Llama M87: Everything You Would Want for IPSC (at the time)

The Llama M87 was Gabilondo y Cia’s high-end competition pistols based on the M82 action, and made in both 9mm Parabellum and 7.65mm Parabellum. This was mechanically a copy of the Beretta 92 system, and it was adopted in basic form by the Spanish Army. For the commercial market, Gabilondo took all the upgrades that were being popularly made to IPSC competition pistols, and put them all in place as factory features for the M87. This included good adjustable sights, and excellent trigger, flared magazine well, single-action FCG with an ambidextrous slide-mounted safety and also a frame-mounted safety, extended barrel, and extended beavertail tang. This made for a very good pistol, but at a very high price ($1450 in the late 1980s). It never saw much commercial success, and the Assault Weapons Ban of 1994 finally killed it commercially, as its magazines could no longer be imported.


  1. Kudos to Beretta for making a similar “factory custom” 92 (but not a knockoff) for an identical price in non-inflated 2023 dollars!

  2. A couple of decades before that, the Star Super A in 9 x 23mm Largo had a number of features that later became common on competition-type custom 1911s;

    1. Loaded chamber indicator

    2. Full figure-8 barrel bushing

    3. Full-length recoil-spring guide rod

    4. National Match-type firing-pin safety

    5. Flared magazine well

    6. No grip safety

    7. High-profile fixed sights

    8. Chamber cut to headspace on case mouth, standard for the rimless 9mm Largo round but a custom feature on .38 Super Auto-chambered 1911 competition guns to increase accuracy.

    The Star Super B was the same except in 9 x 19mm. The difference was that the Super A made Major Caliber power factor qualification with standard 9 x 23mm service loads; the Super B required the heavy-loaded IPSC 9 x 19mm ammunition to “make Major”.

    I think if I’d been competing back then, instead of a hot-rodded Colt .38 Super, I’d have just used a stock Star Super A and pocketed the change.

    clear ether


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