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 Value of a 1921 Star 38 acp
MPD444  [Member]
9/23/2009 9:50:01 PM EST
A freind of mine had a old spanish handgun given to him. Through some reserch we found it to be a 1921 Star 9mm / 38 acp. Im wondering if someone knows the value of something like this, or at least knows where I can find a value. Also does any one know where you can still get .38 acp ?
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Parrot32  [Member]
9/24/2009 4:34:20 AM EST
The “38 acp” in this case more than likely refers to the 38 Colt Auto and not the 380 ACP!

The 38 Colt Auto was later increased to become the 38 Super Auto. It is a much higher pressure loading and will destroy your gun in short order. Under no circumstances attempt to use 38 Super ammo!!!

The 9mm marking probably refers to the 9mm Browning Long cartridge. It is actually shorter than a 380 ACP and reduced in pressure.

In any case you must have it checked by a gunsmith as a note I have indicates many of the 9mm Browning Long European imports were converted to 380 ACP.
Edited

Couldn’t give you a price ~ but some interesting info is here – Star
MPD444  [Member]
9/24/2009 11:56:36 AM EST
It's 9mm designation means it is chambered for 9mm largo, which is dimentionaly the same as the .38 acp (.38 colt auto) and with a similar chamber pressure. I did find a couple places that have surplus 9mm largo. But that is about all my research has turned up. Still lookin for a value though.
Parrot32  [Member]
9/24/2009 3:59:40 PM EST
9mm Largo aka 9 X 21

38 Colt Auto aka 9 X 23

Both are semi-rimmed so they can be interchanged.

Don’t know where I made that 9mm Browning Long connection??? Some of the Series C, Model C were chambered for that in 1924. Another reference then noted that many imports were rechambered for the .380 acp. But that does not appear to be what you have.
portagee  [Member]
9/24/2009 6:05:48 PM EST
Last 38 ACP ammo I purchased was made by Aguila. I have seen 38ACP at Old Western Scrounger LLC website before but don't remember the price. Look around as I occasionally find the 9mm Largo ammo loaded in the Blazer line by Speer though they have been discontinued for awhile IIRC. Might also check Graf and Sons as they carry oddball / obsolete stuff.
Do not give in to the temptation to shoot 9mm Luger or 380 auto in these as many do but it still isn't a good idea. I would think that 9mm Steyer may also work in that application.
As to the value I would look at the various auction sites for an idea but it may come down to what markings, and condition his Astra 400 is in. I would think in average used condition at least $250.00 but that is just a WAG.
MPD444  [Member]
9/24/2009 7:19:33 PM EST
The gun does not say astra any where on it, and from what I can find it is a different gun that the astra 400. Star Modelo Militar 1921 is the technical make and model. they only made this gun one year (1921). It is not in great condition, shows some holster wear, but no rust . Appears shootable with proper cleaning.
PO2Hammer  [Member]
9/25/2009 12:31:33 PM EST
I recently found a 1984 box of Remington .38 Auto. It's all I've ever seen.

Do you have any references for the 9mm Largo = .38 Auto statement? I've heard they were different.
Coltman77  [Team Member]
9/25/2009 12:48:41 PM EST
Originally Posted By MPD444:
A freind of mine had a old spanish handgun given to him. Through some reserch we found it to be a 1921 Star 9mm / 38 acp. Im wondering if someone knows the value of something like this, or at least knows where I can find a value. Also does any one know where you can still get .38 acp ?


Can you post some pics of this pistol? Sounds very interesting.

PO2Hammer  [Member]
9/25/2009 1:38:14 PM EST
I just looked up the Largo in my Sierra manual.

The Largo is slightly shorter (.003, no big deal) and .004 narrower.

Surplus ammo will be Berdan primed and un-reloadable.

Looking at the Star website, they must have a good compromise chamber and extractor.

For guys who have vintage Colt .38 Autos, never use 9mm Largo in them, the 9mm Largo's performance is the equal of the .38 Super.
PO2Hammer  [Member]
9/25/2009 1:48:10 PM EST
oops
PO2Hammer  [Member]
9/25/2009 2:10:16 PM EST
9mm Largo aka 9 X 21

38 Colt Auto aka 9 X 23

Both are semi-rimmed so they can be interchanged.


That's not correct.

.38 Auto = .38ACP = .38 Auto Colt (never seen it written as .38 Colt Auto)

.38 Super = Super .38 Auto (some old guns and USFA guns are marked that way)

9mm Largo = 9x23 ***It is usable in the Star 9mm/.38 Auto only because Star has prepped their pistols to handle both. DO NOT USE 9mm LARGO IN OLD COLTS MARKED .38 AUTO OR .38 ACP. (should be fine in a .38 Super)

9x21 is a tapered, rimless cartridge based on the 9mm auto. Case length is .833, well short of the .900" .38acp or the .897" long Largo.
portagee  [Member]
9/25/2009 2:29:51 PM EST
Starline makes new brass for the Largo and I have seen reloading data in older manuals for the 38. acp.
Speer had reloading data for the Largo in one of their manuals IIRC it was no. 13 or 12.
I will try to find an article in an old American Rifleman magazine I've kept where the author reloaded for a Largo chambered pistol using both 38 super brass (dimensionally same as 38 acp) and with Largo brass and will e-mail you.
I may be wrong but I would think that new production 9X23 brass may have less capacity than Largo brass due to the pressures involved with the 9x23, not sure about that but just a thought.
portagee  [Member]
9/25/2009 2:43:07 PM EST
Just now I googled "9mm Largo" and went to the site "9mm Largo.com" and even found a bit of info there on that model of Star pistol.
MPD444  [Member]
9/26/2009 6:02:53 PM EST
Thats where I found most of my info.
Milo5  [Member]
9/27/2009 3:27:56 AM EST
Rough value of the pistol is $250 to $350 Retail sight unseen.
Some Star 1911 type 9mm Largo caliber pistols will shoot .38 Super just fine if you add a stronger recoil spring, i.e. 22 pound spring test weight.
They are locked breech guns of good steel and will handle the .38 super load.
9mm Largo is still available and fairly abundent.

Astra 400/1921 pistols are blowback and .38 super can be hard on the gun.
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