View Full Version : Star model Super…. 9mm Largo VS 9mm Luger, can it shoot it?

March 12, 2010, 08:29 PM
Hello, today I just bought a Star modelo Super and it’s a great little gun. Its set up to shoot 9mm Largo but the owner of the gun shop I go to told me that it is possible to shoot 9mm luger ammo out of it. I was just wondering if this is possible and also heard that 38 auto can work out of it too. So if anyone has any information on it I’m all ears. Tell me what you think if it’s possible or major concerns. Don’t tell me not to put the wrong ammo in a gun I’m already aware of this. Thanks

March 12, 2010, 08:32 PM
Also wondering which parts, if any, are interchangeable between the Star model Super and the 1911

March 12, 2010, 08:51 PM
YOU CAN't shoot 9mm luger in a star 9mm largo . largo is a 9x23mm case 9 luger is 9x19. there are no interchangeable parts

March 12, 2010, 09:20 PM
but what about 38 auto or 38 super?

March 12, 2010, 09:27 PM
.38 Super is a semi-rimmed round. 9mm Largo is rimless IIRC. Right?

March 12, 2010, 09:28 PM
i have no idea im just asking questions that i heard were ture on the internet and wanted to make sure i read it right.

March 12, 2010, 09:38 PM
Camoden, rimless cartridges headspace at the mouth. The 9mm luger is 9x19 and the barrel will only safely fire that round. You can fit a shorter cartridge of the same diameter in the chamber, but it will most likely not fire the round consistantly. The firing pin will tend to drive the cartrdge forward further into the chamber leaving a light strike on the primer, but not igniting it. If you put a longer cartridge in, such as the 9x23, the slide will not go fully into battery.

David the Gnome
March 12, 2010, 10:14 PM
The only ammo that gun will shoot is 9mm Largo and it shares no parts in common with the 1911.

March 12, 2010, 10:47 PM
Sounds like you might want to try and get your money back.

44 AMP
March 12, 2010, 11:10 PM
BUT it is not the cartridge the gun was made to shoot.

The 9mm Bayard Long was the Spanish service cartridge for a while, and several spanish pistols were chambered for it. According to my old Cartridges of the World (4th edition, pub. circa 1972) the Astra Model 400 in 9mm long will handle .38 ACP without modification, but other guns will not.

You pistol might fire 9mm Luger (Parabellum) rounds, IF the extractor holds them against the breechface tightly enough to set them off. However, you are very likely to have misfires, and feeding issues. And, that leaves out the pressure issue. Some 9mm Parabellum loadings are likely to be unsafe in your gun.

Your gun might also be capable of chambering the .38 Super round, a decidedly dangerous situation, unless it is your intent to turn your pistol into a hand grenade. DO NOT TRY TO SHOOT .38 SUPER!

I would not be comfortable shooting 9mm Luger in your gun, I don't know the model you named. Some of the Astra pistols will do it, but I wouldn't trust a Star.

Bill DeShivs
March 12, 2010, 11:32 PM
It can be done, but it is not advisable-and: it probably won't work well, bulges the brass, and could be unsafe.
Most 9mm largo autos can safely shoot the .38 auto round, if you can find it. The breech face may need to be opened slightly for .38 auto.
A later model Star, in good condition should be able to handle .38 super pressures without problems. The steel is good, the design is strong-but consult a REAL gunsmith first to make sure there are no problems with the gun. The super and largo pressures are very close.

March 13, 2010, 12:17 AM
I shoot 9mm Largo and .38 Super out of mine. I actually have a 9mm Para barrel for it that I don't use. PM me if you are interested in it.

March 13, 2010, 02:06 AM
Some of the Star Super A's will handle 38 Auto and 38 Super without modification. They are the ones marked 9mm/38.

Bill DeShivs
March 13, 2010, 01:54 PM
PM sent.

March 13, 2010, 03:12 PM
but what about 38 auto or 38 super?

Many Spanish auto's are marked 9MM/38, they have the chamber opening opened a tad for rim of the .38 auto (Not .380 auto, but the obsolete .38 auto cartridge) these guns will chamber both .38 auto and .38 Super. My advice is to never shoot .38 Super ammo in your gun.
Many load data sources show loadings for 9MM Largo that actually exceed some brands of .38 Super factory loads, this is an area that requires the ability to do a lot of homework and even loading the 9MM Largo hot like that requires a great deal of personal responsibility. Most people won't spend the time to research data to that degree and with that much certainty.

I personally won't even load .38 Super to 9MM Largo levels because case headstamp discipline is what distinguishes good practices from bad, and sure enough some day someone will grab a really hot .38 Super round thinking it's one of the ones downloaded to 9MM Largo specs, and kaboom!

Late model Stars are very well made, and even if they could take the hammering why would one want to? The 9MM Largo round is more powerful than the 9MM Parabellum even though chamber pressures are lower. It's a powerful round.

March 13, 2010, 11:47 PM
9mm largo is still available just do a search for it- starline makes brass for it also.

James K
March 14, 2010, 03:33 PM
There is an old myth (called a lie in less polite company) that guns chambered for the 9mm Largo (the old 9mm Bergman-Bayard) will work with a variety of cartridges, including the 9mm Parabellum (9mm Luger). That is not true. The Astra 400 and other guns chambered for the 9mm Largo were made for the 9mm Largo, period.

In some 9mm Largo guns, SOME 9mm Parabellum rounds at the edge of the outer tolerance, will wedge into the chamber and fire. But that is the case with guns like the .38 Super as well. A few gun writers, discovering this and having nothing better to do, cooked up the idea that those Spanish guns were magic, and could fire about anything. Nonsense then, still nonsense after a million repetitions.


March 16, 2010, 12:14 PM
Jim, the information on the subject I've read say that the Astra 400's that are marked 9MM/38 were intended to be shot with either the 9MM Largo or the .38 Auto, and if you have a gun so marked you will see that the rim area of the chamber is bored a bit larger to accept the .38 Auto's larger rim. The .38 Auto is very similar beyond that, and the loading is less powerful.

The proof (If I'm correct) is that many 9MM Largo chambered pistols won't chamber .38 auto/.38 Super (Same case dimensions) because they have the rim interference, but those pistols aren't double stamped.

My Star Model A is stamped for both cartridges as is my Astra 400 (Model 1921) and in fact Stoeger ads from the 1930 sold these pistols for .38 automatic cartridges. I may be wrong, but I believe these were marked 9MM/38.

The 9MM Largo website (http://9mmlargo.com/) Talking about the model 400; "Some pistol barrels are marked '9mm/38' indicating pistols that were made with/converted to a compromise bolt face that will accept either the 9mm Largo cartridge or the .38 ACP (not Super) cartridge.". (Note that the mention was of the "Bolt face", not the chamber mouth, though it's clear that the chamber mouth on my model 400 has been enlarged.)

In the same website, speaking of the Star A model; "To further confuse the issue, as pistols were returned to Star by the Spanish Government as surplus they would be refurbished and if necessary a new serial number applied. It was at this time that the mystery 9mm/.38 markings were applied to the pistols if they were reworked to handle the semi-rimmed .38ACP cartridge."

There's no doubt in my mind that pistols marked "9MM/38" were intended to be shot with both 9MM Largo and .38 automatic cartridges, and was told in a gun shop in Yuma that .38 Automatic cartridges are still available. (?)

March 17, 2010, 09:06 PM
38 acp ammo is obsolete - discontinued over 15 years ago by remington and winchester

James K
March 18, 2010, 02:31 PM
.38 ACP is not available from any of the major makers, but maybe it is still made someplace. (My dealer got me some .41 Colt a couple of months ago!)

Some Spanish pistols intended for export to Latin America were indeed made to work with .38 ACP, which had become popular there since .45 ACP pistols were the military caliber in many nations and pistols in the military caliber were banned. I have fired the big Star with .38 Super with no problems, but I won't fire the Astra 400 with the hot ammo. In fact, 9mm Largo is available today and .38 ACP is not, the reversal of the situation 30 years ago.

My Astra 400 barrel is indeed marked for 9mm/.38, but the ".38" appears to be an after market stamp and the original box mentions only 9mm Largo. But the barrel is not modified; the only change is the breech face. Still, that is not really the "myth" I was addressing, which goes well beyond the .38 ACP. As I said, the myth usually involves the Spanish service M1921, and goes that not only .38 ACP can be used, but also .38 Super, 9mm Luger, 9mm Steyr, 9mm Mauser, 9mm Brownng Long, and 9mm Browning Short (.380 ACP). Usually, the myth goes on to explain that this was intentional in case the Spanish Army was in a foreign country (!) and needed ammunition. Now that, I submit, is nonsense.


March 25, 2010, 03:43 PM
Try Long Mtn Outfitters out of Nevada - phone 702-564-0948. - They have plenty of 9mm Largo ammunition. My father has a Star Super Largo and loves it. He just purchased 250 rounds from them for the equalivant of $13 per 50 round box including shipping. They only sell it in 25 round boxes though. It is true that it only shoots a 9 X 23 9mm shell, you have to be very specific about that when shopping for ammo.

March 25, 2010, 05:51 PM
When I was down in Yuma a bit ago the gun store there said they had .38 ACP, I didn't see any on the shelves. I also have two .38 Colt Rimless double linked autos chambered for the same cartridge.

March 25, 2010, 05:57 PM
Just get a barrel made in 9mm para.

April 27, 2017, 12:31 PM
Hi all. I know this is an older thread but i recently lived this situation. My Dad was a gun dealer , enthusiast and collector since before I was born Im 52. A few monnths ago he gave me a Star Modelo Super as a gift, my first spanish firearm. He had it maintainenced and parkerized. He also said it would chamber 9mm Largo AND 9mm Luger.....simultaneously.....WHAT!!!!! The gun came with 500 rounds of Luger. We went to the range and i loaded the clips with Luger and pulled the trigger. Fired fine. extracted fine and cycled the next round...sorta. The slide never went fully forward , so i pushed it with my thumb. Fired, extracted, didnt fully chamber the round. Did this with a whole clip. Then Dad wandered to the loading room and came back with a clip full of Largo, "here, try these". Flawless operation. Then Dad says, " Maybe the Luger wasnt such a bright idea". The lesson here is dont change your ammo. I went home with the Star and 3500 rounds of Largo ammo. Thanks Dad !

Bill DeShivs
April 27, 2017, 01:59 PM
The only difference in the Star Super and the Model B Super is the chambering.
The B is chambered in 9mm parabellum.
The feed lips are longer on the parabellum magazine, but most largo magazines feed 9mm just fine.

April 28, 2017, 01:27 AM
Don't put the wrong ammo . . . Oh, wait, you're already aware of this, so what's the question?

Aguila Blanca
April 28, 2017, 07:55 PM
There's "can't," and there's "shouldn't." I hope we can all agree that the best advice is to only shoot through any firearm the ammunition it was designed for. Yet, with that said, one of the attractions of the .327 Federal Magnum is that guns chambered for that can also safely shoot two or three other .32 caliber rounds of less potency. We also know that guns chambered for some of the VERY hot .45 caliber wildcats can also shoot .45 ACP, even though the chamber is too long, simply by headspacing on the extractor. It's not recommended for a lot of use, and probably doesn't achieve best accuracy, but it can be done.

But as for the 9mm Largo and some of the alternates, it ain't that simple. The .38 Super (and the .38 ACP, which used the exact same case) is a straight-walled cartridge. All the 9mm cartridges that might be considered here are tapered. The 9mm Largo has a base diameter of .389", tapers to .377", and has a body length of .905". The 9mm Luger is also a tapered cartridge, measuring .391" at the base, .380" at the mouth, and a body length of .754".

Although the 9mm Luger is shorter, it's also fatter. If a gun chambered for 9mm Largo has a tight chamber, 9mm Luger may not chamber at all. I know for a fact that 9mm Luger won't chamber in a .38 Super barrel -- but that has a tighter chamber than 9mm Largo. The .38 Super cartridge is .384" in diameter x .900" long.

This suggests that .38 Super (or .38 ACP) could probably be fired through a 9mm largo pistol, if the extractor will hold the rim in firing position and if the chamber throat will accept the larger rim.

One last alternative that hasn't been mentioned is the 9x23 Winchester. This case is also tapered, .392" at the base, .381" at the mouth, and .900" long. This one should chamber in a 9mm Largo unless the chamber is unusually tight, and I have read reports of people who use the two cartridges more or less interchangeably. But ... as always, be VERY aware of pressure, and don't shoot high-pressure loads through older guns that may not be built to handle such pressures.





[Diagrams from Steve's Pages http://stevespages.com/page8d.htm ]

Jim Watson
April 28, 2017, 07:58 PM
Strangely enough, it is more commonly recommended to make 9mm Steyr, a straight case, out of tapered Starline 9mm Comp instead of .38 Super Comp which is straight rimless.

Bill DeShivs
April 28, 2017, 08:58 PM
In my younger, stupider days I shot quite a bit of 9mm Luger in a Colt Super.38 Commander.

Aguila Blanca
April 28, 2017, 09:55 PM
In my younger, stupider days I shot quite a bit of 9mm Luger in a Colt Super.38 Commander.
Interesting. I tried 9mm in a .38 Super barrel (not Colt), and it wouldn't go in beyond about 2/3 of the way. I was able to shoot .380 ACP out of it, though.