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An interesting piece, Mark. Lists published by both Wittington (Vol. II, page 64) and Still (page 355) indicate that your Star Model B (number 228936) was one of 15,000 sold to the Bulgarian armed forces - in fact, Still reports that 228936 was one of the first Star shipments to Bulgaria in September 1943. (At that time, Bulgaria was an ally of Germany and its troops fought alongside the Germans in the Balkans and elsewhere - but unlike the other German allies of Eastern Europe, they did not declare war on Russia and therefore did not contribute troops to the war on the Eastern Front.)

Incidentally, the "B" prefix evidently does not signify the Bulgarian destination of the piece; that prefix also appears on many other Star Bs, including mine, which was one of those delivered to the Germans at Hendaye, France, in May 1944.

Moreover, placement of a portion of the serial number at rear of slide and on barrel is also, I understand, not seen on those sold to the Germans - and I was unaware that those sold by Star to the Bulgarians also had a German waffenamt acceptance mark. I wonder if the extra serial numbering was specified by the Bulgarian customers, added later by them, or ? Since they evidently went directly to Bulgaria, I also wonder why the waffenamt was added, where, and by whom. (It wasn't even placed on all of those delivered to the Germans.)

It appears that very, very few of the Bulgarian Stars were imported until a fairly large number were recently brought it and sold by several dealers, including Cole, etc. Almost all of them I've heard about seem to have been reblued; has yours? What import stamp appears on it?

Again, your Star is an interesting WWII relic and raises some intriguing questions. If other forum members could provide some insight, it would add a great deal to our collective knowledge of the pistols of Germany and its allies in WWII.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Webleyman,

Thanks for the wealth of information about my pistol! The pistol does not have an import marking and was purchased by me from a retiring collector in rural Virginia. I purchased the 1st Variation HSc mentioned in another post from him at the same time.

The blue on the pistol matches the bluing on the magazine perfectly and the mag has the serial number engraved with an electric pencil so that leads me to believe it has the original finish? I am not really sure as the gun is in pristine condition and doesn't have signs of a reblue. How good it the reblue on the import marked guns and do they have matched mags?

Mark
 

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Re. S# on right rear of slide after serations.
This is a correct characteristic of the werhmacht procurement range. Still, Axis Pistols, page 123 shows a 2nd variation, lot 14 pistol, that was purchased by the Germans, with the S# on right rear of slide after serations. I own another of the 2nd var. with the same characteristics. Axis pistols has a wehrmacht procurement range Ser. # list on P. 339 taken from Star B factory invoices.

Re. Bulgarian Stars.
Here is some info I saved from a series of significant postings on this pistol. I will ID the posting with
:
[Begin Quote]
Garfield: Posted - 09/26/2003:
According to Antaris, IMHO, someone who would know, all the Bulgarian contract Star Model Bs were marked as standard commercial pistols, i.e., no Waffenamt acceptance stamps. Why should they? They went from Spain to Bulgaria. According to Antaris, the surplused Bulgarian Star Bs that ended up here were refinished and waffenamts applied in Europe.
Bulgarian contract pistols fall within particular serial number ranges and were delivered in three groups of 5000 pistols each starting in
9/0/43 #'s 225007-225775 & 226101-230331
2/12/43 #'s 230332-230375 & 231-235782
3/3/44 #'s 235901-240900.
So, if you buy one of these Star Bs that fall within these serial # parameters, which are stamped WaA251, you may have some difficulty convincing a knowledgeable collector that this stamp is legit.
[End Quote]

The real wehrmacht procurment pistols are pricey, $1,000 or so.
The recent Bulgarians are much less expensive. The ones I have seen are in terrible condion--heavily pitted, dull porous refinsh, bad grips, and, of course, WaA marked. The pistols I have seen are nowhere as nice as Mark's pistol, but, it is not within the Wehrmacht Ser. # range. It is within the Bulgarian Ser. # range, and there remains some considerable credibility problems with the WaA. Mark's pistol is by far the best condtioned of the Bulgarians I have seen.

I think I'm going to post this info on my website so as to give a heads up on these Bulgarians. Mark paid a fair price for his pistol at $500, (You didn't get ripped off.), but, I know that others have paid the big bucks for them, thinking that they were within the Wehrmacht contract procurement range.

If anyone has addtional info re. the Bulgarians, then kindly post it.

Here's my second variation:

Download Attachment: StarBWaA251-1.jpg
63.24 KB
Download Attachment: StarBWaA251-2.jpg
74.15 KB
Download Attachment: StarBWaA251-3.jpg
75.94 KB
 

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Mark,

First off I'm by no means a Star expert...i collect walthers, but use to collect all ww2 axis pistols...i want to add two observations about your new gun...1)i have observed several recent imports and they were marked under the slide release lever(must take it off to see it)...2) i have been told that someone in europe was "adding" the waA251 stamps to the guns before shipping them here...there is a simple way to tell,so i've been told...look at pancho's and axis pitols at the waA251 stamp...all the originals have the large "A" in the stamp off set to the left of the tip of the eagle where the "imports" have a stamp that has the large "A" directly under the eagle's tip...as i said before i'm not the expert on star's but just thought i'd pass this along...also as pancho stated most model b's i've personally observed have sold for $1,000 or more and were not 99%+ guns...more like 95-98% ers...just my two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys, seems like I have been "had", but not too badly burned. I'm going to rip the gun apart to look for an import marking tonight.

The gun was in a new smelling holster with a spare mag, non Star marked, I should have known. Any way the holster and spare mag must be worth $50.00?

Mark
 

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Yeah, last summer I paid $1,095 for mine (S/N 2454XX, one in Lot 17 of 2,500 delivered on 5/29/44; late type, fourth variation slide legend and WaAD20 waffenamt) that averages about 95% overall, with black holster marked WaA668 (Rudolf Conte, Offenbach am Main)and unmarked extra mag. Thought it was high, but couldn't find any of comparable condition that were cheaper at the time.

Thanks for the additional info, Pancho and ww2gunguy. (The comments about the waffenamts on the Bulgarian Star Bs confirmed what I had sorta suspected.)

P.S. Those Bulgarians might not have been rocket scientists, but they had better sense than to jump on the Rooskies, even if their reticence did peeve Mr. Hitler.
 

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Hey Webleyman, I don't think you were taken at all. I bought a 99% er a while back for $950 and no holster, but with a spare magazine. My S/N is 224152, so it's part of the 4000 delivered in July 1943.

Nice pistols!!

I just wish the Bulgarian Star's hadn't been messed with. It sure confuses the issue!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Guys,

I am contacting the dealer in VA for a refund, on further exam the import marking is under the slide release PWA RDMD WA. I bought the HSc from that dealer, which is a nice gun, but he said the same individual also brought in the Star B. I'll let you know how it is resolved.

Mark
 

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Let me say first that the Star Model B that I have, I have always wondered if this was a faked Nazi waffenamt acceptance stamp pistol. It is serial number 223886 (in the WaA251 serial range 215357--224970). I got it in a trade a few years back that included several guns I wanted but included this Star B also. It has a waffenamt acceptance stamp that looks like the one ww2gunguy describes (from what he has heard from some others) as being a posssible fake ??--big A in the stamp under the eagle tip and NOT offset like in Pancho's example and in Axis Pistols. Mine is not import marked but it looks reblued and heavy handed polished. Here is a picture of the waffenamt acceptance stamp for what it's worth:
Download Attachment: Star Model B Waffenamt Stamp.jpg
71.02KB
 

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Lloyd, your Waffenamt Mark looks legit to me. Jan's book "Axis Pistols" shows one of the serial number ranges 223776 to 225006 as part of a 26 July 1943 Shipment to Germany. There were five lots included in the shipment of 4000 pistols. There were discontinuities in the serial number ranges.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you gentlemen!

The dealer has agreed to take the gun back and refund my money, he had no idea. Even though the price was OK I can't stand the thought of a fake marking on any of my guns. I sure appreciate the wealth of information that you guys provide.

Mark
 
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