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Thread: Ballester Molina Argentine 1911

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    30th August 2009
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    33

    Ballester Molina Argentine 1911

    I bought a Ballester Molina Argentine 1911 .45 yesterday at a gun show. It does not have a back grip safety like my Colt 1911. Also the trigger pivots instead of moving straight back like my Colt. The previous owner said it was a Colt that was sent to Argentina, but a 1911 gunsmith at the show said it was only made under an ageement between Colt and Argentina in Argentina. I found "Ballester Molina" on the slide as the manufacturer and nothing about Colt. It is lighter than my Colt. The blue is probably 90%. I know Argentina made an agreement with Colt in 1927 to be able to produce 1911 clones. Can anyone tell me about my new purchase? What price range do these run in? Are they generally accurate? Are they considered good quality? Are these keepers or should I try to re-sell it? I paid at least $200 less than I would for a Colt 1911 in my area in similar condition.

  2. #2
    Your pistol was produced in Argentina by HAFDASA and by design used 1911 type barrel assys and magazines to reduce tooling expense and utilize existing spare parts. A few other parts interchange but the pistol was not intended to be a true clone. Most have nomenclature on the slide indicating issue to a military service or govt agency. Does your pistol have a roll mark on the RHS of the slide?

    Generally a quality, accurate shooter pistol and inexpensive a few yrs ago. Now I see asking prices $600 and up on the auction sites but don't know if they sell.

  3. #3
    Without digging out my books, the Ballester-Molina (at first called the "Ballester-Rigaud," Rigaud & Molina being individuals associated with its design and manufacture) was introduced in 1938 to supplement the existing supplies of Colt-produced Modelo1927s. With WWII, supplies of further Colt pistols would not be forthcoming, due both to US needs and to Argentina's neutrality.

    After WWII the Argentine military obtained a license and equipment to manufacture M1911A1 pistols indigenously as the "Sistema Colt." The Ballester continued to be manufactured in parallel.

    There's no relation between the Ballester and the Colts beyond a superficial resemblance. The Ballester uses the Star-type lockwork. While the barrel and magazine are generally interchangable, as stated earlier that was likely a matter of convenience for the former and a necessity for the latter, if the pistol were to serve in the Argentine police and military alongside the Colt. You couldn't have two .45 pistols with different magazines; imagine the confusion.

    The Ballester is a good pistol in its own right, but should never be represented as anything like a Colt. I have a first-year Ballester (-Rigaud) and several others, including an Air-Force marked -Molina and a .22LR "Colt-Ace-type" variation.

    Regards,

    Walt
    Author, The M1911 Complete Assembly Guide,
    The M1911 Complete Owner's Guide,
    The M14
    and M1 Garand Complete Assembly Guides
    and The AR-15 Complete Assembly and Owner's Guides
    Last edited by wjkuleck; 30th August 2009 at 11:31.


  4. #4
    While they generally seem to work fine and be good shooters, Ballaster Molinas are not 1911s - they just ve too many design alterations to be called as such. Parts for them are not very easy to find either. 1911 mags should work.
    Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold.
    M. Setter

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