What do you consider the most underrated handgun design? - Page 4
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Old 06-28-2014, 04:46 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by trigger643 View Post
Some really good choices so far.

Certainly the Star, Astra and their successor FireStar lines of Spanish pistols. These are often written off as cheap copies of more popular guns, but when you get into one it is quickly apparent that although externally similar to another design; internally they are something unique and superior. Couple the superior engineering with flawless fit and finish and these marks are arguably some of the finest out there -- and real bargains here in the U.S. for their undeserved reputations for 'soft steel' (huh?), and unreliability.

Perhaps my favorite of the Spanish pistols is the Model B. It's reputation for unreliability came from the tens of thousands of these captured from Germany by the Russians and the thousands subsequently imported. Russia's arsenal program at the time required all guns to be stripped down, inspected, refinished and reassembled, 'en masse'. They didn't consider the amount of hand fitting that went into each pistol and many of these have issues as a result.

An enterprising importer stamped thousands of Model B's coming out of Bulgaria with bogus Waffenampts and when word got out it further depressed the price collectors were willing to pay.

In fact, none of the tens of thousands of Model B's acquired by Germany during WW2 ever passed through the Heereswaffenamt (WaA) inspection process, partly as a military expedient, partly because of the German's understanding of the high standards of the Spanish Eibar proof house and internal quality controls. Only the first orders of Astra M300 and M600 will have WaA marks. Contrast this with other manufacturers like FN, Mauser and Walther whose entire production was passing through WaA right up to the end.

Here are two of my Model B Stars. The one on the right is a wartime 1943 production German contract (not a Russian Capture, but a German State police gun), and the other is a 1955 civilian commercial pistol. Although similar in appearance to a Colt 1911, other than the linked tip up barrel, internally these 9mms are quite different.

Well said and great info. Yeah I'm a gigantic fan of Spanish pistols.

One I've seriously desired is the Astra 75.
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Last edited by BeyondTheBox; 06-28-2014 at 04:51 PM.
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