Spanish Blue Steel


Star Factory in 1920

Star started in 1905 and by 1914 they were making the Model 1914 which the French government bought, but it was expensive.  When WWI broke out the French decided they needed a cheaper gun so they bought the Ruby from Gabilondo y Cia.  Echeverria soon made the gun he called the Izarra, Basque for Star, which was similar to the Ruby and would meet all of the French requirements.  There are articles written  that suggest that Star produced them for  Gabilondo, but such is not the case they were on a separate contract, directly to Echeverria, from the French government. Izarra models were in 7.65mm and factory stamped with the encircled letter I code on the tang as well as on the 3 nickel plated magazines shipped with each gun.  Star produced 57,000 of them along with more of the model 1914 , in two variations, during the war. 

The long Barrel guns were reported to be produced for the Navy, however Star records indicate that they only produced them post war. This being the case it is odd that this gun carries the two stars on the butt of the gun thought to be added by France inspectors. Star sold a small number of these guns to Portugal for trials post war.


Star 1914 in 7.65 mm used by the French during WWI and later.  This gun is not nickel as it looks but blue with original grips used by the French. The gun also came in the shorter barrel for Military and commercial sales.

After the war was over Echeverria went back to the 1914 model and improved it. Now calling it the model 1919.  7.65 mm & .380 calibers.  Hammer and lanyard swivel were the two most obvious changes.

In 1920 they came out with the Military model 1920 which was purchased by the Spanish Guardia Civil.  This gun resembled the Colt 1911 in most respects but its inter workings are different, only using the Browning tipping barrel design and outward appearance.  9 mm Largo Caliber.  While some term this gun a model A, such is not the case.  It was not sold commercially until it was traded in and rebuilt at which time the .38 was added to the slide for 38acp caliber.   I have seen one 1922  that snapped the slide in half by using 38 Super.  This is not recommended in Star 9mm Largo guns.

A year later Star came out with the Star 1921 which initially had the grip safety but this was not liked by the Spanish Guardia Civil and the gun was redesigned into the model 1922.  The front  sight is wrong on this gun.

This model was called the 1922 but was actually made in 1921 and later to replace the model 1921.  The rear sight is adjustable with a screw on the right side and it has a thumb safety just as the Colt 1911.  9 mm Largo caliber.  This gun has a Guardia Civil Crown over GC marked slide with matching GC marked mag. 


Model 1931 or the first Model A, added the arched backstrap and the cutouts behind the trigger. The hammer was reshaped but the hole was retained and the safety shape also changed.  Like the previous models it does not have a safety when the mag is pulled and if there is a bullet in the chamber it can be fired.   9 mm Largo Caliber.   This gun is again a GC marked gun with plastic grips made in 1934. 

In the years after the war the A model was made in limited numbers in 9mm Parabellum as well as 9mm Largo.  The A was made for the Spanish Military and for commercial buyers all over the world.  This particular gun is marked with an Air Force mark, made in 1946 and is when they started using the ergo bump on the front strap.  Early variations were straight as with the model 1931.


The Model AS is much the same gun with the magazine safety feature added.  This gun was made in 1971, but does not fall into the serial Number sequence for that year in which there were only 60 AS guns made.  It was also made in the Cal 38 which is very unusual.  9mm Largo and .38 ACP both chamber but usually they are marked 9mm or 9 mm / 38 and Largo on the barrel.  This has neither.  The Cal 38 was also roll marked and not hand stamped as they usually are.  Ever wonder if your gun would shoot 38 Super safely.  According to Garcia it will .  I have a pic of a Star box (shown below) for an AS showing 38 Super as the cal. and the gun is marked 9mm/38.

This pic should be sufficient to show you that 38 Super can be fired in the 9mm Largo guns.  I have erased the serial number from the box.

Model A target with partridge front sight and adjustable rear.  This gun operates as smooth as silk with a fine tuned trigger.

The Modelo Super which is an A model with EZ takedown lever on the right side of the frame, and has a longer barrel.  Drop the magazine, rotate the lever to the front and the slide, barrel assembly will slide off.  This model does not have the barrel link.  It also has the mag safety and the Army proof mark which is an I inside a flaming bomb.

The model B is just an upgraded version of the A and was made in 9 mm Parabellum instead of Largo.  These guns were sold to Germany and Bulgaria during WWII and the Bulgarians are often faked as being WaA251 marked.  You should watch for the P08 caliber marking on the barrel & slide and make sure they have the correct serial number range.  The last shipment of guns to the Germans was not picked up at the Spanish border as they should have been because the Allies were in France and the Germans could not get to them.  They were then carried back to the Star factory where they sat until the Post War German Police needed them and most are marked LPN on the front grip strap.  This gun is an LPN but a later made one.  All parts are marked with a Police serial number.


Shown with the takedown lever slide lock pulled out just like on a 1911 Colt.  Lower photo shows connector link which is on all but the super models.  Spring is sitting there because it wants to and could fly any minute.

The next gun again is a model B with some history.  It is one of the guns sent to Bulgaria, but is marked with the German Waffenampt WaA251.  It is faked so don't be fooled.  Check the serial numbers to make sure the Waffenampt is good.  There were a lot of them being sold by some dealer.  Won't mention any names because I am not sure they were aware of it at the time they were selling them.  Bulgarian numbers range from 225007-225775; 226101-230331; 230332-230375;  230826-231756;  231758-235782;  235901-240900.  These guns are at the time being sold again with the fake marking.  WaA251 is a marking applied only to guns that were in or went to France.


This is a model B and it has an early A serial number, but was date code marked in 1942 and marked B.  This guns serial number places it as a Guardia Civil gun which they made some B models for.  The frame was most likely made during the Civil War and had its serial number imprinted, but then not finished until 1942.  It has a very unusual mark on the right of the frame with crossed rifles.  Crossed rifles were applied to guns purchased by the GC starting in 1940 when the Carbineros became part of the Guardia Civil.

The model BS is a B with the safety added to the magazine.  When magazine is not in the gun it cannot be fired.  This particular gun was imported by the Garcia Corp, exported to some other country and then reimported from Israel by SSME in Plant City FL. along with other B series guns. I have no idea if it was capture or if Israel used them.  Made in 1971 and it is in very good condition with original blue.  Original smooth walnut grips and it was marked with the commercial P in the bomb proof.


The model B Super is the same as the Modelo Super with the mods for the B series.  9 mm Parabellum. The serial number on the right side is Military and all proofs are under the left grip. This is a late model with the last modification to the front grip strap.

Removal of the Mag is required to take this gun down just like on the other models, but a simple twist of the lever forward like shown will release the slide.  The spring on the slide below is held captive and is not likely to fly.  Note that the barrel does not have the link as with the other guns and is held in place by the notch in the bottom lug.  This is a gun that I use and I have replaced the plastic checkered grips with some from 4S Brand Grips.

Model D-- For all practical purposes this gun is a Star model D while being marked for FI.  The D will also be found with Colts name on it as the Pony and as Iver Johnsons Pony as well.  This gun is in .380 acp and came in a model DK as well with an aluminum frame.  The gun also came in a nickel finish.  It is a wonderful carry gun being small and light.  There are some dimension differences in the Iver Johnson guns but design is the same.  In 1968 with advent of the 68 gun law this gun became non importable.  Colt bought the rights to make it from Star with the understanding they buy everything but the frame from Star.  Colt began production on the frames which were marked with the prefix CPA on the serial number.  Colt decided not to sell the guns and sold the rights to FI who bought all of the frames and parts.  This gun is one of the Colt Frames with Star parts.

The model P is a model A in concept with a heavier, wider frame to handle the .45 ACP caliber.  This gun is from a 1948 Argentine Contract for the Buenos Aires Police and has that marking on the right side of the frame. The frames are .875" wide.  The Star design was used to make the Ballester Molina in Argentina but the slide, magazine, barrel and mag were made to interchange with the Colt 1911 which Argentina also used.  These guns were much cheaper to manufacture than the Colt.  (See the Argentine pistols page)

The model PS is just the same as the P except with the magazine safety and different magazine.  It is the fourth in a series of variations.  This is a commercial model with the main customer being the USA.  This is an early variation with the old type ergo bump.  Last variation of this gun had the smaller ergo bump like the Super B above. 

Model PD is another in the series of .45 cal Stars.  Very light with anodized alloy frame and a nice gun for concealed carry.  Rear sight is adjustable on this gun which is the 3rd variation.  Variation 1 has  different serrations on the slide and a round trigger guard. The 4th variation has a fixed rear sight.  Throughout Stars years of production you will find that they combined many years parts to make guns, so variations are common.

Variation # 2 with variation #1 trigger guard and variation #3 slide serrations.

The Model M is built on a large frame like the P but is in several calibers, including 9mm Largo.  Some of the M's have a stock lug and stock.  This gun is 9mm Largo, 38acp and has an H 1 date code.

The model I  is 7.65 and made in several barrel lengths.  More or less an up grade of the 1919 to the new configuration

The Model Super S has the takedown features of all the Super models with the disconnecter lever on the right side. This gun comes only in .380acp.  It is larger than the Llama and the Colt making it a little more comfortable to the hand. 

There are other models that look similar, such as the model SS mag safety model, below, the S which was the first, the SI in .32 cal, and the Super SM. 


The Model BM was made for the Guardia Civil and other Police agencies in Spain as well as Commercial.  The gun is made in 9mm Parabellum and has a 4" barrel with an 8 shot mag.  Size is comparable to the Colt Officers model except for the width.  It makes a beautiful carry gun and is as dependable as they get.  You will find them with GC and serial numbers.  PN, CSP, CGP and serial numbers plus some marked 9mm NATO.  The BM comes in Blue, Starvel and Chrome.

The model BKM is almost an exact copy of the BM with an alloy frame which is black anodized.  Note the front sight is reversed from the early BM.

The model BKS known as the Starlite has an anodized alloy frame and comes in 9mm P only.  Weighing in at only 1 lb 10.5 oz. and having a 4 3/8" barrel. 

The Firestar Model 43 is the most compact 9mm in the Star line.  It is a very nice, very accurate gun for its size.  It is a six shot with factory mags but they can be purchased aftermarket in 7 shot.  The barrel length is 3 1/4".  The gun also comes in Starvel which is sometimes mistaken for stainless steel but it is electrolysis nickel.  The gun was made in .40 caliber, Firestar Model 40, and .45 caliber, Firestar Model 45. 

The model 43 was used by the Guardia Civil in Spain

Model 40 in Starvel finish.  Slide is a little heavier than the model 43

Firestar Plus 9MM P is an anodized alloy frame high capacity model that comes both in blue black and starvel finish.  This gun has a mag capacity of 13 rounds or 10 rounds depending on the mag you use. 

The Star model 28 was developed with intentions of selling it to the Spanish Army but when tested it did not pass the tests so it was modified and a contract was signed for them.  You will find 28PK's with the M30 and M31 mods as this was the way GC guns were marked to comply with the contracts that star had.  The GC wanted lighter frames so they made them from aluminum with shorter barrels and designated them the 28PK.  The P being short barrel Police and the K being alloy.  This gun pictured is the M28 all steel frame of which there were about 16,000 made.

Note that the model 28 and later guns used the slide inside of the frame giving one more rail to keep the slide tight for better accuracy.  This was first used in the French Mab 35A and then in the Sig P210 which is a copy of the Mab 35A for the most part as they bought the patent rights. This was implemented to try to compete with the American guns for accuracy.

Model 28 PK with model 31 mods, one of which is the ball on the end of the barrel to stabilize it.  This gun is marked with PN  on the left side of the frame which is Policia National. This type of barrel stabilization, to my knowledge, first appeared on a Spanish ALKAR in the twenties, not to appear again until the model 31

The Star model 31 was one of the last improvements to this series and the one pictured is the 31 P short barrel police.  Also made as the 31 PK with Alloy frame.  Both were either Blue or Starvel

Due to the introduction of the tupperware frame, Star got into the act with the Ultra Star.  The one shown is 9mm, with 9 in the mag and one in the chamber.  Really a good feeling gun to shoot.  Also comes in .40SW.


Star Model F , 22 cal, 4"  round barrel

Star F Sport target , 22 cal, 7.5 inch round barrel

Star F target, 22cal, 7.5 flat sided barrel

Star CO, 25 cal

This is the type of holster sent with the Izarra to France.  They were made by a contractor, sent to Star, and then shipped with the guns.  This is a reproduction that is not quite correct, button is wrong type.  Contains a mag pouch inside for two mags.

Correct original holster

Correct modified holster with mag pouch on the outside as well as inside.

This is a pre civil war and civil war holster used by the Republican Army.

 This type holster was  sent with the Model B to Germany.


The Spanish Military used this holster Post Civil War for their A models.  Supers will not fit.  Has Eagle shield that Franco adopted from earlier Republican Army.  It is the shield of St. James the Lessor, Patron Saint of the Spanish Army

Holster used by the LPN for their Model B.  Serial number is on the back right hand side if facing you.

Holster used by a Turk for a Star P

WWII Commercial

Holster that the Guardia Civil used with the Model BM

Llama Page