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Old January 23, 2020, 15:12   #1
justashooter
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star PD opinions? has their day passed?

if'n the bushing was worn out, where would the frame cracking occur? your thoughts? thx...
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Nonetheless you disgust me, and I take comfort in the knowledge that your obituary will be nowhere near as humorous as mine.


The next time I hear "THE RANGE IS NOW HOT", it just wont be the same.

Max tried another question. "What sort of people live about here?"
"In THAT direction," the Jin said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Han: And in THAT direction," waving the other paw, "lives a Ming Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad."
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Max remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Jin: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Max.
"You must be," said the Jin, "or you wouldn't have come here."
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Old January 23, 2020, 16:38   #2
yovinny
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Ant' seen a cracked frame,,,but I seen a cracked barrel lug, right across the hole for the link pin on one lug only.
Gun actually still worked, but came in with intermittent ftf issues....
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Old January 24, 2020, 01:37   #3
ftierson
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The Star PD is an excellent firearm and was, as you know, one of the early compact .45ACP handguns. I carried one as my CCW gun for a decade and a half. I still have it and it's still in great shape. Of course, it only has slightly less than 750 rounds through it (including a large number of handloads using the old Speer 200 gr JHP (the flying ashtray) in front of 5.6 grains of Bullseye (that's not a load recommendation, just what I used). I worked up loads with the Speer bullet using Unique, Green Dot and Blue Dot before settling on the Bullseye load.

The April 1975 issue of Guns & Ammo magazine has an article/assessment of the PD by Jeff Cooper which was very favorable.

The May 1975 issue of Guns Magazine has an article/assessment of the PD by George Nonte which was very favorable.

The June 1984 issue of SWAT Magazine has a shooting/durability test of the Star PD by Emanuel Kapelsohn which was very favorable. In this test, the gun consumed 2263 rounds of GI Ball and full-power reloads. The gun was cleaned and lubed every 500 rds, at which time it was inspected. It chugged through it all with almost no malfunctions (the only slight problem had to due with some over-length (over the maximum COL) reloads).

A couple of points:

After 1683 rds the plastic recoil spring guide buffer began to disintegrate. The pistol was fired to the conclusion of the test (another 500 rds) with the disintegrating buffer in place and continued to function reliably.

As firing continued over 1000 rds, the barrel link began to wear indentations in the slide stop and there was some small amount of peening in the slide where the slide-stop stops the slide when the mag is empty. This led to failure of the slide from being held open by the stop when empty, but had no effect on the functioning the the gun besides that...

I sent my Star PD in to Metalife and had it hard-chromed, leaving the black anodized aluminum frame black. While I notice some slight peening where the slide stop stops the slide, it still (the slide stop) functions perfectly in holding the slide open on the last shot.

For the last eight years that I carried it (almost daily), I used a Houston Holsters synthetic paddle holster which retains the gun by pinching the front of the trigger guard. Thus, the only real wear on the gun is the front sides of the trigger guard.

The gun has Pachmayr Signature grips.

My guide rod buffer is still in good shape.

Star originally recommended that the buffers be replaced every 700 rds but, unfortunately, they did not do a good job of getting that info out.

Of course, I picked up extra parts for mine, including a slide stop, recoil springs, barrel bushing, extractor, firing pin, misc. springs and buffers, but I've never needed any of them to date.

I carried seven rounds of Glaser Safety Slugs (Blue) in the gun with a backup mag containing the flying ashtrays.

I would trust my life to the gun. Oh, wait, I did for a decade and a half.

Why did I stop carrying it, you ask?

Well, you carry based on perceived prospective threat, and my perceived threat changed. I now carry a Glock 17 with 17rd in the gun and a Glock 18 backup mag.

For what it's worth...

Forrest
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Old January 24, 2020, 04:46   #4
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trigger bars break. no replacements. Got one of the last out of interarms for George (Star PD).
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Old January 24, 2020, 10:04   #5
hueyville
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Most Star PDs I have inspected with over 1,000 round counts can find at least one issue that makes it unsafe to fire until fixed if can be fixed. Bushings and spring guides go quickly. I own more 1911 variety than most own firearms and all get a 5,000 round service then more intensive 10,000 round service and usually a tear down and rebuild of wear items every 50,000. I have fired and gotten Stars in trades but never kept one as chasing issues if put 200 to 300 rounds per week down the pipe for a couple or three months something seems to fail.
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Old January 24, 2020, 12:37   #6
justashooter
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well, i just bought a pig in a poke, and will know in a week or so what i've got.
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If the concept of heading on down to the local Home Depot and transforming $100 worth of random pipe bits into a killing machine doesn’t appeal to you, you’re a frikkin' pansy. Also, you’re probably sane and will live significantly longer than I will.

Nonetheless you disgust me, and I take comfort in the knowledge that your obituary will be nowhere near as humorous as mine.


The next time I hear "THE RANGE IS NOW HOT", it just wont be the same.

Max tried another question. "What sort of people live about here?"
"In THAT direction," the Jin said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Han: And in THAT direction," waving the other paw, "lives a Ming Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad."
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Max remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Jin: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Max.
"You must be," said the Jin, "or you wouldn't have come here."
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Old January 24, 2020, 13:55   #7
Sagerider
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I am assuming this has an alloy frame. Back when these pistols were made this was a new concept where the metallurgy was not as it is today. The area where these frames crack is a weak spot on the left side next to the slide hold area. I have pictures but posting them here is a huge pain in the ass. PM me if you want to see them.
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Old January 24, 2020, 18:10   #8
ftierson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagerider View Post
I am assuming this has an alloy frame. Back when these pistols were made this was a new concept where the metallurgy was not as it is today. The area where these frames crack is a weak spot on the left side next to the slide hold area. I have pictures but posting them here is a huge pain in the ass. PM me if you want to see them.
Keep in mind that the PD frame has a stress relief cut in exactly this place that many, incorrectly, interpreted as a crack...

Just sayin'...

Forrest
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Old January 24, 2020, 18:20   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftierson View Post
Keep in mind that the PD frame has a stress relief cut in exactly this place that many, incorrectly, interpreted as a crack...

Just sayin'...

Forrest
So did the early P-ord wide-body 1911s.
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Old January 24, 2020, 18:35   #10
tdb59
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Quote:
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I am assuming this has an alloy frame. Back when these pistols were made this was a new concept where the metallurgy was not as it is today. .............

A new concept in 1975 ?

That was 25 years after ALCOA produced the first Colt Commander frames.




.............................
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Old January 24, 2020, 19:12   #11
hueyville
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There was a period of time when could not build full stainless 1911s due to alloys where slides rode on frame the would gall. For a while began seeing 1911s with stainless frame with blue steel sides or blue steel frames with stainless slides. In 1981 I believe Randall (only built 1911s in low production numbers of each model and first true left hand 1911) released not only the first all stainless 1911 but the first CNC machined pistols. They brought basically a group of gun nuts and rocket scientists together to build the ultimate 1911.

They pioneered a bunch of things such as correct alloys so it became possible to have stainless slides on stainless frames. Ability to change shapes, and other stuff in software so easily they could build any here from a dozen to a couple hundred pistols in a specific model then without redesign of jigs or melting their machinists minds just take off on a complete different direction with a change in coding. They built compact models in left hand and right hand models and seemed like almost every month their entire production line had changed except for their basic five inch pure government model clone.

They were so far ahead of their time, spent so much money tooling up, would stop and build a pistol or pair of pistols to meet a customers request. I even requested a pair of matched Curtis E LeMays in right and left hand which they made the necessary programming changes and less than six weeks later arrived at my LGS. Unfortunately they spent so much money to get going, the shooting publics doubts about all stainless pistols, constant model changes and Colt totally owning the 1911 market they only lasted two years before they went belly up.

I feel blessed to have purchased five Randalls before the went Chapter 11 with two lefties then picked up a few more soon after they folded as people were afraid something was wrong which lead to their closing the doors so some shops were dropping prices to move them out the door. Still jump on any Randall I find at a fair price. But in the 1970s and 1980s as smaller companies began to enter the market with new ideas and interpretations of classics there were some that were great, some o.k. and a lot that had fatal flaws. Some alloys proved durable and other proved too weak over higher round counts.

Many of these pistols (1911s and others) were fine for the person who was going to sight it in, carry for defense and maybe shoot fifty rounds a year of low power range ammo. Some would take all the abuse you could give them and keep on chugging while others it was discovered by 500 rounds something major broke or several parts required replacement with aftermarket parts to make them run. The Star PDs require their buffer to keep them from breaking and it has to be replaced regularly to protect the pistol.

There is a shop (think it's called Bob's) that specializes in Star PD parts and have noticed a few uTube videos on Star PD frame repair as Googled 1911 issues over the years. Frames, barrel business and slides cracking near the front seem most common. My guess from doing a few post mortems on Stars with cracked slide it seemed to me the bushing broke first, owner didn't notice and kept shooting it till the slide could not take the improper forces imparted in it from missing a finger or totally cracked bushing. Have seen a few that broke in area where slide stop went through frame and would be a crack beginning at slide stop hole and travelling up toward rail to top.

I believe most of the issues with broken Star PD 45s would never happen if the owner inspected the barrel bushing regularly and replaced the buffer (multiple pieces of plastic involved) regularly. There are a few companies that have sold solid barrel business for them since about six months after their release. There have been several people offer replacement recoil buffers over the years and have been told (no experience) the one that uses a Wilson Shockbuff is the best as can buy a six pack and replace it often.

Removing the magazine safety always helps a PDs trigger plus allows you to at least get one round off if accidently punch your magazine release while under stress of a gunfight. If gun has never been apart the screw that holds the spring guide in was locktited at factory and if don't show it some heat may shank the screw off trying to get it out. They shipped with a 12 pound recoil spring but adding a 14 pound Wolfe spring has been known to aid in durability if plan to fire a fair number of rounds. If buy a PD suggest first thing you do is strip it down properly, replace the bushing with a solid unit, swap in the 14# Wolfe recoil spring, remove the magazine safety (not losing as may want to put original parts back some day) and find one of the aftermarket recoil buffers.

Ebay has plenty of original OEM recoil buffers for your Star PD but realize your just buying another thirty year old pile of plastic pieces which unless your original is broken adds zero advantage except to have on hand when your original breaks. You can make your own recoil buffer using just a Wilson Shockbuff and a small piece of copper tubing of correct diameter and length for your spacer. It's better than the original but need to keep your eye on it for wear. When you put it back together do not use locktite on the recoil guide. It is threaded, removes from the rear and is standard right hand thread so "righty tighty"/"lefty loosy". Jack First sells the a rubber replacement which have heard mixed reviews of as some say their hard to install, especially on the models with two piece guide rods and need three hands.

https://jack-first-gun-parts.myshopi...star-pd-buffer

Yes, for someone who does not own a Star PD I know a tad about them as way too many people bring me their broken or non functioning 1911 pattern pistols. Bring me an Essex frame (especially an early model) and will recommend welding the slide shut cutting it in pieces with a torch after removing any good parts used when it was built. Have purchased Essex frames with Colt, Randall and other nice frames and parts which rescued the usable parts and cut the frame to save some poor soul from it some day in the future. They really missed their alloy and heat treatment on initial tries.
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Old January 24, 2020, 19:30   #12
ftierson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hueyville View Post
...

There is a shop (think it's called Bob's) that specializes in Star PD parts and have noticed a few uTube videos on Star PD frame repair as Googled 1911 issues over the years. Frames, barrel business and slides cracking near the front seem most common. My guess from doing a few post mortems on Stars with cracked slide it seemed to me the bushing broke first, owner didn't notice and kept shooting it till the slide could not take the improper forces imparted in it from missing a finger or totally cracked bushing. Have seen a few that broke in area where slide stop went through frame and would be a crack beginning at slide stop hole and travelling up toward rail to top.

...
I have never seen a Star PD barrel bushing with fingers. All I have seen are solid.

When did they produce ones with fingers?

Forrest

Last edited by ftierson; January 24, 2020 at 19:42. Reason: fix quote
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Old January 26, 2020, 14:38   #13
justashooter
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Originally Posted by tdb59 View Post
A new concept in 1975 ?

That was 25 years after ALCOA produced the first Colt Commander frames.
.............................
and 40 years after the japanese perfected development of 7000 series aluminum sheet and decent 5000 series extrusions...
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If the concept of heading on down to the local Home Depot and transforming $100 worth of random pipe bits into a killing machine doesn’t appeal to you, you’re a frikkin' pansy. Also, you’re probably sane and will live significantly longer than I will.

Nonetheless you disgust me, and I take comfort in the knowledge that your obituary will be nowhere near as humorous as mine.


The next time I hear "THE RANGE IS NOW HOT", it just wont be the same.

Max tried another question. "What sort of people live about here?"
"In THAT direction," the Jin said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Han: And in THAT direction," waving the other paw, "lives a Ming Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad."
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Max remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Jin: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Max.
"You must be," said the Jin, "or you wouldn't have come here."
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Old January 26, 2020, 14:40   #14
justashooter
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Originally Posted by hueyville View Post
pistols. Bring me an Essex frame (especially an early model) and will recommend welding the slide shut cutting it in pieces with a torch
i have an aluminum framed essex that is quite nice, and would defy your torch, buddy.
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If the concept of heading on down to the local Home Depot and transforming $100 worth of random pipe bits into a killing machine doesn’t appeal to you, you’re a frikkin' pansy. Also, you’re probably sane and will live significantly longer than I will.

Nonetheless you disgust me, and I take comfort in the knowledge that your obituary will be nowhere near as humorous as mine.


The next time I hear "THE RANGE IS NOW HOT", it just wont be the same.

Max tried another question. "What sort of people live about here?"
"In THAT direction," the Jin said, waving its right paw round, "lives a Han: And in THAT direction," waving the other paw, "lives a Ming Hare. Visit either you like: they're both mad."
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Max remarked.
"Oh, you can't help that," said the Jin: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
"How do you know I'm mad?" said Max.
"You must be," said the Jin, "or you wouldn't have come here."
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