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Spanish 8×33 Mosqueton CB-51 Prototype (Video)


The Spanish military, like many others, was quite interested in developing a new semiautomatic or selective fire combat rifle after World War II. Franco’s political ties to Germany (combined with Spanish neutrality in the war) gave them unusually good access to German arms designs, and the Spanish experimented with several variations on the StG-44 […]

Early Ruby .45 ACP Pistol


The Spanish company Gabilondo y Urresti, later to become known as Llama, introduced this locked-breech .45 ACP copy of the Colt 1911 in 1924. It was not a slavish copy, however, and introduced a captive recoil spring which would be the inspiration for that feature in the Polish Vis-35 and many later pistols.

By […]

Weapons of the Spanish Civil War


The Spanish Civil War is a relatively un-remembered conflict here in the US, but it is a fascinating event for firearms enthusiasts because of the huge variety of arms used. Both sides were supplied by a variety of other sympathetic nations, including Germany, Italy, the Soviet Union, and Poland. The military aid supplies included both […]

Astra Model 900


The Astra 900 was a pistol developed to take advantage of a large Chinese demand for semiauto pistols with shoulder stocks, following on the massive sales of the Mauser C96 “Broomhandle” in that country. In the 1920s and 30s, civil war in China drove a huge market in arms, but international treaty had prohibited […]

Book Review: “Star Firearms” and “Astra Firearms” by Leonardo Antaris


Leonardo Antaris has written massive and excellent volumes on two of the major companies in the Spanish firearms industry, Star and Astra. Both of these companies made a wide range of military and commercial handguns, and Antaris’ book cover everything. They include historical context for the guns, details on many competitors to Star and […]

CETME-LC (the short one): Safety PSA


As you may or may not be aware, I recently built a semiauto CETME-LV rifle using a parts kit imported by Apex Gun Parts and an 80% flat from Hill & Mac Gunworks. Now, the LV model is identical to the standard CETME-L except for the rear sight block, which includes a STANAG optics mount […]

CETME-L History & Disassembly (Video)

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The CETME-L was Spain’s replacement for the CETME Modelo C, which was the 7.62x51mm rifle that was essentially adopted by Germany as the G3 in the 1950s. By the 1980s Spain needed to move to the new NATO standard caliber, 5.56x45mm. A domestic design was preferred, so rather than but HK-93 rifles from Germany […]

CETME-L Flats: HMG vs Prexis

Selector switch area from the other side (Prexis top, HMG bottom)

You may recall a while back I picked up a CETME-L flat from Prexis, because it was the only option available for building a CETME-L rifle. Well, there is now another option available.

Hill & Mac Gunworks made a run of completed CETME-L rifles, and is also now offering builders’ kits, with barrels, weldment blocks, […]

RIA – Spanish FR-8: the “Cetmeton”

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The FR-8 is a Spanish rifle manufactured in the 1950s as part of Spain’s adoption of the CETME semiautomatic rifles. Spain was not only moving to their first semiauto rifle, but also changing from 8mm Mauser to the new 7.62mm NATO. It was not possible to immediately equip everybody with the new rifles, so […]

RIA: Alkar Cartridge-Counting Pistol

Alkartasuna SA was a company formed in 1914 by a handful of disgruntled Astra (well, Astra was still called Esperanza y Unceta at that time) employees. This was a difficult time for the Eibar gun industry – demand was low, their reputation for quality was not good (the lack of a central proof house […]