Argentine 1911

Discussion in 'The 1911 Forum' started by Munch, Mar 2, 2012.

  1. Munch

    Munch Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    348
    Location:
    Puyallup, WA.
    Years ago I had an Argentine replica of the 1911 and I have been beating myself up since letting it go to pay bills. I would love to find another of these as I have very fond memories of it, it never gave me a single problem, and most importantly, I just want it. Does anyone know if these are sold anywhere? Any help will be very appreciated.
  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2007
    Messages:
    10,595
    Location:
    NW Florida
    I think you're pretty much SOL. Years ago there were a bunch of 'em come in - both Sistema and Ballester Molina. But I have not heard of any coming in lately. You're only chance, as I see it, is to haunt the auction boards and hope one shows up.
  3. H-D

    H-D Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Messages:
    1,336
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I saw a few on the big auction sites a while back
  4. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Messages:
    957
    Location:
    Milwaukee, WI
    Both types of the Argentine 45 automatics - the Colt 1911 clones by DGFM, and the simplified version by Ballester-Molina - are readily available on gun-sales and gun-auction websites, and I usually see more than one at the few gun shows I get to.

    The only thing is, since there are no more coming in, prices are going up. People do not hesitate to ask a lot for them, so you have to shop around. Also, they have been in the US long enough for people to have worked on them...with greater or lesser amounts of skill. You can find one OK, you just need to be careful, and decide how much you want to spend. HTH!
  5. Munch

    Munch Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    348
    Location:
    Puyallup, WA.
    Thank you all for your insight! I did as all of you suggested and looked on some of the auction site very quickly, and wow, y'all weren't kidding about the prices hitting the roof. If i remember correctly I paid $200.00. Granted, this was nearly 20 years ago. Most I saw just now in decent shape were around 6 to 8 hundred. I will check at the gun show, and on your suggestions, keep an eye on the auctions. Thanks very much for your help!
  6. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4,720
    Location:
    Akron, Ohio
  7. Oldeyes

    Oldeyes Member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2006
    Messages:
    251
    Location:
    Ohio
    Years ago I did some tune up gun smithing on a couple of Argentine 1911 Colt pattern pistols. I found them to be quite worthy exact copies of the originals, with the exception that all of the steel in them was harder than the hinges of hell. They could be accuracy tuned quite nicely. However, working on those pistols just absolutely ate good files. When I inquired about the degree of metal hardness that I had found I was told that rumor was that the source metal was salvaged from the armor plate of a sunken WWI German battleship. Based upon my experience, I believe it. Anyway, if I was today looking for a good quality moderately priced forged 1911 pattern pistol, I would probably look at some of the used basic GI model Springfield 1911's that are out there. In this area those models often show up used in good condition at quite reasonable prices.
  8. limbkiller

    limbkiller New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Location:
    georgetown,ky
  9. Munch

    Munch Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    348
    Location:
    Puyallup, WA.
    That Bersa American Classic looks like a viable option for me. Thats about what I'm looking to spend, I have owned several Bersa handguns in .22 and .380 and found them to be well built, reliable and as accurate as one would expect from a small frame handgun. Thanks for the tip! I hadn't known about Buds until now.
  10. Munch

    Munch Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2011
    Messages:
    348
    Location:
    Puyallup, WA.
    Thats an interesting little piece of information about the steel Oldeyes. If I should happen to find another in the future I'll keep that in mind should I ever need to get in and do any tuning or tweaking. Any question I've ever asked of the members at this forum has been answered quickly and the information within has been priceless. This is my favorite place on the internet! Thank you all!!
  11. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    4,720
    Location:
    Akron, Ohio
    Munch, After I posted that link I went back to Buds site and was looking at all of the 1911's under the Bersa name. On a customer review of one of these models , a person made reference to it being made in the Philippines, so maybe although Bersa is an Argentine company, they are importing their 1911's from a Philippine company. That wouldn't be unusual as there seems to be a lot of 1911's made in P.I. being sold under different name brands. Personally that wouldn't be a problem because I love my Philippine made RIA 1911, but if you specifically want one made in Argentina, this might not be for you.
  12. Inthewind1976

    Inthewind1976 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2008
    Messages:
    552
    Location:
    Central Pennsylvania
    The Argentine 1911's, NOT the two Ballester's, but the true 1911's are made on Colt machinery and jigs, and are essentially a COLT 1911, in its truest form. They are excellent pistols and were an incredible bargain when they were readily available for under $200 a few years ago. Like all "good things" however, they have dried up (there werent millions of em built to begin with) and the prices are going up considerably. They are now beginning to demand some "collector premium" in addition to the fact that ANY true 1911 format pistol is much more expensive than it was a few years ago. The Ballester's were a simplified semiautomatic pistol designed by/for the Argentine military and police, to supplement/replace the earlier exact Colt copies, and while they are decent, well made pistols, they are NOT a '1911' by any standards. They are mechanically different internally, and the only part that swaps are magazines. The prices are going up for Ballisters these days too - the sub-$200 specials we saw a few years ago are long gone. The same is true with many of the fine automatics made by Star in Spain. They are 1911 PATTERN pistols, like the Ballester, but are so only in appearance, not mechanics. So far, many of the fine Star's are still available at a pretty decent price, but their days are numbered as well, because there arent millions of em out there either, and they are not current production arms. Good luck in your search, and if the one you had in the past was a "true" 1911, versus the Ballester, you may wish to consider one of the Philipine current productions ones (like the Rock Island) because they, too, arent going to get any "cheaper" and curretly are available right around $400 give or take a buck. Good luck. :)
  13. ignats

    ignats Member

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2011
    Messages:
    104
    That isn't true. Some steel was salvaged from the Graf Spee, which was scuttled just outside of Montevideo in about 36 feet of water. Some salvage work began during 1942 but mostly to remove what was considered a hazard of navigation. Some of that steel was used by HAFDASA to manufacture engine parts. Argentina imported most of their weapons from the U.S. and Germany up until the end of WWII. Production of Ballester Molinas actually began during WWII. The steel was imported from England and some where between 8000 to 10000 thousand of the them went to England others went to the Argentine military. Production ran from 1938 to 1953 totaling just under 110,000 pistols.
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
The 1911 Forum Ballester Molina Argentine M1911 Clone May 19, 2007
The 1911 Forum Argentine Navy Colt May 8, 2010
The 1911 Forum Finally the 1911 I wanted Apr 18, 2014
The 1911 Forum Sig Sauer 1911R TACOPS Apr 17, 2014
The 1911 Forum budget 1911 opinions Apr 11, 2014