My Son's First!

Discussion in 'Centerfire Pistols & Revolvers' started by kilogulf59, May 5, 2008.

  1. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

    May 2, 2008
    This is a sneak peak at Matt’s (my son) first pistol that our very own (ICCF's) Sam slickered up. It is a Star Modelo B “Super” in 9mm Largo. This specimen is of 1946 vintage and was presumably in use with the Spanish Guardia Civil. I have one also, a stock model from 1947, what a splendid, high quality pistol. Eventually this too shall go out for a general tune-up but remain in stock form.

    There will be a detailed report on this pistol as soon as weather, floods, pestilence, and plagues subside (I knew that idol in the yard was a bad idea…).

    Folks, Sam is THE gunsmith and let me tell you he’s a heck of a great guy to deal with as well. Stop in at his site, Wildcat Traders LLC for further information. This year I hope to get my M65 out to him for some special treatment.

    More to follow and enjoy the pictures…it shoots better than it looks if you can believe that.

    Before - a stock pistol.

    After - it's been Sam-a-tized...
  2. Dirtypacman

    Dirtypacman New Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Merrimac Valley, MA

  3. Dakota Red 1

    Dakota Red 1 New Member

    Nov 26, 2007
    Very sharp! A work of art.
  4. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

    May 2, 2008
    Thanks gents and the best part is when Matt bought one he got another for old Dad as well. What a nice kid and if I only didn’t have to remind him to take out the trash…LOL

    The Largo round is a great one and, I am sure, if it were not for the FMJ bullet European thing it would have eclipsed the Parabellum. Hand loading is where the Largo shines and this can be accomplished with 9mm Lugar dies. With good (Starline) brass and an inspected pistol, one can safely attain 1300 fps with a 147 gn. LHP bullet. Folks that makes the Super essentially a 10-shot .357.

    BTW, Sam also modified the pistol to accept .38 Super rounds though we haven‘t tried any yet. I recommend this feature on the pistol should you purchase one. Sam tested the weapon with both calibers…naturally it worked flawlessly.

    The Star Modelo B Super in an extremely well made pistol. Built on the Browning pattern with a few improvements such as a loaded chamber indicator, simple takedown lever, the safety disengages the sear completely, and the swing-link was replaced with a cam lock integral with the barrel. Oh, the standard fixed sights are much easier to pickup than the typical “GI” style 1911’s are. This pistol is also a very natural pointer, for us at least, making it, IMO, a great combat automatic.

    Carrying the pistol is like packing a single-stack version of the Hi-Power as opposed to a 1911. It’s very comfortable for IWB and that says a lot as my “WB” seems to be getting steadily tighter.

    My advice is to contact the nice folks at SARCO, pick up a “Super” plus the 3-pack of magazines and have Sam do his magic. Well, at the very least have him certify the pistol and magazines for duty (something I recommend with any old, used firearm, it‘s your arse on the line). The reason why I recommend Sam Damewood is threefold. First, Sam is a master gunsmith, not a parts replacing “Dremel jocky”. Many times when we spoke I could hear the lathe running in the background and he can make parts it they‘re unavailable. Second, Sam know Star pistols intimately. As a matter of fact he carries one daily and got us “addicted” to them. Third, aside from his extremely reasonable prices, Sam is a standup guy to deal with; how many times can we say that nowadays?

    As I stated earlier, I will do a detailed report on Matt’s particular specimen as time (and weather) permits. Until then, here’s a few more pictures of one sweet pistol…they’re enlargeable so just click ‘em.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    To all,

    Please don’t misunderstand me, this isn’t bragging or boasting on my part…it’s pride. I never had a customized pistol and I also love to see good old things made useable and beautiful again, Sam has accomplished both. Now, at least, my son has his first pistol, it’s customized and certified, and it’s a darn good model to boot. This automatic undoubtedly will be serving and protecting our family long after I cant - thank you Sam.
  5. noslolo

    noslolo New Member

    Oct 15, 2004
    Johnstown PA
    Wow that looks great! I love Star, my first handgun was a Star Firestar .40 and it never failed me.
  6. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

    May 2, 2008

    Thank you very much.

    I have heard many good things regarding the Firestar, do you still have it? IMO, there’s two manufacturers who should’ve never gone under, Star and FEG.
  7. noslolo

    noslolo New Member

    Oct 15, 2004
    Johnstown PA

    Yes I do, it's my daily carry. I do find that it's a bit heavy for CC, but it works and I'm way too broke to buy that Walther pps that I want. You can find Firestars pretty cheap and like I said, never a problem with mine after thousands of rounds thru it.
  8. magusjinx

    magusjinx New Member

    Apr 8, 2008
    My first auto was a Star in .38 Super ... I miss it more than I miss wife #2 ...
  9. :D
    If you aimed more carefully ya wouldn't miss her so much:p:p:D
  10. artabr

    artabr New Member

    :D :D :D :D

    Ken, your smith did a great looking job.

  11. Man that is a sweet roscoe.

    I been drooling over a Colt 1911A1 MK IV Series 80 Gov. 9mm X 23mm awhile. It's not a Largo but very close....I imagine it would fire 9mm Largo, but of course ya shouldn't fire the 9x23 in an authentic Largo like yours.

    If I could figure out where to get spare mags I might can justify that $1,500 price. (I'm not comfortable with a pistol with less than 6 of my hangups...I prolly buy a 1911 mag every time I go in the gunshop.)

    Attached Files:

  12. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

    May 2, 2008

    Thanks and it is…and I am very happy with my stock model as well. In fact, it has brought me back into the SA automatic fold. That 1911 in 9x23mm Winchester is gorgeous but for that price you could probably get two Stars, 12 magazines, and perhaps, the customizing as well.

    Since Delta mentioned the 9x23mm Winchester I though I should post this ditty.

    The following information was “borrowed” from the excellent website 9mm I have posted it not as a “this vs. that” type post but to straighten out any confusion between the Winchester and Largo rounds.

    Additionally I know that some are getting +1300 fps with a 147-grain LHP bullet out of their Star Supers (in 9mm Largo). This is with no excessive pressure signs and no indication of accelerated wear on the pistol. Obviously, the pistol was thoroughly gone over by a competent gunsmith (eh-hummm…Sam) and these Stars are excellent in their metallurgy and quality.

    I personally DO NOT RECOMMEND HOT LOADING any cartridge, use a modern reloading manual for your data.

    9mm Largo vs. 9x23mm Win

    Let us compare the 9mm Largo with Winchester's new 9x23mm Winchester. The 9mm Largo was introduced in 1903. Ninety-three years later in 1996 Winchester introduced the new 9x23mm Winchester. This new cartridge was touted as the new wonder round of IPSC. It combined all of the good points of .38 Super without the troublesome semi-rimmed case of that round.

    (Ken's note: please refer to image attached.)

    So, what we have gained in 93 years with this new 9x23mm round is 100fps., 77ft.lbs., and 12.25 on power factor. This doesn't sound like a new round to me, it only sounds like better barrel steel. You have to remember that the 99% of 9mm Largo firearms were produced in the 1950's or earlier. I think that if Astra or Star were to produce their 400's or Super series today, they would easily load to these higher figures. Shortly before its bankruptcy, Astra was producing a new IPSC gun, the Astra Custom SPS chambered for 9mm Largo. I am unaware of what the internal ballistics were for this gun.

    It is interesting to note that the exterior dimensions of the new 9x23mm and the 9mm Largo are basically the same, it's the interior dimensions that are different, the new round has a thicker web.

    With all this said, I DO NOT recommend firing 9x23mm Winchester ammunition in a 9mm Largo firearm. These firearms were made over 40 years ago. Treat them with respect and load accordingly, or shoot the ammunition loaded and marketed as 9mm Largo.

    Attached Files:

  13. Good info.

    Kinda funny too about how things tend to come back in circles over time....91 years after the 9mm Largo....the .357 Sig with 124 grain JHP has nearly identical within 20fps. (.357 Sig is a good cartridge but I'm turned away by how it bangs up the .40 cal frames it is chambered in. Maybe that's been mostly corrected since the '90's, but it cost the cartridge a few potential gov contracts with organizations who wanted the higher penetration power but refused to buy high wear pistols i.e. they fire 1,000 rounds a week and wear out enough parts already.)

    I don't think the extra 100fps of the 9mmx23mm is a major advantage in a 5" barrel/service sized sidearm.....but I'm fairly curious if in a shorter barrel weapon, say 3" compact, it may become a more significant difference.

    On terminal performance....driving a standard 9mm Luger bullet to 1,400fps seems like it would most likely tear apart in flesh before it properly performed as designed i.e. penetrate through vitals/bone. This same thing has been a problem with .357 Sig. Most 9mm bullets aren't very strong in design next to magnum bullets. As far as I know, a true .357 Mag bullet is too large to load into a 9mm/.355 case. Thoughts?

    I think using solid copper HP may correct that problem, but since they're longer bullets than the same weight lead JHP, you'd loose case capacity if loading the same dimension specs as factory, which is important with autopistols.

    Just some thoughts. I think the 9mm Largo is a fascinating cartridge.
  14. kilogulf59

    kilogulf59 Former Guest

    May 2, 2008
    Thanks Delta…my goal with the post was mainly safety…do not use 9x23mm Winchester in a 9mm Largo.

    Thoughts? Well, yes and without writing a book I have two. 1) The man I know who hand loads Largo to those high numbers (and whom I respect very much) uses his own cast 147 grain lead HP’s. He casts them on the softer side and, contrary to popular belief, he has no leading problems and penetration and expansion are excellent. 2) Over the years, I have concluded that much of the hoopla regarding caliber, loads, and ballistics in general is marketing by the manufacturers and rhetoric by the “backyard ballisticians” for whom experimenting and testing is a hobby. Of course it give us folks fuel for hours of conversation on the subject as well…and don’t get me started on the latest “designer” ammo at over a buck a shot, please. In the laboratory where all things can be made truly equal, there is a difference in calibers and loads but that is about where it ends.

    Please do not misunderstand me here folks, I am not saying a .22 and a .45 are equal. What I am saying is that what counts most are 1) YOU and 2) a RELIABLE handgun of medium to large caliber. Aside from these, anything else is simply bells, whistles, and hubcaps.

    One other point I would like to make, Matt and I did not get these Star’s because they were in 9mm Largo. We bought them because they are rugged, well-made automatics (and at a great price!). If they came in 9mm Parabellum, we would have been just as happy.

    Yes Delta, the 9mm Largo is an interesting and very workable cartridge, historical also. Personally, I believe that if the Germans had not adopted the Parabellum the Largo would be “the” 9mm cartridge. It can be loaded down to a light Parabellum level by using 115 grn. JHP’s or up to a .357 Mag. level with 124 to 147 grn. bullets.

    My apologies to all if I turned this thread or blabbed on a bit too long. Additionally, I do not wish to start “forum wars” over calibers, bullets, loads, and etcetera. I simply stated an opinion, which was formed from too many years of study on this subject - Thanks for your time.
  15. No reason to argue over caliber/ammo....we all are too set anyway on our favorites.:)

    Now the 9mm Parabellum, a somewhat unknown thing about the name itself given to the cartridge by Luger.....educated Europeans instantly recognized and connected the name to "Si vis paceum, parabellum" or "Those who wish for peace prepare for war". A very wise marketing touch to coup de grâce the competition, even before the German War machine shoved the highly practical cartridge into prominence.
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