"BRIEF: Argentine Ballester-Molina Single-action Cal .45 ACP 7 round mag.
Modified copy of Colt 45 1911 (but retracting grooves on slide have distinctive pattern, no grip safety & trigger pivots instead of sliding backward).
Made in 1940's (1941 on thru 1953) for Hafdasa (Hispano-Argentina Fabrica de Automoviles SA) by subcontractor Ballester-Molina (earlier, 1936 on, was Ballester-Rigaud) in Buenos Aires, for Argentina for National Police (& military) Force ""Gendarmeria Nacional"".
CONDITION: very good. ~70% bluing, good, clean bore with no pitting & strong rifling
YEAR OF MFR: circa 1945
REMARKS: Overall quality is excellent. Many examples have seen heavy use, but show little internal wear.
The Molina keeps the successful Browning breech system intact, but does away with the grip safety (a frame-mounted manual safety is provided instead) and sports minor changes to the pistol grip.
The locking system follows the M1911A1 model quite closely and the trigger works in a two-stage single action fashion on a pivot rather than a slide as on the M1911 series.
Both the Molina and the M1911 share the same barrel, recoil spring and 7-round detachable box magazine.
The pistol grip of the Molina is also noted as better for use by smaller hands.
MATCHING: YES (frame & chamber - not sure about internal parts)
MARKS: Left:'Pistola Automatica C.11.25mm Fabricada por ""Hafdasa"" Patentes Internacionales ""Ballester Molina"" Industria Argentina'
Right side: 'Gendarmeria Nacional', with a small crest & import mark ""C.A.I. Georgia Vt"".
Chamber: 46380 (visible thru ejection port)
Left of grip-strap: 46380
"HISTORY: Less expensive alternative to the Colt Model 1927, an Argentine-made licensed copy of the Colt 1911.
Only the barrel, magazine and grips are interchangable.
Made for ""Gendarmeria Nacional"" (military & police forces).
ALL Argentine 45 pistols were issued with three matching mags.
Dating the Ballester series simply is a series of educated guesses based upon WW II era serial numbers sent to Britain.
There were about 78,000 Ballester-Molina's produced with about half going to the Army--I think.
Argentina presented the Molina to their police forces while a handful were sold to British Special Forces agents in World War 2.
In addition to its use in World War 2, it saw action in the Falklands War.
In 1936 - 1937 the Argentine firm of HAFDASA responded to a request from the Argentine government to produce a pistol along the lines of the Colt 1911 style pistols then in service.
Following the work of the Spanish firms Star and Llama, HAFDASA produced a pistol generally similar to the Colts with the exceptions of the removal of the grip safety, modification of the manual safety to lock the hammer and not the sear, a backstrap integral to the frame, and a pivoting trigger with a side mounted sear bar and disconnector.
The only parts that are interchangeable with the Colts (at the request of the Argentine government) are the barrel and magazines (and grips I think).
This pistol was accepted into Argentine service in 1938 as the ""Pistola Automatica Calibre .45 Ballester-Rigaud, Modelo DGME 1938.
Between 1941 and 1942 HAFDASA changed the trademark of its .45 ACP pistols from Ballester-Rigaud to Ballester-Molina, and the slides were marked accordingly.
Additionally, the use of plastic grips in addition to the wooden grips was introduced.
Ballester-Molina production continued until 1953, when HAFDASA went out of business.
FEATURES: Mechanism Type: Recoil Operated Semiautomatic
Caliber: .45 ACP
Weight: 2.43 lbs
Barrel Length: 5 in. (127mm)
Overall Length: 8.62""
Magazine Capacity: 7 rounds
Sights: Blade front, V notch rear drift adjustable for windage
Rifling: 4 grooves, .005 in (.127 mm) deep and .165 in (4.19 mm) wide, right twist, one turn in 9.84"" (249.9 mm)
Markings: Model, manufacture and patent markings on left side of slide,
Argentine coat of arms and owning service on right side of slide,
Serial number on left rear gripstrap.
CLIP/MAG: Non-matching, marked ""48658"" & ""61167"", original type/age (good shape).
GRIPS: Original WOOD with a medium wear & one gouge on left grip.
ADDL.ACCS.: Extra magazine (fits Colt 1927 & all Ballester).
SIZE: large pistol 215mm oal., 127mm (5"") barrel, 2.5 lb.
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