I get a lot of questions emailed to me and over the years patterns have emerged. I hope that this answers most of them. If you answer is not here, it might just not qualify as a frequently asked question, but I might already know the answer. Most info I know is on the site, so look around first. If you still can't find it, go ahead and email me (be sure to leave the subject line prefix or your message will be filtered out).
- Manuals - Do you have a manual for my pistol? I used to invariably say "no," but recently I have obtained PDF or JPEG copies of several manuals. Look at the section on your specific gun to find links to them. For other manuals you can, well, do almost nothing. As I understand it, there is some sort of legal obligation (at least in the U.S.) to provide free manuals for safety reasons. However, if this is true then whoever owns the current rights is very shy about telling anyone this. Since Stars have stopped being sold by Interarms in the late 1990s, no one I know of has obtained a free manual from anywhere. In a small number of cases I have simply given instructions for the basics, like stripping. Again, look on the detail page for your weapon series.
- Magazines - Can you sell me a magazine for a [your gun here]? No. I am not a gun or parts dealer, this is just an informational website. But here's some possibly helpful info: To find magazines, ask your local gun shop. If they are nice, they might open up a magazine or catalog themselves and look for you. If you have to find them yourself, either go to the next gun show (if such things are in your area) or get ahold of a Shotgun News or Gun List. Both of these are tabloid-sized papers of mostly advertising for guns, parts and accessories. All serious gun shops will subscribe to them. A nice one will let you borrow one, at least while you stand in their shop, to look thru. If you can't, most grocery stores and other places that have large numbers of magazines now carry the Shotgun News and you can get a single issue. You are looking for ads filled with dense type. Two or three of these in each issue will be only magazine dealers. One or both will have magazines for your gun, even if its pretty obscure. And read the relevant section section on this very website first, as your magazine may have other tips or tricks. There are also a number of dealers listed there directly, many of which have websites, with links on that very page.
- Parts & Accessories - Can you sell me a [thingy] for my [your gun here]? No. I am not a gun or parts dealer, this is just an informational website. Most of what I know about how to find spares is on the info page, so try there first. You can also ask any local gunsmiths or gun shops. A number of them buy (or bought in the past) the remainder of guns demilled by local police departments. I once got a complete M30M slide for $35 (I don't have it anymore, don't ask). They might not even know what they have, so if they have a pile of parts, drive on over and look at it. For all the parts suppliers I listed, be sure to call them if you can't find it in the catalog or online. They like getting phone calls, and most of them do not have everything cataloged. They have a lot of parts.
- History, age, value, etc. - How old is my gun? When was it imported? Etc? I don't know just by you asking, but you can probably find out. Proofmarks are coded to tell the year they left the proof house, so age can be determined with some accuracy for all Star pistols. Just go to the numbering and proofmarks page and try it out youself. Note that very old guns, before 1927 for this purpose, are still largely out of luck as the proof house had a different system, which I don't understand. However, you can get pretty close as Star changed models very frequently. Many of these will be clearly stamped on the gun also, so just look around and check the marks page for help. As far as value, I am not an appraiser, and if I was I couldn't so it over email. If I want to buy or sell a gun, my favorite way to get familiar with the prices is to look at online sales. These will be retail asking prices, so might be a tad higher than you will actually get or pay, and are significantly higher than a dealer will pay you; think of the relative selling prices of cars when deciding an acceptable price for dealer vs. individuals. My favorite place for this is Guns America. they have an easy to use search, decent categories and its free so lots of people post there. Be aware lots of people post in the wrong category; a favorite is that any Star might be under Interarms but weirder things happen daily so look all over.
- Non-Star Guns -Can you tell me more about my [name of a non-star gun here]? Usually, no. Go ahead and ask, but if its Astra or something, I am not gonna know. Some CETMEs I do know, and some of the old guns are sorta similar to the old Star Ruby clones so you might be able to determine some by looking in the Pre-1920's section.