BALLESTER MOLINA ???

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by cointoss2, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. cointoss2

    cointoss2 Guest

    Flhunter
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    (1/17/02 3:32:17 pm)
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    The BALLESTER MOLINA's that SOG is selling are they worth a hoot? Does anyone have any experience with them? Are they well made made or just junk? I know very little about them so any info you can share will be really helpful to me. TIA


    K75RT
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    (1/17/02 8:00:13 pm)
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    The HAFDASA B-M are great guns, I have one and it shoots very well. The trigger pivots rather than slides as in the 1911s. The sights are rudimentary but most sights were from this era. They are very well made and finished, a bit heavier than the 1911s. Colt magazines fit and work just fine.
    If you believe it is reprehensible to possess the will and means to repel a criminal assault...how can you rightfully ask another to risk his life to protect yours?

    polishshooter
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    (1/17/02 9:20:47 pm)
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    Never had either, but I was thinking of getting one a while back when they came back on the market, and the general consensus here was the Argentine 27s on the market for around the same price were a better buy...most colt parts are supposed to interchange with the 1927s, but not necessarily with the BMs...in fact the early 27s were made in Hartford by Colt...

    The BM is supposed to be a "looser" Colt/Browning copy...but I HAVE heard guys that have them that like them...prolly good for an occasional shooter, but not a competition gun or for lots of rounds downrange...simply because it would be hard to replace worn parts or to do a trigger job, or add aftermarket stuff...
    We must make war as we must; not as we would like. - Field Marshal Kitchener, 1915

    Xracer
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    (1/18/02 9:15:56 am)
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    I agree with Polish.....the Ballester is a nice pistol, the Systema 1927 is even nicer.

    www.jldenter.com/JLD Pi...20page.htm

    www.cruffler.com/JLD.html

    Flhunter
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    (1/18/02 10:14:45 am)
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    The Systema is where it's at!! I did not know of anyone still having them for sale. Thanks for the JLD link xracer and thanks to everyone else for their input. For just a few dollars more($60) I can purchase a much better model.



    glockcoyote
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    (3/8/02 1:13:38 pm)
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    What is the country of origion for the Ballester Molina?

    Thanks
    GlockCoyote
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    Flhunter
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    (3/8/02 2:17:11 pm)
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    The history of the Ballester-Molina dates back to 1929 when two enterprising Spaniards, Arturo Ballester and Eugenio Molina established a company for producing Hispano-Suiza automotive products in Buenos Aires. The name of this company was Hispano Argentina Fabrica de Automoviles Sociedad Anonima (HAFDASA), or Spanish-Argentine Automobile Factory, Incorporated. Several years later, HAFDASA hired a pair of engineers, the frenchman Rorice Rigaud, and Carlos Ballester Molina (a member of both the Ballester and Molina families). Rigaud eventually became HAFDASA's chief design engineer, while Ballester Molina, originally responsible for metallurgy, heat treatment, and production methodologies, became HAFDASA's Chief Executive Officer (CEO).


    HAFDASA won a contract with the Direccion General del Material del Ejercito (DGME), or General Directorate for Army Materiel, to supply the Argentine military with trucks, buses, and engines. The DGME later commissioned HAFDASA to investigate the potential manufacture of small arms.

    In 1936, in response to the DGME request, HAFDASA began to design and manufacture small arms. There was nothing revolutionary about HAFDASA's work. The factory established a pattern of adapting existing designs to satisfy the requirements of the Argentine military and police forces using indigenous materials within HAFDASA's production capabilities. To this end, in 1936, HAFDASA unveiled a semiautomatic carbine based on the Beretta M1918/30 in calibers 9x19mm and .45 ACP.

    Following the introduction of the two carbines, the DGME requested HAFDASA to produce a pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge to serve as an (indigenously produced) replacement for the .45 ACP pistols then in service with the Argentine military and police forces. The contract required HAFDASA to produce a pistol along the general lines of the Modelo 1916 and 1927 Colt pistols then in service and to have barrels and magazines that were interchangeable with those pistols.

    The HAFDASA engineers began work on this contract in late 1936/early 1937. The decision was taken modify the original Browning design to facilitate and economize production along the same lines as two Spanish companies Bonifacio Echeverria, S.A. (Star) and Gabilondo y Cia, S.A (Llama). The main changes introduced by these companies were the elimination of the grip safety, a backstrap integral to the frame, and a pivoting trigger with a side mounted sear bar and disconnector. These changes, as applied to the Star Model B pistol were of particular influence to HAFDASA's designers.

    Consequently, while the completed HAFDASA design bore a strong external similarity to the Colt M1911A1, only the barrel and magazine are interchangeable with the Colt pistol. Note: Barrels and magazines made by HAFDASA are identifiable by the marking "HA" inside a diamond. The following is a list of differnces between the HAFDASA pistol and the M1911A1:

    a) The hammer strut on the HAFDASA pistol is much shorter than that of the M1911A1.
    b) The firing pin stop on the HAFDASA pistol is not recessed on the side as it is on the M1911A1.
    c) The safety lock on the HAFDASA pistol is redesigned with a larger diameter pin, and it can be applied with the hammer cocked or fully down.
    d) The mainspring housing on the HAFDASA pistol is an integeral part of the frame.
    e) The HAFDASA pistol has a pivoting trigger with a single extension along the right side that cams the side mounted disconnector and engages the sear.
    f) The magazine catch on the HAFDASA pistol is assembled differently.
    g) The HAFDASA pistol has no slide stop disassembly notch.
    The HAFDASA pistol was adopted as the Argentine Army service pistol in 1938. Early pistols were marked "Pistola Automatica Calibre .45 Ballester-Rigaud, Modelo DGME 1938." These early pistols have checkering on the grips and backstrap, and there are twenty fine slide retraction grooves, as on the M1911A1. The slide right side is marked with the Argentine crest and the text "Ejercito Argentino."
    The next iteration of the HAFDASA pistol were modified to speed up and economize on production accordingly: The backstrap checkering was replaced by horizontal serrations, the wooden grips had long vertical serrations, and the fine slide retraction grooves were replaced by groups of vertical grooves separated by wide gaps. Additionally, the Modelo 1938 designation was dropped, and the pistol was now known as the "Pistola Ballester-Rigaud."

    At some point between 1940 and 1942, HAFDASA changed the trademark name of the pistol from "Ballester-Rigaud" to "Ballester-Molina," with the change reflected in the markings on the slide of the pistol. At the same time HAFDASA began to use plastic, instead of wooden, grips on the pistol. It was also around this time that HAFDASA received an order from the British government for between 8,000 and 10,000 .45 caliber pistols. Payment for these pistols was made, in part, with steel supplied by the British government. Due to the scarcity of raw materials in Argentina due to the Second World War, it is highly likely that the steel was of U.S. origin supplied to England via Lend-Lease, and consequently not prior to March 11, 1941. According to Alejandro Gherovici, noted expert on Argentine service pistols, no steel salvaged from the pocket battleship Graf Spee or any other warships was used to produce the British contract or any other HAFDASA pistols. Production of the British Contract pistols started in 1942 and continued until mid-1944. British Contract pistols are easy to identify as they bear a serial number prefixed by a "B," between the 12000 and 21000 serial number range.

    After the end of the of the British Contract, HAFDASA continued to produce pistols for Argentine government and commercial usage until 1953. Starting in 1947, the HAFDASA pistols had been supplanted in Argentine use by the DGFM Sistema Colt M1927 pistol, a clone of the M1911A1. While the HAFDASA pistols began to be withdrawn from Argentine service in the 1960's, many served until the mid-1980's when they were finally replaced and sold as surplus on the US market. It is believed that HAFDASA produced between 80,000 and 90,000 .45 caliber pistols.

    The following is a loose serial number to year correlation:
    Serial Number Range Date Range
    1 - 12,000 1938 - 1942
    12,000 - 23,000 1942 - 1944
    23,000 - 108,000 1944 - 1953


    HAFDASA exported pistols to Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela.


    BIBLIOGRAPHY

    Gherovici, Alex, Military Pistols of Argentina, (Self Published, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 1994)


    This volume can be purchased by writing to the author at:
    Alex Gherovici
    P.O. Box 58506
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19102
    U.S.A.
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    glockcoyote
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    (3/8/02 2:28:37 pm)
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    Flhunter - Thanks for the very through answer.

    GC
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    Boogalou
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    (3/13/02 10:51:41 pm)
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    Don't sell the Molina short. Although the Sistema is a fine handgun, my experience with Ballester molinas has been good. They're accurate, reliable, & the important parts interchange with 1911's. IMHO, the removal of the grip safety and trigger design makes the B/M better than the Sistema. And you can find parts for them, you just have to know where to look.

    gun runner john
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    (3/14/02 11:54:51 am)
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    & the important parts interchange with 1911's.
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    The barrel and the magazine??? I would have thought that there are a lot of other "important" parts that are a lot more likely to require replacement in such a gun!


    glockcoyote
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    (3/14/02 12:22:40 pm)
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    what other parts are interchangable?
    Thanks
    GC
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    Different name
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    (3/14/02 1:58:34 pm)
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    Hey, FL -- Howwudja pack 1400 of em in a Volkswagon?

    Charlie D
    I'm not too tense.
    just terribly, terribly alert!

    Boogalou
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    (3/14/02 8:57:32 pm)
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    (quote) what other parts are interchangable?
    Thanks


    Well for starters, the barrel bushing, recoil spring, spring guide & plug, slide stop, & barrel link and pin. The Colt firing pin & extractor can also be made to work with a little gunsmithing. I haven't done this myself, but know of other other B/M owners that have.

    glockcoyote
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    (3/15/02 1:00:50 pm)
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    Boogalou,
    Thanks, some people said that only the barrel and mag, I am seriously considering the Ballester Monlina as my first C&R purchase and as long as I can get the basic parts I am good to go!

    Thanks
    GC
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    gdibig
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    (3/29/02 10:35:57 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Ballester Molina Sights
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    Has anyone replaced the sights on their BM? Do the Colt, etc sights fit?

    I'd like put some sights on mine that I can actually see through.

    Thanks for any help.

    Tac401
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    (3/29/02 5:54:54 pm)
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    ezSupporter
    Re: Ballester Molina Sights
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    Welcome aboard gdibig!

    I would think the rear sites would fit but one of
    our folks more familiar than I should be along
    shortly to try and answer more specifically.
    TFF VMBB Email Tac

    CADORNAS
    Member
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    (4/1/02 9:03:59 pm)
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    The BALLESTER MOLINA .45 PISTOL was made in ARGENTINA between 1938/1953 by H.A.F.D.A.S.A. (HISPANO ARGENTINA FABRICA DE AUTOMOTORES SOCIEDAD ANONIMA).

    Ignacio A. Diez.

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
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    (4/2/02 5:28:33 pm)
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    Hi Cadornas.....welcome to The Firearms Forum.
  2. mcguire21

    mcguire21 New Member

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    I have a few questions about the ballester-molina. I am new to this forum and rather uneducated about parts and names, so forgive my ignorance. I got one of these from my dad who had taken it apart to fix it (shot out barrel) a few years ago. I'm not sure what parts are missing or where to get replacement parts. Any suggestions or direction would be greatly appreciated
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Just to clarify. SOME (mainly slide) parts of the B-M will interchange with Colt GM or M1911 parts; some other M1911 parts can be made to work. But they are NOT the same gun and action parts will NOT interchange. The B-M is a good gun and parts will most likely be available for some time from the parts places. But it would not be a good idea to buy a B-M solely on the basis that M1911 parts can be used.

    The B-M should not be confused with the Argentine-made licensed copies of the Colt Government Model (the "Sistema Colt" guns). Those guns were made on Colt machinery and tooling to the same specs as the Colt and all parts will interchange (within tolerances) with the Colt equivalent.

    Jim
  4. Redhand

    Redhand Member

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    I have an excellent Army issue of the B-M and it is a solidly made weapon and can rival the accuracy of my Colt 1911. I enjoy shooting it.:D
  5. LurpyGeek

    LurpyGeek New Member

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    ...aka "ballerina molester".
  6. firearmhugger

    firearmhugger New Member

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  7. MerleP

    MerleP New Member

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    Does anyone know were I can get a manual for my BM 45 ??? You can also email me at hdsprocket@hotmail.com Thanks for the help.
  8. motorhead1024

    motorhead1024 New Member

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    Another newbie saying howdy and does anyone know who might have a magazine catch lock or entire magazine catch assy for a B-M 45? I've tried Numrich, Sarco & Dealer Warehouse with no luck... Any recommendations or referrals would be appreciated!

    motorhead1024
    fprisley@gmail.com
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