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Thread: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

  1. #1
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    Default Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Handguns used in ww1 and ww2.


  2. #2
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Campo Giro M1916/1916

    One of the first semi-automatic pistol designed in Spain ever, it was developed to replace the awful belgian Bergman bayard 1908 wich suffered continued malfuction due the powerful 9mm largo ( 9x23).



    It was designed by the colonel Venacio Lopez de Aguirre ( wich incidentally was count of Campo Giro) , the gun used a simple blow back action, and included a spring buffer below the barrel to soften a bit the stress in the frame caused by the slide hitting in the backwards travel.

    The pistol is quite large and heavy, his recoil unpleasant but also a sound and reliable design, it was adopted by the Spanish Ground Forces in 1917 and for the navy the following year. 13,525 examples were completed up to 1922.




    Name: Pistola Campo Giro M1916.

    Caliber: 9x23mm

    Barrel lenght: 165mm

    Magazine: single stack, 8 rounds.

    Muzzle velocity: 385 mps.

    Manufacturer: Esperanza y Unceta, Guernica.

    Weight loaded: 1210 grams.

    Last edited by Panzerknacker; 04-25-2009 at 12:20 AM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    nice one,very similar to the french mab model d

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Speaking of the Astra, I saw one Friday at a pawn shop. In 9mm Largo.

    I used to have an Astra 3000 in .32 ACP but, me being me, I traded it off once I became familiar with it (yes I took it down to the frame.)

    A note guys, on the Astra pistols they use pins that, for the life of me, look like horse shoe nails.

    But the Astra is a very strong gun. Totaly blowback in action. No locking lugs like in a 1911 or Walther or Browning P-35.

    Just a very heavy spring and somewhat heavy slide to keep the action closed till the bullet left the barrel.

    Pitty that Astra I saw was not a 600, made in 9x19 (9mm Luger.) Just for fun I'd love to have one.

    Deaf
    “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Largo ammo used to be fairly easy to come by, it would be a shame to pass by a good pistol because of an ammo issue.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Well tankgeezer,

    I passed it up because I put a Ruger 'low back' Security Six 2 3/4 inch barrel .357 magnum on lay-away a month ago and a Springfield 03A3 someone had cut the stock down (but had NOT drilled or done anything to hurt the metal or alter the gun itself except the stock) I spied for $189. Yes I put that one on lay-away to (I'll get it in 2 weeks... payday!)

    But that Astra has been sitting at that shop for a while. I know that cause I know the folks there. They have tons of guns. Colt Detective specials, M10 Smiths, a Browning P-35, and other goodies but really not many people stop by there shop.

    If I get the Astra I'll take it apart and put photos here showing it's insides!

    Deaf
    “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    I believe Spanish pistols are really underrated in this country (U.S.) for some reason. I have owned four Spanish Star pistols and found all of them reliable, well-designed, and as accurate as many German and US models.

    The first pistol I ever owned was a Star Model F .22 auto target pistol, which I purchased when I was 16 years old. I had that pistol for 30 years, put uncounted thousands of rounds through it, and carried it with me on countless camping and hiking trips in California, Arizona, Oregon, and Nevada. I cannot ever remember that gun jamming or giving me the slightest trouble. Unfortunately, some burglar broke into my home a while back and figured he needed it more than I; I lost a fine weapon.

    The next pistol I purchased was a Star Model PD in .45 ACP. It was designed as a small, lightweight full-power, carry piece and I carried it for many years until replacing it with a Springfield Armory Officer's Model .45 ACP. After firing several thousand rounds through that PD, I noticed a small hairline crack in the alloy slide that caused me to retire the gun; I still have it, but no longer shoot it.

    I also bought a used a Star Firestar single-action auto in 9x19 MM caliber. I really like the feel of the gun; it is compact, points naturally, and has an excellent crisp trigger. The Firestar was also designed as a personal defense weapon, the only drawback is that it is made of solid steel, and thus is really too heavy to carry concealed. That Firestar now graces my nightstand.

    The last Spanish pistol I have owned is a Star Megastar .45 ACP double-action auto. The Megastar was designed as a military weapon back in the 1980's when the big thing in auto pistols was double-action, high capacity magazines. The Megastar is a brute of a pistol that weighs more than four pounds (almost five with a loaded 14-round magazine) and dwarfs even the 1911A1. Oddly enough though, my wife who has tiny hands, says the Megastar is her favorite .45 pistol, and she can shoot it extremely well. I like to carry the Megastar in a hip holster when I roam around my ranch; that big magazine, and a couple of spares in a belt pouch, means I have means I have 42 rounds available without having to worry about reloading a mag.

    All of the Spanish pistols I have owned have had a lot to recommend them, not the least of which is a very reasonable price. With the exception of the Model PD, which was made out of lightweight alloys, all have proven to be rugged, reliable, and fun to shoot. I often wonder why they aren't more popular here in the 'States; I suppose the lack of aggressive marketing compared to US pistol manufacturers has a lot to do with it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Just stay away from Llama pistols Wizard.

    The old ones are ok, but the later ones I cannot say much good about them.

    I to had a Star F .22 when I was maybe 17 (here in Texas being a gun nut is, outside liberal bastons, a good thing.) And the Star BM 9mm (never got a BKM, aluminum frame.)

    But my favorite was an older Llama .380. It had a locked breach and you could handload .380s well above the manual's recomendations.

    And yes the Star MOD 30MI. There is one at a pawn shop near me and they are rather huge. Bet they last forever.

    Deaf
    “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    Just stay away from Llama pistols Wizard.

    The old ones are ok, but the later ones I cannot say much good about them.

    I to had a Star F .22 when I was maybe 17 (here in Texas being a gun nut is, outside liberal bastons, a good thing.) And the Star BM 9mm (never got a BKM, aluminum frame.)

    But my favorite was an older Llama .380. It had a locked breach and you could handload .380s well above the manual's recomendations.

    And yes the Star MOD 30MI. There is one at a pawn shop near me and they are rather huge. Bet they last forever.

    Deaf
    Never owned a Llama pistol although a friend of mine had a Llama .32 pocket pistol which he seemed to like. Is there a problem with current Llama designs or quality control issues?

    And yes, most Spanish Star pistols are very rugged. My Megastar is built like the proverbial brick commode. It has two very massive locking lugs compared to one in the 1911A1 designs and, unlike the Browning design, a chamber which fully supports the case. That means I can hand load my cartridges up to .45 Magnum pressures without any worry about blown out cases or damage to the gun. The heavy weight of the gun renders the recoil less severe and helps control muzzle flip.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Yes Wizard,

    Most Llamas made today are awful. A friend, against my advice, just got a .45 Llama. Didn’t take him 20 rounds to have the extractor fly off. Yes the extractor pin, spring, and the extractor are ‘missing in action’. He could not find them. So I’m looking for them on the net.

    The old Llamas are ok, but it's the new stuff.

    And here is another. The FM high powers coming from Argentina today are not military issue. I've handled one and the trigger pin pushes out! And the front sight on some of them fly off (poorly staked.)

    You know I might get that Astra 400 one day. I do know were one box of Largo ammo is at a pawn shop. Boxer primed to!

    Deaf
    “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    Yes Wizard,

    Most Llamas made today are awful. A friend, against my advice, just got a .45 Llama. Didn’t take him 20 rounds to have the extractor fly off. Yes the extractor pin, spring, and the extractor are ‘missing in action’. He could not find them. So I’m looking for them on the net.

    The old Llamas are ok, but it's the new stuff.

    And here is another. The FM high powers coming from Argentina today are not military issue. I've handled one and the trigger pin pushes out! And the front sight on some of them fly off (poorly staked.)
    Thanks for the information.

    I have not heard of any negative issues with the newer Llama pistols from other shooters, but then I'm not sure I know anyone who owns a late model Llama. I know a lot of gun manufacturers from time to time have quality control problems. I have friends who have complained that new, out-of-the-box Berettas, Smith & Wessons, Glocks, and even Rugers have had serious defects when they bought them. I personally had trouble with a new 1911A1 from Springfield Armory. It would refuse to return to battery after the first couple of rounds. I figured the fit might just be too tight, and that a couple of hundred rounds through it would loosen it up a bit, but the more ammo I put through it, the worse it got.

    Finally, I took it to a gunsmith, who worked on it but couldn't get it to work properly. I wrote to Springfield Armory about the problem and was told to return the gun, which I did. About three weeks later, I got the gun back; they had lowered the ejection port, polished the ramp, and adjusted the trigger, plus some other unspecified work. The gun worked fine after that, and I found out that Springfield Armory stands behind their products; I'm a big fan of their guns now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    You know I might get that Astra 400 one day. I do know were one box of Largo ammo is at a pawn shop. Boxer primed to!

    Deaf
    The Astra 400 looks funny to me, but I've heard that they are rugged and fairly reliable.

    In the past it was difficult to find 9 MM Largo ammo, but if you do any reloading, that shouldn't be a problem. Starline makes 9 MM Largo virgin brass, and you can find reloading dies from a variety of companies, mine are RCBS (or .38 Super dies will also work). In any case, CCI was recently producing 9 MM Largo ammo with a 124 Gr. Gold Dot Hollow Point loading as part of their Blazer line; don't know if they still are.

    A friend of mine bought one of those little Spanish "Destroyer" bolt-action carbines in 9 MM Largo, and didn't realize it chambered a different kind of 9 MM cartridge than was commonly sold here. I do a lot of reloading, so he asked me to reload the ammo he got with the gun; unfortunately, his ammo was Berdan-primed. He ended up buying 500 rounds of the Starline brass, and I loaded it up with Speer 95 gr. JHP's backed by 6.5 grains of Bullseye powder. His carbine is the "mauser" version with two locking lugs on the bolt, so he can get some impressive performance out of it without exceeding the pressure limits.

    The magazines that came with his carbine were the standard 5-round jobs, but we were able to modify three, 9-round .38 Super mags to work in his carbine. He uses the carbine as a home defense weapon and for getting rid of pests. His wife likes it because there is almost no recoil and it's not much louder than a .22.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Well hmmmm...

    http://www.9mmlargo.com/

    http://www.9mmlargo.com/cartridge/largo_vs_others.htm

    Interesting about 9mm Largo and Bayard Long being so close. And sometimes .38 Colt Auto/Super will work. But with no SAAMI specs for Largo it would be kind of risky!

    I have no idea what the actual pressure limit of the 400 is.

    But yes I do reload, like in 3 progressive presses (9mm, .38 spl., and .45 ACP, one of which switchs over to .380 and M1 Carbine.) as well as a rifle press for .223/.308/.30-30, etc...

    Deaf
    “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    Well hmmmm...

    http://www.9mmlargo.com/

    http://www.9mmlargo.com/cartridge/largo_vs_others.htm

    Interesting about 9mm Largo and Bayard Long being so close. And sometimes .38 Colt Auto/Super will work. But with no SAAMI specs for Largo it would be kind of risky!

    I have no idea what the actual pressure limit of the 400 is.

    But yes I do reload, like in 3 progressive presses (9mm, .38 spl., and .45 ACP, one of which switchs over to .380 and M1 Carbine.) as well as a rifle press for .223/.308/.30-30, etc...

    Deaf
    I said that .38 Super reloading DIES will work with the 9 MM Largo cartridge, NOT that one should fire .38 Super cartridges in a firearm chambered for 9 MM Largo ammunition. Dimensionally, the .38 Super and the 9 MM Largo cartridge cases are almost identical; that does not imply that the working pressures are similar, or that it is safe to fire the .38 Super in a firearm chambered for the 9 MM Largo.

    Personally, I would never attempt to chamber and fire a cartridge in a firearm not specifically designed and constructed to fire that cartridge, period. I have seen people do some awful stupid things with firearms and live to tell about it, but I have also seen people badly injured because of what seemed like minor aberrations.

    Moreover, as I'm sure you are aware, when reloading ammunition for any firearm, it is wise to start somewhere in the mid-range of recommended loads and gradually work up to a maximum safe load for that particular firearm. Frequent checking of the firearm and it's parts should be done to make sure that there are no signs of excessive pressure, such as cracks in the frame or slide, deformation of the chamber, or broken parts such as extractors.

    As for specs for 9 MM Largo chamber pressures, I have in my reloading library a book that lists the pressure limits for that cartridge, but I do not know how that figure was arrived at. I assume it was either the result of actual tests, or a conversion of pressure figures from the original publication of technical data on the cartridge. But since there seems to be some question as to the validity of the pressure limits for the 9 MM Largo, I hesitate to mention what my book says about the matter.

    In any case, as I was working up the loads for my friend's carbine, I kept a close eye on the condition of the fired cartridges, and stopped well short of any signs, such as flattened primers, of excessive pressures. I might add, that I had my friend submit his gun to a professional gunsmith for examination before we ever got to the stage of chamber a cartridge in it.

    As for reloading, I have several friends who also reload and most of them use progressive presses to speed the loading of cartridges. I personally will not use a progressive press, and stick to a single stage press. It is much slower, but by doing only one step at a time, I can check each stage of the reloading process for each individual cartridge, and make sure that quality and uniformity is absolutely assured. The process is slow, but very relaxing for me, almost like Zen.

    A friend of mine who reloads with a progressive press once ruined a beautiful Mauser because one of his reloaded cartridges did not get a full powder charge and the bullet from that cartridge lodged in the barrel. He chambered the next round and fired it without realizing the barrel was blocked; the rifle blew up, but he only received some minor cuts from some of the pieces and, of course, was badly shaken; he was very lucky.

    I have two single stage presses, one for pistol rounds and one for rifle cartridges. Pistol cartridges I reload are .30 Carbine, 9X19 MM, 9 MM Largo, .357 Magnum, .44 Special and .44 Magnum, .45 ACP and .45 Magnum. Rifle cartridges are 6.5 MM Swedish Mauser, 7.62X39 MM, .308, and .30-'06. I used to reload the .40 Auto (.40 S & W), but sold the one handgun I had in that caliber.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Well Wizad, when you shoot as much as I do you need a progressive, at least for pistols! IDPA expert in all classifications. Class 'A' IPSC. Shot IHMSA, NRA Bullseye, and been to many a shooting school. Plus shot CMP leg matches with M1A (I'm restoring a O3A3 now so I can shoot the 'classic' matches!

    Deaf
    “We can evade reality, but we cannot evade the consequences of evading reality” Ayn Rand

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    Default Re: Pistols of Spain & Italy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deaf Smith View Post
    Well Wizad, when you shoot as much as I do you need a progressive, at least for pistols! IDPA expert in all classifications. Class 'A' IPSC. Shot IHMSA, NRA Bullseye, and been to many a shooting school. Plus shot CMP leg matches with M1A (I'm restoring a O3A3 now so I can shoot the 'classic' matches!

    Deaf
    I don't shoot much competition these days; however it appears I was as active as you when I did, and even then, I didn't need a progressive press, I just spent more time crafting my ammunition. Currently, I have my own range and shoot three or four days a week; I still don't use a progressive press because I actually enjoy reloading and find it more relaxing than a chore.

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