Star pistol Axel Guest post

Staying as a guest of Gun Lab here in Phoenix for a while, I picked up a few Star BM at J&G sales in Prescott.

Pic 1 BM s

Pic 2 BM s

Knowing that Chuck would like to have a look at them to compare for variances with the ones in his sample collection I put 3 on the dinner table. There are often lots of guns on that table and you have to make room for your plate – awful, I can tell ya ;)

And when Chuck came home in the evening, his first comment was (as I had secretly hoped):

Where are the other ones? I thought you picked up seven?!

Suspecting me to hide the rest (the better ones of course) from him…

Well, I showed the nice folks at J&G what a finicky German is by hand-selecting 7 guns out of about 25 they where so kind to bring out for me to pick the best ones from their current $150 special offer.

Heck, I would have taken 10, if I would have found any more worth my nitpicking attention! There’s reason that these are priced below the “normal ones” selling for about $200 – $250.

I simply like these classic, all-steel, medium-sized guns and can only recommend you to get one (a few) while they last.

Even the ones that I rejected – for cosmetic reasons – are technically in good shape and worth buying. While I was waiting for my paperwork to be proceeded, two other guys purchased 3 of them each. So go get them when you can!

So Chuck was bugging me enough the whole evening to bring them all to the table. Just to show him, that they’re all the same. German hand-picked damnit! What else can you ask for?!

So there there’s a cross section of what I bought.

Pic 3 BM s

Pic 4 BM s

(top to bottom: refinished, original, “worst” original condition)

You can tell apart the refinished ones by the more dull black exterior finish esp. on the barrel (which would be unusual on a used gun) and the slightly  rounded off corners – here best visible on the front edge of the ejection port (gun below)

Pic 5a BM s

The lot recently imported by CAI has the police markings milled off in contrast to earlier imported guns (below).

Pic 6 BM s

Of course there were some other Star B and A/B Super on the table as well.

Pic 7a BM s

And to show the internal differences all of them disassembled.

Pic 7b BM s

One nasty feature IMO is the magazine safety. It’s blocking the trigger bar from interacting with the sear when there is no magazine in the gun.

Pic 8 BM mark s

But you can easily get rid of it by removing both grip panels (the screws can be/are very  tight!) and push out the whole “safety” assembly (green line) to the right.

So now ,since we here at Gun Lab like to tinker with guns, the next question was – is there any interchangeability between these  different Star models?

Star B Super slide fits on Star BM frame until the slightly different ejector set-up gets in the way.

Pic 22A s

The Star B slide doesn’t fit on the BM frame since guide rails  on BM are slightly wider but BM slide fits on Star B frame with some play.

Pic 23A s

Even though it can’t travel all the way to the back.

These differences are mainly due to the 9×19 ammo for the BM in contrast to the 9×23 for the Star A guns. And yes the Star B (9×19) doesn’t differ otherwise from the A ones (9×23).

They didn’t even bother to adapt the magazines on two Star B’s that happened to be in the sample collection (one “9mm”, one German contract marked “Patr 08″).

Pic 15 BM s

But I’ve seen Star 9×19 magazines that had a 3mm adapter plate fitted to the rear inside of the magazine to  accommodate the shorter 9×19 rounds better.

A real PITA are the firing pins. First – to get them out you have to drive the rear sight to the left and get that pin out hidden under.

Pic 20b MOD s

Then there seem to be different diameters between 4.2 and 5.1mm! Even at the BM’s we encountered 2 sizes different so far.

The slide stop pins at the Star A/B/BM at least all have the same diameter: 5.15mm

The Star B barrel bushing fits the Star BM slide (with some play) but not vice versa.

Pic 20A s

Star Super B barrel bushing fits very well, but slide doesn’t make it all the way back, the bushing hits the frame and the hole for the recoil spring guide rod is a trifle to narrow. At least you could modify a Star Super B (and A for the record) to fit a Star BM.

Star Super A (9×23) and B (9×19) don’t entirely fit each others frame due to the slightly different ejector set-up.

Pic BM 25A s

Star B (Patr 08) barrel locking area next to Star BM

Pic 11 BM s

Ejection ports of Star B, Super B and Star BM

Pic 12a BM s

Pic 12b BM s

The ejection ports at the larger Star A/B and Super models are longer than at the BM. But the rear lower corner of the ejection port at the large frame guns reaches far more to the front. And that should have some influence on the ejection pattern.

Interestingly both Star B pistols have shorter ejection ports (at the top 32.7/33.4mm vs 34.7mm at Star Super) but address this by milling out the lower front edge of the ejection port a bit more.

Pic 26 BM s

Hopefully we’ll be able to shoot all of them side by side and take a video. It’s just difficult to find the time for doing – in between working on gun projects, buying guns and prowling at one of the many gun shows that take place every weekend here in AZ.

One advice that applies to all Star 1911 style pistols – the firing pins don’t like dry firing. They have a tendency to break. And replacement firing pins cost about $35, when you can find them.


Some random technical specs at the very end:

barrel outer diameter

Star  Super A/B: 13.5mm

Star B: 14.0mm

Star BM: 13.35mm


slide width:

Star Super A: 21.5mm

Star Super B: 21.35mm

Star B (9mm): 22.15mm

Star B (Patr 08): 22.2mm

Star BM: 21.4 – 21.5mm


4 comments to Star pistol Axel Guest post

  • A well written and interesting writeup!
    I have 3 of the BM9’s. Great little guns.
    Pete in St. Louis

  • Storm

    Keep up the good work on gunlab!

    • Chuck

      I keep trying to get him to write a few more posts. I recommended Axel to go in to the referenced collection and write about anything. Hopefully he will take the hint.

  • Sean

    nice write up and pics – heres a situation i have run into seeing that we are stuck at home these days :

    I finally decided to look for and Extractor and Ejector for my Star BKS (stamped at entrance to mag well) which i havent pulled the trigger on in about 5 years – it wouldnt eject correctly, and i have since acquired other handguns. In my inspection, i found a crack in the slide, ‘under’ the firing pin chamber. Obviously, the BKS slide is a hard find.

    Also – am i not mistaken that the BKS is supposedly aluminum alloy? When the BKS is taken apart – a magnet will stick to the SLIDE but not the frame.

    So the question is – is this really a BKS model ? AND since the BKS slide is hard to find – can i put a BM slide on using the same barrel, as it seems, all the other parts are interchangeable except the ejector (it seems).

    Love this gun – and it seems resources are going to make me scrap this one – and acquire a BM. I have tried everything except actually caling JG and seeing if someone has the knowledge so i can make my decision.

    Any idea or ideas im not thinking of?

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