Monday, July 16, 2018

And now, the submachine guns

What I was really excited to see at the Royal Armories were the SMGs. Because they are very poorly discussed, even by Star back when it existed. It's not clear how the guns work, or how their features are better or worse than the competition.

I inspected three different series of guns, and a couple examples of all of them. We're going to work oldest to newest, as I did it while in the Armories, to try to get a sense of how Star evolved their designs over time.

The Si35, RU35 & TN35 sub-machine guns page is now about 25 times longer than it was before, and a lot has been made clear. So, if interested, go read it.

Far too much to summarize here, except to say: it's not even a straight blowback. This is the bolt assembly on this 1930s SMG!


Some questions remain unanswered, so I hope to sometime hear from some reader who has an SI 35 in their cabinet, or to make it to Spain and inspect the records or additional models of the gun and find the rest of the story.

Organizing my notes and cleaning up the photos takes a while, but over the next few weeks, or months, I will have more about the Z45 (which is not an MP40 at all), the Z62/63/70 series, and the Z84 which is a lot more interesting than we expected and I didn't even take it apart.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Model 30 Target

Next up in the Royal Armories tour is a target pistol. While we've all seen Model F Target configurations, I previously only knew about target versions of the service pistols.

Now, I could also surmise a lot about what they might look and work like. Target configured service pistols are, or at least were, common in Europe. I would guess not for expediency, but a shooting sport or three that allowed lots of modifications as long as it was basically the service pistol. Think of National Match rifle competitions in the US.

The Model 30 Target is actually surprising in it's lack of customization. Unlike the target variations of HK, Llama and Beretta service pistols, there is no counterweight or brake, and no custom stocks. The trigger is also not outstanding on the one I got to try out, and the safety is not especially well located, nor does it have especially positive action.

The gun as a whole is interestingly odd. Though you wouldn't know it from the right side:


Normal frame, normal stocks, normal slide and barrel. Nicer but not extravagant sights. Not even big mag bumpers.

But the left side:

Extended mag release, blocked safety lever, and a frame mounted safety! That's pretty crazy.

Read a bit more about it, and click through to see bigger versions of these photos, on the M28, 30, and 31 page.




Friday, July 6, 2018

First Royal Armories Photo - M28DA

First off, I want to show off and get feedback on the photo format. Go to the 28/30/31 page and scroll down to the end of the M28 section.

The Royal Armories normally don't let anyone publish photos, or you pay a lot. But they are trying to catch up to the modern era so my non-commercial research website is being allowed to use them free. But... I have to make some effort to make them not stolen, etc. So, avoiding annoying watermarks, I have labeled clearly, etc. What do you think. Any way to make it more secure and still readable?

As far as the gun itself... I am not sure what it is. It seems to be a normal Model 28, but it is for some reason labeled M28DA.


It may, just possibly, be a DAO version. But I was a bit stupid, and this didn't occur to me until a week later. Nor did I do a full function check, so I didn't pull the trigger or try to thumb cock it, or run the slide.

I may be able to have someone else go visit the Royal Armories and check on this, and will get back to you all if I find anything good.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Royal Armories, Leeds!

Finally, years later, done! I am in Leeds now but this morning spent several hours in the collection, messing with a lot of guns (I got to handle two different EM2s, for example). 

But most of all, I reviewed some of their more interesting Stars. Photos and many updates will be forthcoming, but I have some very interesting stuff, especially about many of the SMGs. 

I have good info now about the operation of the Z84, found a target M30, an "M28DA" whatever that is, and took (partly) apart the RU35, Z45, and Z70. 

Nope, not a typo on my behalf, not a Z70/B. Going to be adding whole sections to the pages, clarifying the vague operational rumors, and adding lots of other details. If you are a gun nerd like me, you'll like it. 

I have updated the 28/30/31 page already, though photos will follow once I get them cleaned up, and figure out what counts as credit or watermarks for valid use. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

You Love Star Logowear, Don't You?

I know you do because you all regularly buy the stuff I have for sale out here.

But how about authentic, period correct Star clothing? Well I don't have it so don't make any money off this, but a former Interarms distributor recently found a small cache of new in box, nice, warm jackets with the Star logo embroidered on them.


They won't last long, especially now that I told you all, so go visit his eBay auction to snag one for yourself: