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Show some love for the South American Pistolas

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Mitch from LA, May 28, 2010.

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  1. Mitch from LA

    Mitch from LA Member

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    Recently I've read a negative comment or two about South American pistols. I say South American pistols need love too.

    If you've had good luck with one of these pistolas post the model and why you liked it.

    For me, my PT 1911 is my favorite shooter. Uber-reliable, more accurate than I am, pretty (in my eyes), and will always hold a special place for me as my first handgun.
     
  2. Onmilo

    Onmilo Member

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    Ahh, Taurus not so good to me.
    Strangely, Rossi made guns, not the Taurus/Rossi but the pre Taurus partnership Rossi's have been very good to me.

    Do Brazilian made Springfield Inc. 1911 pistols count towards this thread??

    I had a real early import Argentine made Military FN/Browning High Power clone that was quite excellent too.
     
  3. Indy_Tim

    Indy_Tim Member

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    We have 4 Bersa's in the house right now and all are great guns. There's 2 9mms (HC and UC), a 45UC and a 380. The larger framed Bersa's are patterned after the Walther P88 and are reliable, accurate and cheap. They have a lifetime warranty and are well regarded by the folks that own them.

    They are every bit as reliable as our Kimbers, Springfields and Walthers. Actually, they are more reliable than the above. I've had FTF issues with all the above with the exception of the Kimber, and have never had an issue with the Bersa 9mms.
    Tim
     
  4. RidgwayCO

    RidgwayCO Member

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    My Rossi 720 and Bersa Series 95 have both proven to be accurate and reliable, which is why I still have them. And my shooting buddy liked my Bersa so much that he insisted I sell him the extra Series 95 I had in the safe.

    And as far as "getting what you pay for in this world," my buddy has a Harley Davidson he bought for $16k that's in the shop all the time (he's probably spent another $16k in maintenance). While my 2003 Suzuki Volusia (purchased used in 2006 for $5k) just gets regular oil changes and has never let me down. I guess my experiences are unusual...
     
  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Guns that I own now and shoot great....

    Taurus M66 4" early 90s.357 magnum... unreal accurate, fantastic revolver.

    Taurus M66 3" late 80s .357 magnum....ditto

    Taurus M85SSUL, new in 1996....ditto and uber easy to carry to boot. One of my go to CCWs.

    Rossi M68 3"....if it had a S&W logo on it, I'd believe it was a M36. It's awesome, way above the fit and finish I'd seen on other interarms Rossis.

    Rossi M511 Sportsman .22 4" kit gun in stainless....Very accurate outdoor companion in the kit gun roll.

    Rossi M92 saddle ring carbine in .357 magnum....Accurate, reliable, versatile lever carbine for hunting anything from squirrel to hogs and just woods bumming.


    South American guns I've owned in the past....

    Rossi M971....Had the infamous firing pin breakage problems with this one, finally got one fitted by a smith and worked fine until I traded it. I took game with this one, was an outdoor companion.

    Rossi M88 2"....Was a good gun, shot well, not near the fit and finish of my older 68, was bought in around 1990. Got the Taurus 85 and felt I didn't need it anymore, so sold it.

    Rossi M511 Sportsman....Got stolen, why I bought the one I have now used. I just couldn't live without one of these little guns.

    None of these are "pistols", but I'm a revolver kinda guy. :D
     
  6. Mitch from LA

    Mitch from LA Member

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    Strangely, I've managed to avoid taking anything abrasive to my pistol thus far. I'm also curious as to why this swiss cheese steel is holding up so well for the legions of satisfied Bersa, Taurus, and Springfield owners.
     
  7. Mitch from LA

    Mitch from LA Member

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    Nothing wrong with that, my wife's a wheelgunner all the way.
     
  8. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Yeah, it was shovel heads in the late 70s that broke me of that belief years ago. If all you go by is cost of the product, heck, you're a sucker for a scam. :rolleyes: It was also HD that broke me of any tendency to wave the flag and "buy American". :rolleyes: I buy what works for me, thanks. Besides, HD doesn't make anything I really like and Buell went belly up for a reason.
     
  9. JR47

    JR47 Member

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    The reason why that poor-quality steel lasts so long is simple, it's "poor qualities" exist only in the minds of some. Funny, but the Brazilian military and police use these guns HARD, and they seem to last for them, as well.

    Several of the South American companies are ISO certified, and QC has improved markedly as a result.

    So, Taurus, is from Brazil, as is Imbel and Rossi. Argentina produced Bersa. Springfield Armory uses the Imbel frames and slides.

    South American gun-makers have been supplying arms to their military and police for over a century. Some have been under license from European or American companies, but the MATERIALS were produced locally. That's to include the steels.

    I've owned several Bersa handguns for going on 30 years, in .32 ACP and .22 lr. I've also managed to own over a dozen Taurus handguns, some for 30+ years, without incident. To me, that says a lot more about their reliability, endurance, and durability than third party horror stories.

    In my personal experience, I've had Colts, S&Ws, HKs, and Sigs fail in the first few rounds far more often than the South American guns.
     
  10. group17

    group17 Member

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    My Bersa hasn't suffered from the "documented problems" mentioned at all.
    If it ever does I can send it in or have them send me the free parts since it has a life time warranty. Not bad for a $200 South American gun.

    Any guns from the USA or Europe ever have recalls for "documented problems"?
    Just read the list at the top of the auto loaders threads.
     
  11. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    No, they're not. You get what you are issued, which is a Beretta 92FS, unless you are in some special operations type unit, who carry whatever the hell they please, the Coast Guard, who carry Sig 229s in .40, and some Air Force personnel like pilots who carry Sig 228s.
     
  12. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    Yeah ... my FAL was issued originally in the 60's and it was issued to me in the 90's.

    Still fired and fed and ejected even full auto.
     
  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    The Mak is a bit big for pocket carry. I much prefer my Polish Radom P64. No warranty, though, and parts availability might be a bit iffy. I did manage to find a couple more magazines for it which some had said was tough to do. It also required a spring kit from Wolff and I have a set of Marschel grips on it now which are an improvement. I'm not sure you'd have to go through all that with a Bersa and they seem to be quite good. I do like the little P64, though, nice little weapon and I like 9x18's price and availability better than .380 if nothing else. :D
     
  14. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Replaced the 24 lb hammer spring with a 19 and it's good with Brown Bear, Silver Bear, and Monarch and with my reloads built from a Lee 105 (advertised as 95, but weighs 105) grain round nose lead in front of 3.2 grains of Bullseye and a Winchester SP primer. I've been trimming 9x19 brass. But, the Monarch is 10 bucks a box of 50 at Academy and shoots great, so that's mostly what I've fired down the pipe. I carry Silver Bear 94 grain JHP in it. Wish they still offered the 115 grain stuff. I've never bought a box of Wolf in this caliber.

    Just got my Marschel walnut grips for this gun, today, and they are NICE! Feel better, look better, and only 50 bucks, worth every penny.
     
  15. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    And, I'd heard the Iraqis had gotten Ruger P95s. I've heard the .45 is coming back. I've heard the military is going to replace the M16/M4s in Afghanistan with M14s. I've heard all sorts of stuff about the "foreign contingency plan" (or whatever the hell our communist government is calling it now) over seas. I don't know what to believe anymore. :rolleyes:
     
  16. NG VI

    NG VI Member

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    The Iraqi security forces use Glock 19s pretty extensively, I have also heard they have a bunch of Rugers and I think they (I know the Afghan forces do) also have a lot of Sigmas.

    But for the U.S. military to adopt a new pistol for mass distribution, well, there wouldn't be speculation, that would be major news in the DoD world and the civilian news world as well.

    I do know that the Servicemembers responsible for training the Iraqi forces use the same equipment, though that is a specific detail and not the same as general issue like you are describing.

    There may have been some wires crossed when seeing some trainers with their particular Iraqi-compatible pistol platform.
     
  17. JR47

    JR47 Member

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    Odd, I have a son-in-law, and a step-daughter, who are both Marines. He just came back from Afghanistan. Issue rifle was the M4, and issue pistol was the M9. There is no support for anything else, except the 1911 for the SOC units, only. No magazines, sights, springs, or other little bits. He wanted to take his personal SA XD, but was told in no uncertain terms that "issue was all there was".

    The PA-64 that I own is cute, but not at all well machined. I also own several different Makarovs, and Romanian, Soviet, Chinese, Yugoslavian, and Russian Toks. NONE of them are as well fitted, or finished, as the average South American gun. The best of the breed is an East German Makarov. Even then, it exhibits some peening in the slide fitment areas.

    Russian metallurgy, or Warsaw Pact metallurgy, is markedly inferior to that of the rest of the world, except maybe the Chinese. Instead of fine machining, and tight QC, they just make it heavier and thicker.

    FYI, the super-loaded 9x18, according to Thompson, wasn't introduced until the late 1980's. This would seemingly contradict the statement that the guns were designed around it. In fact, the ammunition was never meant to be fired in any of the Makarov variants, and can cause early, and catastrophic, failure.

    I have an IJ-7- Makarov that appears to be made of castings, so porous is the steel surface.
     
  18. Mitch from LA

    Mitch from LA Member

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    That's a whole lot of logic with actual evidence and research to back it up. You sure you're posting in the right thread?
     
  19. Oyeboten

    Oyeboten Member

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    I do not know anything about any of them other than knowing a little about some of the variations of the Colt Model 1911 and 1911-A1 which were produced in Argentia either under Licence from Colt, or, in unlicensed design versions.


    I do have one made in 1946 by 'HAFDASA' which was the then old Hispano Suiza Manufacturing Plant, or the Manufactory they built for making Automobiles and Trucks and Tractors which later made mostly Parts and other items, and also Firearms.


    These were very high quality Pistols, and are well thought of.

    I am very happy with the one I have.


    Image showing one which appears identical to mine -

    http://www.sightm1911.com/1911pix/historic/ballester-molina_2.jpg

    &

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hispano_Argentina_Fábrica_de_Automóviles
     
  20. postalnut25

    postalnut25 Member

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    " I got a kid in there and over there in the sand box. They are now letting our kids use Glocks if they qualify with them. "

    Doc,
    I agree with almost every post of yours that I've read. But that quote just isn't true. I'm in the sandbox right now. I have my M16A4 and my M9. Some of the high-speed guys have 1911s and the CID guys that are with us have Sigs. That's all I've seen here in uniform. The only Glocks I've seen here are with some of the civilian investigators and the FBI guys we occasionally work with.
     
  21. Nine Lives

    Nine Lives Member

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    Also chiming in from Afghanistan to say I've never seen a Glock besides with civilian security/federal agents.

    On topic, I have a bersa 380 which I got for very cheap, it shoots decently though is very snappy, it's not nearly as refined as my PPK. I gave it to my girlfriend before I deployed because the hospital she works at is in a terrible part of town. for the price they are great little pistols, not as elegant or as much detail in their engineering but you get what you pay for and it's always been reliable for me and hopefully will be for her too.
     
  22. Nine Lives

    Nine Lives Member

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    Sorry for double post
     
  23. jonmerritt

    jonmerritt Member.

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    Wow another thread that dumps on something that doesn't have enough $$$ in front of it's name. I love to take my crappy cheap (ugly) Hi-Point to the range, the Glockers sure look at it alot. I think they fear it, not enough $$$ in it's name. And they ask to try it out!!!
     
  24. JR47

    JR47 Member

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    Doc, your article says nothing about "sub-machinegun ammo", mentioning only the dearth of JHP choices in 9x18.

    It also mentions the lousy trigger pull of the PA-64, improved in the follow-on PA-83.

    There is also no mention of any "great Russian steel".

    Colt licensed production of the 1911A1 to the Argentines in the 1930s. The Ballester-Molina certainly had no metallurgical issues, nor did the HAFDASA, a follow-on design that simplified production. Both have been available as surplus in the past 20 years, and all of the examples that I've seen were equal to anything made in the USA.

    The IJ-70 is a commercial version of the Makarov. It differs in the addition of adjustable sights, making it importable as a new gun, under the GCA of 1968 criteria. It's made by a company that also produces the Russian Makarov on the same lines. If anything, commercial guns out of Russia tend to be BETTER fitted and finished than the military weapons.

    I rarely make blanket statements about manufacturers of guns. Especially when they have been successful for decades. The Brazilian Police, using Imbel and Taurus as issue firearms, are some of the most blooded LEOs in the world. They routinely run operations against para-military gangs using military-grade weaponry, and explosives. If their guns were so poorly made, they would have died en masse over the years. They haven't. Check SWAT Magazine for reviews on their training, operations, and weapons.
     
  25. armoredman

    armoredman Member

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    I am a CZ man, love the guns. I also have a little Taurus CIA titantium that rides in a pocket holster. It needed work when I got it, but works great now. Had a Taurus 357 20 years ago, used it as a trade in on the first Witness 40 that made it to America. Traded it only because I didn't have enough cash, not that there was anything wrong with the revolver.
    My stepdad had an OLD Taurus, the on where the cyclinder flutes had ridges. THAT was a pile of junk. We replaced that with a Smith Model 10.
    I have fired a Ballister-Rigaud and Ballister Molina, seemed to be very well made, albeit hard used guns, wouldn't mind owning one, but they are harder to come by nowadays.
    My $.02 on South American made firearms.
     
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