A friend from AR15.comrecently sent me a note and said, “Please send me a copy of your C&R License, as I have something for you.”
I did, and he sent me a Christmas present.
Here it is.
It is a Ballester-Molina (sometimes called the Ballerina Molester by gun nuts), in .45 ACP caliber.
It is a copy of the 1911 Colt pistol that was made by the Argentina government from 1938 until 1953, for use by their military and police.
When I opened the package, I almost passed out, as this is one of the finest examples I have ever seen. He apologized that he had it re-blued, as he feared that would lower the collector value.
I assured him that I couldn’t care less, as I never intend to sell it and I like pretty pistols. He said he didn’t shoot it and wanted someone to have it that would appreciate it and shoot it. He asked to remain anonymous in this write-up, and I agreed.
(Just as a side note, where else but in the gun community and on a great Internet site like AR15.com, would you meet such nice people that they would send such a gift to someone that they had never even met in person?)
The Ballester-Molina was made to be used as the main pistol for the Argentine military.
It was made in Argentina, and modeled closely after the 1911 Colt.
But it has some differences that are easily seen by those that are familiar with a 1911.
The serial number on mine indicates that it was made between 1944 and 1953.
The hammer is completely different from most 1911 pistols.
The grooves cut into the rear of the slide are a very distinctive arrangement of 3 grooves, a space, 3 grooves, a space, and 2 grooves.
It has no grip safety, but has a very elegant sweep to the rear of the grip area.
It also has a lanyard loop.
The trigger mechanism is unlike the 1911, and actually pivots, rather than slides like the trigger on the 1911.
Even though it looks a lot like a 1911, the only parts that are easily interchangeable are the barrel, operating spring, and the magazine. All controls are very similar, except for the absence of a grip safety. Disassembly for cleaning is the same.
Mine is marked “Gendarmeria Nacional” on the right side of the slide, and my friend Deimos tells me that is means the pistol was issued to the Argentine equivalent of the “Border Patrol.”
It has the very poor sights of 1911 style pistols of that time period, but I can usually shoot these well.
The pistol is, overall, a very fine pistol with a great reputation for quality and for dependability.
Many that were imported were “well worn” on the exterior, but internally, almost like new.
I was going to do my regular “throat polish” job on the piece before shooting it, but the ramp and throat looked so nice I doubted that it really needed it.
So, I decided to just give it a try to see how it ran.
These pistols have a reputation for being very reliable.
Well, how does it shoot?
You will notice from the clothes that it is getting cold in Texas.
And here’s a typical group.
It ran semi-wadcutters and ball ammo without a single hiccup.
There is no need for a throat polishing, as it ran like a Singer Sewing machine.
I thank my Anonymous Friend, and I thank God, for blessing me with this fine pistol.