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

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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

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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 […]

RIA: Star Model 1920

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The Model 1920 was Star’s first locked-breech pistol, basically a combination of features from the Colt 1911 and their traditional Eiber blowback .32 pistols. It was tested by the Spanish Army in 1920, with inconclusive results. The Guardia Civil, however, found it to be suitable and adopted it after those tests. Only 3850 were […]

RIA: Spanish “El Tigre” Winchester 92 Copy

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Spain was historically a major center of patent infringement in firearms manufacture because its patent law left open a big loophole: patents were only enforceable if the patent holder actually manufactured their guns in Spain. The major European and American firearms manufacturers were not interested in setting up plants in Spain, and so their […]

French Marine Commandos with CETME Rifles

Wolfgang Riess, one of the Commandos who used these CETMEs, later to work as an H&K weapons technician

Wolfgang Riess, one of the Commandos who used these CETMEs – later to work as an H&K weapons technician. This story comes from his notes.

I was doing some reading up on the early roller-delayed rifles (in Blake Stevens’ exquisitely technical and detailed book Full Circle: A Treatise on Roller Locking) and came across […]

Smill & Welson Spanish Counterfeit Revolver

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This revolver looks like it is a Smith & Wesson DA from the early 20th century, right down to the S&W grips. However, it is actually a Spanish Eibar-made copy, and you can tell when you take a close look at the patent markings atop the barrel. Instead of “Smith & Wesson, Springfield, Mass, USA”, […]