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Old February 7, 2016, 12:17 AM   #1
DougO83
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Ballester Molina

I have a Ballester Molina 1911 (pics to come) and I have noticed some slight pitting on the slide. I don't think it is an issue now, but it probably would be in the future.

Is it possible to replace that slide with a standard 1911 slide?

Thanks!
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Old February 7, 2016, 01:31 AM   #2
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It won't be an issue in the future if you oil it.
I don't believe the slides are interchangeable, and I'm too lazy to drag mine out to try it.
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Old February 7, 2016, 02:34 AM   #3
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Quote:
I have a Ballester Molina 1911
Not to sound pedantic, but no, you don't. The Ballester-Molina model 1937 is not a 1911, nor even a clone of the 1911, it bears more in common with the Star Model B pistol. A 1911 slide will not fit on it.

The Ballester-Molina model 1937 pistol was intended to be a more economical version of the model 1927 pistol, which was a licensed version of the 1911A1. It was designed by Hispano-Suiza in Spain and sold to Argentina through a political deal. It is a scaled-up version of the Star Model B designed to use the same magazines as the Model 1927 (1911A1) already in use by the Argentine army, but other than that it has very few parts in common.

To the inexperienced, it looks kinda almost like a 1911, but an experienced person can spot one easily. I had a gentleman bring a pistol in wrapped in a shop rag that he picked up at an estate sale believing it to be a 1911. I saw literally only a small area of the pistol and told him it was not a 1911.

So, for your pistol, the best way to get it to take a 1911 slide using as many BM parts as possible is to remove the magazine and put it into a 1911 and go on from there.
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Old February 7, 2016, 04:22 AM   #4
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Ah, those old Spanish pistols. Don't you just love all those hand fitted parts?
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Old February 7, 2016, 01:44 PM   #5
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Ballesters are not Spanish, they are Argentine. They have few hand-fitted parts.
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Old February 7, 2016, 02:41 PM   #6
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I bought a beat up Ballester Molina in the mid-70s. Because of feeding problems it was dirt cheap and looked like an interesting and fun project. Fortunately, USGI mags and a 1911 recoil spring solved the problem, it fed hardball just fine, as well as my Colt Series '70 Government Model.

I wouldn't worry about minor pitting of the slide. Mine sure had plenty of cosmetic issues and wear.

I really liked that beat up rattletrap! Don't have it any more but I do have one Argentine pistol, a FM Hi-Power which happens to be a true FN licensed version.

Last edited by Quentin2; February 7, 2016 at 02:47 PM.
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Old February 7, 2016, 07:36 PM   #7
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FWIW, the B-M and its Spanish ancestors actually have a better safety system than the Browning designed Model 1911, and the pinned trigger is not as susceptible to problems with a light trigger as is the 1911. They also eliminated the grip safety, a relic of the horse cavalry days.

Jim
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Old February 9, 2016, 08:27 PM   #8
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Now what was that all about?

Back to the original question. I examined the two pistols closely. The first answer is no, a 1911 slide will not fit the B-M, at least as a "drop in" part. But I think with some machining it could be made to fit.

As a practical matter, the B-M is a pretty rugged gun and the chances of having a problem with the slide (slight pitting would not be a reason to replace the slide, in any case) are remote.

They are two different guns, close but not the same; both will give long and satisfactory service.

Jim
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Old February 10, 2016, 08:13 PM   #9
DougO83
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Yea, James, I checked it against a friend's Kimber and it looks a little off. Bummer.

I guess I'll buy another pistola and retire this one to stay on the safe side.
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Old February 10, 2016, 08:19 PM   #10
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Shoot it. The one I had was very accurate, and fed 100% with any load I tried.
It was by far a better made gun than some of the 1911's I've owned. Solid steel.
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Old February 11, 2016, 01:19 AM   #11
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Why in the world would you think a little rust would make the pistol unsafe?
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Old February 11, 2016, 03:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
I checked it against a friend's Kimber and it looks a little off.
Which one? The Kimber?

The only gripe I ever had about the Ballester-Moliina (and all the other pinned trigger Stars) is the trigger tends to pinch my short fat finger as it travels in its arc.

Ironically though, it's one gun I have always intended to get and never did. Somehow, it always stayed on the back burner. Oh, well; Ya snooze, ya lose.
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Old February 11, 2016, 11:38 AM   #13
DougO83
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Bill,

It's not just a little rust, in my opinion. It's pitted. Since that affects the integrity of steel in general, I was curious and a little concerned. I wish I could get the pictures to load. I'll have to take some more later.
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Old February 11, 2016, 05:14 PM   #14
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To damage the integrity of the slide, the pitting would have to be to a depth of half the thickness of the metal, be over a wide area (maybe a 1/2 inch circle), and in a high stress area.

A slide eaten away to half its thickness in the area of the locking lugs would be questionable. Frankly, I have never seen any rusting that extensive in a functioning gun, only in "dug" relics.

Jim
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