A Nurse with a Gun

Monday, February 13, 2006

Star Modelo B Range Report

I purchased my Star Modelo B back in 2004 from SOG. At that time they were still plentiful, and they could be had for the paltry sum of $139. As with most surplus military weapons, the pistol I received had some mileage on it. My initial inspection was rather disappointing. The pistol had cheap plastic grips and no lanyard loop. The bluing was 90%, which was very nice, but it had pitting around the grips and on the muzzle end of the slide. The magazine was packed with cosmoline. The rifling was this pistol's saving grace. The rifling was like new, bright, shiny and sharp. The barrel was marked Cal.08 with a P inside a bomb proofmark on the chamber. The barrel and slide lugs were sharp, with no wear. In fact, the frame rails still had bluing all the way down them! My new pistol had a CAI import mark approximately 1mm high under the slide stop hole on the right side of the frame. While I was somewhat disappointed with the pitting on this pistol, as well as the lack of wooden grips or a lanyard loop, I accepted it with a knowledge that I would likely not be as lucky with a replacement pistol.

The pistol was not without problems from being stored for so long. The detent ball in the slide stop was rusted in place, allowing the piece to lock the slide open halfway through a magazine of ammo. After soaking the slide stop in automatic transmission fluid for several days, the detent ball loosened, and the problem resolved.

I purchased the Star Modelo B to give me a pistol that had the same manual of arms as the 1911, but with a less expensive cartridge to shoot. The Modelo B is, of course, chambered in 9mm Para. The pistol is accurate, and reasonably easy to aim with the smallish sights. Trigger pull is consistent at approximately 4 pounds, with the slightest bit of creep after take-up. The pistol is capable of shooting one inch groups at 30 feet if I am up to the challenge. It has no hammer bite.

The Star Modelo B is not a 1911A1 despite it's superficial resemblance to one. The trigger pivots at the top, and has a trigger bar that actuates the sear. The thumb safety works on the hammer, not the sear, and can be engaged with the hammer cocked or down. There is no grip safety. The action of the pistol is closer to a Beretta 951 than a 1911. The firing pin protudes past the breechface with the hammer down, and would be resting on a cartridge's primer. Condition 2 is not an option with this pistol. Magazines are not widely available. I was fortunate enough to find one at a gunshow for $10. The bocote grips presently on the pistol came from The Grip Guys.

When I purchased my Star pistol, I had read all the internet rumors about soft Spanish steel. I decided for the money I could take the risk. Over the past two years this pistol has been shot a lot. It has seen well over 3000 rounds with no evidence of peening or failures. In fact, the pistol has functioned flawlessly, once the slide stop problem was resolved. I knew when I purchased this pistol that it would become a trainer for my daughter, once she was ready for 9mm. The gun has performed that job admirably. It has been a fun gun for me, and a gun to move up to for her. That's a hell of a lot of gun for $139.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

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