Its inherent complexity doomed the Spanish Star Si35 submachine gun series - rejected by both the United States and Britain in the pre-World War 2 period.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited:
The Spanish-originated Star Si35 became a very conventional submachine gun offering of the interwar period (that is the period spanning the two World Wars). A delayed blowback action was used and full-automatic fire was standard (though a selector managed rate-of-fire between 300 and 700 rpm settings and a "hold-open" feature quickly indicated an emptied weapon). The weapon was chambered for the local Spanish 9x23mm Largo ("Long") cartridge and could by fed by way of a 10-, 30- or 40-round detachable straight magazines inserted into the underside of the receiver. A wooden stock made up the shoulder support, grip handle and under-receiver sections while the barrel, receiver itself, and magazine were all completed in metal. Iron sights were affixed at the receiver and near the barrel in the usual way. Manufacture was by Star Bonifacio Echeverria.
The Si35 represented something of a culmination of sorts for the Star company as the it had delved into a variety of submachine gun designs leading up to World War 2 (1939-1945). It interested few in its progressions despite appearing as rather useful submachine gun entries. The weapon was indeed trialled by the United States (in modified form as the Star "Atlantic") and Britain but both parties elected for designs of local origination. One of the major drawbacks of the series seemed to be its internal makeup which was deemed too complicated for wartime production and wide scale procurement by a large army service. Such high-profile rejection did not bode well for wide-acceptance of this Spanish firearm.
To that end, the Si35 gradually fell out of any favor it had attained - though it managed to see some combat service in the waning stages of the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) before its history was fully written. By 1942, the Star company had moved on simply copying popular German Army submachine models like the MP38/MP40 family of guns - these being detailed elsewhere on this site.
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