As most of you know, one of my favorite pistols is the STAR UltraStar. In fact, I’ve said on several occasions that this might well be the best compact 9mm pistol ever. Yet it isn’t even being imported into the US anymore. If it was that good, how come it’s not being sold here now.
STAR was one of the really high quality manufacturers in the 60’s and up through the late 70’s. They were never a high volume name but they were considered right up there with Beretta, Walther and SiG-Sauer. The other Spanish manufacturers, Astra and Llama were considered good but not as high quality as the STARs.
But when the US started adding all the gun restrictions, STAR had to take a look at the US market. They decided that they just didn’t sell enough in the US to justify all the requirements and so they pulled out. There have been rumors of STAR returning to the US and I for one would welcome that.
The UltraStar is a compact polymer framed single-stack handgun. It has a 3 1/2 “ barrel, is 6” long overall, just over 1” wide and 5” high. It has a 9 round mag with metal followers. I find it feels more like a conventional metal framed pistol that any of the polymer pistols I’ve owned or used. This is because STAR used metal inserts and many large ribbed areas to stiffing the frame. The result is lightweight but a very solid feel. It has none of the wiggle that some people find in polymer-framed pistols.
The UltraStar comes with two mags, some basic cleaning tools and a hex driver to us on the adjustable sights. Yup, the standard sights are adjustable for windage by simply loosening the screw and sliding them right or left. And the Star presents a great sight pattern. In this photo you can see the small screw below the sights.
The UltraStar is a DA/SA pistol. There is an ambi safety-decocker that easy to reach. Up is safe/decock and down is fire.
The mag release is normally on the left but can be swapped for the left handers out there. There is no mag safety.
Take down is really easy. Lock the slide back and then punch out a small pin from right to left. Lift the slide off and the rest is like a SiG or XD.
Shooting the UltraStar is a joy. The grip angle is very much like the SiGs or the Xd and the grip is large enough for all finger to fit comfortably. It’s a very stable platform with very rapid trigger reset making double and even triple taps easy. You’ll never get super accuracy out of a 3 ½” barrel but out to 25yards it will group right with my SiGs or my HS2000. Since it’s small, it’s easy to conceal. I usually carry mine in either a HNH Topless or a Mr. Softy.
So if you’re looking for a good, low cost reliable concealed pistol, think about the STAR UltraStar. You can usually find a NIB one for $200.00 or less and it is one great pistol.
You forgot the part about Star and Astra both being on the verge of bankruptcy before they merged to cut costs. Nothing against them and I wish they would return to the US market. My first pistol was a Star Model 30 which I still have and really enjoy shooting. I just wish I had one with a steel frame because mine is the alloy framed version and the aluminum is wearing too fast on the rails.
I bought a NEW starfire in 40 smith for an inexpensive hideout in my pickup. It only liked factory ammo and jammed frequently. A virtual jam-o-matic with remanufactured ammo. I didn't trust it...sold it. Won't buy another. Did buy a Llama Mini-max .45 10 rounder for the hide out. Shoots like a trooper! Very dependable! $235 bucks. Hard to beat!