On September 12, 1919 a Spanish gun dealer, Jose de Lopez Arnaiz, received a patent for a new invention. Arnaiz invented a cocking lever, or a palanca, as any self respecting Spaniard would call it, for semi automatic pistols. It allows the user to chamber a round and cock the pistol, all with the firing hand. Therefore the pistol could be carried with an empty chamber, but readied for use in a very short time.
Arnaiz was already a gun dealer of some reputation in his hometown and that paved the way for an interview with the Spanish gunmaking company of Hijo de Calixto Arrizabalaga. The management at Arrizabalaga liked the idea of the cocking lever and immediately decided to put it to use. Rather than design a new pistol around the palanca, they would add it to an existing one.
The pistol chosen was one that had sagging sales and was due to be upgraded already. The Sharp-Shooter pistol had been in production for 4 years but never sold very well; it's features made it and the cocking lever a perfect match. The new pistol would be called the Jo-Lo-Ar (JOse de LOpez ARnaiz)
|Spanish Antifascists with a JoLoAr pistol, July 1938|
In 1969 Interarms Corporation found a cache of Jo-Lo-Ars languishing in Peru, bought them and shipped them back to the United States for sale on the surplus market. It is unknown how many pistols were in this cache. Many of the Jo-Lo-Ars in the United States today probably come from this Peruvian stock.
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