Sunday, May 13, 2007

Happy Mothers Day Honey

This classic piece of Spanish steel looks rather like a 1911 doesn't it?

Well... that because it is, except...

In about 75% scale. In fact it's about 75% scale in everything, including the cartridge; in this case a .380acp (though not 75% as effective unforutnately).

Without any scale reference though, it really does look an awful lot like a 1911. It's up against a Commander here, and you can see, it's over an inch shorter than THAT, which is in itself an inch shorter than a Gov't model

It's about 3/4 of an inch shorter in height, and about 1/4" thinner as well

The similarities extend to the inside of the gun; where the parts are essentially 1911 parts that have been scaled down. It uses the exact same mechanism as a classic 1911 (meaning no firing pin safety etc...).

So, why "Happy Mothers Day" ?

Well, this is Mels mothers day present.

We actually bought the gun a couple months ago from a pawn shop for a ridiculously low price, because it has obviously been rather heavily bubbaed.

I dunno if you've noticed, but I have a thing about buying bubbaed old guns, and fixing them.

The previous owner had bobbed the hammer and beavertail, pinned and welded a speed bump on the grip safety, ground the serrations off the mainspring housing and frame and replaced them with grip tape, trimmed the safety, and beveled the mag well, adding shaped extensions to the grip panels... oh and he put a ridiculous trigger shoe on it, which we took off immediately.

Anyway, we bought it because Mel LOVED the feel of it in her hand, and the character of the old metal (from the serial number this gun may have been made in either the late 30s or the early 50s; I'm not sure which - Oh and that's not rust, its just artifacts from the lighting; though theres not much finish left on the backstrap or near the muzzle).

I function tested and field stripped the gun in the shop, and everything seemed fine. The trigger pull was actually pretty nice, and the gun felt solid.

Unfortunately, I didn't detail strip the gun until I got it home; and we discovered that bubba had done his dirty work INSIDE the gun as well unfortunately; and we found that he'd fabricated his own "custom" sear from mild steel, and sear spring from sheet metal; and ground down the disconnecter all to dangerous levels.

The pawn shop actually would have taken the gun back at this point, but Mel loved the feel of the thing so much that we decided to keep it, and try to replace the parts.

So, the Llama has been a Box-O'-Gun since we bought it around January.

Well.. it took a couple months of hunting around, but we finally found a new sear, disconnector, sear spring, and grip safety (not entirely necessary, but it was cheap), for a grand total of about $90 including shipping (unfortunately it was three different places that had the parts, so about $20 of that was shipping); and I put it together last night.

The gun function tests properly, and the trigger pull is a bit rough but a reasonable weight to start with (about 5lbs by my RCBS scale). I'll smooth it out later.

We're going out to Mels moms house for mothers day lunch; and we're going to hit the local range well we're out there and test the thing out.

Given the way it fits Mels hand, and that she likes the sights (a rare thing), plus the fact that its a tilting locked breech action with a relatively long barrel for a .380; I'm hoping it groups well; and I'm sure it will have at least reasonable self defense accuracy.

I'm trying to convince Mel we need to re-blue the thing for corrosion resistance; but she likes the patina a lot, and doesn't want to. I told her, she'll just have to oil and wipe the thing down every day then.

Anyway, another day, another old gun rescued.