Hi I have seen that several of you have guns Ballester Molina .45 ACP made in Argentina ...
I want to tell you some interesting facts about these weapons ... For this work I have consulted some websites, magazines and also some things to remember again heard or seen .
I hope my work interests them...
Ballester Molina pistols, caliber 11.25 mm (or .45 ACP) were built by the factory called (HAFDASA), which means: “Hispano - Argentina Fábrica de Automóviles Sociedad Anónima” (Hispanic - Argentina Automobile Plant Corporation), which was actually a subsidiary of the famous Hispano - Suiza car factory (a factory known for manufacturing very expensive and exclusive cars in Europe) ... Dedicated at first to those things, manufactured in Argentina several engine models (for trucks, cars and marine use) and some models of tractors, trucks and cars ...
Later, he left these items and start with the “small guns” factory. Its most famous product, was the pistol “Ballester Molina” or “Ballester – Rigaud” .45 ACP caliber. -
Since the beginning of production, these pistols were adopted by the Army, Navy, Prefecture, Gendarmerie, Police and other Federal and Provincial Agencies in Argentina. And also was exported to another Latino American countries and to the UK in World War II. period, as will be seen. -
By the time, the gun crew in the armed forces of my country, was call Colt Gun System 11, 25 mm (.45 ACP), - not a "clone" of the Colt pistol-, but practically the same "Colt" from this gun factory. It was named the model system 1927, and was manufactured under license in my country, in National States Factories (FM “Fabricaciones Militares)” from 1944 until the latest '60s. -
Picture of a Ballester Molina (no original finish)
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The condition imposed to “H.A.F.D.S.A.”, on the pistol Ballester Molina, was that its some parts, were interchangeable with those of the aforementioned Colt Gun System (Argentina), or the same gun "Colt" original (which also was bought in large quantities by the Argentine government directly to the American factory, before obtaining licenses to produce them at home) ...
As a result, the barrel, the magazine, and other parts are interchangeable between the two guns and other clones ...
We present some interesting, for example, the grips of the Ballester Molina can not be placed in a Colt or Colt system, but the grips of the Colt pistols can be placed in a gun Ballester Molina ...
The Ballester Molina pistol was always in blue finish and with “long serrated” grips in oak wood…
Regarding the serial numbers to determine what year a “Ballester Molina” was made, should consider these facts:
The number of smaller known manufacturing series is the number 00075 and the larger number is the number 108,000.
This gun began to make in 1938, and production ended in 1953. -
Considering these data we can say that:
Serial Number 001 to 12,000 from 1938-1942
Number 12,000 23,000 Series from 1942 to 1944
Series Number 23,000 108,000 from 1944-1953
We must calculate that during the years 1944 and 1953 the production of guns was approximately 10,000 per year. -
With these data, we can get the approximate date of manufacture of the gun....
picture nº 2 Right side
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Regarding the legend has it in his slide reads:
ºº0PISTOLA AUTOMATICA CAL.45 FABRICADA POR HAFDASA 0ºº
Many of these guns were manufactured for sale to the civilian market ...
More were used by armed and security forces of my country, for that reason, on the right side of the slide, in many cases you can read the name of the force where the weapon was in service:
Aeronautica Argentina = Aeronautics Argentina (Air Force)
Armada Argentina = Argentine Navy
Ejército Argentino = Argentine Army
A lot Police Forces (for example)
Gendarmería Nacional = Gendarmerie Nationale (Frontiers Guard)
Prefectura Naval = Coast Guard ... etc.
These legends were accompanied with Shield Institution was used the pistol..
Most of these weapons are already obsolete and were sold by such institutions as lag, found mostly in the hands of collectors and shooters ...
It was the fourth gun adopted by the Argentine Army: The first was the *Mannlicher model 1905 cal. 7.63 mm;
· The second was the Colt 1911 pistol cal. 0.45
· The third was the Colt 1927 Gun System, cal. 11.25 m/m
· And the fourth the Ballester Molina cal. 45 (or 11.25 m/m), in conjunction with the service Colt Colt 1911 A1 and 1927 System
The first guns were the following legend:
45 Cal Pistola Aut
Ballester - Rigaud
Model D.G.M.E. 1938
Made by Hispano-Argentina
F.D.A.S.A. Buenos Aires
There were a model in 22 LR Cal, for use in instructions, and for the civil market…. Some pistols were made directly in 22 cal, another ones were recalibrated from .45 to 22 cal., by smalls Argentines factories that take the work under petitions of few government agencies (just like Federal police, for example)…
The English Contract:
This gun was also sold on the international market ...
Thisgun was sold to Uruguay, Perú, ….
The contract best known brand is made with the government of Great Britain, during the years of World War II ...
There were a lot of stories and legends about this contract
During 1943 HAFDASA received a contract to supply pistols from the British government.
The U.S. military attache in Buenos Aires, Reports that cuantity can be calculated between 15000 and 20000 units .... Other data say about 10,000 guns were made and exports to UK...
None of these weapons returned to Argentina ...
Almost all the Argentine Private collectors do not know this pistol, and apparently were sold as military lag in USA after the war….
The pistol is “just the same”… but have some different marks…
Legends about the “Ballester Molina”:
* The guns were manufactured using “German steel” taken from the sunken ship " Admiral Graff Spee" ... This is wrong, the German battleship sunk, still continuing in the Rio de la Plata (between the coasts of Argentina and Uruguay) and remains an important and dangerous obstacle to shipping ...
* The British chose this gun because it has no “safety grip” as the Colt 45, 1911 A1 ... because of that, performance was superior in the desert (where UK apparently used this weapon to fight against German troops) .... I also believe that inaccurate, USA army also fought in that theater, and never knew that the Colt 1911 suffered bindings for getting dust inside the safety grip housing ... Apparently, in Dunkerke, the English lost much war material and replace it, among other things buying Ballester Molina .... should be more comfortable for the English government say “…this gun is better” ... to say: “…I had to leave everything in Dunkerke “...
* It is true that building these pistols England sent steel to Argentina, by sea, and that these quantity were higher than really necessary, taking into account the sinking Allied by German submarines ...
* Some claim that General Montgomery himself spoke wonderful things about the “Ballester Molina” (well… is difficult to confirm ... I could never ask directly to Mr. Montgomery, what thought about this gun) ...
* Another thing difficult to confirm, is that these weapons were used by British Special/ Secrets Forces, to secrets operations (specifically by the SOE)...
· What is certain is that after the Second World War, these weapons were sold as surpluss in USA
* Having started in my country a revolutionary process that ended with the dismissal in 1955 who was then President of Argentina General Juan Domingo Perón (called “Revolución Libertadora”), some legends say that his wife, Eva Duarte de Peron "Evita" (deceased in 1952), had bought several hundred Ballester Molina pistols to defend General Perón against his opponents. These guns were intended for "Evita Foundation"… so that foundation officials, defending the government of Peron ... These guns would be identified by wearing a shield (like Evita Foundation) of two hands clasped under a rising sun (figure III) ... This is inaccurate, this shield belonged to the factory itself, and shows no sign of belonging to any government agency or institution ...
* Some of these weapons (pistols and carbines manufactured by HAFDASA), were sent (to show support) to the Government of Bolivia during the attack that country suffered by the guerrilla Chief, Ernesto "Che" Guevara and his followers ... These weapons were used by Bolivian Rangers (trained by Rangers USA) who finally captured and shot Guevara along with most of his mercenaries ... I could not confirm this last story ...
· These are some of the marks that can be found in a Ballester Molina ...
Picture number 3 Some Marks
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· (I) within a diamond are drawn the letters "H" and "A" as main acronyms Hispano - Argentina (the factory name), located in the bottom of the barrel ... Some people say that this diamond indicated that the barrel had been built with special steel imported by England during WWII ... That's inaccurate as seen
· (II) Drawing of the National Cockade, is minted in the original magazines
· (III) represented two hands Shield taper down a rising sun (this said, is that mingles with the Shield "Evita Foundation"), and many people believe that this shield indicates that the gun was aimed at the place ...
· The first pistols were marked on it slide as "Ballester Rigaud" ... It's exactly the same, Rigaud was the name of an engineer working in the factory as Head of Industrial Plant ... Then the guns were marked as Ballester Molina ...
· Sources Consulted:
Well I hope they serve all this information ... To make this short, I consulted journals published in Espanish language:
1) Magnum Armas Magazine: March 2002; No 150
2) Magnum Armas Magazine: August 2003, Nº 167
3) Voice: "H.A.F.A.D.A.S.A" (Wikipedia): es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispano-Argentina (pictures about cars models & trucks, can be see there, too)
4) .: Full Aventura :.
: Voice: "Ballester Molina"
5) Report by "Alex Gherovici" American collector. Specialist in military guns (which has several works published in English)
6) Photos, drawings and narration own (pardon my English)
Google Traslator help me a lot... (I think)