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  1. #1
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    Default My Star and Llama Pistols

    Been awhile since I've posted here but I've been lurking around for several years now, more so recently, am retired and have more time now. As one member here puts it, I love that Spanish, steel, here are mine.


    Llama IXA 1984 45acp




    Llama Mod. 1 1943 32acp







    Star PD 45acp




    Star BM 9mm

  2. #2
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    Oooh, I'll throw in!
    Nice stuff you got there, by the way.

    Star Mod30


    Firestar .45 (Was my dad's gun)


    Star Model F Tartget


    Llama XI-A

  3. #3
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    Some very nice examples guys!!
    Laugh hard and often.

    Gary

  4. #4
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    Wasnt 1 reason they went out of business, bad guns!

  5. #5
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    I think the main reason they went out of business was the Govt controls they were putting in place that made it hard to stay in business.
    Laugh hard and often.

    Gary

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by vz58kid View Post
    Wasnt 1 reason they went out of business, bad guns!

    vz58kid,

    Not to start a flame on this and its not uncommon to hear this same reasoning from others, but that is usually what some say and think of the Spanish guns of the Star and Llama models of Eibar, and the Astra's of Guernica in Spain that have not owned them to say that and even some that have had them but didn't know how to properly take care of or repair them, I was one of them myself years ago till I bought my first Llama 9mm XI, it had feed problems that turn out to be the magazine, a new spring in the mag was all it needed and it was fine, I traded it off on a S&W mod 13-1 357 a few years later, all the rest of Llama's and Star's since the Llama 9mm have functioned without a problem after proper care and maintenance, however, that said, I can only vouch for the older models.

  7. #7
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    Good-looking hardware, Sir.
    Love that Model 1. I've been looking for a .32 version for years.

  8. #8
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    PapaBear and Rattletrap, beautiful guns! I really enjoyed your pics, thanks for sharing.

  9. #9
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    I have a one-of-a-kind Llama 9mm I just finished. It is as smooth as silk and has been 100% so far. (150 rnds). This is one of my custom Llamas. I also just finished smithing a govt Max 1 9mm. I have to admit that no 1911 that I own is as smooth as this one. I was shocked at how it shot. You don't see many 9mm in the 5" length especially in the Max series.

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    ~Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me~

  10. #10
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    Very nice pictures of the Llama's and Stars. Lets see some more. The big three Spain gun companies Astra, Llama and Star made good pistols. I have owned pistols from all three and they work great.

    Mid-age

  11. #11
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    All three have indeed ade excellent pistols. Somewhat odd that two (Unceta and Bonifacio) call their guns the same thing, though in different languages (Astra and Star both mean - Sterne...)
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

  12. #12
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    The grips on your mdl BM are beautiful. From Gungripguys?

  13. #13

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    Larry. Lovely one of a kind Llama. I have several older Llamas to include an "Extra" and really enjoy shooting them. I may be able to pick up a very late Llama .45. It is marked "Firestorm" but it also has "Fabrinor" on the slide and I believe it has the year "04" on it as well. It is made in Spain and the town is not Vitoria but I can't recall the name of the town. Were these the last made before Fabrinor finally closed? I would appreciate your opinion re: the quality. Thanks. Cal

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    Hi Cal, thanks for the compliment. Some people collect and want everything to be original. That does increase their value. Llamas have always treated me well. Maybe because I treat them well? I chuckle at the "other" 1911 owners who brag how they spent $1500, $2000 or even $3000 for their pistol. Now, I am not saying that my Llamas shoot as good as they do but my point is you always read at how they buy these $2000 guns and then send them out to "shoot better" or to feed "any ammo" or whatever. It seems that almost any 1911 can be tweaked to the owner's likes. When we have a Llama that won't shoot JHPs reliably it's because the are "cheap junk". I just shake my head.

    Llamas can be tweaked as well. They cut corners by not doing the fine milling. I always loved the finish on them and it holds up very well. Some of the "better" 1911s have finishes that wear out easily. Soft steel? Yeah, right, maybe in the 20s. I'd put any one of my Llamas up against the big boys any day.

    You read how the 1911 guys all want a reliable 1911 in 9mm because the ammo is cheap. They toss around names of the name brand 9mms that carry a $1000 price tag yet every day on Gunbroker I see 9mm Llamas that sell for under $300. No one wants one, lol. Oh well, their loss!

    As for the last of the Llamas/Firestorm my thoughts have been that once the employees took over they knew they had to make a quality firearm or they would lose everything. IMO, they closed due to govt restrictions put on them and from what I read the creditors forced them into bankruptcy, not a shabby product. The Max series was the closest to the 1911 that they made and from what I've seen, they are a quality pistol. I have heard nothing but good things about the Firestorm line of 1911s. Like all mfgs of the 1911 they seemed to have issues with the shorter barrel designs. If I see or hear about an issue with the latest Llamas it is usually feeding issues with the MiniMax or the sub-compact models but I know many who are completely happy with theirs. I would not hesitate in buying a late model Llama as my picture above shows. My 9mm Govt Max is the smoothest and sweetest 9mm I've ever shot and I own 3 Browning Hi Powers and sold a 4th. I was amazed at how accurate it was and how smooth it was. Of course, before I shoot any used handgun I totally take it apart to the last screw and finish any friction area as well as giving them my own personal trigger job and make sure the sear is safe and smooth. I had to do very little "cleaning up" on the Max series 9mm. I was and still am very impressed with this gun. If any one reading this sees a 9mm Llama Max series, buy it. You will not be sorry. I am selling my previous commander length 9mm because the 2 tone (pic above) is very nice. My "old one" is from the 80s and shot very well, if anyone wants one.

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    As I recall reading why Star went out of business, it was a series of events that happened during that period. Interarms the importer closed up shop when the owner died and his daughter yielded to the anti gun crowd around Washington D.C. About this time Congress passed the AW ban with the 10 round magazine restriction while Star was introducing several model hand guns with double stack magazines. Then came Union problems in Spain, coupled with a sluggish economy and it was the end.

    Too bad a fine gun company had to close shop.

    I wish someone would purchase rights to make the Star Firestar M-43 with present day technology.
    "Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal." -- Janet Reno, U.S. Attorney General, 1993-12-10.

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    GCA '68 didn't help.
    I have new recoil spring plugs for Llama .380's and .32's

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    Quote Originally Posted by partsproduction View Post
    GCA '68 didn't help.
    All Star handguns imported thru Interarms met GCA-68 requirements as to size and safety devices.

    The decades earlier GCA-68 affected mostly the jewel like quality of the pocket handgun imports from Italy, Spain, Belgium, Germany and WWII Milsurps - the so called Saturday Night Specials. Although a Walther PPK could hardly be called a SNS, it too was banned from import due to it's size.

    An interesting read would be the history of the 1968 Gun Control Act and how the NRA, US gun manufacturers, LBJ's Federal Government and a public frightened by recent city riots all joined in to control mail order gun traffic, halt importation of inexpensive imports, oversee gun ownership and lower the overall crime rate.

    GCA-68 did little to help lower street crime.
    "Waiting periods are only a step. Registration is only a step. The prohibition of private firearms is the goal." -- Janet Reno, U.S. Attorney General, 1993-12-10.

  18. #18

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    Larry, Thank you for the information. As I thought, you are obviously very knowledgeable about the Llamas. I have a commander style 9mm, smooth wood grips with the Llama medallion,(Model XIB, 1986) and it is a very sweet shooter. I have never had a problem with it. PM me on the old 9mm you have. I can't promise anything but who knows?
    thanks Cal

  19. #19

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    Hi Larry,
    I tried to PM you but your mailbox is full and is not accepting any new messages.
    Cal44

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by vz58kid View Post
    Wasnt 1 reason they went out of business, bad guns!
    Quote Originally Posted by vz58kid View Post
    Wasnt 1 reason they went out of business, bad guns!
    Not so.Proof of it is that +80y.o. pistols like astras400 still are running and shooting in the civilian market of USA after fighting several wars in Europe and Morrocco and being badly abused feeded with wrong calibers, what other pistols of similar age could you name that suffered the same use and didnīt blow up? I swear that my eyes bleeds when I read almost every week of some respectable member asking if itīs true that he can shoot with 9short mm the 400 he bought the day before? its amazing. I donīt know where that ghost story of soft spanish steel was born in USA. As a great basque cooker once said, "if they want to pay sh@t and eating sh#t Iīll cook sh#t for them", but if you want something better youīll pay accordingly to it.

    The problem of spanish gun makers was the aftermath of the problem that spanish industry faced in late 70s and early 80s, the same that suffered european industry but worsened in Spain because it was in the course of being admited in the CEE(European Union now) so it had to adjust its own industry to the regulatory system that ruled the CEE 30 years ago, finishing with the policies of subsidizing exports when it was considered to do it, and at the same time opening the doors of spanish market to european competitors, and all this at the same time that economy was suffering a crisis as big as today because the oil crisis of the 70s at last hit Spain, later but harder.
    It all began with the heavy industry, spanish steel plants suddenly found themselves oversized, with prices non competitives agaisnt the aggresive asian competitors, etc. Next came steel big consumers like shipyards,tool/machine makers and car industry, that was huge in Spain back them(5š tourism and industrial car maker in the world). In those years were closed or downsized until the 50% of the shipyards capacities, some industrial cities(Barakaldo in Basque Country, Ferrol in Galicia, Sagunto in Valencia, Cadiz/Puerto Real in Andalucia, Aviles in Asturias, etc) lost 20% or more of their population, most of spanish motorbyke makers(Ossa, Bultaco, Montesa) were closed for ever, the same with industrial car makers that closed or were sold(Barreiros and Pegaso). In the case of the little arms industry of Spain, they rested heavily in the export market because civilian market at home is very restricted, and spanish army wasnīt big enough to sustain those industries with its purchases. Labour laws of Spain back then, just saying that they didnīt help to quick responses agaisnt the fast changes of economy cycles, they were rigid. In the case of basques weapons companies, lets say that didnt help to their survival the fact that they lobbied for selling their products to the spanish army/law enforcement agencies at the same time that a local terrorist group was killing top generals of that army with the support of a not so small group basque people.
    In the case of Eibar, always was a town specialized in metal works, gun industry was very important but not the only one: just saying that when I was a child my bycicle was a BH and when I grew up my race byke was an Orbea, and I hadnīt a clue Orbea and BH were gun makers a century ago until I served in the army and saw old specimens with the brand of my bycicles in the military museum. It seems that BH and Orbea suffered a big crisis after the end of IWW which had been a good bussiness for spanish industry(not only selling cheap pistols, but selling and licensing to make vehicles and engines like Hispanos, textil industry and so on) but eventually they were successful changing their activities and making other things than guns until today. 50 years after happened the same but by different reasons. Today Eibar, as ever, is an industrial town an besides some little works for the high end niche of the hunting market the guns arenīt produced any more, but what it cares is that they adapted to new times and they are making all kinds of products for different branches of industry with even bigger added value than little pistols.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by cal44 View Post
    Larry. Lovely one of a kind Llama. I have several older Llamas to include an "Extra" and really enjoy shooting them. I may be able to pick up a very late Llama .45. It is marked "Firestorm" but it also has "Fabrinor" on the slide and I believe it has the year "04" on it as well. It is made in Spain and the town is not Vitoria but I can't recall the name of the town. Were these the last made before Fabrinor finally closed? I would appreciate your opinion re: the quality. Thanks. Cal
    Vitoria itīs the capital city of Alava province, Fabrinor was in Legutiano, a town of that province but I think that company renamed or was sold, not sure of it, making pistols was just one of the activities they planned to do when they set up the company, they were more focused in making cast steel parts for other industries.

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    All the Llama pistols i had looked at yrs ago seemed to be lacking in quality and were cheap!
    The Firestorm pistols were even worse and cheaper and all had a bad rep!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by vz58kid View Post
    All the Llama pistols i had looked at yrs ago seemed to be lacking in quality and were cheap!
    The Firestorm pistols were even worse and cheaper and all had a bad rep!
    Firestorm is from Argentina, totally unrelated to the discussion here.

    How many Llamas have you owned? Or are you speaking as a non-owner, relying on second hand gossip?

    SlimTim
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  24. #24
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    naranjero, thankyou for your very intersting explanation of the Spanish firearms industry. I think we are all sad when we hold some of our favorite Spanish pistols and realize that there will be no more in the future.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vz58kid View Post
    All the Llama pistols i had looked at yrs ago seemed to be lacking in quality and were cheap!
    The Firestorm pistols were even worse and cheaper and all had a bad rep!
    I dont dispute your claims vz58. You can purchase over 6000 euros spanish shot guns and other ones under 300euros, quality is different among them. I point out that making fire guns in Spain is an old industry as it can be and speaking of pistols, itīs not a product that spanish army considered to import until spanish makers closed doors, we never had a problem with pistols quality. I dont know if current buyers of 400s are aware the fact their pistols werent available for civilian people in Spain, they ALL served with the army or different policie agencies(guardias de asalto, carabineros, GC, etc) in several wars and counter-maquis fights, from 1921 until 1958, actually the most convulse history period of Spain since Napoleon invassion and they were retired of service the surviving ones in the late 60s and this are the pistols currently feeded with different calibers in USA, would they ask the same work for lugers or 1911 pistols of the same age and service life? Are they proof of good or bad metallurgical work?
    Empresarios like Luis Olarra was producing steel alloys for NASA not far from Eibar, so I think it wasnt a big deal for the same people making steel for pistols, that arenīt more complicated than bycicles or staplers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimTim View Post
    Firestorm is from Argentina, totally unrelated to the discussion here.

    SlimTim
    Wrong again ST! The 1911 types were made by Llama in Spain, i have never owned any, but have shot or attempted to Llama and Firestorm of which some friends had owned both types before getting rid of them due to unreliability!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Los Adaes View Post
    naranjero, thankyou for your very intersting explanation of the Spanish firearms industry. I think we are all sad when we hold some of our favorite Spanish pistols and realize that there will be no more in the future.
    No, thank you all the collectors that treasure that old pistols and search about them in spite of the idiomatic obstacle. Itīs here I learnt that the stapler Iīm using(brand El Casco), before owned by my father, was made by a former gun maker but as we say here "camaron que se duerme, se lo lleva la corriente"

  28. #28
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    wink2

    ST, here is some history just for you!
    'Firestorm' was a fairly new brandname set up by the Sodini family, who also
    own SGS Importers, Eagle Imports, Import Sports, yourgunparts, etc.

    Firestorm had no manufacturing capability, so it subcontracts pistol manufacture
    out overseas ---the designs just happen (hehe) to be almost cookie-cutter
    lifts from existing models produced by the overseas manufacturers.
    Many major US manufacturers do the same thing--sometimes importing
    whole pre-fitted guns (albeit in kit form).

    The 1911-style Firestorm pistols were made by Fabrinor (Llama) in Spain.
    Pretty much all other Firestorm pistol models were made by BERSA in Argentina.
    The pistols are imported as fitted kits, and then assembled by Firestorm in the US.

    The Firestorm (Llama) pistols go though two pickets of QC: Fabrinor's and Firestorm's own...
    so I would suppose the US-assembled Firestorm might have an edge in quality.

  29. #29
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    Again, the discussion is Star and Llama pistols, made by Star and Llama and marked as such, not pistols Llama may or may not have made for some other brand/company.

    What friends are these? I'd like to discuss this with them and get the benefit of their experiences first hand. Most certainly you wouldn't mind that, who are they?

    SlimTim
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  30. #30
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    Again, the discussion is Star and Llama pistols, made by Star and Llama and marked as such, not pistols Llama may or may not have made for some other brand/company.

    What friends are these? I'd like to discuss this with them and get the benefit of their experiences first hand. Most certainly you wouldn't mind that, who are they?

    SlimTim
    Budweiser's Real Man of Genius: Mr. Gun Show Junkie

    Georgians! Tennesseans! Join your neighbors in the TN/GA Shooters forum.



  31. #31
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    OMG! ST, just remembered you have some of these and now are worried about value and quality! LOL!
    The spanish pistols made in the 40's,50's and even 60's were of quite good quality!

  32. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by naranjero View Post
    Vitoria itīs the capital city of Alava province, Fabrinor was in Legutiano, a town of that province but I think that company renamed or was sold, not sure of it, making pistols was just one of the activities they planned to do when they set up the company, they were more focused in making cast steel parts for other industries.
    Naranjero. Thank you. I did not know about Vitoria being in Alava province and Legutiano was, indeed, the name of the town on the pistol. I never got to that part of Spain when I was there. Definitely next time! I appreciate your input and your information about the Basque industries was very informative. I learn something new everytime I log onto this forum.
    Best Regards, Cal

  33. #33

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    I really don't want to get in the middle of this but I think that we have all had bad experiences with guns from different manufacturers. I treated myself to a birthday present and bought a "designer" 1911 .45 cal from a very respected manufacturer several years ago. The pistol refused to feed various types of ammo from time to time. In other words it would feed fine for a few rounds and then would quit. I tried everything and sought the expertise of a local gunsmith and a competitive shooter to no avail. I ended up sending the gun back several times and the problem was finally resolved. I did not give up on the manufacturer and in fact still enjoy shooting this same gun. My point being that even the "high dollar" domestic manufacturers have problems from time to time. I must say that I have never had a similar problem with any Spanish handgun I have ever owned and I have owned a considerable sampling from all three Spanish companies over the years. So when I do run across that "soft steel" or "Saturday night special quality" of a Spanish handgun, I will look upon it as what it is, an anomaly during my experience with these fine guns. Oh by the way, I never expect these guns to be collector items and have long ago disabused myself of the notion of making money on any gun I have ever bought. But no one can put a price on the joy I have had on the range with any of my old Spanish Pistolas.
    Just my two cents! Best to all and everybody have a great weekend.
    Cal44

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    My Spanish pistol collection includes the above 4; a Star Modelo Super, 2 Llama .45 acp (single and double stack), and that funny looking Astra 400. Funny looking but at 10 yards it owns the center of the target. Not bad for a 68 year old odd-calibered military pistol. Other then an ammo shortage issue (fixed; SARCO had some non-corrosive 9mm Largo for sale - 2,000 round case for $475 plus shipping.

    The only problem I've had was because bubba gunsmith ground down the catch on the slide stop pin and it backed out while I was shooting. Nothing like having to clear a loaded chamber when the slide is off the gun! Muzzle down range means alot!

    The Spanish made some very nice pistols; I don't have any problems carrying any of them.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by vz58kid View Post
    OMG! ST, just remembered you have some of these and now are worried about value and quality! LOL!
    The spanish pistols made in the 40's,50's and even 60's were of quite good quality!
    No, I was just pointing out that you were being your usual trollish self, and had nothing of substance to add to the thread, only to quote non-existant friends, guns you've never shot nor owned nor likely seen, claming to have bought by the boatload but never having owned a single example, have fired despite the fact you never go to the range (or average once every five years), etc., etc., etc.

    SlimTim
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    I personally own in the area of 15 Llamas. I have worked on many times that many for others. I also own and work on many 1911s as well.

    The biggest problems with the Llamas seem to be the extractors and firing pins. I feel that Llamas do not like to be dry fired without snap caps. I believe many of the problems are from being dry fired thousands of times. I haven not seen many failures in the "working parts" unless they were "modified" along the way by someone who didn't know what he was doing. My point is that the Llamas are every bit as good as the other 1911s. The "other" 1911s usually fail in the extractors as well. Fact. Tuning the extractor properly is the key to extraction in the 1911 pistol. If it's a Llama, it's junk and it it's a Wilson Combat it just needs to be tuned.

    Llama does have one flaw that is unique. Their plunger tubes have design flaws. After time, the ends of the thumb safety side chip and become useless. I have a bunch in stock but I have found steel replacement tubes that perform perfectly and will never break again. Maybe the "junk" label came from these little plastic parts breaking with no known source as replacement? The small frames also have this issue but not as bad (I think the shorter tube makes it more difficult to break). I have a guy who makes steel tubes for the small frames as well but he makes them on special order, as time allows, but they also work great.

    Most feeding issues (both 1911s and Llamas) are mag related. If I get a new Llama the first thing I check (after tearing it down to every screw and pin) is to check how the magazine it came with works with it. If it has feeding issues I use an already proven mag I have. If that does not do it I then find 3 mags and tweak the feed lips to that particular gun. I never fail in getting the Llamas to feed perfectly. It's the mags, guys! The 1911 crowd has no problems spending $40 on mags to get their $2500 1911s to function perfectly but get a Llama with feeding issues and it's junk. I never get it. The Llamas are 1911 designs with all the inherited issues from the 1911 platform. Yes, like any mfg, you get a dud, a lemon, a piece of crap but that isn't limited to Llama, Star or Astra. People spend cheap money on one of these and if it fails in any way they "get what they paid for" but let it happen to an Ed Brown or Colt and it just needs to be tweaked. (shakes head). That's ok, though. Anyone who owns one of these fine guns get to either buy 4 or 5 for the price of one of theirs or we use the money saved for ammo or whatever else we desire. These guns are the best kept secret of the gun world and I hope it stays that way forever!
    ~Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me~

  37. #37
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    I have these six Spanish pistols:
    Star SS


    Star BM


    Star BKM


    Star PD


    Star M-43


    Llama Minimax 9mm


    All good shooters.
    Bill

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    Nice BKM, I see BKS model here often, but never the BKM.

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    As far as mag feeding issues I don't understand how they can leave the factory like that. Sounds like poor quality control if you have to tweak the mags to each gun no matter who builds it.

    Was this an issue with WWII manufature of 1911A1's or the countless other military contract mag fed pistol or machine guns produced by the warring countries???
    Laugh hard and often.

    Gary

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimTim View Post
    No, I was just pointing out that you were being your usual trollish self, and had nothing of substance to add to the thread, only to quote non-existant friends, guns you've never shot nor owned nor likely seen, claming to have bought by the boatload but never having owned a single example, have fired despite the fact you never go to the range (or average once every five years), etc., etc., etc.

    SlimTim
    Slim Tim! I used to think you were a fine fellow, but the last few month you seem to try to discredit my good name and Rep!

    I have only known you since Jan 09 when Dan told you i had bought the Enfield you had on Consignment at his store, that was in Dalton and that day i bought the Mint Irish Contract! Beside that, i have bought a few guns from you at shows, etc and you have seen me buy many and even gave me the lead on a few!
    So you know i buy whatever i like, but mainly Ak's and AR's, Sigs and FN as well as HK's and you always had told me you mainly were in to Milsurps.
    You had in the past invited me to come to some shoots here and there, but i told you i had not been to a Range in 5 yrs!
    I have told you i always shoot in Marion County where i also have a house and a lot of acreage, so i shoot there with my brothers as well as friends, since i can legally shoot from my Porch!

    So why should i go to public ranges and worry about some Nuts like there seem to be at many!

    I have never claimed to buy any type of guns by the boatload, but i had a few which were nothing but Junk and shot some which really did not impress me for various reasons!

    Nor have i ever bragged about any and never posted picture of any but my Yugo Tok!

    But there are many guns which i dont care for and would not own, dont know what else to say, except take aChill Pill!

  41. #41
    Bob In St. Louis's Avatar
    Bob In St. Louis is online now Diamond with Oak Clusters Bullet Member/Super Moderator
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    vz58kid:

    Your very first remark posting in this forum:

    "Wasnt 1 reason they went out of business, bad guns!"

    On top of that, I have observed your antics in other forums for some time. At this point, I am requesting that you leave the Spanish Forum, and do not post here again. If you attempt to post here anymore, you will receive infractions, and be on a quick road to getting banned.

    My appologies to everyone else, but due to one rotten apple, I am now locking this thread.
    Godfather, Eibar Mafia

    El Jefe Loco

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