One of the best sites on the internet for Star history is right here – I am not going to copy and paste a bunch of stuff from his site – If you want to really get into Star and their “stuff” I urge you to follow the link – get a bowl of popcorn – and enjoy the read.
In a nutshell – Star started making a 1911 style pistol ( what most folks would consider a “modern” firearm ) with their model 1920 pistols – and continued until 1993 – 73 years worth of some really interesting designs and models. One of the reasons I’m doing this NOW is there is a whole bunch of these in 9mm showing up on the surplus/used market at some decent prices. I have seen them as low as $ 179.00 plus shipping. ( the owners manual above is the model that is currently available in good quantities as of this posting )
Let’s take a look at the little darling we have here –
A Star SS model – The first S denotes caliber -.380 acp – The second denotes “Safety” – in this case a magazine disconnect was added as a model change.
Proof Marks – the top proof mark indicates acceptance at the proof house . . .
The next one indicates passing proof tests . . . but no date code??
It is my understanding with no date code in the proof mark the pistol was headed for the civilian market – the military market pistols would have a date code in the proof mark. But please realize I don’t understand all of what I don’t know about these proof marks!
The third is I 2 – which indicates a 1989 year of manufacture . . .
There are no other factory crests or marks on the pistol – import stamp is Interarms
These are really nice pistols – essentially a mini 1911 – with no grip safety and a magazine disconnect – but pretty close copies of the 1911 – Let’s take a look!!
Breakdown is the same as a 1911 – just that simple . . . How much similarity to a 1911 does it have ?? The next picture really shows it. . .
Star 380 is on the top – Full size government model on the bottom . . . the Rock Island is a GI full size – sights changed out to tritium night sights and G10 arched main spring housing and magwell grip set are the only changes – all the kibbles and bits sure do favor each other . . .
Recoil spring assemblies . . .
Except for size difference the bushing set up is the same . . .
Star brought the frame beaver tail back a little further to make up for no beaver tail on a grip safety . . .Obvious size and weight differences . . .
Rock Island loaded with 8 plus 1 of 230 grain ammo – 45.5 ounces – almost 3 pounds of steel framed 1911 goodness – OH MY!
Star .380 loaded with 8 plus 1 of 95 grain ammo – 25 ounces – there are a lot lighter .380 pistols on the market but the weight along with the 1911 pattern makes for a very soft shooter – and with the “thumb shelf” grips really easy to grip and point – but they kinda screw up the south paws out there . . .
Next are some shots with the government model – there is a considerable size difference – the Rock Island is a straight up hand filling 1911 goodness – You just gotta love 1911’s – the Star feels very good as well but switching back and forth between them the Star is almost dainty or delicate feeling . . .
Let’s try to wrap this up, OK? Really fun shooter – I was playing with it one day and burned up just short of 3 boxes of ammo – 140 rounds worth – sweet – had no issues with round nose – flat point – hollow points – ate them all without so much as a hiccup – the weight combined with the 1911 pattern makes it fun to shoot .380 – Keltec P3AT on the other hand – 25 or so rounds and you are about done for the day – almost an abusive level of recoil but very concealable – light weight – tiny – but not a fun range gun.
Concealable ? The hardest part would be finding a good holster – trust me on that one .
With the right holster almost anything is concealable . . . the Rock Island pictured here is my normal carry gun . . .
But with the right holster? – Sure – Would you want to (?) is another question – parts availability is always an issue with firearms that are no longer in production and more so with a lot of the imports. Shoot it long enough and it will break.
Available?? You just don’t see these much in pawn shops any more – once in a while you see the take down lever models but they just don’t have the same charisma as the mini 1911 style in my view.
Next range trip with this I will try to get some pics and hopefully some decent video and get it up here for you!!
Have Fun! – Run the Gun! – and remember – Fish Heads are Cheap!!