View Full Version : Stosel handguns?

May 1, 2002, 07:19 AM
Recently I dropped by my favorite local gunshop and checked out what was new. The manager has the excellent habit of attending estate sales and finding interesting guns at reasonable prices.

His latest find was a "Stosel Model 1915" in .32 caliber. This appears to be a copy of Colt's Model 1903 Pocket Hammerless. Other than an estimated worth of $150, we were perplexed at the lack of information on the Stosel. I checked all my reference works at home and did the usual web search, but not much seems to be available.

My guess is that it is one of the many Spanish-made small-caliber handguns popular in the between-wars period. Other than that, I'm at a loss.

Now, of course, I'm curious. Any information gratefully received.

May 1, 2002, 10:16 AM
Per The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Handguns by A.B.Zhuk Stossels were made by Retolaza Hermanos of Eibar.
Though it doesn't show this specific model, it does show that company's imitation of the 6.35 mm 1906 Browning and 7.65 mm imitations of the 1906 Browning.
This was one of the Spanish firms that built inexpensive copies of more well-known guns early in the 20th century, guns such as Colts and Smiths.

James K
May 1, 2002, 10:18 PM
While Spanish handguns varied in quality, and one could have quite a collection at little expense, I would say that a Spanish handgun of that period is worth closer to $15 than $150.

Almost all were made of cast iron and are barely (if that) up to the low powered rounds they are chambered for. So, unless you just want a novelty (which may even work for a while), or unless the price is reduced a lot, I would pass.


May 1, 2002, 10:58 PM
What Jim said .....plus...

If ever a part is needed for one, it will likely have to be fabricated and fitted.

Parts interchangability on even recent Spanish guns is nearly nil.


May 2, 2002, 12:44 PM
Thanks, I had suspected as much.

I wonder if anyone has ever written a book on the many Spanish factories turning out knock-offs of Colt and FN/Browning designs? It seems like every gun show I attend I spot a pocket pistol obviously patterned after the 1903 - 1908 patterns and stamped with curious names or devices. Of the reference works I have at home, the number of those factories has been described variously as "many" or "dozens" in the Eibar region alone.

An interesting sidenote in the history of firearms, not to mention the parallel to today's legal debate over copyright and intellectual property. Wonder if all those factories got permission to copy those designs?

Thanks again,

James K
May 2, 2002, 03:28 PM
There is at least one book on Spanish handguns, but I don't have a copy and can't comment on whether it covers the odd-wads or not.

As to getting licenses to copy other guns, surely, sir, you jest!


4V50 Gary
May 2, 2002, 03:48 PM
With the exception of some of the better made Spanish Arms, the best book on early Spanish handguns is the Scrap Metal Dealers Handbook.