A Fading Star: The Star Si35 Submachine Gun, That Is

By Jean Huon

José Cruz Echeverria was an established gunsmith in Spain in Eibar in the Basque province during the 19th century. He manufactured muzzle-loading firearms.

His two sons Julian and Bonifacio joined the firearms business in 1905. They produced shooting rifles and in 1908 a .25 ACP pistol which was very similar to the Mannlicher 1900 pistol. It was proposed as the “Star” pistol.

In 1910, Julian left the business, and Bonifacio expanded it and began improving his pistol. It was offered as a new model in 1910, a .32 caliber with a new ergonomic design.

The company was also subcontracted by Gabilondo y Urresti to produce the Ruby pistol for the French Army at the beginning of WWI, but Bonifacio Echeverria also produced his M1910 pistol for the French military, with a 5-inch (7 shots) and 5.5-inch barrel (9 shots). He sold approximately 23,000 to 25,000 pistols between August 5, 1915, and October 1, 1918.

Later, Star made a simplified copy of the Colt M1911 pistol, and some models received a selector for automatic fire. It fired more than 1,000 rounds per minute! Later a “speed device” was adopted.

In 1934, Star proposed the I.S. 34 semi-automatic carbine developed by Isaac Irusta and Valentin Suenaga. It had a rifled 9mm Largo barrel, a 40-shot magazine and a sight for shooting from 50 to 1,000 meters. One year later, a submachine gun derived from the I.S. 34 appeared but with a selector.


Also inventors of this gun, Suenaga and Irusta gave the initials of their name to it. Production began just before the Spanish Civil War, and this weapon was used occasionally during this conflict.

It had a classic style with a wooden carbine stock; the frame is cylindrical, and the barrel is mounted inside a tubular cooling sleeve with oval holes. It receives a lug for the Spanish Mauser bayonet. A plug is screwed at the rear of the frame, and the cocking lever is on the right.

The main part of the bolt is a cylinder with reduced diameter head, where the firing pin is to...

This article first appeared in Small Arms Review V23N3 (March 2019)
and was posted online on February 1, 2019


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