RIA: Star Model 1920

The Model 1920 was Star’s first locked-breech pistol, basically a combination of features from the Colt 1911 and their traditional Eiber blowback .32 pistols. It was tested by the Spanish Army in 1920, with inconclusive results. The Guardia Civil, however, found it to be suitable and adopted it after those tests. Only 3850 were made and delivered to the GC before a number of design changes were requested, resulting in the Model 1921 (aka the Model A). The Star legacy would last for many decades, with the 1920’s descendants being very popular and successful guns worldwide.


    • Yes, it should. There is no other spelling, although in Spanish it was spelt as “Éibar” (in Basque, it is Eibar, without the accented vowel). Nowadays, the generally accepted form is “Eibar”.
      As for that Star Modelo 1920, it looks much nicer than most of its bretheren I’ve seen in their native land. Thanks, Ian!

  1. Production of Model 1921 was as short lived as the M1920´s, since the model 1922 (basically a M1921 with no grip safety) replaced it. Here are some .

  2. Guardia Civil is a Spanish rural police corps of military nature, equivalent to French Gendarmerie or Italian Carabinieri.

    O.R. of Guardia Civil had been traditionally equipped with army type rifle and bayonet (Mauser mod. 1893), but form early twenties they began to be issued with pistols.

  3. That safety looks a lot like the one on my Beretta 92FS. Very nice looking pistol. Like to have one but never happen.

  4. Well, didn’t some of the Star pistols stand in for Colt M1911’s whenever somebody needed a semi-auto pistol to fire blanks in movies? Colts do not cycle with blanks…

    • 1911’s can be made to work with blanks nowadays but they are still problematic. Years ago it was almost impossible. I wish they could have got a B model for Gary Cooper to use in “Sargent York” so they would not have had to resort to rewriting history by having Alvin York capturing a Luger and using it along with the reliable 9mm blanks. B models have been used in the movies and TV most notably in “The Wild Bunch” where all the “1911’s” were Star 9mms. Samuel L Jackson’s character Jules in “Pulp Fiction” had a chromed Star Model B, “Say what one more time ?*#@**%”. There are many other examples of a Star standing in for a 1911 but those two spring to mind first.

  5. Guardia Civil used Star mod. 1920/21/22 and the refined model “1931” o “A” until the seventies, when these were substituted by the similar but smaller Star BM.

    The pistol that the Spanish Army adopted in 1946 is something different: the model “Super A”, that has a Browning GP-35 lock and a distinctive disassembly lever.

  6. I have owned several Star’s over the years, my all time favorite was a Star PD, I let her go at a gun show, now I have replaced that little .45 with the newer Citadel, it is about the same size but weighs in at nearly twice the weight.

  7. I really dig these old Star firearms. Just grabbed up a few Star Model BM’s, and they’re high quality and 100% reliable.

    It’s a shame that the history of the company is a rocky one. Same for the other famous Spanish manufacturers. Because one thing is for sure, they make/made good guns.

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