Opinions on Llama 45 Needed. Have some info but could use your thoughts.


June 7, 2013, 07:46 PM
I have a crack at a Llama .45, looks to be one of the compact 1911 clones. Still waiting to get the exact model number.

Some background. I would get this as part of a trade for some equipment I have. I already have my CCW so this would be a range/fun gun.

I read one of the really old threads on THR where the opinions seem to vary widely. So what I hope someone on the forum can help with is:

1. What is a reasonable trade value for the gun with an extra mag? (There is also a holster with it)
2. Which models are worth considering and which aren't?

Thanks ahead of time for any replies, would love for owners or former owners to chip in. Thanks,

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June 7, 2013, 09:27 PM
Llama had lots of trouble over the years. Some 1911 parts will fit others parts won't. My last Llama was to be blunt a POS . Bought in 2003. I would invest no more than 150 in one and that be pushing it. .

June 7, 2013, 09:54 PM
I have a full size Llama Especial that I purchased in the 70s that has never failed me. It doesn't like hollow point ammo, but has never failed to feed hard ball. I know there are a lot of Llama bashers out there and it could be the later models the company produced when it was having problems deserve that reputation. But I love mine. Is it a Colt? No. Is it fun to shoot? You bet!

Having said all this, I have seen only a few go for $500 on Gunbroker. Most are in the $400-$450 range.

Hopes this helps.

June 8, 2013, 03:17 AM
Seems to fit what I have seen. Always like to get first hand knowledge.
Haven't heard back on the exact model yet. Sounds like some of the older were pretty good and some of the very latest weren't bad. The middle group from the 90's though are a bit of a toss up.

June 8, 2013, 05:15 AM
I've had a Llama "Especial" in 45 ACP since about 1964. It's definitely rough around the edges but has never failed to go bang. I've never tried SWC loads, but every ball and JHP it's been fed functioned flawlessly. It came with two slightly different magazines and with one the slide often fails to lock back on last round.

It's not the prettiest gun I own (the slide has a ventilated rib) but if I had to use it to protect myself I'd have no qualms at all. Sights are large and easy to pick up.

I paid (actually my mom paid) $70 for it. But then, gasoline was 27 cents per gallon too.

June 8, 2013, 06:57 AM
opinions seem to vary widely.

That is because quality varies widely. If you get a good one Llama's are decent guns. Get a bad one and you have a piece of junk on your hands. I wouldn't buy one because I already have better guns. If I wanted to try one I'd have to know the guns history, or at least be given a chance to shoot it first.

I had one back in he early 90 BTW. It wasn't a bad gun at all.

June 8, 2013, 07:19 AM
If it is in the $300-$400 range, it might be worth taking a chance but if it is much more than $400 I would look at RIA, Citadel and Regent. In fact, I just looked a new Regent commander sized gun and was VERY impressed. I don't like guns with rails, but this thing was all business looking. At a little over $500 it would be an easy pick over the Llama.

June 8, 2013, 06:38 PM
BTW its a Llama MiniMax.
This guy is a local gunsmith who tends to trade for new of fixers to play with. Look to trade it again. Has shot it and it seems fine so its basically new.

Does this change anyone's opinion?

Jim K
June 8, 2013, 09:21 PM
The older Llamas were pretty good guns, though they tended to be a bit soft. But a year or so ago I had a chance to look over and fire two Mini-Maxes, and was very disappointed. The outsides were very nice, and the guns appeared to be well made. But internally, they showed a lot of hand fitting and filing and the barrels were very loose. That condition was confirmed at the range. One fired about a 24 inch group at 25 yards, the other was somewhat better, firing about a 12 inch group.

The owner of the first gun knew it wouldn't shoot, and wanted to spend a lot of money to install a match barrel and "tighten" the gun. I chose to pass on the job.


June 9, 2013, 06:26 PM
Over the years at our club, anyone on the line shooting with a jamo-o-matic more often than not it'd be a Llama.

I'm sure there are good ones out there, but I'd not buy one unless I could shoot it first to be sure that it worked.

June 9, 2013, 07:53 PM
I once saw a guy have his Llama .45 acp slide and barrel follow his bullet downrange. The pieces only made it about 1/3 the way to the 25 yd target and nobody could figure where the bullet went.

I've got a pretty little Llama .380, like a miniature 1911, but the last time I was firing it the hammer notch rounded it's tip off and the pistol fired the last three rounds in a magful on accidental full auto.

I've always heard they had soft steel but the pistol had worked OK for about 300 rounds before that happened.

June 9, 2013, 11:41 PM
Thanks for the input.
Since this is a possible trade and not my primary CCW I won't be depending on it if I get it.

Thanks CZ223 kind about the range I was thinking. This guy who wants to trade I think wants to put the value of the gun, plus 2 extra Llama mags, a holster, and ammo carrier in the $1300 range. (Oh and he is throwing in a half box of .45)

I was being generous and came up with a rough value of $570 for the lot. Anyone want to dispute that amount?

Thanks to the rest of you chiming in. Kind of figured the info you are providing was the case. nice to have confirmation! I do believe that if I was to work this trade I would want to fire it before finishing the trade. For now I will look for someone else to trade with. I have a classified up for anyone in Washington. Looking to trade my yard equipment.

June 10, 2013, 03:37 AM
This guy who wants to trade I think wants to put the value of the gun, plus 2 extra Llama mags, a holster, and ammo carrier in the $1300 range. (Oh and he is throwing in a half box of .45)

Is that a typo?

Personally I wouldnt give over 200 bucks for one.
you can pick up used 3rd gen Smiths in the 3-400 dollar range and there is no questions on the quality, durability, etc. etc.

June 10, 2013, 06:03 AM
Too much at $570. Llama is out of business so you can't just order parts either. You would be better off with a new rock island armory 1911. They are a better gun and they use pretty much standard 1911 parts.

June 10, 2013, 06:19 AM
col temp

I think your friend is having a little fun with you. There's no way his Llama, along with some other stuff, is anywhere close to being worth $1300! Currently there are two Minimax .45s on Gunbroker, both in decent condition, and they're priced in the $500 range (still too much money in my opinion for a Llama). Also keep in mind that Llamas quality was questionable even back when they were being made (and yes I owned one, once), many parts were not interchangeable with standard M1911 designs, and extra mags may be difficult to find (and probably very pricey if you do find them).

Bottom line-There are a lot better choices out there in regards to less expensive M1911 type pistols, making this is one deal I most definitely would walk away from.

Taurus 617 CCW
June 10, 2013, 10:45 AM
Rake a look at the Rock Islands or the new ATI 1911's. The new ATI's are smooth as glass when you rack the slide and the rails are nicely polished. The Llamas are rather rough on the inside, as well as most other imports.

June 10, 2013, 11:03 AM
In 1989, when I worked the Sporting Goods Counter at Wal-Mart, we sold the Llama .45 brand new for $296.96. The package mentioned is worth 300 bucks at the most, not 1300.

Just my .02,

June 10, 2013, 11:35 AM
Had one. $275 tops, and there is no guarantee that you won't end up with a paperweight.

June 10, 2013, 11:59 AM
I bought a HC version of the .45 MiniMax about a decade ago. While it was acceptably accurate, it impressed me as being a bit heavy/clunky ... but certainly fun.

In addition, out of the box, about half of the time, it would send the fired cases into my forehead ... which required me to do a bit of work on the extractor (IIRC).

Even with the increase in the market prices since I bought it for ~$300, I would still not pay much more than that for another new HC MiniMax.

Whenever I need a .45ACP Fix I always grab one of my 1911s or Variants ... now that I am thinking about it again, I will have to remember to take the MiniMax with me sometime soon on a walk around the farm. :)

June 10, 2013, 07:52 PM
Is that a typo?
Unfortunately NOT!

Thanks The rest of you. Kind of already came to that conclusion. But its nice to have confirmation! I said I was being generous to give $570 in trade value. I think he's pricing his mags at $50 each but I saw some on eBay for $15!

I have pretty much planned on walking away. I don't really need it but I also don't really need this lawn tractor I have as well!

Thanks for confirming the info.

June 10, 2013, 08:16 PM
The MiniMax is like the Officer's size. Like others have said, it's hit or miss but the Max series was pretty decent as it was the last gasp of the employees who tried to make a go of it before their last hoorah.

If you can shoot it and it puts 2 mags full downrange with decent accuracy, it's worth about $350-$375. Add another $25 for each mag and the holster and ammo are a throw in. So, it's worth about $400 in trade if it can shoot reliably and accurately. Anything more and he's trying to pull one over on you.

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