FI .380

Discussion in 'Other SNS' started by TNTRAILERTRASH, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. TNTRAILERTRASH

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    A friend who doesn't know much about guns showed me this beauty. Firearms International 1911 style .380. "Washington DC " The trigger is really smooth, probably 3-4 lbs. Comparison to a Shield 9.
    20201006_180902.jpg 20201006_184658.jpg
     
  2. TNTRAILERTRASH

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    I place it in the SNS section as it is a FI piece. Just like my FI revolver. The frame and slide are absolutely gorgeous.
     
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  3. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    Not as gorgeous as mine that’s nickel plated.
    @greg_r got one too.
    You just missed a dude on EBay who was parting out one.
    I got a spare firing pin.
     
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  4. That's a Star Model D.

    Firearms International (FI, not to be confused with FIE) acquired the rights and essentially it's a Star Model D pistol sold under another name. There are some reports of FI selling the import-marked version as the "Garcia Model 30" as well.

    The same goes for the Iver Johnson Pony .380 pistols.
     
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  5. TNTRAILERTRASH

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    So decent quality? The finish has a really deep luster to it. Like a black mirror.
     
  6. The finish on some of those Spanish pistols was very nice. I never had a problem with my Iver Johnson. Biggest issue is parts availability.
    Here's my IJ:
    upload_2020-10-7_20-45-11.png
     
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  7. histed

    histed Supporting Member

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    @adam01364 - I love these 1911 knock offs. What's your opinion of the M43 Firestar? I MIGHT have a chance to trade an SD9VE for one
     
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  8. My stepfather has an FI Model D, nickel finish. I had a picture of it, but I can't find it.
    It's in really good condition.
     
  9. Quavodus

    Quavodus Member

    Looks like good quality.
     
  10. SWAGA

    SWAGA No longer broke... Lifetime Supporter

    upload_2020-10-12_17-59-38.jpeg

    Like this one ?
     
  11. magnut

    magnut Member

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    Not really SNS territory but they are nice pistols. SNS guns are typically mass produced junk useing alternate materials such as zamak along with simplistic designs with low parts count. Those pistols are more on par with actualy real firearms. Maybe not Beretta or HK but they are quality pistols compared to our favorite zamak junkers.

    accutek and sterling are pretty much SNS territory though even though they are not zamak. Some guns are so bad they simply have to get thrown in with SNS groups. I make the rules for all this by the way so no need to question it.
     
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  12. retread

    retread Member

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    funny, cant stop laughing!!!
     
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  13. magnut

    magnut Member

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    Neat pistols. That magazine well is interesting how they chose to ovelap the frame with that hump on the front of the frame. I wonder what the reason whas behind that as I dont see things like that much. Maybe some sort of butt strike protection. Its deffinitly got a purpose as those are extra steps in the machinining process. The extractor is crazy long as well. Almost double what it needs to be. Not sure why they would choose that route.

    Parts availability...l feel your pain. Often times pistols like these your only way to get spare parts is to buy another complete gun. At least the ammo is common though. Parts availability is the main reason I stick to certain designs and not branch out into too many oddball guns.

    You need to track down a VP70z Adam. You would love it. Nothing is breakable on them either. I rate them more durable than Makarovs.
     
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  14. magnut

    magnut Member

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    The 9mm firestars are really good..... really good. They just got axed for political and financial reasons. Parts wise I think the only somwhat concerning part is the extractor and availability of replacement. 40 and 45 firestars had some issues and I wouldnt mess with them unless your just really into Firestars. An SD9VE is a fair trade if the firestar is not abused. Just inspect it well. If you dont have a whole lot of full size high capacity guns it may not be worth it in this climate we are in. If I was in a scrape I would deffinitly choose a SD9 over a firestar. In terms of the trade itself though its pretty good. All steel old world quality pistol over newer mass produced striker fired plastic. The firestar is also infinitly more collectable so I dont think you could ever lose money on it.
     
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  15. histed

    histed Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I get what you're saying about the political climate. I have other "high capacity" 9mms, so that isn't an issue. My thought process is that, being lower capacity, the M 43 may not be on a hit list - yet. And I do like the 1911 styling. Just making sure I wasn't going to rip the guy off - or get ripped off
     
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  16. TNTRAILERTRASH

    TNTRAILERTRASH Supporting Member

    My BIL carried a Sterling as a back up when he was a patrol officer. It always went bang, and didn't jam. I have one just like it I got from dad. I also bought one on line. Nice little pistols.
     
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  17. magnut

    magnut Member

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    Back in the years where Spanish firearms were still around the Firestar was basically the last generation for the Star pistols and was the best quality they ever achieved in terms of materials and design. The 40s&w was still fairly new and pretty much all guns had issues in terms of durability because most companies were doing simple conversions from 9mm platforms. The 9mms were pretty much perfect. I think they won handgun of the year for the firestar 9mm. Astra had another one with the A70.... also very, very excellent.... in some ways the a70 was better....in others not.

    In terms of 1911 like..... Kind of. They are more of a 1911/CZ hybrid. I would say they are better than any mini 1911 in terms of reliability and Accuracy (m43 is extremely accurate). Shortcoming comes with the disassembly and maintenance but that can be learned.

    I played with on of these back in the mid 90s (they came out in 91). It was an impressive performer... no feeding or extraction issues and accurate as my full size beretta. The weight really made shooting enjoyable for what then was a tiny 9mm. I actually wanted one for carry but I ended up falling in love with Makarovs and Tokarevs. Neither as accurate as the m43 (makarov is very close). None of the Star model Bs are as accurate as the m43 either. The star model M is but its full size CZ75 heritage. M43s were very popular when they first came out in the shops with people that knew firearms well. A lot of 1911 guys liked them. This was back in the full size wondernine craze before the subcompact market really took off.

    The only pistol in this range having that much of an impact that I can remember was the Keltec p11. The P11 was really a trailblazer which is why so many clones started popping up everywhere. Once that happened everything went polymer... star sales slowed down and the big spanish three eventually shut down along with astra and Llama and it was a major hit to the gun community. Similar would be if the the Italian Big three shut down (Tanfoglio, Beretta, Bernardelli).

    If you have not handled it yet ..... they are heavy. They are thin and flat. Its an all steel very solid pistol around 30oz. Not a pocket carry gun at all. More of a compact belt carry. Beautiful for appendix carry. There are some things you should know. A detail strip is tricky. The rear sight must be removed to get to the fireing pin. Taking grips off is also touchy as the safety lever components can pop off. Here is some info on a recall and other potential issues....Check your serial number range for the fireing pin recall issues.

    http://www.star-firearms.com/firearms/guns/firestar/
     
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  18. magnut

    magnut Member

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    Some are better than others. The 25acp ones are not too bad as they are basically a cheaply built Galesi. The model 400 in 380acp suffered a lot of problems. The 22lr are finiky like any other 22lr pocket gun but can work with the right combination of ammo and polishing. Some years were better than others. I have a 25acp still thats pretty decent. Its pretty hard to screw up a pocket gun in 25acp. Even some of the worst manufacterers still managed to put out a decent 25. A lot of that is due to the cartridge itself and the fact that they are always simple blowbacks.

    Now it should be said that the stainless sterlings or any other stainless guns from that era can always be finiky in terms of lube. They really didnt have a handle on making stainless pistols back then and most manufacturers struggled with the different combinations. Some still do not have a handle on this. Good lube to use on those early guns is FP-10.

    I will say this... the sterling 400 IMO is one of the prettiest guns ever made IMO. Finish is not great but the lines are nice. They just had all kinds of problems from parts breakage, metalurgy, bad safety design etc. Sterling also had some real funky guns and even a decent sigle shot hunting pistol so they were a neat company to watch. They had lots and lots of problems in house though and it buried the company in the end.
     
  19. undeRGRound

    undeRGRound ROLL wif Da MOLE! Supporting Member

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