Hafdasa.com was created to focus on the pistols and firearms built in Argentina during World War II. While pistols such as the Ballester-Molina is not a true 1911, it's appeal to those that love them is just as strong. Ballester-Molina's, while once inexpensive and plentiful from surplus outlets are now becomming harder and harder to find, and the prices are going up daily.
The Ballester-Molina with the B-prefix, also referred to as the British Contract Ballester-Molina are getting harder yet to find, and the prices on those rare guns are going up even faster. Get them while you can.
Read Rick Maples' article published in the January 2009 issue of Gun World Magazine.
The Ballester-Molina pistol was designed and built by the Argentine company Hispano Argentina Fábrica de Automotores SA (HAFDASA). The Ballester was originally called the Ballester-Rigaud (c. 1938–1940). The Ballester was designed to offer to the Argentinian police and military a less-expensive alternative to the Pistola Colt Modelo 1927, a licensed copy of the Colt M1911A1 built under the supervison of Colt engineers. Production of the Ballester-Molina began in 1938 and ceased in 1953.
The history of the company dates back to 1929, when two Spanish entrepreneurs, Arturo Ballester and Eugenio Molina, established a branch of the Spanish Hispano-Suiza in Buenos Aires. Some years later, HAFDASA hired two engineers, the French Rorice Rigaud and Carlos Ballester-Molina, a relative of the founders. Rigaud became the chief designer of the firm, while Ballester-Molina was appointed chief executive officer.
As the Ballester-Molina was designed to serve alongside the M1927 that was currently in Argentine service, it bears a striking resemblance to the Colt M1911A1. The Ballester-Molina and the M1911 share an identical 7-round magazine, barrel, recoil spring, and barrel bushing. Although many other parts appear identical at first glance, they are not. Many parts are adaptable, however. The Ballester is also known as the "Hafdasa" after the initials of the company that made it.
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