Arizmendi pistols

The name Arizmendi has long been known in the Spanish arms industry, the firm Arizmendi y Goenaga having been established in 1886. Up to 1913-14, twenty-seven catalogs had been issued. While the earlier years had been devoted to the manufacture of revolvers it appears that early in this century the firm began to take interest in the rapidly developing popularity of the automatic pistol. The Walman pistols originated around 1907-09 and were based on patents issued to the firm.

Some time around 1914, or shortly thereafter, the firm name was changed to Francisco Arizmendi. The 1913-14 catalog (No. 27) has the name „Francisco Arizmendi (Sucesor )" printed below the name F. Arizmendi y Goenaga and in different ink.

The principal automatics for which this firm is known are the Walman, Victor, Ydeal, and Singer. The name Victor was, for some unknown reason, dropped and the name Singer substituted therefor. Later a new model of the Singer was brought out, in which were incorporated improvements made in the Walman and Ideal models. This improvement consisted particularly in a chamber cartridge indicator which enabled one to ascertain, by sight or touch, whether there was a cartridge in the chamber. This device is shown in Fig. 102. The new Singers were considerably heavier than their predecessor, the Victor. The weights of the 6.35 and 7.65 mm. Victors were 265 and 530 grams, respectively, whereas the weights of the corresponding Singers were 320 and 630 grams, without magazines. The Ydeal was the lightest of the series. As originally made, the Ydeal (then made in 6.35 mm. only) weighed 240 grams as compared to 270 grams for the 6.35 mm. Walman and 265 grams for the 6.35 mm. Victor.

All of these pistols were of a simple blowback type, based on the Browning. They had thumb safeties, located at the rear of the frame in each case, and they had magazine safeties which prevented accidental discharge when the magazine was removed. None were provided with grip safeties.

Both Arizmendi y Goenaga and successor, Francisco Arizmendi, produced pistols under the name „Kaba Spezial." The original Kaba Spezial was made by August Menz in Suhl, Germany, and sold by Karl Bauer of Berlin, from whose name the name Kaba was derived. The Kaba Spezials as made by Arizmendi y Goenaga and by Francisco Arizmendi were not copies of the German pistol. The latter had the forward part of the slide cut away, exposing the entire length of the barrel, which was not the case in the Spanish-made Kabas. The two Spanish pistols were not alike in some respects and appear not to have been made with the same tools. The monogram on the grip plates of the specimen made by Francisco Arizmendi, bearing the words KABA SPEZIAL, is almost an exact copy of the monogram on the original German pistol.

During World War I a pistol of the Ruby type was made by this firm for the French Army. Both names, Arizmendi y Goenaga and (later) Francisco Arizmendi, are listed as manufacturers of such pistols. Whether such production was under license from Gabilondos y Urresti, to whom the Ruby patent had been issued in 1914, is not known. (See Gabilondo Pistols for a discussion of the Ruby pistols.)

This firm is no longer producing revolvers or pistols, as they were among the many firms denied permission to do so after the Spanish revolution.

Fig. 102. Francisco Arizmendi cartridge indicator used on Singer, Walman, and Ideal automatic pistols.

Fig. 1. shows the mechanism when there is no cartridge in the barrel. The extractor is level, without any rise from the side of the slide, and the groove A-B on the slide forms a straight line with the groove of the indicator.

Fig. 2. shows that the barrel contains a cartridge: (1) by the unlevel sides of the slide, the extractor stands out of the barrel; and (2) by the broken line of the barrel and the indicator.

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