The Star line of 9 mm automatic pistols has generally developed along military lines, but in the late 1970s, with the 9 mm Parabellum cartridge beginning to become popular in the United States, they were prevailed upon to produce a smaller weapon, one more suited to concealment for personal defense. Their answer was Star BKM.
With an overall length of just over seven inches and weighing less than two pounds when loaded, this meets the specification, but the result is something of a handful. A light alloy frame helps to keep the weight down, but the combination of short-barrel, lightweight, and the 9 mm Parabellum cartridge means recoil and muzzle blast both heavier than average; this is particularly noticeable when firing some types of European military 9 mm ammunition. It is rather more acceptable when using commercial Luger loadings.
The finish is excellent, with a blued slide, anodized black frame, and well-checkered walnut grips. The foresight is the usual blade and the rear a square notch which is rather too narrow for easy alinement in a hurry. The rear sight may be drifted sideways in its notch for zeroing but there are no other adjustments.
The breech locking is by the traditional Browning-Colt swinging link, though there is only one locking lug on top of the barrel to engage with the slide. It is worth noting that the firing pin is not an inertia type, and this pistol should never have a hammer lowered on to a loaded chamber.
In practical use, the Star BKM pistol delivers good accuracy for such. short barrel, giving two to three-inch groups at 25 yards quite regularly. Like many autos, it tends to be fussy over its ammunition, and several brands should be checked for their compatibility before deciding which to use. Once the recoil and noise are mastered, the BKM becomes an extension of the hand and is well-suited to the defensive role.
Technical specifications: Star BKM
|Manufacturer:||Star, B. Echeverria, Eibar, Spain|
|Type:||locked breech, semi-automatic pistol|
|Caliber:||9 mm Parabellum|
|Barrel:||3.9 in (100 mm)|
|Weight (empty):||26 oz (737 grams)|