The Charola-Anitua pistol is only of historic interest, being one of the very early automatics whose manufacture covered but a short period of time, and is now known only as a collector's item.
It was originally made in 5 mm. caliber by Garate y Anitua, Fabricantes de Armas de Fuego in Eibar, Spain. Production started in 1907. Somewhat later, at a date unknown, a 7 mm. model appeared, but specimens of this are very rare indeed and descriptions of this model have not been seen.
Specifications for the 7 mm. Charola cartridge have been published, however, originally by the Soc. Francaise des Munitions (June 1903) and reproduced by White and Munhall. Like the more familiar 5 mm. Charola cartridge (generally known as the 5 mm. Clement) it is of the rimless, bottle-neck type.
The existence of a 6.5 mm. model has also been reported, but is not mentioned in any known literature. This latter specimen is said to be similar to the 7 mm. type except that it has an integral magazine instead of one that is detachable and that the frame and other dimensions (excluding barrel length) are somewhat less. The barrel is longer, thus making the total length greater. It may be remarked at this point that barrel lengths never appeared to be fixed quantities on the Charolas.
Some authorities consider that the Charola-Anitua is a copy or modification of one of the Bergmanns, but actually it bears more resemblance to the Mod. 96 Mauser. No doubt the design may have been influenced by both the Bergmann and the Mauser, but certainly it is not a copy of either, the actual construction being quite different. Like the Mauser it is a recoil-operated, locked-bolt type, but while the principle is the same the method of accomplishment is not.
The pistol was also made in Belgium, whether under license or not is not known, and apparently in larger numbers than in Spain. It seems to have had considerable sale in Russia. The Belgian copies, particularly, show considerable variation in details from specimen to specimen, and the workmanship and materials used were of very inferior quality compared to those made in Eibar. Although many of the Belgian-made pistols were marked STANDART, that word seems to have been a misnomer.
Data for the 5 mm. Charola-Anitua, as they appeared in Armas Automaticas (Barcelona, 1903), are as follows: total length, 230 mm. (91/16 inches) ; barrel length, 104 mm. (41/8 inches) ; weight, empty, 572 grams (ca. 20 oz.); magazine capacity, 6 ctges.; muzzle velocity, 300 m./sec.; and maximum range, 800 meters. No specifications for rifling were given.
For the 7 mm. model the following rifling specifications, taken from a drawing dated July 1903, are the only ones available: bore diameter, 7.075 mm. (0.2785 inch) ; groove diameter, 7.400 mm. (.2913 inch); groove width, 3.1 mm. (.122 inch); land width, 2.7 mm. (.106 inch); and number of grooves, 4. The above data were taken from a pistol with serial No. 10,349. This number gives no real clue to the total number made as it is not known whether the different calibered models were numbered in the same or different numbering series, nor is it known at what figure serial numbering started. It is also not known whether this specimen was made in Belgium or in Spain.
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