Pistola PRESSIN: Llama’s Sneaky Self-Defense Weapon

Developed in 1978 and produced by Llama until 1995, the Pressin was a two-shot derringer made to be disguised as a pair of glasses. It was intended for use by politicians, military officers, and other potential victims of kidnapping by groups like the ETA. A total of about 900 were made, most of which were deactivated and sold on the Spanish civilian market after Llama’s bankruptcy. It held two rounds of a special 7.65mm E cartridge, which was a rimless .32 ACP with a case cut down to 15mm. It was loaded to a higher pressure than normal .32ACP, firing a 5 gram (77 grain) bullet at 250 m/s (820fps).

.32 ACP (left) and 7.65mm E (right)

29 Comments

  1. “Oh dear, I can’t read your list of demands too well, do you mind if I get my reading glasses?”
    “Just read the list, you overstuffed turnip!” Bang!!
    “Rule 4 of holding nervous politicians hostage: never do your job solo, fool!” Bang!!

    • 2 Bangs. It fires both barrels when you squeeze the trigger. Ian demonstrated in the video that it’s Possible to fire them separately, but only with good “Trigger” control squeezing a knurled lever through a vinyl “Glasses” case.

  2. Totally useless yet I want one. You’re right, ian. Wounding one of your ETA kidnappers probably wouldn’t be the best idea, and it wasn’t like you were going to wait until you were alone with one of them, whack him/her, take their real weapon and escape. I don’t think any of the politicians who might have carried one as a status symbol would have suddenly turned into meat eaters when faced with a kidnapping.

    I also love the idea of Reagan dropping one in his vest pocket riding the ranch in Santa Barbera.

  3. Since the cartridge is simply the 7.65 x 17SR Browning reduced in length to 15mm, reloading for this little surprise package wouldn’t be that difficult. Power-wise, you’ll end up with something in about the range of the old .32 S&W, with about an 85-grain bullet @ 700 f/s for 97 FPE.

    A better choice would have been the nearly as old 7.65mm Roth-Sauer, (7.65 x 13mm), with a .301 in bullet of 74 grains at 1,070 f/s for 190 FPE. not only was it even shorter in the case, but the standard .308 in 7.65mm bullet wouldn’t fit the bore.

    In fact, it might just cause a pressure peak that would blow the weapon up in the shooter’s hand, turning it into a sort of fragmentation bomb.

    Nice boobytrap for ETA, actually.

    cheers

    eon

  4. Can’t be aimed, can’t be reloaded, you get two chances. Obviously this was a contact weapon to be aimed at brain, spine, heart or kidney by users with no particular great physical strength. Pop a guard, or hold one hostage, take the guard’s weapon, and get out, or as portrayed in one thriller I read, use the gun you have in the car that’s driving you away. I would question the assertion that all the holders would be ignorant of firearms — didn’t Spain have universal conscription? A certain number of potential kidnap victims would be veterans, retired army officers, hunters, etc. I couldn’t guess how one would practice with one — slaughtering hogs on the farm?

    I confidently predict that this weapon will show up in a work of fiction by next year, thanks to this site.

    • It showed up in one of John Gardner’s James Bond novels in the 1990s, and a little later in the Q Manual weapon catalog supplement for the James Bond 007 Role Playing Game from West End Games.

      The RPG listed it as +1 to initiative (i.e., small, fast-pointing, fast to “draw”), -2 to aiming (no actual usable sights), and doing damage equivalent to a .25 ACP (due to the special cartridge being less powerful than the standard 7.65 x 17SR Browning).

      Q (Major Boothroyd) defined it as a good weapon for the adverse party to use, as their chances of hitting anything with it weren’t even as good as a .25 ACP pocket automatic. He felt it would take a marksman of 007’s expertise to use it effectively.

      Reportedly, Commander Bond wasn’t interested.

      😉

      cheers

      eon

    • No problem. They were coming after Llama, Star, Astra and other small gun manufacturers from the beginning. Being all of them settled in Basque Country, you could bet that they were surely overprotected, both the facilities and their staff. And I would not mess with any gun manufacturer, specially if I were a member of a not really brave and daring group like ETA. Just in case.
      A basque steel industry entrepreneur, Luis Olarra Ugartemendia, acted like ETA but in reverse: sent to the group´s political arm a list of “objetives” related to ETA, a copy of a bank receipt with a around 2 million $ worth deposit, and a letter telling that a select group of “professionals” from Marseille would be hired to fulfill the objectives if he, any of his relatives, his employees, or his facilities were disturbed. He was left unmolested until his death by disease. Very Mel Gibson´s Ransom-esque.

  5. What is the big deal about conceal-ability? A derringer would likely be far more effective, obtainable, and is roughly just as small. In fact, an American Derringer lightweight in .38 is only 220g.

  6. Basically spanish “version” of PSM.
    Off-technical(and bit sad one…) note, Blair(E. A. – not that scumbag T.) once wrote: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

  7. Better than no weapon. I doubt its utility, but in the right circumstance, it would be a surprise to the aggressing party. I find it almost comical to have a front bead. To me this “pistol” is a contact weapon similar to a knife or stun gun. Limited by two rounds. Cool idea, but quite impractical. I wonder how a 9mm or 45 acp would feel to squeeze?

    • A more practical idea would be one in a smaller but more emphatic caliber. For instance, .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire. Not only would a .22 Magnum hollow point do more damage(for instance, fired into the assailant’s face at point-blank; see “Ken Rex McElroy, Skidmore, MS”), the loud BANG of it going off would affect the assailant and any cohorts he might have much like a “flash-bang” stun grenade.

      cheers

      eon

  8. As Ian says, the PRESSIN design was an answer to that period practice of Spanish terrorist organizations, ETA (Basque separatist) and GRAPO (extreme left communists), the kidnapping of high ranking military officer, civil servants, politicians and tycoons (to impose conditions to the government or ask for ransom). I presume that perhaps an actual event served as inspiration for designer, when the businessman and politician Gómez Franqueira deceived his captors, took a revolver hidden in his closet and shot the commando leader, causing terrorist escape. Really terrorist tended to run away when there is any problem, they never show a heroic behavior, so perhaps it could work, but it had clear imitations. First it must be a cover weapon, so surprise was paramount, but in those days a Spanish magazine published an article about it, probably to enhance selling, so future kidnappers could know it. Secondly potential targets were old or middle aged men that hadn’t the skills nor cold blood to use it (knowledge of firearms of average Spaniard was scarce), they were not James Bond, and high ranking military officer, probably the only group with any possibility of success, were not the main target of kidnapping (I remember only one case), they were usually victims of murder by ETA (with magnetic bombs or machine gunned).

    Finally say that the case resembles a myopia or close-up glasses of regular type of the period (but not the usual sun-glasses one), fairly adequate for an old or middle aged politician or businessman.

  9. The gun was initially designated “PRESSING”, but as that name was already registered, the “G” was dropped. The already printed ammo boxes for it were modified with a marking pen, with a point covering the “G”, and another point before the “P” “for aesthetical symmetry”.

    Undoubtfully, this gun was ment to be carried in the hand discreetly during the most likely situations for a kidnapping to happen in everyday life (sadly) back then in Spain. One can be pointing blank at an armed kidnapper without him /her noticing anything wrong at the initial confusing assault phase. Bad guys can even get a victim into a car at gunpoint without worrying about the “sight glasses” carried in the hand…

    More about it (in spanish):
    https://www.armas.es/armas-y-accesorios/arma-corta/30111-pistola-llama-pressin-historia-de-una-pequena-gran-arma

  10. These devices are often carried by members of the diplomatic/foreign service
    corps of a lot of nations. They were made primarily in the common .32ACP chambering, albeit with unusual projectiles.
    The low number given for official production is just obfuscation.

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