AI4FR Virtual Militaria Items Tour 

Spain Items

 

This Spanish Llama model IX-A is a single action, semi-automatic pistol that is chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It was designed after the semi-automatic Colt 1911 pistol. This Llama pistol features a 5 1/8 inch barrel and has a fixed blade front sight and adjustable rear sight. This handgun sports both a checkered front and back straps as well as walnut wood grips. It is fed with a detachable 6 round box magazine that is of the same size and dimensions as the Colt 1911 magazine. This pistol weighs in at about 30 ounces. Llama actually started manufacturing these handguns as the Model IX back in 1936, this Llama IX-A was manufactured in 1984.

The GABILONDO Y CIA. or GABILONDO and Company was located in Vitoria Spain and is a firearms manufacturing company that was founded in 1904. They were known for manufacturing several models of both inexpensive pistols and revolvers prior to 1931. Then in 1931 the company began to produce a semi-automatic pistol based on the Colt model 1911 design. These copies of the 1911 style pistols were manufactured with great quality and care and have been sold around the world. After the Spanish civil war the GABILONDO company moved its facilities to Vitoria, Spain where they continued to produced handguns under the Llama trade name. Then in the 1980's the firm introduced a new line of pistols that were more modern in both design and function. Llama is now the trade name for handguns that are manufactured by Bersa in Argentina.  

This next series of photographs show the stampings that are on the slide of this pistol. The markings in the picture on the left are as follows,GABILONDO Y CIA. VITORIA (ESPANA). While in the Photograph on the right the slide is stamped LLAMA CAL. 45.

Llama pistols built before 1936 will have slide markings that reads GABILONDO Y CIA. ELOEIBAR (ESPANA) and be marked with the caliber of the handgun and the Llama name such as, CAL. 45 LLAMA. The pistols that were built after 1936 will have slide markings that read LLAMA GABILONDO  Y CIA. ELOEIBAR (ESPANA) and be marked with the caliber of the handgun such as CAL. 45. Present day handguns will show a slide marking with either LLAMA CAL. 45 or, GABILONDO Y CIA. VITORIA (ESPANA) and the Llama logo.  

The photograph on the left is a close up of the Llama logo that is found on both of the wood grips on this pistol.

The stampings that are on the frame in the picture on the right are proof marks and year of manufacture marks.  Starting at the left and reading towards the right, the first symbol is a tad hard to make out in the photograph but it is a knights helmet and shield with the X inside. This is the admission proof mark that appears on Spanish handguns submitted to the official government proof house in Eibar Spain after July 9, 1931. All proofing of handguns in Spain still occurs in the city of Eibar at the Banco oficial de Pruebas(official proofhouse) and the same symbol is still applied to this very day. All of these stampings on this pistol have been double struck. If this was a coin, it would no doubt raise its value, but I doubt if it did that for this pistol.  

The next symbol is the flaming bomb stamp which was first introduced on December 14, 1929. This stamp will either have the letter P inside the bomb for semi-automatic pistols or the letter R for revolvers. The flaming bomb proof indicated that a semi-automatic pistol was fired and had passed two proof loads, each of which was 30 percent more then the normal maximum operating pressure. This is then followed by two more rounds fired at normal pressure levels to determine whether the self loading mechanism is still functioning properly, if it was, then the stamp was applied to the firearm. For a revolver, where reloading takes place by means of the turning of a cylinder, an over pressure load is used. I do not know if it is because of the double stamping that has occurred with these marks or some other factor, but there is no letter P inside of this mark on the above pistol.

The next and last stamp is the date code. In the picture above, the square is actually the letter "D" but in this case, the edge of the die has left an impression on the pistols frame and the stamp looks like a square. So the stamp is as follows, the letter "D" then an *(asterisk) and then the number "2" as in "D*2". This indicates that the pistol was manufactured in 1984. The letter for the date code with the asterisk on top is still in use to this very day.

An interesting note is that Spain took longer to establish national proofing laws and standards for firearms then some of the other important firearms producing nations, notably Austria, Belgium, France, Germany and Great Britain. Although Spain began proof marking shotguns in 1910, it was not until July 18, 1923, nearly 5 years after the end of the first world war that Spain's proofing system for its pistols came into use.  

The photograph on the left is a picture of the right side of the receiver just above the trigger. This is an importers stamp that is now required to be placed on firearms that have entered the U.S. after the late 1980's. On the plus side, every marking on a firearm will help to tell us its history and this importers mark is no different.

With this importers mark, we now know that this Llama model IX-A came in to the U.S. some time after the late 1980's. This import stamp reads as follows, "STOEGER INDUSTRIES" and then underneath that is "S. HACKENSACK, N.J." and then on the bottom of it all it is stamped "Made in Spain". This mark is what the law calls for except it would have been nice if the importer would have hid this stamp under the grips rather then stamping it on the side of the receiver. This stamp identifies the importer of this pistol as Stoeger Industries, and tells us that they are located in South Hackensack, New Jersey. Also complying with the law is the stamp at the bottom indicating that the firearm was manufactured in Spain.

Today Stoeger Industries has offices in several states with their corporate office being located at 17603 Indian Head Hwy, Accokeek, MD 20607 and their telephone number is 800-264-4962. The import law that is mentioned above can be referenced by viewing the gun control Act of 1968, Public Law 90-618 and under Subpart F-Conduct of Business sub-section 178.92 (a)(1) Firearms.

The photograph on the right is of the butt or heel of the pistol with the magazine inserted. Here we can see that the magazine floorplate along with the bottom of the backstrap of the pistol has been stamped with "MADE IN SPAIN".

  

  

Resource:

Spanish Handguns by Gene Gangarosa

Astra automatic pistols by Leonardo Antaris

The standard directory of proof marks by Gerhard Wirnsberger              

Official guide to gunmarks by Robert Balderson

Llama model IX-A instruction manual  

      AI4FR                                                                                                                                                                                                  AI4FR                                                                                                       AI4FR

Copyright © John Whitt 2017 All rights reserved.