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Century International Arms Inc. has been North America’s largest importer of surplus and new firearms and accessories for over 50+ years. They are well known in the industry for importing outstanding Rifles, Pistols, and Shotguns for collectors and shooters alike. Not only do Century firearms look and feel great; they are fully functional and shoot extremely well.
Get your hands on a surplus STAR Model BM from Century Arms! This is an excellent pistol that very much resembles a 1911 at a much more reasonable price. These pistols are used surplus and in good working order, but may exhibit some wear on the finish in addition to some dings and scratches. It has a 3.77″ barrel and a single action only trigger system with a locking breach. Featuring a steel frame and traditional black fixed sights you’ll recognize the familiar feel and controls. It has a durable matte blued finish. If you need a reliable pistol for practice or defense, without breaking the bank, take a look at the STAR BM!
This pistol is used surplus and condition may vary.
No choice or handpicking.
All sales are final
Guns can not be returned for any reason.
This pistol is used surplus and condition may vary.
By purchasing this gun you accept that you will receive a used gun graded in “good” condition by Century Arms International.
No choice or handpicking.
All sales are final
Guns can not be returned for any reason.
We do not ship to C&R license holders.
The Star Model BM is a single-action semi-automatic pistol that fires the 9 mm Parabellum pistol cartridge. It was produced by Star Bonifacio Echeverria, S.A. in Spain. Although its external appearance resembles the classic M1911, its design is different in several respects. For example, the Star does not have the 1911’s grip safety. In addition, the thumb safety on the Star BM blocks the hammer, whereas it blocks the motion of the sear on a 1911 and the Star’s trigger pivots on a roll pin rather than moving straight back like a 1911A1’s trigger to trip the sear. The pistol is fed by an 8-round detachable box magazine.
Old school surplus has dried up, and the pickings are fairly slim these days. One piece you can run across at a reasonable price is a 9mm Star BM pistol. Due to this the Star BM has a bit of an appeal. Better still, it’s chambered for the hugely popular and readily available 9mm Parabellum rather than some oddball, like the obsolete 9mm Largo. With this in mind, should you consider a Star BM for your collection or for recreational shooting?
The BM was the product of Star Bonifacio Echevarria, S.A. which was located in the Eibar region of Spain. This geographical location has long been linked to weapons and firearm manufacture, of both good and poor quality. Star Bonifacio Echevarria, S.A. was in business from about 1905 to 1997. The Star lineage can be traced back to the 19th century muzzle-loading black powder firearms built by José Cruz Echeverria. Echeverria went on to have two sons, Julián and Bonifacio who began producing firearms of their own in about 1905. The brothers worked together for about five years, and then Julián left. Bonifacio then began to expand his company and improve his product line, which was focused on small automatic pistols.
The Star pistol seen here is their mid-size BM in 9mm Parabellum. This is a very practical design which proved fairly popular due to its size, build quality, features and price. Introduced in 1972, production of this model ran until 1992, with approximately 217,682 examples being manufactured. The BM is conceptually similar to the Colt Commander, being a shortened version of Star’s take on the 1911. It features a locked breach operating system with Browning’s swinging link. The 3.7-inch barrel features two locking lugs which mate with recesses in the slide. While it retains a removable barrel bushing, similar to the Colt, it features a different recoil spring assembly. The BM sports a captured recoil spring with a full length steel guide rod. This is a nice upgrade over the Colt.
Star Model BM semi auto pistol in 9mm Luger (9×19). Commonly a Spanish police and military issue pistol, the Star Bonifacio Echeverria Modelo BM features a 4″ barrel, blued finish, dovetailed rear sight, fixed front sight, black plastic checkered grip panels, compact all steel 1911 Commander style slide and frame, manual safety lever, solid trigger, and checkered spur hammer. Includes one 8rd magazine, a box (cardboard or plastic). May or may not have a manual or cleaning rod. Blued finish may be arsenal refurbished with police marking removed. In overall Very Good condition, the bluing may show high edge holster wear and patina, and the bore shows service wear and may be frosted. Importer part numbers may vary. Not C&R, but nice historical pistols!
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The model A pistol is the 9 mm Largo variant of the A/B series of 1911-inspired pistols that led Star design for the next 60 years. The models A, B, P and M had roughly comparable updates over the years. Many other models were related to this series; for example, the model S is simply a scaled-down model A/B series design, and was first produced concurrent with the earliest model As, in 1922.
Pistols marked 9 mm / 38 or any similar variation, are designed to fire .38 ACP and 9 mm Largo ammunition, but NEVER .38 Super. Read more detail on ammunition for older pistols.
The whole family of the “Star” pistol was (and stil is) manufactured by the Spain-based company Bonifacio Echeverria, SA. Back in the 1920s the company began to develop semi-automatic pistols, based on Browning-designed Colt M1911 design. These pistols were more or less similar to the original M1911, but usually chambered for 9x19mm Luger or 9x23mm Largo (Bergmann-Bayard) rounds.
The Star mod. A was chambered for 9mm Largo ammunition and mostly used in the Spain. The mod. B was chambered for 9x19mm Luger and had been widely exported into many countries, including Hitlers’ Germany, and had been used during World War 2. The Star model P had been chambered for .45ACP cartridge and mostly intended for American market. The model BM was a compact version of the mod. B with shorter barrel and slide.
The Model B Super replaced the Mod. B in the production and in the Spain Army arsenals, and had been in production in 1946 – 1965, and had been in use by Spanish military until early 1990s, when new Star M30 had been adopted as a new service sidearm.
The Star pistols, mod. A, B and P were similar in design and differed mostly in caliber. All these pistols were recoil operated, locked breech, single action pistols that used Browning-deigned, linked barrel locking principle. The models A Super and B Super differed from mod. A and B, respectively, only in that the Super model utilised linkless locking scheme, similar to that used in Browning High Power pistols.
Being very similar in appearance to the Colt m1911A1 pistols, the Star pistols had some differences.
First, these pistols had no automated grip safety, and no detachable backstrap/mainspring housing
Second, Star pistols had simplified trigger/sear design with single trigger link, and pivoting trigger
Third, external safety swiths locked the hammer, not the sear
Fourth, Star pistols featured exetrnal extractors
As a general rule, date coded guns (e.g. “Model 1940”) are military issue and letter coded (e.g. “Model A”) are commercial or export versions, but these are only versions. The Star factory considered at least guns from the 1922 onward to be “Model A” versions, to the point they sometimes shipped military models in commercial, full color graphics, Model A boxes, with a sticker or hand-written mark indicating the specific sub-model.
MANUALS & DISASSEMBLY INSTRUCTIONS
I do not have manuals for every pistol shown on this site. However, in many cases there is a related manual. Partly to make the series relationships clearer, and partly to assist with speed and accuracy of updating, all manuals can be found in one place, the manuals page. All manuals available are provided as downloadable PDFs, or you may purchase a printed copy of the entire set of handgun manuals.
All Classic series pistols strip in the same way. Do note the significant differences between older swinging-link versions with a takedown pin, and later “Super” variations with a takedown level.
The Model A and B didn’t emerge out of the minds of the Star designers, or due to some marketing genius trying to copy the Colt. The first of the series was the Model 1922, a pistol for the Guardia Civil, and which was a direct descendent of the Model 1921.
While we don’t have the details, the Guardia didn’t seem entirely satisfied with the Model 1921s, as they had them for less than a year before the new version. Changes from the 1921 seem to all be involved in simplifying and refining the design. The extractor is now of a simpler shape, as is the magazine release bar. Most of all, the grip safety has been removed, and the entire rear grip area recontoured. The beavertail is of more conventional length now.
The safety lever, slide lock and most mechanical components are unchanged. All issue pistols (as opposed to the Model A for export and commerical use) seem to have a simple, fixed sight.
Star produced a commercial version of the Guardia Civil’s model 1922 pistol as the model A. The only difference (aside from markings on some guns) is, an adjustable sight. This might seem to be a needless complexity on a design that seems to be getting more simple, but is robust, and much less intrusive than the large tangent sights on some contemporary designs, as it is sunk into and integrated with the top of the slide. As the model 1922 has a simple fixed sight, it is possible some model A pistols also had this instead.
These pistols were made in 7.63 mm Mauser for the export market, and 9 mm Largo for the Spanish market and Guardia.
The First Model B, first produced in 1924, is a transitional model, with most of the features of the 1922 and First Model A, but the extractor of the 1921, and a middle-ground shape for the backstrap. Model Bs are in 9mm Luger/Parabellum
In 1924, minor changes were introduced without a model designation change. The previous variant was discontinued in favor of the second variant. I am not clear on what the changes are, or even if they were to both the commercial and Guardia variants or not. I believe that a major feature may be the change from the early T-shaped extractor to the more modern rounded-end extractor; the older extractor is present on the first model B, and on all older guns such as the 1922, but not on the gun shown to the right. Production ceased in 1931 in favor of the third model A and model 1931 pistols.
In 1931 a more serious round of changes took place, mostly notably with the reshaping of the backstrap to match the arched mainspring housing of the Colt 1911A1. There were also changes to the style of the thumb safety, and some small internal changes, mostly for manufacturing reasons. The second model A was discontinued in favor of this third model.
Some of these changes were to meet Spanish government requirements, and a model 1931 was produced in some quantity, mostly for Guardia, but also for other police and some military forces.
Further refinements and requirements led to the development of the model 1940 pistol, produced from 1940 onward. This was issued in quantity to various Spanish military forces. A Star pistol in 9 mm Largo is still seen in quantity in South Africa. I believe some or all may have been this variant.
From 1946 onward, Star produced a Super version of the model A pistol. Besides the improvements from the model 1940, this as usual consisted of a number of upgrades to the weapon. Mostly the swinging link was replaced with a Sig 210 (or modern Star) style closed cam path integral to the barrel. Related to this, a full-length guide rod with captive spring, and a quick takedown lever were added as well. All of these models have a magazine safety, but one different from the previous S variants, and the extractor is modified to double as a loaded-chamber indicator. Additionally, the sights are improved in shape to make them easier to see, and minor changes were made to the trigger system. These were also apparently exported for extensive foreign military use.
Most Super pistols, of all series, were not labeled with the overall series letter. This has caused no end of confusion, and a number of guns are now sold at surplus as the Modelo Super, or even as model Bs, that are actually model As.
As there are aftermarket barrels available to allow firing of 9 mm Luger/Parabellum ammunition in Largo (model A) pistols, caliber is no longer a completely sure way to identify Super marked pistols. Use care when trying to ID these pistols.
The final model A variant of which I am aware is the AS, produced from 1956 to the end of primary A/B series production in 1983. This seems to be a commercial version of the model 1940 pistol, including the swinging link, and with the addition of a magazine safety and loaded chamber indicator. It was sold on the commercial and export markets exclusively.
A small number â€” reportedly 60 â€” model AS pistols were marked “Cal 38” on the side and barrel hood. Per the importer, this indicates they are able to safely chamber and fire .38 Super ammunition. It is unclear if this is the primary chambering, or they are simply upgraded 9 mm Largo dimensioned chambers able to handle the extra pressure.