Automatic pistols made by Gabilondo from 1914 to 1933 were based on Browning F.N. models of 1903, 1906, 1910, and 1922. In 1931 it was decided to modernize their line by undertaking the manufacture of the external hammer, recoil-operated system originally designed by Browning and used by Colt and the Fabrique Nationale. Work on a new design began in 1931 and culminated in 1932 with a Spanish patent issued on April 12th of that year. The first pistol produced was an exact copy of the Colt Mod. 1911A1, but without the grip safety, and in 9 mm. Largo (Bergmann) and .38 ACP calibers. To this weapon was given the trade name „Llama" which is the name for currently made Gabilondo pistols. For some reason this first model produced later was designated Model IV.
Shortly after the production of this first model, a blowback style based upon the external shape of the Colt-Browning was introduced. A further improvement of the blowback pattern was undertaken and this second blowback style was issued from 1935 on. Somewhat later a variant pattern in 9 mm. Parabellum caliber was produced. After the close of World War II certain models were dropped, grip safeties were added to the remaining models, and a .22 caliber pistol was introduced.
Some details concerning the various Llama models are as given below.
Mod. I.-This was a 7.65 mm. Browning caliber, original blowback style, dating from about 193'31934, first issued without model designation, with factory catalog designation No. 529. It was an imitation of Colt Mod. 1911.
Mod. II.-This 9 mm. Short version of the Mod. I was identical to Mod. I except for magazine capacity.
Mod. III.-This was a 9 mm. Short, second blowback pattern and more closely approached the external shape of the Mod. 1911A1 Colt. It dates from about 1935 and is believed to have replaced the first two models in distribution and to have been dropped from production in 1954.
Mod. III-A.-This post-World War II version of Mod. III is distinguished by the addition of the grip safety but otherwise is the same as Mod. III. Several styles of grip pieces and markings have been noted.
Mod. IV.-This was the original Llama pistol, dating from 1931-32, in 9 mm. Largo (Bergmann) caliber. It is a full-size reproduction of the Colt-Browning recoil-operated pistol Mod.
1911. When first issued no model number was assigned but the factory catalog designation was No. 528. It has been suggested that the name Modello IV may have been reserved for the Tauler pistol which is identical to it. Both are identical to the Llama Mod. VII.
Mod. V.-Made in 9 mm. Largo (Bergmann) and .38 ACP calibers this appears to be the export version of Mod. IV. It is marked .38 caliber rather than 9 mm. It was made prior to World War II only.
Mod. VI.-This has been reported to be in 9 mm. Browning Short caliber, heavier than Mod. III, but this has not been confirmed. Fully recoil-operated Llama pistols of the Mod. VII (or IV) style are known to have been made in the 7.63 Mauser caliber, expressly for the German trade, and it is possible that the designation of Mod. VI may have been given to these pistols. This is purely a conjecture.
Mod. VII.-This pistol in 9 mm. Largo/.38 ACP is identical to Mod. IV and is, therefore, the original Llama pistol, manufacture of which dates from 1932. This model was produced until about 1954.
Mod. VIII.-This is identical to the Mod. VII, but with the addition of a grip safety. This addition seems to have been the first application of a grip safety to a Llama pistol and was introduced prior to World War II. This pistol is still made.
Mod. IX.-First described as a recoil-operated style of the Mod. VII, but in three calibers: 7.65 mm. Parabellum, 9 mm. Largo, and .45 ACP. However, factory literature of 1936-39 shows this model in .45 cal. ACP only. It was manufactured from about 1936 to 1954.
Mod. IX-A.-This is the .45 ACP caliber, to which a grip safety was added immediately following World War II. This pistol is still in production.
Mod. X.-This pistol, in 7.65 mm. caliber, was issued along with Mod. III and is merely a smaller version of that model (Fig. 175). It appears to be identical to Mod. I, to which no model number was originally assigned. This dates from about 1935 and was produced until about 1954. A Model X-1 has been noted, but details are unknown. It may be a special variant of the Mod. X.
Mod. X-A.-This is identical to Mod. X, with the addition of a grip safety, which was added immediately following World War II. It is still in production.
Mod. XI.-This is a 9 mm. Parabellum caliber with a variant style of grip frame and hammer and has no grip safety. Earlier issues had a lanyard ring at bottom of left side of the grip frame, but this ring was omitted in later issues and the grip pieces were redesigned. It was produced from 1936 and was still made in 1953 but does not appear in 1955 factory literature.
There are no Llama pistols designated as Models XII, XIII, and XIV as these designations have been reserved for and are used on the Llama revolvers. Mod. XV.-This is a .22 caliber (Long Rifle) pistol which follows the same general design as the other recent Llama models. It has a double grip safety. This is a post-World War II production.
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