Colonial pistols

Pistols bearing the name COLONIAL and the trade mark EC (letters intertwined) in a circle, with the words TRADE above and MARK below, and sometimes (but not always) bearing the inscription FABRIQUE DE ARMES DE GRANDE PRECISION PATENT DEPOSE 39391 are frequently encountered. Manufacture of these pistols is often attributed to this firm. As a matter of fact, according to information received from the Spanish Ministry of Munitions and from the Eibar Proof House, no such manufacturing firm ever existed. The name was simply one coined by a clever dealer and exporter of firearms. To make the name still more impressive it often appeared in the form FABRIQUE DE ARMES DE GUERRE DE GRANDE PRECISION. The patent referred to is a Marca (trade mark) patent, rather than a patent on a firearm design. The patent, which covers the name Colonial, was issued in November 1920 to the firm Etxezarraga y Abaitua of Eibar. Presumably this firm actually manufactured the pistol for the dealer whose name appears on the gun. The EC trade mark, described above, is present on other pistols which do not carry the name Colonial, some of which were made at least as late as 1928. The name Colonial will also be found on pistols made in France by Mre. d'Armes des Pyrenees, in Hendaye, according to information from that firm. These were made to be sold by a certain dealer who wished to use that name.

The Spanish Colonial pistols appear in both 6.35 and 7.65 mm. calibers. Both are simple blowbacks in type-copies of the Browning system and not distinguished in any particular feature. The 6.35 mm. model has a monogram on the grip pieces showing a front view of an ape-like face under which appears the name Colonial. The 7.65 mm. model has a quite different monogram, consisting of a medallion center with the raised letters EC in a circle, above which stands an eagle with outstretched wings. Below the circle is the name COLONIAL.

As the 7.65 mm. pistol weighs about two pounds and has a swiveled lanyard ring it appears to have been intended for military use. Very likely it was developed during World War I, despite the patent date. It greatly resembles the Browning 1910 in appearance, though it is by no means as well made, and, like most of the Eibar copies of the Browning, has the thumb safety in front of the left grip piece instead of behind it.

The over-all length is 7 inches, barrel length 4 inches. The rifling has 6 grooves with right hand twist. Magazine capacity is 9 rounds. The front sight is integral with the slide and semicircular in shape. The rear sight is simply a notch milled out of the slide.

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