The Star model BM Spanish service pistol was an excellent firearm for its time. The pistol saw service with the Spanish military and police but also was used by the South African Defense Forces and found its way into the Rhodesian bush war. Although it looks strikingly similar to the 1911, the Star BM is significantly different mechanically. The Star pistol has a shorter service life and has recently worked its way into the surplus market of the United States.
The Star BM was manufactured from 1972 to 1992 and in that time only 217,682 were produced. There were no variations made in terms of mechanical function during this time of production. Although, some varied grips and finishes, this was dependent on when they were made and to whom they were issued. Overall, the Star BM did not see much use outside of the routine and it’s not known as to what extent it was employed in Rhodesia. However, the Star BM is an excellent pistol despite being outdated by modern service pistol standards.
The Star BM pistol weighs 35 ounces, has a 4-inch barrel and utilizes 9x19mm caliber bullets. The magazine release is located in the standard location on the grip behind the trigger. The 8 round magazines do not drop free because of the magazine safety/disconnect, a bar that prevents the trigger from being pulled if a magazine is not in the weapon. The manual safety disengages the sear entirely while simultaneously lock the slide, it is very intuitive to manipulate though. The sights are small and bland; an out dated design and style like that of the original 1911’s. The trigger is probably one of the best ones of its time with a crisp break and limited travel, rather than being a straight pull it hinges rearward.
Disassembly is like a 1911 as the slide is pulled to the rear and once the correlating slot lines up, the slide release lever can be removed allowing the slide to come off the front. From there the recoil spring and guide rod can be extracted. The barrel is removed out the front once the barrel bushing is rotated and removed. That brings the weapon into a state of being field stripped. The Star BM 9mm is an exceptional design and functions incredibly well with a high degree of accuracy, it has been replaced by more modern firearms but is still a more than effective sidearm.
Photos courtesy of Author
*Originally published on SOFREP