LLama Especial problem.


December 29, 2012, 01:51 AM
I recently inherited one of these. It's actually a neat little gun and I like it. Took it to the range today and it would stovepipe quite a bit. At least once per mag. What would cause this on a 1911 type pistol?

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December 29, 2012, 02:43 AM
I actually have the same gun. It's pretty cool to have a mini-1911. The problem with my gun was similar. It would stovepipe once a magazine it seemed. I believe that it was due to a rough slide action and feed ramp. I used a dremel to polish down the feed ramp a bit and to take a little bit of the surface off the slide where the barrel meets. Obviously, this is dangerous because you can really screw up your gun, but try a little bit and then test it, then go further if it needs it. This is the one time I'd recommend doing this - when your gun is already shooting like crap and you don't have much to lose.

Also, lube your gun up quite a bit so it cycles really well. After the polish job and lubing, it shot without a single stovepipe through several magazines. I really think that solved the problem. Good luck!

December 29, 2012, 04:55 AM
I have a Llama "Especial" in 45ACP and just recently shot it after several years resting in the safe. My gun is a bit rough around the edges and always had problems with the slide not locking back after the last round was fired.

I cleaned it and applied Rig stainless steel grease on the rails and Remoil on the internals. I also replaced the magazine springs which required a little tweaking at the base end to get the end of the spring to catch in the magazine's little notch. One thing I noticed when replacing the springs is neither the original nor the new ones compress and expand freely ... lots of friction with the magazine walls.

I have a replacement recoil spring but the original seems to be OK. Mine shoots really well even with JHP rounds but this is not a gun I'd trust my life with.

December 29, 2012, 10:45 AM
If it is the small, .22, .32 or .380 model, then I'd recommend you field strip and clean the gun well. Lube it properly. Clean the magazine(s). Nice guns for fun and range, but they aren't known for rock solid reliability. If in the .22 or .32, use hotter ammo such as Mini mag, Fiocchi, etc.

December 29, 2012, 06:33 PM
I have found that with the Llama small frame pistols that if the recoil spring is worn, it will stovepipe. You should run it wet as well but I'd bet it is the recoil spring. Also, if the recoil spring was replaced, the ones available for sale now are for the Micromax, which is a blowback design. The Especial models are a locked breech design and use a lighter recoil spring. The blowback recoil springs will not work well in your pistol. You need to find a recoil spring that is made for your gun. The best bet is on Ebay or Gunbroker when someone sells partial parts kits. Many times they have a recoil spring in them. I do not know any source for them otherwise. You can try a Brownells spring kit that has several different sizes of springs but it's a shot in the dark. Good luck!

December 29, 2012, 08:55 PM
The .380 is one of my favorite guns, because it is the closest .380 to a 1911, externally and internally. None of the Colt .380's, or the Sig P238 is anywhere close to be as much like a 1911 as the humble Llama.

That said, you can use most info to troubleshoot it as you would a 1911, with one glaring difference. The Llama has an external extractor while the 1911 has an internal extractor.

I haven't tweaked a 1911 with an external extractor, but it should be the same MO. If the extractor is not catching the rim, and not holding some sideways pressure against it, the system will not pull the case out all the way all the time.

I do not know if that is your problem or not. The ejector is basically identical, but if it's broken off at the working end you get stovepipes and other failures.

December 29, 2012, 09:09 PM
You failed to mention if your gun is a center-fire .380 or a rim-fire .22.

In general, centerfire ammo of the period was a fixed bullet weight of around 90 grains, and always RN-FMJ type.

Hollow-points hadn't been invented yet.

If it's a .22, then you need to try a quality brand of 40 grain LRN like CCI Mini-Mags or Winchester Super-X.

Weird cheap .22 stuff from Wally-World, or state of the art center-fire JHP are things LLama never dreamed of at the time the guns were designed & made.


December 30, 2012, 02:46 AM
You failed to mention if your gun is a center-fire .380 or a rim-fire .22.
It is a 32.

December 30, 2012, 03:59 AM
Adjust the magazine lips inward. More often than not stovepipe type malfunctions are caused by a magazine issue that is easily remedied in most cases.

December 30, 2012, 10:43 AM
The Especial models are a locked breech design and use a lighter recoil spring

The .32 acp Llama Especial is a blowback design. I agree, it could be a spring problem, but they are hard to find. There does appear to be some amount of bushing and spring "chatter marks" on the barrel of my Llama, as if there's too little room for everything to move/compress. Keep the barrel lubed to allow parts to freely move.

December 30, 2012, 11:47 AM
Yes, when I wrote that I thought it was a .380. I also agree in using the hotter ammo to cycle better. Llamas were made in Europe for the European market and liked the European ammo. Finding .32ACP springs is harder than finding the .380 springs though but you can with patience.

December 31, 2012, 02:31 AM
Whoa! I thought I was the only one who had one of these. I hope I won't be taking this thread off topic, but I've got a problem of my own and I was wondering if you guys knew what was up.

Mine is in .380ACP and it seems to malfunction a lot. It's never stovepiped, but seems to experience a failure of the trigger to reset between shots (not every shot, but at least a few times a magazine). Pulling the trigger will fail to drop the hammer occasionally. I think it might have something to do with the grip safety? I can't tell if it's a mechanical malfunction, or just my grip slipping partly off the safety (I've got big hands and long fingers, Glock hands really, and it's a thin little gun). I can get it to fire again if I take my shooting hand off and then grip it again.

This gun isn't worn by any means. I inherited it new in box from a relative (this was four years ago, the gun must be from the 60s or 70s at least). I've stripped/cleaned/oiled the thing and put about 30 stuttering rounds through it. Otherwise it is mint.

Seem to be a lot of problems with these guns; I guess we know why fascist spain fell! :\

December 31, 2012, 06:57 AM
The best way to check for a bad grip is to put a rubber band or similar around the safety (just to check function!) and see if the non firing continues. It also sounds like the sear spring is not placed properly if the trigger does not reset. Like a 1911, it is a simple process if it is all together properly. If you are sure the sear spring is put in properly and all 3 fingers are "bent" properly (it wasn't modified previously to lighten the trigger pull, etc.) then you may have a disconnector/sear issue. If you need parts, pm me.

January 1, 2013, 04:47 AM
Still stovepiping after adjusting the magazine. I cleaned and lubed it, am I supposed to drown it in lube? Didn't try hotter ammo, that will have to wait till I get back home The problem was reduced, one stovepipe every twenty rounds or so. On a related note. The ammo I am using was just in a Crown Royal bag so I have no idea how old or what exactly it is.
I know it doesn't work well but I love this gun, it has to be the coolest thing I have ever seen.
I really want to get it running right. Anybody know any good gunsmiths in the DFW area?

January 1, 2013, 07:31 AM
I still say it's a weak recoil spring. Llamas are notorious for stovepiping when the recoil springs get weak...

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