It's funny the things we latch onto, find an affinity for...

Last summer a friend of mine showed me his Star BM9... a humble, 30-something year old, all steel, out-of-production handgun, made in Spain. The BM9 is a miniature 1911, chambered in 9mm, which was a standard sidearm for many years for the Spanish Civil Guard and some police agencies there. It was stoutly built, well before the plastic pistol craze took over. The trigger was excellent, easily as good as a fine 1911.

"Can I shoot it?"

Knowing ahead of time what my interest level would be, my friend simply smiled and handed me two full magazines. Happily, I walked out onto the range and put a target out to 25 feet. I used the sights and slow fired the first eight round mag. They went straight into the 10 ring in a group I could cover with a quarter, many of them overlapping. Sweet!  The second eight I shot combat-style, rapid, point-shooting without sights... none were outside the 9 ring, half were inside the 10 ring. Very sweet!  Ok, I had found a new (old) 9mm to love.

But, since they're out of production and have been for awhile, you can't just go out and find a Star BM9 at your local firearms store, you have to search for one. If you're lucky, (and I was) one finds you. It wasn't pretty, far from it - it looked like crap, but mechanically it was just fine, and shot spot-on. For what I paid, it was a steal.

So the task was, how to make it look halfway presentable. I disliked the stock plastic grips but was unaware of anyone making anything for the Star BM9 in the way of replacements or upgrades... but that was nothing compared to the sad, worn finish. Luck was with me again... a friend who owed me a favor had been practicing with Duracoat and agreed to Duracoat the whole thing for free. I like free, free is a good thing. We disassembled it carefully and he went to work doing an admirable job in satin black. What a difference, it looked almost new except for the grips.

My search for grips bought me to The Gun Grip Guys website. Don't let their simple website fool you, these guys produce a quality product at a very reasonable price. Beautiful exotic hardwoods, cut and countoured for your Star, Ballister Molina or 1911. I chose the classic look of Cocobolo.

They were so nice, my friend wanted a set for his Star too. And since I just aquired another Star BM9, I'll probably be ordering a third pair. Not sure which hardwood I'll choose this time, since The Gun Grip Guys have such a diverse selection... But I'm sure whatever I choose will look great. Go to www.GunGripGuys.com and take a look at the galleries to see photos of the various hardwoods on your favorite hardware.
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