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View Full Version : Ejercito Argentino Ballester-Molina


cwo4uscgret
December 10, 2016, 23:39
Picked this Ballester-Molina up this morning; matched serial number on frame and inside of slide; all matching numbers on frame, slide, barrel, and two magazines. No import marks to be found anywhere... I can't find any evidence that it's been refinished; if that holds up to your discerning eyes - I think winner.

Photos:

http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_1.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_2.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_mags.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_numbers.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_serial_numbers.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_stocks2.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_barrel.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_frame.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_inside_slide.jpg

1911Ron
December 11, 2016, 09:56
Very nice!

W.E.G.
December 11, 2016, 09:59
The Ballerina Molester just grabs 'em by the pussy!

tac-40
December 11, 2016, 10:33
Be careful with it. Finding parts can be a major issue if you break something.

AliYahu
December 11, 2016, 11:27
That gun was likely imported new - beautiful piece!

Eli

catmguy445
December 11, 2016, 13:49
Picked this Ballester-Molina up this morning; matched serial number on frame and inside of slide; all matching numbers on frame, slide, barrel, and two magazines. No import marks to be found anywhere... I can't find any evidence that it's been refinished; if that holds up to your discerning eyes - I think winner.

Photos:

http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_1.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_2.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_mags.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_numbers.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_serial_numbers.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_stocks2.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_barrel.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_frame.jpg
http://iwantthatknife.com/Gallery/albums/German-Police-Pistols/BM_inside_slide.jpg

So now that there are two of us who own Ballester-Molina's, should we start a Ballester-Molina Forum? :rofl:

SPEEDGUNNER
December 11, 2016, 14:33
Three...

WWII OSS British BALLESTER MOLINA 1911 Mfg 1942
This is a WWII British contract from BALLESTER MOLINA it was Manufactured in 1942-44, the British Contract number is B.3797, the gun serial number is 16429 found on the frame with Matching serial number on slide and barrel, a Colt 1911 copy made by the Argentinean manufacturing Co. in a quantity of 6,000 for the British 8th Army in WWII under the order of General Montgomery. all were to be delivered to the Sahara Desert to General Montgomery and his 8th Army. Now I have been told by an advanced collecter of this model that the last 1,000 or so found in this ONLY WWII British Contract were used by the OSS in the training of Norwegian Underground Fighters also a favorite of the OSS Officers & Staff "this makes sense to me, due to the excellent condition of the gun. It does have the British Contract number B.3797 clearly stamped on the frame just behind the trigger on the right side and British proof marks on the frame, slide & barrel, the original Rich blue finish is in Fantastic Original Condition, original wood grips are very nice as is the properly marked magazine. Chambered for the .45ACP cal.

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)

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0db37b3127ccefa7555e8e86700000030O00EZtGzNq4cMQ e3nws/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00108853604320100517005202434.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0db37b3127ccefa753a50294000000030O00EZtGzNq4cMQ e3nws/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00108853604320100517005202153.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0db37b3127ccefa75b16ee89300000030O00EZtGzNq4cMQ e3nws/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00108853604320100517005202870.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0db37b3127ccefa74a1df495600000030O00EZtGzNq4cMQ e3nws/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00108853604320100517005203396.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0db37b3127ccefa75e799e84f00000030O00EZtGzNq4cMQ e3nws/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00108853604320100517005203905.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0db37b3127ccefa74d726499400000030O00EZtGzNq4cMQ e3nws/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00108853604320100517005205543.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0db37b3127ccefa74f73c499e00000030O00EZtGzNq4cMQ e3nws/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00108853604320100517005205952.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0db37b3127ccefa75f75be88500000030O00EZtGzNq4cMQ e3nws/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00108853604320100517005206383.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0db37b3127ccefa750e40294a00000030O00EZtGzNq4cMQ e3nws/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00108853604320100517005207300.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a0db37b3127ccefa75fbe0690800000030O00EZtGzNq4cMQ e3nws/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00108853604320100517005204158.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

STGThndr
December 12, 2016, 06:16
Very nice looking. Interesting history!
The B-M I had for a short time wasnt nearly as nice looking. Many look rode hard and put away wet...
Nice piece, a keeper...

lowprone
December 15, 2016, 16:38
Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

Black Blade
December 15, 2016, 17:24
Great shooters. I remember when they first came in on the C&R market for around $200 a few years back. I grabbed some but now have two left in my collection.

http://images.yuku.com/image/jpg/04a16f1cdfc5d2b7d839fd851492bbd4eda0b3cb_r.jpg http://images.yuku.com/image/jpg/35426b211cd32c73d47b7ed217dbc1e5aeee0064_r.jpg

I wonder if there re any more C&R guns in some long forgotten warehouses around the world just waiting to be discovered and a new wave come into the US. Would be great.

Snake Bitten
December 16, 2016, 18:27
Be careful with it. Finding parts can be a major issue if you break something. Agree, I bought one on GB years ago and showed up with a worn out safety. Searched for months, then found a safety lever at the Dealer Warehouse. Nice 45, still have it. SB