Alkartasuna Alkar pistols

S. A. Alkartasuna Fabrica de Armas was one of the Spanish pistol manufacturers of lesser importance, but they did play a part in World War I and many specimens of their product are to be found in this country, having been brought back by returning soldiers. This firm was organized during World War I, in 1917, to manufacture (under license) the Ruby automatic pistol originated by Gabilondo y Urresti in 1914.

Information supplied by Gabilondo y Cia. states that the Alkartasuna firm was founded by some workmen of the Esperanza y Unceta factory. The demands made by the French for this pistol, which was used by them as a secondary standard service pistol, were so heavy that Gabilondo y Urresti could not meet them. Consequently a number of other Spanish firms eventually participated in their production. Some, like Alkartasuna, were new companies and manufactured under license. Others were already established firms, some of which were licensed while apparently others were not. Many of these firms ceased to exist after the war.

From specimens examined, and also from those reported by others, it appears that there were several types of Alkartasuna (or Alkar) pistols. Presumably, some of these were made after the close of the war, as production apparently continued until some time in 1920 when the Alkartasuna factory burned down. Whether the factory was rebuilt and operated under the same name, or some other, is not known with certainty. Gabilondo y Cia. state that the Alkartasuna Company was completely dissolved in 1922.

From the limited number of specimens examined, some conclusions can be drawn and some conjectures made that may be of interest.

Specimens Nos. 44,384, 77,325, 77,683, 77,689, and 78,238 are all 9-shot copies of the Ruby and are essentially alike, although they do not appear to have been made with the same tools. All four specimens are marked S. A. ALKARTASUNA and all bear the conventional trade mark. This mark may be described as an „angular" letter S, above which is the word ALKAR and below it the abbreviation Mca. Regisda. (for Marca Registrada, i.e., Mark Registered). (See Photos of Trade Marks.) The dimensions of various parts of these four pistols are not always the same. For example, the length varies as much as four mm. Curves, angles, and slopes are obviously not all the same. They are close, but not exact, copies of the Ruby.

Specimen No. 79,896 is a 7-shot pistol, only 127 mm. in length and 100 mm. in height, whereas the 9-shot models are over 160 mm. in length and 120 mm. in height. Like the others, it has the name s. A. ALKARTASUNA on the left side of the slide and has hard rubber grip plates, on each of which there is a monogram containing the word ALKAR and a large angular letter S, similar to the one in the trade mark. The grip pieces on the 9-shot specimens bore no such markings and were usually of wood.

Specimen No. 83,172 is also a 7-shot pistol, but it is different from the preceding one in that it is 150 mm. in length and 100 mm. in height and has slightly curved instead of straight, vertical serrations in the finger grips on the rear of the slide. It has the hard rubber grips with the same monogram as that on No. 79,896. The trade mark stamped on the barrel, however, has a form which is different from that on the other pistols. It consists of the angular letter S with the word TRADE above and the word MARK below. The principal difference in the two specimens is in the length of the barrel and slide. In addition to the variant trade mark, the slide on this specimen bears the inscription: STANDARD AUTOMATIC PISTOL „ALKAR" PATENT 62,277. Obviously this pistol was made for sale in English-speaking countries.

Specimen No. 75,056 is of 6.35 mm. caliber and represents quite a different type of pistol in several respects. The most prominent feature is a cartridge indicator built into the left hand grip piece, so that the number of cartridges in the magazine can be seen at a glance. This pistol is 112 mm. in length and 85 mm. in height, and the magazine holds 7 cartridges.

This pistol bears the Alkartasuna conventional trade mark on the slide, but the Alkartasuna name does not appear anywhere on the gun. Instead, the inscription on the slide reads: MANUFACTURA DE ARMAS DE FUEGO - GUERNICA (ESPAÑA). The safety is of the push-through type and is located back of the grip frame instead of in front, as in the other models.

The grip frame is much wider at the bottom than at the top, furnishing a much better grip. The name ALKAR appears on both grip pieces, along with the caliber designation (CAL 6.35), the monogram being quite different in design from that present on the 7.65 mm. specimens. The gun has the appearance of being well made.

The numbering system used is not known, nor is it obvious from the limited number of specimens that have been examined. The lowest-numbered specimens of the Alkartasuna reported are Nos. 11,037 and 12,465, both of which are the 7-shot model. Higher-numbered specimens (No. 44,384 and those in the 70,000 range) are of the 9-shot variety. Nos. 11,037 and 12,465 are both marked: s. A. ALKARTASUNA FABRICA DE ARMAS - GUERNICA; and they have the conventional trade mark. Details concerning them are lacking, however. If a continous numbering system was used for all the Alkartasuna copies of the Ruby, it would appear that the first ones made were of the 7-shot variety and that a change to the larger-capacity magazine was made somewhere along the line.

It seems unlikely that the 7-shot specimens Nos. 79,896 and 83,172 were made during the war. The pistols are of a different type and both have hard rubber grips, not used on the known wartime pistols, and an embossed monogram on the grips. These are distinctly not military type weapons. Since the factory continued to operate after the close of the war, until 1920 when it burned, it seems reasonable to suppose that these pistols were made for the commercial trade, particularly in other countries, in that period.

Reportedly the S. A. Alkartasuna firm went out of business in 1922. The 6.35 mm. pistol No. 75,056, though it bears the Alkartasuna trade mark and bears the name ALKAR, does not fit into the picture as a product of the wartime firm. It not only does not bear the Alkartasuna name but does bear the name: MANUFACTURA DE ARMAS DE FUEGO - GUERNICA (ESPAÑA). This suggests that this pistol was made by a different firm or a reorganized firm to which was given a new name. The latter conjecture seems more likely.

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  • jeff
    recently brought a s.a. alkart aguna fabrica of armas Guernica #77198 f on left side of slide would appreciate any info on this gun. maybe a diagram any help would be helpful. its a 32 cal. and has the angular s on left side of side thank you
    7 years ago
  • nicola
    Who made alkar 32 auto pistol?
    2 years ago

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