Star A: The Spanish Army officially adopted the Astra 400 in 1921 as its standard service pistol (at that time), a lot of troops, especially officers and senior NCOs as well as the Guardia Civil (Paramilitary Security Force) did not like the Astra 400, feeling it was simply too big and complicated. They preferred the Star Model A, which was essentially a Colt M-1911 rechambered for the 9mm Largo cartridge. The Guardia Civil adopted the Model A in 1922 as its own service weapon, and many senior military troops and police also used the Model A instead of the Astra 400.
As with the M-1911, the Model A uses a 5-inch barrel and has essentially the same shape and natural pointing qualities of the M-1911. The Model A initially had no grip safety, but one was added in 1924. The shape of the hammer differs from that of the M-1911, being quite a bit smaller, and the beavertail is also much smaller. The Model A’s trigger mechanism is also somewhat different, and the Model A uses an external extractor instead of an internal one. Unfortunately, the Model A used rather tiny sights (as was common with many Spanish pistols of that time period), making aiming problematic, and acquiring a quick sight picture virtually impossible.
In 1946, several other changes and features were introduced. A chamber-loaded indicator was added, and a special disassembly catch was also devised that made stripping and reassembly far easier than before (easier than even the M-1911A1). This version was called the Super A, and it remained in production until 1989 – but still did not outlast the Model A in production: Model A production lasted into the mid-1990s. The Super A is identical to the Model A for game purposes.
Though almost all Model A’s and Super A’s were chambered for 9mm Largo, a few other chamberings were also produced.