Lama Pistol


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kbsrn
November 14, 2005, 10:44 AM
I was at a gun show this weekend and saw a 1911 style Llama pistol in .32 caliber. It was about half the size of a 1911. Anyone know anything about these?

Thanks

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MrAcheson
November 14, 2005, 12:32 PM
In general, Llama pistols don't have a reputation for quality. This is because their 1911s are a pretty hit or miss affair. Not sure about the rest of their line, but I'd avoid them and go with something at similarly prices with a better rep. Good choices would be Bersas or Rock Island Armory pistols.

MICHAEL T
November 14, 2005, 06:00 PM
Well get ready for the Llama trashing. I have had several and other than a polish of feed ramp maybe a spring change have been decent pistols I have over 1500rounds thru my present 45 compact. It was the hardest to get relieable(.3" barrel 1911 woes) the 32 and 380 weren't made for 1000 round target sessions. But to be shot now and then and kepy handy as a SD pistol. If pistol was in good shape I would likely have bought if looking for a small pistol.

Mad Magyar
November 14, 2005, 06:12 PM
The 7.65mm (.32 cal) LLama Model X-A bears a strong resemblance to the 1911. It was an extremely popular model in Europe in that caliber.
For me, if the price is right, and you give it a good looking over: why not?

Monkeyleg
November 14, 2005, 06:40 PM
A friend of mine, who now lives in Arkansas, is hands-down the best pistol shooter I've ever seen.

He bought a Llama .45 a few months back, and had his local gunsmith just do a couple of tweaks.

His targets are great, and he loves the gun.

Walt Sherrill
November 14, 2005, 10:05 PM
I've got an older Llama in 9mm -- imported in the 80's by Stoeger.

It has a fully ramped barrel and is every bit as much a quality gun as any available, today. When some parts got worn, I had my gunsmith install an Ed Brown hammer and a Chip McCormick sear (or was it the other way around?) -- they dropped right in, and it now got a great trigger, and shoots well.

Not all Llama are like that.

(I'd probably look for something else, if it was a NEW one -- for those "gunsmith tweaks" aren't generally that cheap.

M2 Carbine
November 14, 2005, 10:25 PM
I bought a 45 MiniMax. I thought I'd use it as a car gun or just a spare 45 around the place.
It was too unreliable to use as any kind of defense gun and had too many issues to use as a range gun, like the ejected cases hitting me in the forehead, so I sold it to an individual at a gun show for $100 and was glad to get rid of it.

Mad Chemist
November 15, 2005, 03:34 PM
I bought a 45 MiniMax. I thought I'd use it as a car gun or just a spare 45 around the place.
It was too unreliable to use as any kind of defense gun and had too many issues to use as a range gun, like the ejected cases hitting me in the forehead, so I sold it to an individual at a gun show for $100 and was glad to get rid of it.

I had the same problem w/ a Mini-max in .40 after putting the first box of ammo through it. I checked the extractor. Lo and behold, fifty rounds through a brand new gun and the extractor was already severely chipped. You don't want to get me started on all the other problems this POS has has.

Bersas are good inexpensive shooters. I had a Thunder .380, it functioned flawlessly. They have the same dimensions as a PPK and are chambered in .22lr, .32, and .380. Personally .380 is as small as I will go for a defensive cartridge.

Probasco
January 18, 2006, 12:26 AM
i bought one in 32 and it functioned flawlessly. gave it to my daughter. i bought a 45 minimax, polished the feed ramp before i ever shot it and out of 100+ rounds it has ftf only once. maybe i got the only good one. on the other end, i bought a 45 1911 government model and it jambed so bad i had to feild strip it. i took it to the place i bought it and they made some fixes but i have lost all faith in it.

mainmech48
January 18, 2006, 04:32 PM
My only Llama was a .22 made on the same frame size. Not a good experience. Two "doubles" in the first magazine through it. Dropped the slide on the second magazine load (finger off the trigger, muzzle pointed at the ground just ahead of me) and the hammer "followed" the slide down, blowing a 1" hole in the turf about 4" from my boot's toe.

Sent it back to the importer for warranty fix. Six MONTHS later, I got it back. Still had the same problem, and the lockwork parts looked as if some chimp had used a wood rasp to "fit" them.

I sold it to an acquaintance who fancied himself an amatuer gunsmith at a sizable loss. He reckoned that he could buy new parts and fix it. I wished him luck.

OTOH, I know folks who say they've had good service from theirs. All I can say is that the workmanship and QC at Llama inspires me not. I've never bought another.

IMO, if it's real cheap and tickles your fancy, try it. If it turns out to be reliable - great. I wouldn't bet my Personal Favorite Behind on one.

Jeff Timm
January 18, 2006, 05:10 PM
"Como sey Llama? Si! El junko!" Phat Phil Engledrum c. 1975.

Geoff
Who notes when it's real quiet in the arms room you can hear the Llama's rust. :what:

AirForceShooter
January 18, 2006, 05:15 PM
llama's are very hit or miss.
I had a .380 1911 clone for 40 years and it never and I mean never failed me.
Others will tell you they're junk.
I think we're both right.

AFS

Rubikees
January 18, 2006, 08:13 PM
My dad has had the .380 Llama for many years and it has been an ok weapon. He really does not shoot it much. The wife and I do not like the Llama because of its very hard and sharp recoil.

Moonclip
January 18, 2006, 08:30 PM
Depends, I once passed the 32acp version at $150 like a year ago but my 380acp micromax works great. If the price is right give it a go if you don't mind 32acp and you give the gun a good once over. My Llama 45acp was junk but my 9mm is great and accurate with ball ammo and I'm fond of my 44mag Llama revolver. Poor QC with Llamas but they do good work here and there.

KTALGSTO
May 27, 2009, 11:18 AM
Michael T>> Well get ready for the Llama trashing. I have had several and other than a polish of feed ramp maybe a spring change have been decent pistols yeah like micael t says..
i have a llama 40 S&W minimax and ive had no isssues besides the feed ramp. i used a wire brush and rubbed the ramp down and oiled it and its workin fine and changed out to colt magazine srings off a colt mag thats broke..Even better.. since colt was the gun they copied when they made the minimax 40(maybe all the other llamas to?) they hold the same mags..and wouldnt doubt it if u can exchange Some parts..for a 300$ gun?.. its great.. solid steel(keep oiled!), rubber grips, accurate at 15-20 ft without doubt..the guns as long as my hand it fits comfortably all finger on the grip and i have big hands.i dont leave the house without it.:D:D:D:D:cool::cool:

MAD CHEMIST>>
I had the same problem w/ a Mini-max in .40 after putting the first box of ammo through it. I checked the extractor. Lo and behold, fifty rounds through a brand new gun and the extractor was already severely chipped. You don't want to get me started on all the other problems this POS has has. sucks but i havent had a problem yet with mine my dad is out of military and he even tells me it isnt a "BAD"gun. i mean for the price u get what u pay for. maybe there are just some bad guns they made who knows? because one wil work for a week or with 50 rounds and the next will be working great with thousands of rounds through them..

Rockwell1
May 27, 2009, 01:24 PM
yeah like micael t says..

You mean "Yeah, like Michael said four years ago "

Like it or not Llamas do not have a wonderful reputation, and it didn't just appear out of thin air . If your's is running good I'm happy for you but they're not a wonderful gun

JR47
May 27, 2009, 05:58 PM
The little Llama is like the one that I've owned for a couple of decades. Mine doesn't like JHP ammunition, except the older Remington JHP. It functions fine with Ball.

Llama was in business for almost 60 years. They made the Spanish service weapon at one time, and also marketed several NATO spec handguns. Many of the "problems" have been because of guns much older than was claimed, or the use of parts designed for older guns, in newer ones.

There has also been claims, admittedly unverified, about "soft metal", and there was some truth to it, during the 1917-1919 era. Errornet Legends die hard.

61chalk
May 27, 2009, 07:43 PM
My first handgun, an only handgun was a used 1911 .45 Llama, it was used an paid 200.00 for it at Don Lengels Gun Shop....man I miss that place.....that was back around '93, I don't know when it was made, it does have the vent rib. Other than shooting a little high an to the right just a little at 25yds it funtions perfect everytime, my brother has been shooting .45's since 1968, mostly Colts..when he shot this one, he had a tight group, he said it was the best he had ever shot a .45, an told me not to sell it!!! It's tough, heavy, accurate, reliable an feels right when I shoot it....no complaints.

KTALGSTO
June 16, 2009, 08:31 PM
yeah LOL 4 years ago...wow! :confused:

exdetsgt
July 11, 2009, 11:50 PM
A friend just gave me a Llama .32ACP. He said it was junk and jammed every third round.
It had been sitting in a drawer for thirty years and was filthy and dry. I cleaned it and lubed it, took it to the range and sure enough, he was right. Although cleaned and lubed I got a huge string of 4 before it stovepiped.

So I went over to Allsafe Security (it's actually a gunshop) in Douglas, AZ and one of the owners (both of whom are gunsmiths) told me the lips on the mag were spread too much and the round was therefore riding too high, ergo, banging into the feed ramp. He pointed me to a giant box of mags and said see what you might find. There must have been two hundred mags in there, some for guns I'd never heard of. But perseverance furthers, and I found an actual new Llama mag in .32ACP.

Back to the range. Huge difference. 20 rounds no problem before a jam. And, at 15 yards it's surprisingly accurate (3" groups). But still, nothing I'd carry for SD.

Soo, I took it an old gunsmith who has a shop next to his home. He lives in the desert in the middle of nowhere. Do you know anything about these things? I asked. He looked at me like I was chopped liver. Yeah, he said, a little bit. Worked on maybe a hundred or so. I handed him the original mag with the spread lips. Common problem, he said, the metal in these mags is a bit soft. I'll fix it for you, he said, smiling rather mysteriously. Then he took a look inside the pistol. Oh, here's your problem. The feed ramp's been banged up. Turns out it's a two-piece ramp, one half in the gun and the other half is part of the barrel. They both need to be in harmony. They weren't. So a round would move up the lower part of the ramp, hit the misaligned top part (on occasion) and stop right there.

After he returns it, I'll do an update. It's a sweet-looking pistol, kind of like a shrunken 1911 and, because of its narrowness, would make a great IWB weapon.

Walkalong
July 12, 2009, 10:19 AM
I had one, and foolishly traded it for a Llama .380. Wish I still had it. They are not a Colt etc, but good serviceable guns. The newer plastic grips are prone to cracking. The older wood grips are preferable.

wnycollector
July 12, 2009, 10:53 AM
My father-in-law carries a 1960's vintage .380 llama. He is the original owner and has never had a problem with his pistol. He puts 4 or 5 boxes of FMJ ammo through it every year, so his llama has seen several thousnad rounds over the years. He carries it with FMJ ammo in his mag and a buffalobore +P 100gr hardcast FP as his +1.

6x6pinz
July 12, 2009, 01:21 PM
I have the 22, 32 and 380 versions, all perform perfectly. I have had less then stellar performance from the 45 version. I found the Llama Omni line in the larger calibers to be much better quality than their 1911 counter parts.

exdetsgt
July 12, 2009, 05:11 PM
Mine has the original wood grips. Think I'll remove them and treat them to some Tung Oil.

Mad Magyar
July 12, 2009, 08:30 PM
Those Llama grips have to be the ugliest one's ever made, the brown one's.:eek:

larryh1108
July 12, 2009, 11:30 PM
I have the Llama in .32, .380, 9mmP Commander size, .40 S&W Commander size and .45 in the 5" Govt size. Before I shoot any new (to me) gun, I completely strip it and inspect it for burrs, rub marks, etc. The Llamas seem to have frame rails and slide rails that aren't as smooth as the more expensive pieces so I gave every Llama a frame rail and slide rail job. Also, the inside top of the slide that contacts the barrel hood seems to have been forgotten in the mfg process so some 600-800-1000 grit sandpaper on a dowel smooths out that area really nice. There also seems to be some small burrs on various parts of the friction areas and those need to be smoothed out. You polish the disconnector and trigger bow faces and do the M1911 ramp polishing and you end up with a wonderful shooter. These are my favorite range guns and they run like a top with any ammo I've used. I'd put my .45 against the $800 M1911s any day. The MecGar mags seem to function best with these guys on the large frames and the factory mags are best in the small frames. My "new" .22LR should be here any day now and I am anxiously anticipating tearing it down and giving it "the treatment" and taking it to the range.

These are nice guns that need some lovin before you take them out. Once you overcome the little inconsistencies you end up with a really nice gun at 1/3 the price of the name brands. If you like to tinker, invest the $200-$300 on a Llama and you'll be very happy you did.
http://i342.photobucket.com/albums/o435/larryh1108/Llama45right222.jpghttp://i342.photobucket.com/albums/o435/larryh1108/Llama40right111.jpg
http://i342.photobucket.com/albums/o435/larryh1108/Llama9mmright444-1.jpghttp://i342.photobucket.com/albums/o435/larryh1108/Llama32leftMOP111-1.jpg

Mooseman
July 13, 2009, 12:13 AM
I thought Llama went out of business. Are they still around, back from the dead, or still deceased? What kind of parts availability would the little 32 have? I've never tried a llama of any type but replacement parts would be a concern for me.

Rockwell1
July 13, 2009, 12:20 AM
The company has been out of business for several years.

If I had a couple hundred to blow I might buy one for historical value but I'd never bet my life on one

I think it's interesting to watch Llama owners start foaming at the mouth when ever a less than complimentary report is posted about them

larryh1108
July 13, 2009, 12:36 AM
Llama has been out of business for many years now. Parts are still out there but are getting harder to find as the years go by. The hardest parts to find are the recoil springs for the small frames. The large frames take the same springs as the M1911 series pistols. Gunbroker usually has someone selling most of the other parts. Over the years the only parts I've seen needing replaced (other than the springs) are the firing pins (hard to find but there) and slide locks. The grips are not compatible with the M1911 parts but they are out there. The other guy was right, the plastic factory grips are some of the ugliest grips I've ever seen. The older wood factory grips are quite nice, though, but hard to come by. The aftermarket grips are fine but the selection is limited. Unless you make a habit of losing parts or putting 10,000 rounds thru your gun every few years you should be fine. As far as the recoil springs go, I am looking for an alternative spring that can be easily modified. There has to be one out there that will work. I'll find it!

larryh1108
July 13, 2009, 12:38 AM
I think it's interesting to watch Llama owners start foaming at the mouth when ever a less than complimentary report is posted about them

Yeah, true! You never see that with Kimber owners, Glock owners or any other gun owner out there when one of theirs is spoken badly about! :rolleyes:

Mad Magyar
July 13, 2009, 09:12 AM
Yeah, true! You never see that with Kimber owners, Glock owners or any other gun owner out there when one of theirs is spoken badly about
:) So true....

exdetsgt
July 13, 2009, 11:22 AM
You do have a point. Ugly, yes. But it might possible to pretty them up? If Tung Oil doesn't provide some lustre, maybe I'll just strip them and try something like a rosewood stain.

JR47
July 13, 2009, 11:54 AM
Yeah, true! You never see that with Kimber owners, Glock owners or any other gun owner out there when one of theirs is spoken badly about.

So true....


But, but, that's Different!!!!:rolleyes::rolleyes::D

Roccobro
July 13, 2009, 09:12 PM
Thanks to you guys, I pulled out my fathers "llama especial" in .22. Had trouble going FA and doubling. Hadn't touched it in about 8 years.

Quick crash course slide show (courtesy of THR) on how the springs are supposed to work on assembly and it now function tests fine. Woohoo! Range test in one week.

Justin

exdetsgt
July 22, 2009, 11:52 PM
Got the Llama 380 back from the old gunsmith in Hereford, AZ. The feed ramp gleams, racking the slide feels slick, and he realigned the lips on the original magazine. Although bigger and heavier than my Ruger LCP, it's quite a slim pistol and conceals easily in an IWB. If the rain ever stops (am I really in the desert?) I'll take it out tomorrow. If it turns out to be reliable I'll liven up the grips and start carrying it now and then.

Oh, does any one know how to determine year of manufacture from the serial number?
Mine is #143105.

larryh1108
July 23, 2009, 12:24 AM
The year code is located near the left trigger guard. It is a LETTER*NUMBER like P*2, N*1, etc. Then look it up on this year chart:

http://www.9mmlargo.com/year_codes.htm

exdetsgt
July 23, 2009, 11:59 AM
Wow, mine just has a "U" with no number following, so, according to the chart it was made in 1950! And thanks, larryh1108 for the link.

exdetsgt
July 23, 2009, 09:13 PM
Just got back from the range. Runs perfectly. Put 50 rounds through it. No hiccups. Am going to order new springs from Wolff Springs. Amazed that they had them in stock. Now if I can find someone who makes a holster for it... Tried Bianchi and Galco. Zip, nein, nada. Anyone have any holster ideas, let me know.

How accurate is it? I remember thinking that I'd settle for 4" groupings at 15 yards, and that's what I got. Certainly no range/target pistol, but good enough for social work. A better shooter might get a tighter grouping

So, I've got a 59 year old Llama Especial .32 ACP that runs well and, at least at the range, is quite a curiosity. Other shooters take a look. Comments range from, "What the heck is that?" to "Oh my, it's so cute!" (this last from a woman who regularly burns up the range with a full-size 1911).

61chalk
July 23, 2009, 09:52 PM
Thanks larryh1108....I contacted everyone about finding what year mine was but no records for the serial numbers...the number looked like R*2...1999....problem...I bought it used in 1993...?...I looked closer an it looks like B*2..1982....I think the bottom of the B didn't qet all the way stamped or a little worn. By the way it shoots better than those Glocks an Kimbers......Ha!!!!!

Gordon Shumway
February 22, 2010, 03:11 PM
I don't understand the principle that anything posted older than 90 days is invalid and should be eliminated from the forum...... duh. People google to find information.

I am a Govt 45 gunsmith.
Llama facts are that they are no better nor no worse than standard US GI issue guns. All older guns need spring changes and mag upgrades. I have had many older guns and with simple maintenance, barrel links, polish ramp, and springs they are as reliable as any. One I sold now has over 10,000 rounds through it, 1,000+ of hollowpoints, without any FTF or FTE. zero

I am not sure why some people expect to grab an old chunk of metal and expect it to be CCW ready. Be realistic. Test fire it and then get someone who knows what he is doing to tune it.

32 and 380 Llamas need basicly the same care and tuning.

All can be as reliable as anything on the market, if you are willing to pay for a GOOD GUNSMITH.

As far as "wearing out", how many have ever shot enough to wear out any 1911 type?

Triple K mags work on the 380, but might need a little feed lip shortening. Chip McCormick for the 45.

exdetsgt
February 22, 2010, 09:01 PM
Gordon, I like Chip McCormick mags, and have used them in steel frame 1911's, but I was told not to use them in my aluminum frame Kimber Ultra Carry II because the follower might scratch the ramp. Any truth to that?

Mad Magyar
February 22, 2010, 09:07 PM
Llama facts are that they are no better nor no worse than standard US GI issue guns. All older guns need spring changes and mag upgrades. I have had many older guns and with simple maintenance, barrel links, polish ramp, and springs they are as reliable as any. One I sold now has over 10,000 rounds through it, 1,000+ of hollowpoints, without any FTF or FTE. zero

Gordon, good points...I wish you were around a few years back when Llama bashing was rampant with few defenders & many unwilling to admit that they owned one....:(

larryh1108
February 22, 2010, 09:17 PM
Gordon, good points...I wish you were around a few years back when Llama bashing was rampant with few defenders & many unwilling to admit that they owned one....

Nooooooooo, we need to keep this a secret!! That keeps the prices down! I can get a beautiful Llama for ~$300! Why pay ~$500 for the same gun! Let the snobs turn up their noses at these beautiful guns while we enjoy the heck out of them at ridiculously low prices. i don't think that a well tuned Llama has any higher incidence of breakage or misfeeds than most of the mass produced 1911s out there. Of course, someone who paid $800 will never admit a failure to feed or a broken whatever. I mean, that's just not possible! :eek:

Roccobro
February 22, 2010, 10:14 PM
Gordon- Any chance you'd be willing to inspect and repair my fathers old .22 Llama? Looks like a spring issue, and a project that is over my head to "learn" on.

Yes, range update is gun still doesn't work as it should. :(

Justin

larryh1108
February 22, 2010, 10:37 PM
If Gordon is too busy to work on it I also work on Llamas. I have a "tune up" and parts inspection where you send me every part except the frame. I inspect, recondition and/or replace worn parts and polish key areas for maximum smooth action. If interested please send me a note or email me at larryh1108@comcast.net I try to keep the cost under $100 since llamas are inexpensive to start with.

clemsontaco
February 22, 2010, 11:43 PM
My very first and current pistol is a Llama .380 Micromax and I love the darn thing. It's a nickel Ecuadorian Air Force Edition that I paid $275 at a gun show for without knowing anything about it, but I got really lucky. As far as anyone wanting to buy a Llama I shy them away from it to keep the prices down for guys like us who already know how awesome they can be.

I hate when people bash them though because they bought a gun without using common sense and regretting it. I can't count how many threads I've read through where people say that overall quality was poor, the slide was loose, and the gun felt cheap in their hand. Well why the heck did you buy the thing then? When I first looked at my gun I did what I always do with a gun I'm inspecting with intention to buy. Whether it's a pistol or long gun I rack the action, check the barrel, and look at overall fit and finish. If something isn't right I don't buy it it's that simple. I don't pick up a gun with a sloppy slide and think "this could possibly work out all right."

What I've found is that the newer Llama's (1997-2005) are great guns for the most part. I've seen some bad examples but I honestly think that had more to do with ownership and care than manufacturing. My .380 was made in '01 and it's honestly one of the better fitted guns I've seen, especially to be used.

When I first got I read some threads that night and thought I might have really messed up. Then I went to the range and put 50 rounds through it with 3 or 4 FTE's and I couldn't hit the broad side of a barn at 15 yards (I know that's a little far for a .380 pistol to be expected to be accurate). So I just kept my fingers crossed things would get better. A few weekends later my mom and I (that's right my mom) took a concealed carry class and I learned a lot about grip technique and recoil control. We put 100 rounds through our guns that day. I had 0, that's ZERO, FTF or FTE. My previous FTE's were due to me limp wristing the gun (I'm such a panzy apparently My group size ranged from about 2.5" at 3 feet to about 4.5" at 30 feet. I immediately fell in love with this gun. Of all the long guns I own and my Llama, the Llama is the one I would not sell. As soon as my concealed weapons permit arrives it'll be what I carry all the time.

So if you're looking at one just use common sense on what looks good and what looks like you should run the other direction. A good rule of thumb is that if there isn't a rib on the slide it's probably a decent version of a Llama, all others proceed with caution and like I said inspect closely. Sorry for the long post, but I love the gun so much I have to talk about it. Be safe and have fun out there.

Rex B
February 23, 2010, 04:25 PM
clemsontaco is right on the money. My rule on the small-frame llamas is "No slide rib".
This means anything 1950 and prior, and anything after about 2001.

I have 4 pri-1950 .380s, and one from about 1980 (rib milled off!.
A .22LR from the mid-1960s.
Also a Max-1 in .45 ACO, and a MiniMax 45
The early .380s are lifetime keepers.

I'd love to find a pre-1950 .32 ACP or .22LR

MachIVshooter
February 23, 2010, 04:44 PM
I had two Max-1 .45's that always ran very well. I also had a Micro-max .380 that wore the slide stop down very quickly.

The only Llama I have now is an old III-a .380, and it's a good little gun. Except for the external extractor, it is a 3/4 scale copy of the M1911. The newer micro-max's are blowback and not of the same quality.

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