A skilled gunsmith/machinist equipped with a good knowledge of metals and having the ability to make quality welds using the proper rods can do wonders in chopping/remodeling firearms. Its just that andy, from his posts, shows little knowledge as to the proper practices and procedures for doing such work. Also, making fantastic claims without being able to back them up with any examples makes people claim andy's word is bs.
Any numb-nuts can 'chop' a pistol and maybe even make it function, but with the range of really excellent guns out there, why bother? This ISN'T 1975, you know.
Furthermore, time is money, so why bother wasting time on some el-cheapo crap like a Star BM?
That is a sign of someone who's both cheap, can't do math, is out of touch with the times, and is too wussy and out of shape to spend his extra time backpacking and getting his aging body in whatever physically fit condition that it might still be able to attain.
In the beginning, there were large, single-shot pistols. Then, as mankind began to carry multiple pistols, smaller pistols were begat. For lo, this allowed the carry of many pistols; and it was good.
(unless you were the one facing the pirate who carried 8 pistols…)
The heyday of custom ‘chopped’ pistols brought us some really neat things that trickled down to factory and semi-custom options. The ASP 9mm, the little Detonics, the “Bobcats”, etc. They became available, (and were fantastic ideas in many cases) but never “owned” the market.
Then along came the Clinton democrats, and their 10-round limit. In one of those “unintended consequences” things that the market always comes up with, that 10-round limit incentivized the entire U.S. gun industry to come up with many more compact and subcompact options. After all, why carry a full-size 9mm or .40 caliber gun, or double-stack 1911, if you can get the same number of shots in a more convenient package…?
As the full-size guns lost sales to their new, smaller siblings, other manufacturers jumped on the bandwagon of small, carryable guns. With the popularity of the G26, G30, compact Berettas, and the smaller Para-ordnance guns, we saw the advent of others; the Kahr, (which is a very good gun) etc.
The 10-round limit created a whole new market demand and sparked more innovation to make the “most-compact” gun in any caliber that still held ten rounds. So we now have a much wider range of choices of compact and subcompact guns available from the factory than ever before.
I’ve never checked into it, but instead of custom-building a .356 or .357sig on a used gun, I’d almost bet you can get a brand-new factory-made compact 1911 in .357sig, 9x23, or something similar. If nothing else, it should be a fairly minor conversion, compared with actually cutting & welding the frame & slide.
Why modify a cheap foreign handgun, for which parts are no longer made? If I spend money on modifying a handgun, I'll be smart enough to ensure that I pick a handgun where spare parts will be available for the next 25 years!