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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've read much discussion about using other options, such as 9x23 Win (NO); .38 acp (yes if it fits); 38 Super (no for Astra- too hot; for Star it's a maybe, with the same issue as 38 acp and then consider it only in new guns with newer weaker loads).

I've seen 9mm Steyr mentioned on 1-2 other sites, but those are over a decade ago. And I never really considered it a valid option because it was, well, not around anywhere.

So I glanced at sgammo's current inventory, and they have Fiocchi 9mm Steyr in stock. Price is out of my reach (1.20 a rd), but it did make me wonder... it can't be "too hot", if anything it would be loaded milder than Largo from what I can gather. Technically the dimensions are listed as different, and sgammo says
DESCRIPTION WARNING !!! FOR STEYR M1912 PISTOL ONLY. This is the unique and rare caliber called '9mm Steyr', it is not the same thing as the common '9mm Luger'. Do not buy this ammo if you are not sure what caliber you need, not all '9mm' ammo is the same, there are many different types of '9mm' and they are not interchangeable, make sure you know the full caliber name of the ammo you need.
50 Round Box - 9mm Steyr 115 Grain FMJ Ammo by Fiocchi - 9SA
They list 120 boxes for sale, so 6 cases. I can't see that selling out quickly, unless people ignore the warning and buy "9mm"... which is something I could see happening. Might be why they price it so high, to discourage that.
I could see the price dropping if/when 9x19 comes back into stock.

Looking at the cases in comparison, I'm hard-pressed to find a big difference... overall length appears slightly longer in Largo, and the extractor rim area looks slightly different too. But that's with enlarged pictures, in the hand I don't know that you can see the difference.

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So, what's the general consensus- would this be safe to run? Should it run? If it were half the price, I'd consider getting a box, just to try. New Fiocchi brass wouldn't be a bad thing.
The other thought I'm having- if Fiocchi is making Steyr, are they going to make a batch of Largo soon too? I'd think there's a bigger market for the Largo, to be honest.
 

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I’ve been advised the dimensions are just different enough that they are not interchangeable. Everything seems different by about 0.2mm. One obvious difference is the rim, which could cause extraction issues.

I have a Steyr, and looked into it because Largo ammo was more plentiful.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the info, Gonzo.

If I had a Steyr, I'd watch that stuff at SGAmmo. The cost might be too high (now), but if it's truly a very limited-use cartridge, he might be sitting on it awhile. And if other stuff comes back into stock, the price might come back to reasonable... I have to think some new Fiocchi in any obscure caliber would be a nice get.
 

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Way back when, I ran vintage 9mm Steyr in my Astra 1921 and Spanish Destroyer carbine.
Spec wise it was a hair short and a bit underloaded.
Had to tweak the extractor hook on the destroyer to hold the rim but it did work
The 1921 ate it up with no issues.
Bear in mind that this was long before any 9mm Largo brass was available, we made do.

Don't know about the Star or this Fiocchi ammo.
Google-Fu would probably get you the specific load specs.
If it were cheaper I'd say try it but that's a bit rich for something that may not work.

I dunno............
 

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interesting question, I just bought a part box of 9mm Steyr ammo at a gun show to try this. while I haven't had time to fire any they 'seem' to feed and chamber just fine, and they are the same length as the star line 9mm largo brass. l to r 9mm s/rws, 9mms/gfl, 9mm largo/star line, .38 auto..
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Mike, I'll be interested to hear your range report. If it chambers, it should be ok, going this direction (Steyr in a 'modern' Largo)... I should think.

One pretty respected guy on the S&W forums had posted that he'd shot a lot of Steyr in his Star Largo pistol while in Europe, as it was more prevalent then; with no harm or difficulties. I think he stated his was a standard Model A.
As I understand, the dimensions are similar, with the Steyr being slightly smaller, and loaded a bit less. Largo into a Steyr was iffy as it might be tight depending on variance, and would be hot in the Steyr. But going the other direction seems less of a concern. Kinda like 7.63 Mauser and 7.62 Tokarev, both can chamber and a Tok can shoot both, but you don't want to load Tok ammo into a Mauser. Gonzogeezer's relayed warning above could be coming from the Steyr point of view; don't load Largo ammo into a Steyr.

Gotta think if Fiocchi is loading it, it's going to be soft enough to not hurt the Steyr pistols; and the quality would be way above any surplus we come across. I'd like to try a box... but only if it were half that price. Even $30 a box offends my sensibilities a bit, 60 is just obscene.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Here we go again, shoot the ammo a weapon was designed for and educated guesses will not be necessary.
No, you're right, but the issue is
"Hey, that's newly manufactured by a respected brand, vs my supply of old, corrosive, laggy primer surplus".

And it does get a bit cloudy at times; the Tokarev/Mauser issue for example. I understand them as 2 distinct rds, but I also recall reading that the Russians had an ample supply of 7.63 Mauser and liked it, and that the Tok WAS built around it (or at least built to allow shooting it). And built with more modern processes, allowing a stronger mass-production gun, and thus it could be up-loaded some.

As well, it's a natural curiosity- you owns a 9x23 firearm, you sees new 9x23 ammo on the shelf, you wonders "can I safely feed that to my gun? If so, it would extend it's usefulness". I know better than to load actual 9x23 Winchester and make it a grenade, there are hesitations on 38 Super for the same reason (and the rim being an issue too); but 9mm Steyr shouldn't be even as hot as Largo, it comes down to proper chamber fit.

And I suppose the biggest question I have in reality- there are a LOT more Largo's in circulation, than there are Steyr's, right? That's my basic assumption- the Stars, the Astras, Llamas etc, there have to be more floating around than the Steyrs.
If Fiocchi has deemed fit to make a run of Steyr, shouldn't Largo be somewhere in the pipeline too?
 

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If you want an education, sit down with as many samples of different lots or brands as you can find of 9mm Largo cartridges and a micrometer caliper. Measure case diameter at the head and mouth, case length, cartridge OAL, rim thickness, extractor groove, etc. Record the measurements.

Then do the same thing with as many different lots or brands of 9mm Steyr as you can find.

Of course the Steyr is generally loaded with a much lighter bullet and accordingly has a shorter OAL. Steyr also has a much lighter charge. But as far as case dimensions go, what you'll discover is a greater variation between 9mm Largo samples than any difference with 9mm Steyr.

Any pistol that can safely shoot 9mm Largo can be safely shot with 9mm Steyr. The issue is whether it will have sufficient recoil impulse to cycle the gun, and whether it will feed because it's shorter. The other differences are inconsequential.

The reverse is not true. Largo is too long to feed through the magazine of the Steyr Hahn, and modern military loads of Largo --head stamp SB 77 for example-are very hot and beat up old guns like Astra 400s; these guns function well and very comfortably with Steyr. Star A & Bs, and A & B Supers also are very pleasant shooters with 9mm Steyr.

Whether you shoot one or the other should really be a matter of availability and quality. I still have an adequate supply of military surplus 9mm Steyr made by DWM in 1937. It is non-corrosive, and is still 100% sure-fire. Considering its age, it's some of the highest quality ammo I've ever had.

M
 

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MGMike
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#10 2 h ago (Edited)

"If you want an education, sit down with as many samples of different lots or brands as you can find of 9mm Largo cartridges and a micrometer caliper."
here you go, all the ammo tested gave reliable feeding and function. the only 'surprise' was the old Super X ammo that was 'hotter' than the rest (more recoil). all the rest were very close.
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I would not hesitate to shoot any of these in a good condition Star 'super'
 

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The 9mm Largo aluminum case CCI Blazer that can be still be found has an extractor groove that is too narrow for some Star pistols and gives occasional failures to extract and/or eject. It functions reliably in the pure blowback Astra 400s which don't really need extractors. But it's loaded to near-maximum and is abusive, in my opinion, to Astra 400s.

M
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks for the confusion, MGMike ;)

Being a relative newbie, I look at you and ibmikey as the resident experts here, and it's always fun when you guys give opposing advice... !
Though honestly, ibmikey didn't say "don't", he said "stick with the original round and you won't need to guess", which technically is a different statement.

So, to quote MGMike=
Any pistol that can safely shoot 9mm Largo can be safely shot with 9mm Steyr
That's what I wanted to know.
The issue is whether it will have sufficient recoil impulse to cycle the gun, and whether it will feed because it's shorter. The other differences are inconsequential.
That's what makes me peeved at the price. I wouldn't (yet) consider any handgun ammo for $1.20 a rd, but if it were 60 cents, that's the stated price on Steinel and Reed's new manufactured Largo in Starline brass. Both list as 'backorder', and I have half an order delayed since last November from Steinel due to case shortages (I got 5 boxes, the other 5 is still delayed, and the recent email exchange they said that was the hold up).
I got half a case of surplus Largo from Sarco, have had some duds out of each box I have opened. They want 45 cents (plus now the purchase of a firearm) to buy it. If I figure in the duds, I think I'm hitting around 60 cents a functional rd.

Sgammo has not been a gouger in the past, so I have to think this is Fiocchi setting the price, unfortunately. I don't see it anywhere else to compare prices. I may go check the big LGS on the other side of town; they have been strip-mined of 'regular' ammo, but I do find a few boxes of things like 7.63 Mauser, etc. And that was $23 a box, so it was worth testing in my Tok. If they have any of the Steyr at a similar range, I'd try a box just to test.

Edit- hmm. In 2019, this was listing at $359 a case, or almost a quarter of the current price. A quick check at sgammo shows they still have 114 boxes, so it will probably hang around awhile. I will wait and see what the price does.
 

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...the only 'surprise' was the old Super X ammo that was 'hotter' than the rest (more recoil). all the rest were very close.

I would not hesitate to shoot any of these in a good condition Star 'super'
Whether any American ammunition labeled ".38 Automatic" or ".38 ACP" will work in a Star Super depends on whether the breech face is cut wide enough to accept that cartridge's semi-rim, and whether the underside of the barrel hood has been similarly relieved. Many Star A and A Super pistols were not.

The box of early "Super-X .38 Automatic" shown in the photo is in fact .38 Super --a rough equivalent of ordinary .38 ACP loaded to +P velocity, hence the stronger recoil. Same cartridge case.

As the recorded measurements show, the rim diameter of .38 ACP is significantly larger than 9mm Largo or Steyr. It is a semi-rimmed case, whereas the other two are rimless.

M
 

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...
I got half a case of surplus Largo from Sarco, have had some duds out of each box I have opened. They want 45 cents (plus now the purchase of a firearm) to buy it. If I figure in the duds, I think I'm hitting around 60 cents a functional rd.

...
The problem with the Spanish surplus from the 1950s that is sold by Sarco is that, as you've found, it's deteriorated and not reliable (in addition to being corrosive). Not only are there many duds, but the primer cups are old and "seasoned", and vulnerable to perforation or cookie-cutting, which, when and if it occurs, releases corrosive primer gas into the firing pin channel. That is a pain to adequately clean in Star pistols. Any old ammo that gives misfires really requires the shooter to exercise great diligence to avoid accidents from bullets stuck in the bore. What might seem like a misfire might be a squib with just enough energy to de-bullet the case and leave a slug in the lede. The next round chambered pushes the dislodged bullet further in. So one can't just apply "immediate action", rack the slide, and keep shooting. One has to STOP and LOOK to see what is ejected. This is more trouble than many shooters want to be bothered with.

The later non-corrosive Spanish military surplus (Santa Barbara or Toledo, 1977) is much better and sure-fire. But it's hot, loaded to velocities comparable to today's .38 Super. I didn't learn this from books or spec sheets, but by chronographing it.
 

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Yes, they will chamber and they will fire. They are safe to shoot. The only problem you MAY or MAY NOT have is in extraction. You will notice from the above picture of the three cartridges that the 9mm Largo's extractor groove is wider and deeper than the groove in the Steyr cartridge.
 
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