Monday, May 25, 2015

B Super Slide Stop: The Saga Begins

Parts have finally started really drying up for Star pistols, and we're now going to be moving into a new phase, where you have three choices:

  1. Everything becomes a wall-hangar. Oh, you can take it down and click it occasionally, but don't shoot it as it might break. 
  2. Get by with broken bits, but keep shooting. 
  3. Repair the parts yourself. 

I have recently acquired a B Super (I didn't have one lately before this) largely with Option #3 in mind.

It has one of the key problems that some readers have sent to me, namely the follower detector on the slide stop is sheared off. This is a real problem as there appear to be no replacements around anymore.

It is my intention to repair the part then, but first, let's examine it. This is a single part number to Star, in all lists and manuals. But it's not a single piece. Look close at the back end.

There's a screw. It's staked to avoid falling out, but not very hard. Wobbling it back and forth very carefully, with a very well-fitted screwdriver will allow you to remove it. Note that the screw has no stop point, so you can twist both ways and won't be over-tightening it. This is convenient for our removal purposes.

Once you get it loose, slowly unscrew it as there is spring tension. Not much, but be careful as these are tiny parts.

Back to front there is the screw/guide, a spring, and the plunger that provides spring tension for the whole slidestop/takedown lever portion.

I was hoping this would mean the follower sensor is also a separate piece that can be simply filed to shape, but no such luck. The answer will be welding a rod on here, but at least that welding won't ruin the slide stop mechanism now that we know how to take it apart.

When I get to the next step, I'll post that also.

Monday, June 30, 2014

What Should I See at the National Firearms Centre?

In a few weeks, I'll be in London on other business and will be taking the train up to Leeds to visit the National Firearms Centre. If that doesn't sound interesting or familiar, remember the Enfield Pattern Room? That moved to Nottingham in the 1980s and much more recently was joined with the Tower collections and put into an all new building.

I have some plans to look at a few of the SMGs, and compare features of the firing assemblies, and so on. They do not have every gun I am interested in, so I can't meet every need. They also may not allow the photos to be posted here, though I am working on that. At least, I'll have more info to add to the site and hopefully clarify a few things.

Note, they charge about $75 / hour, so I will only have so much spare time either. If anyone wants, I'll happily take donations or you can buy manuals or Star branded clothing. A tiny amount of each sale goes to run this site. If you really want to help, you can also just PayPal me a donation specifically for this trip and visit.

P.S. Soon I hope to have even more Star branded stuff. So, stay tuned.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Interviewed for a Newspaper Article

Aside from answering your questions about your personal guns, I have stumbled into being a sort of information repository on Star pistols. I also answer questions from gunsmiths, forensics investigators, and police departments across the world. It's pretty weird.

Recently, as a followup to a notorious 1970s murder in Palm Springs, I was interviewed because the investigators are sure a PD was used in the crime.

If you live in the area, do read it. The point is not just sensationalism but the hope that someone will remember a detail, or find something incriminating like the gun, and they can solve the case for good. But at least read for my quotes, and tell me what I (or they, in their quoting) got wrong. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Parts & Spares for Your Star Firearms

This is one of the most common questions I get, and has gotten harder over the years. First, the basics.

  • This is not the official website of Star Bonifacio Echeverria. They went out of business decades ago. This is just an informational site.
  • There are no new parts available anywhere, and no factory service.

So, parts are starting to become out of stock. Much worse for some of our readers is that IPAR Guns has, apparently, folded. They had a good inventory, and the blueprints and knowhow to make parts (or guns, I think) so that resource is gone now.

Parts are listed here:

In case this all makes you depressed, you are in good company. My beloved Smith & Wesson 5946 broke an extractor a little while ago. It is a slightly odd variation of the very well-used third generation series of Smith auto pistols. And just with the transition to plastic pistols, I could not find the part. I had to call the manufacturer (no email, no web ordering) during business hours and pay $35 plus shipping just for an extractor. Oh, and it's still not here several weeks later.

Apparently, this is typical. I am told by my friends who shoot pistols older than just a few years that unless a very, very popular gun without serious changes, it's often nearly impossible to get parts even if the manufacturer is in business.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

You are right, I am not answering emails

There are a couple reasons. First, I've been slipping because I am busy. My job takes me out of town 4-5 days a week now. I get good money, but have much less spare time.

And if I have spare time, I have freelance clients. And I've been writing this entire book. Which is being edited now, so there's still months of changes to do.

And I am editing another book (on webkit development, if you care) for Wiley's "Smashing" series.

And there are other hobbies where I end up making documents, doing webdesign, making maps, etc. It's a busy life. And that's before you get to having a house, and a wife and up to 5 foster kids at a time.

Second, because my hosting service is stupid. And I never really made a good way for you to get ahold of me. The email has failed, basically. Sometimes I can't even receive, but haven't been able to send from that account for months. So, now I am going to get emails at the new, more sensible address Some day I'll get around to answering the emails already received, but remember I am busy still. Could be months.

This does make me sad, as I also have entire manuals, and thousands of photos to get through. Plenty to do on the site, even without answering questions. So sad really.

Which leads me to a question to all of you. What other support systems would you like? I used to run a forum, but it got out of hand so took it down long ago. I was thinking of maybe a Facebook page. I'll moderate, preferably with things like the ability of you guys to say posts are inappropriate to keep the spam low. But then you guys can buy and sell stuff, answer questions yourselves, etc.