Si lo sabemos. Sabemos que los Argentinos estan muy orgullosos (y con razón) tanto de su Ballester Molina como de su sistema Colt modelo 1927.
Precisamente hace dias el compañero Pery72 me mando una informacion que encontro en internet sobre las Ballester Molina, aqui se las dejo:
Ballester-Molina: Argentina's Mystery .45
By Rick Maples, Used With Permission
Originally Published in the January 2009 Issue of Gun World Magazine.
No country other than the USA had a greater or more protracted romance with the .45 SCP than Argentina. It is a very interesting story that dates back to 1914. Between 1914 and 1919, Colt sold Argentina the Colt Model 1911. It was designated the Modello 1916 in Argentina, and Colt delivered around 10,000 pistols during this time period. In 1927, Colt sold Argentina additional pistols. These had the new 1911A1 modifications, and became known as the Modello 1927. This was another order of 10,000 pistols. In 1945 Argentina started manufacturing the 1911A1 in their own country, under license from Colt, with Colt machinery and help from Colt engineers, producing about 75,000 to 85,000 pistols. Production stopped in the mid-1960s. These were known as the Argentine Colt Systema Model 1927, or simply Systema Colt.
The Systema Colt parts are completely interchangeable with the Colt 1911A1. As Argentines made and used the 1911A1, engineers suggested a few changes to simplify the pistol and to reduce production costs. These changes were to be incorporated in the Ballester-Rigaud-Molina (pronounced Bai yess tair'Ree Goh'Mo lee nuh).
In 1938, a private company in Argentina started to manufacture their own 1911s in an attempt to provide Argentinean police, military, various other government agencies and the commercial market with a less expensive and better (if that could be) alternative to Colt's Modello 1927. The name of the company to start this venture was HAFDASA, which stands for Hispano Argentina Fabrica de Automoviles Sociedad Annima or Spanish-Argentine Automobile Factory Inc.
As noted, production started in 1938. The earliest pistols were designated and marked "Ballester-Rigaud." Ballester Molina was HAFDASA's chief executive officer and Rorice Rigaud (French) was HAFDASA's chief design engineer.
Sometime around 1940 to 1941 the pistol's name was changed to Ballester-Molina after Rorice Rigaud left the company, and this was reflected in the slide markings. Production continued until 1953 with around 113,000 pistols produced. Ballester-Rigaud/Molinas' serial number ranges and dates of manufacture are as follows:
1 to 12,000: 1938 to 1942
12,000 to 23,000: 1942 to 1945
23,000 to 113,000: 1944 to 1953
A Ballester-Molina collector in South America had the privilege of assembly. And he has in his collection the last of the Ballester-Molinas made, which are in the 113,000 serial number range. There were also at least 20 prototypes produced. A few Ballester-Molina's were engraved. From a distance, the Ballester-Molina looks like the 1911A1. Up close, the most obvious differences is the absence of the grip safety, the three groups of vertical serrations at the rear of the slide and the absence of a takedown notch in the slide. The rear group of cocking serrations has two serrations, the middle has three, and the forward has three.
Despite the external similarities, there are significant mechanical differences between the Ballester-Molina and the 1911. As a matter of fact, the only two parts that are interchangeable with the Colt 1911 are the barrel and magazine. All other parts have a little something different. Some may look the same, but have different tolerances, and some of the internal parts have some major changes, such as a pivoting trigger and a side-mounted sear bar and disconnector. However, I wouldn't say these changes made the Ballester-Molinas any better than the Colt 1911. For instance, even though the Ballester-Molina magazine is an excellent seven-round magazine, I prefer to use the Wilson Combat eight-round magazines in my three Ballester-Molinas.
When holding a Ballester-Molina, I notice it is more comfortable than the Colt 1911. This is due to the thicker grips and my large hands. The most common original grips are made of walnut or some other hardwood, and have 19 vertical serrations. However, some are encounter with homemade or aftermarket grips; such is the case with two of my pistols.
Both the Colt 1911 and the Ballester-Molina fieldstrip the same. The operating and firing procedures are the same. The sights are typical military battle sights that are not very good for target shooting, but one must remember this is a pistol for shooting an adversary up close, and target-type sights are not required. I do have a Ballester-Molina with Millett sights installed, and these are much better than the original sights for accurate shooting.
My first Ballester-Molina was a little rough, and I though this pistol would need a bit of work to operate correctly. (If in doubt, always have a competent gunsmith check out our pistol before firing it.) Was I ever wrong! I had heard several accounts of the Ballester-Molina's being a very reliable pistol, and in this case those accounts were correct. That pistol would digest and spot out any kind of ammo: full-metal jacketed, semi-jacketed hollow points, tracer rounds, etc. One day I put six boxes of different ammo through it and never had a jam or miss-feed --- nothing! I did the same with my second Ballester-Molina, which was in a a lot better shape, with same results. Then I got a Ballester-Rigaud --- you guessed it, same results. I even tried 125-grain 45 ACP made in Mexico and all 50 rounds went though it with no problems and, I might add, put quite a bit of flame out the barrel.
I will attempt to explain a few of the slide markings. There are many different slide markings, serial number locations and caliber designations. Let's start with the caliber: Ballester-Rigauds and early Ballester-Molinas were marked "CAL 45," and later Ballester-Molinas were marked "11.25mm," which is merely the metric designation for the .45 ACP.
Although the serial number is located on the left side of the mainspring housing near the bottom, which is an integral part of the frame unlike the Colt 1911, and on the underside of the slide, which cannot be seen unless the slide is removed, there are other numbers located in different places, but they do no necessarily correspond to the serial number. These other numbers have been referred to as issue numbers and/or property numbers. These numbers may be on the slide on top and/or right side of the frame. Also, either number may be on the barrel and magazine. I examined one with matching serial numbers on all of the above parts. Some may only have the serial numbers on the mainspring housing and under the slide only. A few of the many slide markings are:
• Ejercito Argentino (Argentine Army)
• Policia Maritima (Coast Guard)
• Armada Argentina (Navy)
• Republica Argentina Armada Nacional (Navy)
• Aeronautica Argentina (Air Force)
How about all the different Government agencies? For example, CFS stands for Consejo Federal de Seguridad (Federal Council of Security). Gendarmeria would indicate use by the Border Guards or Intelligence Service. Then there are all those Police departments. One example is Policia de la Provincia de Buenos Aires (Police of the Province of Buenos Aires.) One will usually see the Argentine crest on the right side of the slide on all Ballester-Molinas.
Ballester-Molinas were also exported to Bolivia, Columbia, Peru, Venezuela, Uruguay and probably other countries. it is estimated that some 10,000 or more Ballester-Molinas were sold to the British during World War II. The two examples I have seen both had serial numbers that begin with a "B". Also, the different issue/property numbers began with a "B". They also had the usual markings on the left side of the slide but no markings on the right side of the slide. These "B"-marked pistols were used in clandestine operations in North Africa.
There were even some .22-caliber Ballester-Molina manufactured for training purposes. (Although similar to the Colt Ace, they are not interchangeable with the Colt.) They were also sold on the civilian market in Argentina. The two samples I have seen have no markings of the right side of the slide and the usual marking and "CAL. 22" on the left side. I could not find any numbers on how many Ballester Molinas were imported into this country, but I would venture to say it's in the thousands.
For years, the Ballester-Molinas were not very desirable as collectibles. They have been referred to by some as an "unlicensed copy." This is incorrect. They are merely a simplified design and, hence, less expensive to produce than the Colt 1911. Some even have a "patented" stamped on the left side of the slide. In any case this "unlicensed copy" myth has kept the price of them low, but that has currently been changing because they do have a rich history and are tough as nails. At least my three pistols will cycle and shoot all kinds of .45 ACP ammo without a hiccup.
The fact that Ballester-Rigaud and Ballester Molinas have so many different markings for all the various military, police and other agencies plus exports to other countries, makes it difficult, but not impossible to collect all variations. My three Ballesters are all different. I have two different makers' names, three different agency stamps (one with property numbers), and three different grips. A collector of Ballester-Molinas is always on the lookout and can usually find one with different markings.
Between the pistols imported from Colt, manufactured under license from Colt and the Ballester-Molinas, more than 200,000 1911 and 1911-type pistols were imported or produced in Argentina.
A drawback to the Ballester-Molinas is the availability of spare parts. They are out there, but you must do a lot of searching to find them. But then, the way the pistols shoot, you may not need many spare parts unless you get one that is just totally worn out. Don't let looks fool you.
These Ballester-Molinas are an uncharted territory regarding history, original photos and documentation. Collecting Ballester-Molinas can be an enjoyable and an interesting challenge. There is an almost unlimited assortment of Ballester-Molinas with different markings. You would be surprised what you can find when you're looking for it!
Author's note: I have tried my best to give accurate information, but with little documentation available, this article must be used as a guideline only. If you have documentation, information and/or photos you would like to share with me for a possible future article, I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ballester-Molina: Argentina's Mystery .45