Small Spanish pistol from Llama in 9mm short caliber (9X17mm). This caliber was quite popular in Spain during the sixties and seventies, and was the regulatory one for police and some military units.
The caliber allowed a reasonable firepower, but with less recoil and weight of both the ammunition itself and the weapon used compared to the now standardized 9mm / P.
The dimensions of this "toy" are measured, 16cm long, 11 high and 3 wide, weighing about 625 grams unloaded.
The pistol that was made available to me for this test was in perfect condition, well maintained and clean.
The grip is better the smaller the shooter's hand. Not a suitable weapon (ergonomically speaking) for a large hand shooter. Since it is made of steel, without any more niceties, the weight is greater than in more modern weapons of equivalent size.
In the grip the first thing you notice is the push button of the grip lock, which is located on the back of the grip and that if you look at the photos it is perfectly appreciated. This button is intended to ensure that unless the weapon is being grasped by the shooter, no triggering occurs (for example, by accident during cleaning tasks or by a fall)
To act on the slide, you have to pull it back, which will mount the hammer. This weapon is a simple action, which means that to make the first shot it will be necessary to mount the hammer first.
To push back the slide, the only element that we will have to watch out for is the manual flap lock located on the left side of the gun, because if it is raised, it fits into a recess in the slide and blocks it preventing its movement.
Once the slide advances again by the action of the recovery spring, it will collect the first cartridge from the magazine, inserting it into the chamber and from then on being ready to open fire.
We can keep the gun open with the slide backward by manually acting on the stop flap, which fits into another purpose-made slide recess.
To remove the magazine, we only have to press the existing button behind the trigger guard on the left side of the weapon. The magazine holds seven cartridges
The 9 short cartridges are easily recognizable. I particularly like this caliber a lot, more than the 9 parabellum, and I sincerely believe that this caliber has enough stopping power and enough advantages to make it ideal for self defense or citizen security tasks. The savings in weight, materials, size of the weapon that fires this ammunition and costs are evident. However, from a military point of view, the caliber is insufficient due to a lack of power that affects penetration capacity and range.
In fact, I know several shooters who, for precision, prefer weapons of this caliber to more powerful ones.
The weapon that was made available to me for this article was in perfect condition and clean despite the years. The blued in good condition and the rest of the pieces are the same. The entire weapon is made of steel (except the grips) so that despite its size content, it weighs more than the current equivalents (by dimensions).
Disassembling this weapon is complicated the first time. It has a fin or retaining pin as usual in pistols of this time, but the front cover of the weapon is also removable, in front of the barrel and recoil spring.
These are the steps that I follow to disassemble it:
- First I remove the charger.
- Delay the slide to a point where you can press on the right side of the weapon the stem of the retaining flap and extract it from the opposite side.
- From that moment the slide and frame can be separated.
- Inside the slide will be housed the barrel and under it, the recovery spring.
The problem with this pistol (which you just have to get used to) is that the spring and its stem are independent and completely removable separately. Likewise, the barrel does not have fixed grommets but the grommet is a hinged metal ring that rotates forwards or backwards to allow the Browning-Colt system to actuate (barrel tilts and descends with each shot or actuation of the slide).
But the problem is not in the disassembly, but in the assembly. We will have to be careful to put the spring and its stem and the barrel eyelet in their forward position in order to allow the pin of the retaining wing to be inserted again.
I understand that this weapon also allows disassembly by acting on the barrel cover and recoil spring, but I have managed to assemble and disassemble the weapon without the need for it.
I have not fired with this specific pistol, but with a similar one of the same caliber and my experience is very positive. I like the short 9. The only drawback of this weapon is the possibility of acting only in a simple action, which requires mounting the weapon or at least the hammer (if we have a cartridge in the chamber) to be able to shoot the first time. This detracts from the flexibility of the weapon and in case of self defense slows down the response time.
The sight and sight are fixed, without possible adjustments.
My conclusion: it is a recommended weapon and also very cheap. It can be obtained for little money or even at Civil Guard auctions and there is an abundance of them on the market. A good buy.
caliber: 9mm short (9X17mm)
Weight: 625 grams
Barrel: two and a half inches, fluted to the right.
Sight distance: 110mm
Magazine: 7 cartridges
Manual lock: flap blocking the slide and the shot
Automatic locks: incomplete locking (prevents firing if the slide is not completely closed), fall (hammer), grip (by pressing the weapon on the back of the pistol grip).
Author: Wilhelm Heidkamp