Orbea pistols ?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by cointoss2, Mar 3, 2003.

  1. cointoss2

    cointoss2 Guest

    Flhunter
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    (11/28/01 5:28:45 pm)
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    I finally broke down and ordered one of SOG's Orbea pistols. They are a Spanish copy of the S&W 1905.

    When the pistol arrived it was missing one screw, the right grip has a small chip in it, the cylinder has a lot of play in it(might be normal, I dunno) and it looks like the front sight might be ever so slightly bent(not sure). I called SOG and ask them if this was normal for one of their Orbea's or did I just end up with a poorer than normal example. Well the nice lady told me that if that was all that is wrong with the one I received, I should consider myself lucky and count my blessings. She said that she has received phone calls from people that said that the pistol fell apart when they tried to shoot it or when they handled it. I'm sure I have a screw out on the workbench that will fit the one missing from mine, and the chipped spot really isn't that bad. The bluing on it is nearly gone thru out the entire pistol. I'd say maybe about 40% of the pistol has about 10% blueing left. The nice part about this story is that I expected to pay $79 for the piece. When the pistol and invoiced arrived it was only $59. I ran to their web site and noticed that the price had changed there also. The SGN that came in the mail today still has them at $79. Whew I'm glad I waited the extra week before placing my order.

    Now my question is(if your still here ) does anyone have any info on these pistols or know of a web site that tells a history about them?


    Bob In St Louis
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 1446
    (11/29/01 8:19:08 am)
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    Orbea Hermanos was one of the largest pistol manufacturers in the Eibar region of Spain prior to 1900. At that early date they had over 400 employees. The Orbea Hermanos firm particularly specialized in revolvers, but they also produced the Eibar pattern semi-auto model 1916 for the WWI French contract, as was all the firms in the Eibar region. After WWI, Orbea Hermanos returned to the revolver patterns mostly, and their major market was the South American countries militaries and police forces. The new smokeless powder cartridges had been introduced by this time, which required stronger steel in the guns; however, the major market for the Eibar region manufacturers was a portion of the world that still based a large portion of their military and police arms on the older blackpowder cartridges. Therefore, Orbea Hermanos was producing these revolvers in the 1920s with a softer steel (which was perfectly safe and engineering acceptable) to accomodate the blackpowder loads, and to keep costs down (newer stronger steels would have required extensive retooling in their factory).

    Ipso, facto - these revolvers trickled into the US, people fired smokeless powder cartridges in them, the revolvers started failing, and the legend of "cheap Spanish junk" evolved.

    I don't know of any particular website for info on these, but a good general book on Spanish handguns entitled "Spanish Handguns" was produced by Gene Gangarosa Jr. He packs a lot of info into the book, but I have seen several examples of semiauto pistols that fall outside the patterns he describes. One thing consistant about the Eibar firearms manufacturers was their inconsistancy.
    Crusty Cruffler of Fine Spanish Pistols - Eibar Rules!

    Flhunter
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    (11/29/01 5:48:07 pm)
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    Thank you Bob !!! I have copied and printed out the infomation you have written and will keep it in my files. As for the one I have, After cleaning it for about 6 hours which included removing everthing from the pistol that could be removed except the barrel, it came out rather nice for a $60 hand gun. They used some type of clear grease when they packed it. I know that cause I did find a very tiny part of it inside and under some of the internal parts. The rest of the gun was coated with probably the same stuff but it was black and full of dirt and I mean dirt. It was a very dirt firearm. The bore is nice and bright with no pits, which was a plus. I will post some pictures of the finished product soon. Yes I know it probably was not worth my time doing what I did, but I enjoy it so much and had fun doing it. It's amazing sometime what a dremmel tool with a wire wheel and a nylon wheel can do for an old peice of metal.


    Confused? Don't be so sure.
  2. orbeu111

    orbeu111 New Member

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    Dec 29, 2007
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    if you give me your email i will inform you that you might have a copy its s certainly not off a copy of smith an wessen as orbeu started making far earlier than smith an wessen 1863 to be precise
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