Skip to comments.Gun question - Star Super S .380
Posted on 03/05/2014 4:18:58 AM PST by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin
A Star Super S .380 (the one with the quick release lever) is jamming on first round. The gun is in mint condition and appears to have hardly ever been fired. The extractor is in excellent condition and the spring has good load behind it. The extractor end looks to be fine. However, when the gun is loaded and the slide pulled back, every round cycles out of the gun flawlessly. It only jams when fired.
My guess is the recoil spring is too strong. Any suggestions on solutions? Numrich doesn't have one in stock to use to modify nor does Wolff Springs. Need to find one to cut down to reduce the load to see if it will cycle properly. I'd rather not fire hot rounds through the pistol to see if it will cycle, but will try that for a temporary result.
Anyone able to help?
I had this problem with a Ruger 9mm. I sent it to them several times and they returned it no-problem-found. I then videoed me firing the gun and the gun jamming. I had a friend fire it in case I was limp-wristing it. They allowed me to replace it with a different model, but denied there was a problem. 1. Video the problem and return it to the manufacturer with the video. 2. It may be a tolerance build-up issue. As the gun heats from repeat firings some parts expand out of tolerance. (That, I’m certain, was my issue.)
Oh, one more thing, buy different ammo. My Kahrr (sp?) will only fire certain ammo. Some 9mm is 1”1/16 and some is 1”3/16. My gun will only fire the former.
Sell it and buy another brand That’s what I did with mine never could get it to function right.
I ended up with a Walther PPK the star seems like a neat little pistol but if they don’t work they go down the road.
Not enough information. “Jamming” means what? Failure to feed? Failure to extract? Stovepipe? Have you tried firing with a different magazine or firing with just one round to see if it’s a magazine or feed ramp problem? Have you tried different brand ammo?
A cartridge diameter difference of 1/8th inch?!?! That’s a BIG difference for a cartridge let alone the actual bullet. You sure you don’t mean 1/32nd or 1/16th inch?
Get a Glock 42. That’s what I’m going to do when I have the funds.
I assume the spent cartridge is not ejecting. Either the tolerances between the chamber and the brass you are using is too tight after firing or the spring on the ejector is too weak to grip and hold the cartridge during extraction.
Revolvers eat anything you feed them, and also go BANG every time.
“As the gun heats from repeat firings some parts expand out of tolerance”
The OP has the malfunction only on the first round. Maybe he’s got the opposite problem -something is out of tolerance and the heat from the first round gets it into range.
Anyway, if it was me, I’d take the other advice of selling it and picking up something else.
That looks like quite a large piece for a .380. Wouldn’t something smaller like the S&W Bodyguard be a better choice?
Get something more reliable.
Cartridge length, not diameter.
I prefer guns that go off when I WANT THEM TO.
a ruger LCP .380 is nice but still plastic.(a little ‘whippy’ as it is so light) it never fails to fire either with factory or my reloads...
a Colt Mustang with aluminum frame is light enough but a solid piece. mine is a steel frame, a little heavy but it also never fails to fire either with factory or my reloads....ever!
Yeah, really. I was going to mention the LCP too. I love the Colt Mustang. Great design.
Failure to extract all of the way. No stovepipe. Haven’t tried different ammo, but will do that next. Gun is nearly new, even though vintage model.
You're right. Cartridge doesn't eject (barely out). Gun is mint, like-new so extractor spring isn't the issue and certainly doesn't feel like it on depression with finger.
my mustang is from the 90s and even then they cheaped out by putting a plastic trigger and guide rod. around 5 years ago it started have jam problems, I took it apart and found the trigger has a thin steel rod going from it to the sear. the hole in the trigger that actuates the rod was elongated and almost torn through....I went on line and bought an aftermarket aluminum trigger and rod. no problems since then.
I do believe that plastic guns and parts are fine if you don’t care to practice a lot....I tend to shoot hundreds of round through any gun I bring to the range. had I just kept it loaded in my pocket for protection, it would still be working today with its original parts...
Suggest you try this in order. Make only one change at a time to try to isolate the problem. It is the process I have always used with sticky actions.
1. Thoroughly clean and lubricate the pistol.
a. look for any obvious rough spots on the slide and frame.
b. stone or emory or file off any rough spots.
c. Examine the chamber and spent brass for any markings.
-if found, you can lightly polish the chamber with product/tools made specially to do so (check Midway/Brownwells) or just use car paint rub out product and a tightly wrapped cleaning jag attached to a drill motor.
d. examine the extractor for burrs. Make sure it is not bent and is seating correctly.
2. At the range,
a. hold the pistol firmly in a strong grip Weaver stance and the wrist locked bracing against the anticipated recoil.
b. Try a variety of full metal jacket ammo. The heavier the bullet the better. Franchi and Sellier and Bellot ammo seem to be hotter than US loads and would be what the Star was designed with in mind.
3. Count on sending 200-300 rounds down range to “break it in” once it starts to work more reliably.
Good luck and have some fun making it work.
My favorite “fun gun” is a 30 year old Star Model B in 9mm.
Sell it, and stick with Kimber .45
There is no substitute, and when you need it to work, it will.
1 1/16” diameter round? And we thought the 50cal was a Hoss.
Pays to sometimes re-read before posting.......
When you say mint, do you mean you bought it new and not many rounds have been fired or do you mean you bought it used and it looks new?
If you bought it used you may have just relieved somebody else of their problem.
If you bought it new, it may just need some breaking in.
I just did a quick search. It looks like you may need to take some special care with this gun, most of this don’t have a firing pin lock which means it can fire if you drop it.
1/8th inch is still a big difference and out of standard spec for 9mm if memory serves.
That's from a class in 2005. I was a 1911 guy for 20 years, now I'm a Glock guy.
My one armed encounter actually involved a J-Frame. Typical 'brought a knife to a gunfight' thing. Guy's in prison for 67 years.
We can disagree on this and still be friends. I enjoy your posts.
1) Download the magazine by one or two rounds and try again. If it no longer jams you are probably using low powered range ammo (Winchester White Box or similar full metal jacket stuff.) Load the magazines and let them set loaded between range sessions and the magazine springs will loosen up a bit. (The next round in the magazine is pushing up against the inside of the slide, causing friction.)
2) Your recoil spring is a bit too tight. Lock the slide back and leave it that way between range sessions.
3) Fully load a magazine, but make the first round a full powered defensive hollow point load. (You know, the buck-a-round Hornady Critical Defense type stuff.) If your problem goes away and you can shoot a full mag, then see 1 or 2 above.
Chances are there's nothing wrong with your Star that a few hundred rounds won't cure.
Also, it wouldn't hurt to field strip the gun, clean it thoroughly, and lube it at the appropriate points, including the rails. The Star is a 1911 style, and 1911s like to run very wet.
Here's a good site for information: http://www.star-firearms.com/firearms/guns/s/
And from that same site, here's a PDF of the manual: http://www.star-firearms.com/firearms/manuals/downloads/a,b,m,p,s_manual.pdf
Was given a Walther PPK/S and it did the same thing.
Factory fixed it, but I never trusted it. A jammed gun is worse than no gun. Once fixed, sold it and got the Sig P232 I always wanted......great pistol, incredibly accurate, Tritium sights, Hogue grips - a dream pistol....
Of course, I prefer my 9mm or .45......
of course....not so big a difference that we can’t be friends...
so the bad guy had the j frame or you??
I like J frames but especially K frames(a club members sister just passed away and I may buy her 5 shot .38 J frame once the probate is finished).
my K frame, a Model 19 .357 will outpower any 9mm. just have to know you only have ‘6’(or five with some j frames)....no spray and pray.....Dad was NYPD from ‘46-’68, he had a Military and Police(later called model 10) 4” barrel .38 special. He hated it as it was not very accurate past a few yards. I was a kid, but remember seeing stuff smeared in the rifling...they only used pure lead bullets back in the day and unless you scrubbed the bore with a wire brush and/or a lead removing tool, the accuracy eroded quickly. dad got his S&W with a wood rod with a slot and would pass it through the bore with a patch a few times soaked in Hoppes. not enough to clean it really, only the unburnt powder.
when I shoot the .357 with lead bullets, I finish with some jacketed rounds to push out some of the fouling. Very accurate with jacketed rounds....I recently gave it to my oldest son.
Peace(through superior firepower),
I get free hugs from the then 18 year old girl I saved.
I don’t blame you.
I would do what I had to do, but don’t really ever want to point a weapon at another human being.
Take it to a real, experienced gunsmith. Do not file or stone anything. It will only make the repair more expensive or impossible. It ALWAYS costs more to repair after the customer has “fixed” it.
Lewis Lead Remover.
I would think that the chamber is nice and smooth inside but I might even wax or grease the cartridge cases at first until everything is worn in at about 100 rounds or so.
Another possibility is the magazine - the magazine lips might be bearing against the slide and impeding things.
Don’t know what the guts look like, but if there is a spring on the slide lock it might be bent.
I’ve got a CZ83 does the same thing when the spring gets bent.
Yeah, yeah - but all you get is six shots and the dang thing is too big to carry in a pocket unless you're size of an elephant. A well-made automatic pistol fed good-quality ammo always works. Colt 1911s and Walther PPKs always work - just gotta know what you're doing with 'em...
” You sure you dont mean 1/32nd or 1/16th inch?”
Not diameter, height. Different manufacturers have different lengths of bullet. My Rugers fire them all. But the Kahrr only fires the shorter ones.
“Wouldnt something smaller like the S&W Bodyguard be a better choice?”
My daily carry is the S&W Bodyguard. It’s a fine gun, but the laser is useless; too dim for daylight and points both ways in the dark. I’d go for a Ruger or cheaper gun without the laser.
Yup lewis. I have also used generic rippiffs of Lewis. Hoppes makes a close copy. I use them for my .45 Colts and Rugers and my Ruger .44 redhawk and various .357/.38. But only when they get really buggered up. If there is just a little leading it usually pops out with a bronze brush.
“Revolvers eat anything you feed them, and also go BANG every time.”
I used to shoot a S&w 625, it would lock up every couple hundred rounds unless I tightened all the screws while I was shooting it at the range. One time I got lazy and ended up having to get a gunsmith to get it unstuck.
I eventually fixed the problem by using loctite on all the screws but I was never really confident in that weapon after that.
I have also had some ammo that had a slight bulge where the bullet was seated. The ammo went into the chambers and I could close the cylinder but they didn’t fully seat and when you tried to pull the trigger, there was too much resistance for the cylinder to turn and it wouldn’t fire. The same ammo fired fine from the automatic we tried.
A revolver has fewer points of failure than an automatic but it does not have zero points of failure.
The first time I used one was on an old .45 that had been eating reloads for years.
You would not believe what came out of that “clean” barrel.
yup....my .44 magnum redhawk generated long shards of lead from my supposed hard cast lead bullet reloads. if I load lead magnum loads again they will have copper gas checks...
all my lead loads now are subsonic....
I don’t know if you know what year your gun was manufactured but I read that in the 80’s the company retrofitted a bunch of Spanish police .32’s on a trade for new .30’s. They totally rebuilt them as .380’s but had to do a lot of hand fitting and Star did not have enough personnel who knew the proper way to do it. So they had problems with those weapons. Could be you got one of those. Take it to a gunsmith. He’ll know.
Try using Italian gun grease for cleaning. Its good stuff.
I had that same problem with a Star 9mm, and a pretty good smith was unable to reproduce it. Given the number of different calibers I shoot successfully I don’t think it was limp-wristing, but I never really did solve it. All I can offer is a BTT and wish you the best of luck.
Only shot 5 rounds at a time on testing.
Had 3 ppks not a bit of trouble with any of them.
After mine jammed, I did a search and found it was a common problem....may have just been the stainless ones, can’t remember.
Glad yours are problem free.
I always loved the PPK growing up a Bond fan, but the P232 is a refined and very similar pistol.......
I heard the stainless had more trouble my first two were German and super accurate.
Yeah, I heard the German ones were super-reliable too.
There was one Bond book though where his PPK jammed...think that’s when he went to some other pistol.........