Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Spanish Charolay Y Anitua semi-auto pistol.

Another late 18th century semi-auto pistol manufactured circa 1898-1900 in Eibar, Spain. They are a very lightweight, diminutive pistol that was well liked and highly regarded.

It is a simple blow-back operated design with some resemblances to both the Mauser Broomhandle or Mannlicher pistols in that it has a non-detachable 6 round magazine located in front of the trigger that uses stripper clips to load from the top. Chambered in 5mm.

It was made by four different manufacturers and had minor changes in barrel and hammer spur lengths, cocking piece appearance and the fourth type had a bolt catch.

The firm “Charola y Anitua” produced approximately 950 units and another 900 in number were produced by Ignacio Charola.

A third production of 800 units that were made, bear only Liege proofs, indicating that they were made or assembled in Belgium for Ignacio Charola. Interestingly these are stamped, “THE BEST SHOOTING PISTOL”, on top of the chamber area. Their hammer spur is also shorter.

A fourth production of about 400 units, complete the estimated total of 3000 that were produced; This group only bears Liege proofs, indicating that they were made or assembled in Belgium for Ignacio Charola.

I have not been able to pinpoint when or where, but I think, the third and fourth production runs there 7mm versions.
During the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), much of the collections and archives of the arms manufacturers disappeared, so firm documentation I have yet to find. 
Pictured below are two 7mm pistols. The pearl grip pistol appears to have a detachable magazine, maybe (?) the fourth production.

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