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Thread: Mexican Colts

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    Default Mexican Colts

    Hello all. To kick-off my new membership on Gunboards I would like to ask a question of the Spanish pistol group. Can anyone tell me what company made the "Mexican Colts?" AKA "Rio Grande Colts", "South of the border Colts." And, I assume they were made in Mexico but don't actually know. Does anyone else? Just bought one and I'm not finding much information on the net about them.

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    Sir, Do you mean a Single action Army clone like the Colt model P or a 1911 type pistol? The 1911 type pistol made in Mexico was called the Obregon to the best of my knowledge. If Single Action Army revolver is what you mean you be better off having this thread moved or starting one on the Single Action forum, I don't see the connection here with Spanish pistols and Mexican ones.

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    I am a bit puzzled also - not a Spanish arm, so probably the single action forum. Or are you talking about a semi-auto?
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    Actually, as far as i have ever been able to discover, those "Mexican Colts" (term applied to SAA clones or near clones) are PROBABLY, mostly, of Spanish origin. At least that is the consensus of the reasonably knowledgeable folks I know who have examned specimens. But there just ain't no certainty. Markings, proofs, etc. are mostly lacking and workmanship varies from example to example. Plus many (most I have seen, in fact) are quite worn - indeed I'd describe them as abused in a lot of cases. That combination of factors makes it sort of hard to reach confident conclusions.

    I would suggest the Obregon is NOT a 1911-type pistol, though the frame bears great resemblence in outline (such things as grip angle, trigger-type, etc) and it is chambered in .45 ACP. The completely different locking arrangement (rotary lock, very similar to the Steyr-Hahn) take it out of "1911-type" classification to my way of thinking. No question of where these were made - National Armory in Mexico City. I lust for one. I'd also like to see a quality copy made and placed on the market.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

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    Hello,
    Yes, this wasn't exactly a pistol question but I thought someone here may have some info. being as there is the interest in Spanish firearms. Thanks to all who responded. P.S. the revolver is a copy of the 1878 Colt. Like the Phillipeans Colt.

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    Clyde, I knew of the Obregon but never realized it used a different mechanism. After looking at a couple of different books of mine I can see the difference with it's internals. I'm with you on that somebody should make a modern one, but I doubt it would happen. Also, up North here you don't get to see as many SAA type originals at shows etc. I saw one once at a show many years ago a SAA copy with a Bisley type grip that was very very rough as to have been built using hand tools. The seller was selling it as Mexican built by an unknown maker.

    TomEd, If you could post pictures of what you got, it would be interesting to see. I have a copy of an old Sears and Roebok catalog that is from the 1900's, it shows for sale a double action type gate loader revolver in 44-40 caliber, however looking at the grip it looks more Belgian made than Spanish.

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    Quote Originally Posted by d-square View Post
    Clyde, I knew of the Obregon but never realized it used a different mechanism. After looking at a couple of different books of mine I can see the difference with it's internals. I'm with you on that somebody should make a modern one, but I doubt it would happen. Also, up North here you don't get to see as many SAA type originals at shows etc. I saw one once at a show many years ago a SAA copy with a Bisley type grip that was very very rough as to have been built using hand tools. The seller was selling it as Mexican built by an unknown maker.

    TomEd, If you could post pictures of what you got, it would be interesting to see. I have a copy of an old Sears and Roebok catalog that is from the 1900's, it shows for sale a double action type gate loader revolver in 44-40 caliber, however looking at the grip it looks more Belgian made than Spanish.
    HAve the same opinion, but i still think it would be a neat thing and worth doing. Guess just have to settle for a Cougar.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde View Post
    HAve the same opinion, but i still think it would be a neat thing and worth doing. Guess just have to settle for a Cougar.
    Clyde, I was looking over the Inventory of Collectors Firearms on their website and they have an Obregon. Some pretty good photo's of the gun and holster, 5K is steep for me however. First one I've ever seen for sale and outside of books.

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    Quote Originally Posted by d-square View Post
    Clyde, I was looking over the Inventory of Collectors Firearms on their website and they have an Obregon. Some pretty good photo's of the gun and holster, 5K is steep for me however. First one I've ever seen for sale and outside of books.
    Saw the Obregon at Collector's. It has an original holster, even more rare. That was last week and I'm not sure it is still there but 5K is really not out of line for this particular weapon.

    It is in "well used" condition but I would never want one as a shooter.

    The Caranza Museum in Mexico City has a pristine new Obregon on display. They also have, or had, a Maxim machinegun on display, made in Mexico, and factory new. Of course I asked if I could borrow that one for a weekend "nada mas". For some reason they turned me down.

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    You are correct. The serial number has been altered; probably in the dim distant past. My guess is that it was signed out of inventory, sold and the seller didn't want to be connected to an illegal weapon in Mexico. He probably signed it out and it never came back. Things like that happen in Mexico.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WA9BYR View Post
    Saw the Obregon at Collector's. It has an original holster, even more rare. That was last week and I'm not sure it is still there but 5K is really not out of line for this particular weapon.

    It is in "well used" condition but I would never want one as a shooter.

    The Caranza Museum in Mexico City has a pristine new Obregon on display. They also have, or had, a Maxim machinegun on display, made in Mexico, and factory new. Of course I asked if I could borrow that one for a weekend "nada mas". For some reason they turned me down.
    No $5K with holster wouldn't be a bad price for an Obregon. just out (WELL out) of my budget.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

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    Quote Originally Posted by d-square View Post
    The old "borrow and don't return"
    The Museum sounds like it would be an interesting site. If I ever make it to Mexico City someday I would have to keep that one in mind.
    The museum is Museo Venustiano Carranza just behind the British Embassy. It's usually empty and full of great exhibits including the blood stained jacket Carranza was wearing when he was assassinated. Many cool firearms etc. Carranza was a president who left office in the usual Mexican early 20th century way; shot from ambush.

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    Quote Originally Posted by WA9BYR View Post
    You are correct. The serial number has been altered; probably in the dim distant past. My guess is that it was signed out of inventory, sold and the seller didn't want to be connected to an illegal weapon in Mexico. He probably signed it out and it never came back. Things like that happen in Mexico.
    Back around 1970 in the Army, I recall someone saying they had sent home a thumper (grenade launcher)...I guess things like that happen all over.


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    Quote Originally Posted by dogngun2 View Post
    Back around 1970 in the Army, I recall someone saying they had sent home a thumper (grenade launcher)...I guess things like that happen all over.


    mark
    They do indeed, despite attempts by the authroities to prevent it. I shall refrain from any discussion of how I know about that. Despite statutes of limitation having long since run.
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

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    When i visited the Carranza museum on Calle Rio Lerma last year there were no firearms on display. Is that new or had they just been taken away for maintenance? Plenty of historic photos that had guns in them, but no guns.

    I did enjoy Don Venustiano's collection of swords, especially the one given him by the Emperor of Japan.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clyde View Post
    They do indeed, despite attempts by the authroities to prevent it. I shall refrain from any discussion of how I know about that. Despite statutes of limitation having long since run.
    Indeed. I was speaking from memory and at my age, memory plays tricks....

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2520wcf View Post
    When i visited the Carranza museum on Calle Rio Lerma last year there were no firearms on display. Is that new or had they just been taken away for maintenance? Plenty of historic photos that had guns in them, but no guns.

    I did enjoy Don Venustiano's collection of swords, especially the one given him by the Emperor of Japan.
    Mexican museums are all connected and from time to time move exhibits from one location to another. The weapons were on the second floor of an out building.
    Chapultapec Castle and Museum has the most reliable weapon display.

    Just curious, did you stay at Casa Gonzalez? It's right around the corner on Rio Sena, very secure and reasonable. Not really a hotel but an old mansion.

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    For what it's worth, my research indicates that there were five private firearms factories in Mexico during 1903. Any one could have made unlicensed copies of Colt Single Actions. They were: Daniel V. Garcia of Guadalajara, Jalisco and C. Morell, Quintana Hermanos, Arsenio Combaluzier, and Korff, Honsberg y Cia. all of Mexico City (D.F.).

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    Quote Originally Posted by jim7x57 View Post
    For what it's worth, my research indicates that there were five private firearms factories in Mexico during 1903. Any one could have made unlicensed copies of Colt Single Actions. They were: Daniel V. Garcia of Guadalajara, Jalisco and C. Morell, Quintana Hermanos, Arsenio Combaluzier, and Korff, Honsberg y Cia. all of Mexico City (D.F.).
    Interesting. May need to discuss that idea of the "Mexican Colts" being primarily of Spanish origin further. Be nice to have documented examples of the Mexican factories' production to compare with some of the Mexican Colts to see if there are similarities.
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    WA9BYR, we always stay at the Maria Cristina right down the street from the Carranza Museum. It's cheap (like me) and has some "auld lang syne" value for me: one of my grandfathers stayed there when it was new and he was working for "Old Man Diaz." I find the service just right and most of the people who stay there are Mexican business travelers who are excellent company if you are a tourist but don't want to be around tourists all the time. I like that neighborhood (Cuauhtemoc); easy to get around and good restaurants fairly close down in the "grownup" part of the Zona Rosa.

    Shhhh; don't tell anybody that the DF is as safe as most big cities anywhere and a heck of a lot more interesting....they might start showing up and raise the prices!

    Clyde, I was one of the gringo vultures who mined northern Mexico for SAAs in the early 1960s. Saw quite a few "Mexican Colts". Many were SAA look-alikes that had DA lockwork and were clearly either of Spanish or Belgian manufacture (I saw both). Nearly identical guns were sold in the Sears or Wards (can't remember which) catalogs for years. Many were about 80% the size of an SAA and in .38 Long Colt cal. I remember some marked "Cowboy" in English.

    Some were virtually unmarked, of very crude workmanship, and single action. A few of them had genyoowine Colt parts (mostly cylinders) grafted onto unmarked rough frames. I always assumed some genius blacksmith in some town made those; there were and are some remarkable craftsmen down there. But I never knew more about them; too focused on the "money guns."

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    Here a some photos on the Obregon Pistol.
    Designed by Alejandro Obregon in 1934.
    2 Pounds / 7 Ounces.
    7 rounds magazine + 1 round in Chamber
    0.45 ACP Caliber.
    Total Length: 8.5"
    Total Barrel Lenght: 5"
    US Patent: 2 115 041

    Only 1,000 units of this pistol were manufactured by the Mexican National Arms Factory.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Obregon Pistol.jpg   Obregon Pistol 1.jpg  

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    If I remember correctly ( and it has been awhile since I read the article ) Mexico did indeed purchase a number of Spanish ( Eibar ) revolvers. I just can't remember if they were S&W copies or Colt copies. It seems that they were S&W type. ADDED Mexican contract guns, made by Obera Hermanos, copies of the S&W Russian model. Unable to find out how many were shiped or used. 44 caliber , marked with a Sunburst and RM. Howver I beleve the poster was talking about the Colt SA copies ( I think? ? )
    Last edited by Ron J; 01-31-2013 at 08:44 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2520wcf View Post
    WA9BYR, we always stay at the Maria Cristina right down the street from the Carranza Museum. It's cheap (like me) and has some "auld lang syne" value for me: one of my grandfathers stayed there when it was new and he was working for "Old Man Diaz." I find the service just right and most of the people who stay there are Mexican business travelers who are excellent company if you are a tourist but don't want to be around tourists all the time. I like that neighborhood (Cuauhtemoc); easy to get around and good restaurants fairly close down in the "grownup" part of the Zona Rosa.

    Shhhh; don't tell anybody that the DF is as safe as most big cities anywhere and a heck of a lot more interesting....they might start showing up and raise the prices!

    Clyde, I was one of the gringo vultures who mined northern Mexico for SAAs in the early 1960s. Saw quite a few "Mexican Colts". Many were SAA look-alikes that had DA lockwork and were clearly either of Spanish or Belgian manufacture (I saw both). Nearly identical guns were sold in the Sears or Wards (can't remember which) catalogs for years. Many were about 80% the size of an SAA and in .38 Long Colt cal. I remember some marked "Cowboy" in English.

    Some were virtually unmarked, of very crude workmanship, and single action. A few of them had genyoowine Colt parts (mostly cylinders) grafted onto unmarked rough frames. I always assumed some genius blacksmith in some town made those; there were and are some remarkable craftsmen down there. But I never knew more about them; too focused on the "money guns."
    That's very interesting. Aren't you sorry you didn't get a few of those and bring them home now?
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

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    Yeah, Clyde, I do wish I had a good specimen of one of those "Mexican Colts"! But I passed on many interesting firearms while buying down there, including Lugers,Mauser pistols, S&W Russian Models--I was using my boss's money, carta de permiso, and vehicle, and followed his orders. And his orders were: SAAs only. He made a lotta money off that; I had a hell of a good time....

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2520wcf View Post
    Yeah, Clyde, I do wish I had a good specimen of one of those "Mexican Colts"! But I passed on many interesting firearms while buying down there, including Lugers,Mauser pistols, S&W Russian Models--I was using my boss's money, carta de permiso, and vehicle, and followed his orders. And his orders were: SAAs only. He made a lotta money off that; I had a hell of a good time....
    You do what you gotta do. if he'd only known, he'd have had you grab at lest those S&W Russians and Lugers, for sure. As well as the SAAs. Of course if any of us had only known...
    Absent comrades (sound of breaking glass)

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