View Full Version : Here's a challenge

September 3, 2002, 05:31 PM
Guy in another forum is looking for information (pics, articles, etc.) in relation to Mr. Obregon, the inventor of the Mexican pistol called the Obregon 11.43(?), circa 1938.


September 3, 2002, 05:36 PM
Here's the link to the forum if you'd like to answer directly.

Spanish speaker.

September 3, 2002, 11:47 PM
Only Obregon of note that I know of was General in the Mexican Army, President from 1920-1924, elected again in 1928 but asasinated before taking office in 1928.

Unless the asker has dates muggled, doesn't work. Could be named after the General ?


September 4, 2002, 02:05 PM
Just doing google searches gets me Pistola Sistema Obregon in .45. It is notable because of a rotary barrel locking system.

That's all I can find.


Jeff Cooper mentions it somewhere saying that it is similar in design to a Beretta.

A blue book link said that it was manufactured in and after WWII, leaving about 1000 samples. Slide marked "Sistema Obregon Cal 11.35mm".

Values range from $1700-4700.

September 5, 2002, 11:01 AM
An older edition (6th edition) of the Standard Catalog of Firearms has a short writeup;
Mexico City, Mexico
This is a .45 caliber semiautomatic pistol with a 5" barrel. Similar to the Colt M1911A1 but with a combination side and safety latch on the left side of the frame. The breech is locked by rotating the barrel, instead of the Browning swinging link. Ths unusual locking system results in a tubular front end appearance to the pistol. Originally designed for the Mexican military it was not adopted as such and only about 1000 pistols were produced and sold commercially. The pistol is 8.5" overall and weighs about 40 ozs. The magazine holds seven cartridges.'

Yes, the article says "...with a combination side and..." Don't know if it meant to say slide or not.

September 5, 2002, 02:43 PM
Wild guess at this point.
Methinks it was named after the then deceased General/President Obregon. As are many other things including a town in the state of Sonora.


daniel (australia)
September 6, 2002, 10:23 AM

This is the official Mexican pistol, 11.43mm, the .45 Colt Auto caliber, and a well made arm. It's a bit simpler than the Colt 1911, with fewer parts and a different locking system. The barrel breech doesn't swing down as in the Colt, but rotates after the first opening movement, when locked to the slide, so that its two big lugs on top swing out of alignment with the cuts in the top of the slide. This does necessitate an unlocking cam on the bottom of the barrel, which hardly simplifies barrel manufacture.

The slide is smooth and flat, as on the Colt, but abruptly tapered on the sides, not the same width full-length. After the last shot the slide stays open.

The Steyr-Hahn 9mm auto of 1911 had a somewhat similar rotating barrel design. However it was loaded from the top, with a clip, instead of using detachable magazines. The Savage 1906 .45 candidate for US adoption also had a rotating barrel lock..."

"Pistols, A Modern Encyclopedia", Henry M Stebbins, 1961, p. 157.

September 6, 2002, 11:29 AM
A prime example of why second sourcing is a must, and often not enough.


James K
September 7, 2002, 12:46 AM
Hi, guys,

Excerpted from Mexican Military Arms, by James B. Hughes, Jr.:

On July 5(!), 1934, Sr. Alejandro Obregon of Mexico City was granted Mexican patent 35,053 for improvements in autoloading firearms. He received U.S. patent 2,115,041 on April 26, 1938, for the same design.

The pistol, Sistema Obregon, was put into production at the Mexican National Arms Factory. The Obregon pistol resembles the M1911A1 Colt externally but is of different internal structure. It has fewer parts and is simpler in construction than the Colt. Production was limited. [Production quantity not given, but another source says 1000.]

The locking design, together with the slide stop-safety is very different from the Colt product. In the Obregon, the barrel rotates to lock and unlock; there is no vertical movement as in the Colt design.

The slide stop also functions as the manual safety [one lever] and serves to compress the recoil spring in field stripping the piece. The slide stop/safety replaces several parts in the Colt design.

As made by the Mexican National Arms Factory, the pistol is blue with checkered walnut grips.

Caliber is .45 ACP; the guns are actually marked 11.25mm, the metric designation.

Slides are marked "FABRICA NACIONAL DE ARMAS, MEXICO, D.F." on the right and "Sistema Obregon"/"Calibre 11.35" on the left.

End of excerpt.

The slide is rounded from the muzzle to about 2 1/2 inches back, when it becomes flat. It does not resemble any Beretta except in the most general way (they are both auto pistols) and I have no idea how Cooper or anyone else could say that. It doesn't resemble the Steyr M1911 except in the rotating barrel; the lugs are not even in the same position and, of course, the Steyr does not have the slide stop/safety.

The Obregon is unique, and appears to be quite a good design. I have no idea why it failed, except that Mexican arms laws probably prevented many civilian sales and the military was happy with the Colt pistols obtained from the U.S. It was never adopted by the Mexican armed forces, though Sr. Obregon probably had hopes of adoption. Production at the government factory may have been for military trials, though I have seen nothing specific saying so. The two examples I have seen are well made and fitted, but pretty well used. Current value is probably at least $5000 in top condition.

With its rotating barrel doing away with the link and vertical barrel movement, it would seem to have excellent accuracy potential and could have a place in the current market if anyone was willing to finance the tooling.

(Whether Sr. Alejandro Obregon was related to the late president I don't know, but the gun was certainly named for him, not for any other person of that name, which is not too uncommon in Mexico.)


September 7, 2002, 11:13 AM
Great digging Jim.

Thank you.