
    17,073
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Location:
    WA
    [​IMG]

    Once I get the extractor tuned, it will be Golden.
     
  16. USMC03Grunt

    USMC03Grunt

    Messages:
    975
    Likes Received:
    190
    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2004
    Location:
    Somewhere in 14T NT
    Well, I took the plunge today and got one off Gunbroker. After doing a bit more research, I have learned that the firing pin can be a problem area in that some are inertia style and some if the hammer is down rests the firing pin directly on the primer however that can be modified to an inertia type. Also, dry firing seems to be a big no-go here as well since an empty chamber with nothing for the firing pin to impact on leaves it slamming into the firing pin retaining pin that will eventually lead to breakage. On the positive side though, Numrich arms does sell replacement firing pins (most likely aftermarket) as well as extractors so I think I will order up a couple of each just in case. Magazines also tend to be pretty steep in price. I got 2 mags for $90 (again on gunbroker) so while they are available, they aren't cheap. Right now we're pushing a class through so when my dealer gets it and when I can get time to go get it may be a week or more but I'm looking forward to running it through it's paces when it does come in. :)
     
  17. shark_za

    shark_za Woes

    Messages:
    560
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2003
    Location:
    JHB - South Africa
    There are tons of mags in South Africa, trade for other items? :)