Re: Spanish Ruby pattern semi-autos
Interesting, but I would like to make one point. I don't know how many of those Spanish revolvers went to South America or elsewhere, but they didn't "trickle" into the U.S. - they were shipped in literally by the ton. The U.S. did not (and does not) have any proof law and so it was a dumping ground for poorly made firearms of all kinds.
The makers deliberately copied the S&W appearance (though the internal mechanism was often closer to the Colt design) and often marked the guns "FOR .38 S&W CARTRIDGES" with "S&W" or "SMITH & WESSON" in big letters. The guns sold for a couple of dollars and nearly ruined S&W. Not only did they take away sales, but people who bought the Spanish junkers demanded that S&W repair them when (not if) they broke! Some were better than others but none, repeat none, could come anywhere near the quality of an S&W or Colt of that era, and most were just junk. I have seen several that blew up, including one whose cylinder was blown apart by a factory blank!
S&W struck back. They copyrighted their case colored hammer and trigger. If the Spanish did the same, S&W could have the guns seized as violating copyright. If the Spanish didn't copy the case coloring, the guns wouldn't look like S&W's.
One result is that in order to protect their copyright, S&W has to continue to use coloring on their hammers and triggers, even when the parts are made by MIM and don't need case hardening!
As for the auto pistols, only Astra and Star were decent qualilty. Llama guns were always soft and never up to the quality of major U.S. and European makers, and they continued to use a lot of hand fitting and filing long after even the other Spanish makers went to automatic machines and interchangeable parts.