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  #1  
Old 03-23-2020, 10:08 PM
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dsk dsk is offline
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Llama in before the lock!

Two weekends ago I paid for this little cutie, as it looked up at me with big sad eyes and whimpered at me to take it home. Unfortunately thanks to new laws in WA I had to do the two-week waiting period, and with all the news going around I was starting to get concerned that our lovely governor would shut down gun stores for awhile. Well, I got the call from the LGS today that I received a "proceed" a few days early, and I shot over there after work to pick it up. Just in the nick of time too, because this evening the Governor issued a "stay at home order" that affects gun dealers since they're not listed as "essential businesses".

Anyway, I got it cleaned up and will try it out soon, assuming sneaking into the woods for a half-hour qualifies as a legitimate exercise safe from the sanitation police. It's a Llama .22 pistol made around 1983 or so, and it's quite literally a miniature 1911. It comes apart almost just like a 1911, and all controls are in the familiar locations. It appears to have been stored for a long time and rarely if ever fired, but the storage method caused a couple of minor rust spots to form. I took it completely apart and oiled it, and I have a set of wood grips on the way as well. Hopefully it'll run as well as it looks.



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  #2  
Old 03-23-2020, 10:12 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Great shape.
Post 1968 with import point boosting adjustable sight and thumbrest grips.
Trigger serrated, too?
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2020, 10:20 PM
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Yup, the trigger is serrated. I can live with the rear sight and the slide rib, but those fugly "target" grips are going to have to go.
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2020, 09:40 AM
TRSOtto TRSOtto is offline
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Every Llama I ever saw looked like it's been drug down the highway for about 10 miles. That's an exceptional piece. Nice score!!!
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2020, 10:11 AM
Plantar5 Plantar5 is offline
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Very nice. ‘Kool’ looking little pistola.
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2020, 10:50 AM
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Grandpas50AE Grandpas50AE is offline
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Very nice acquisition dsk! That is one of the few Llama's I've seen in many years in really nice condition, so congrats on finding it!
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2020, 01:41 PM
mk70ss mk70ss is online now
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I had one of those back in the day. Other than some fairly sharp edges around it, it was a great little gun.
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Last edited by mk70ss; 03-25-2020 at 06:08 AM.
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2020, 01:58 PM
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I can't get over how rust is so common on these Spanish handguns, both Star and Llama. Not only did mine have a couple small spots of rust, but the mags had rust all over them and virtually all the ones I've seen for sale online (both guns and mags) were rusty. Both the gun and mags cleaned up okay, but geez... either the people who owned these things never heard of gun oil or Spanish steel has next to no chromium or nickel content.
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2020, 02:18 PM
hub1home hub1home is offline
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Yup, the trigger is serrated. I can live with the rear sight and the slide rib, but those fugly "target" grips are going to have to go.
I think that gun is sleek and beautiful as is. Nice find!
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2020, 03:40 PM
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I zeroed in on it simply because it's a blued steel .22 pistol, something of a rarity these days. I dislike alloy and polymer .22s, functional as they may be.
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  #11  
Old 03-24-2020, 09:57 PM
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Okay, got some quick trigger time right after work, using CCI Mini-Mags. From the get-go they refused to chamber, as if they were too tight. After some struggling I was able to get them to chamber, but then I found out that I was having the issue with every single round. The pistol ended up being a single-shot as it would cycle but not chamber the next cartridge. I came home and cleaned out the barrel really good, and once done test-fit the Mini-Mags in the chamber. Still too tight! So I grabbed some Federal ammo, and they plopped right in. So this thing has a really tight chamber. I'll try it out again in the next day or so with the Federals and see how it works. Other than that it seems to be a handy little pistol, but it's going to be very picky about what ammo I feed it.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #12  
Old 03-24-2020, 10:54 PM
bowlegged bowlegged is offline
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Is reaming the chamber out of the question??

I bet it wouldn't take much to free it up
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  #13  
Old 03-24-2020, 10:55 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is offline
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Kind of like those "minimum match chamber" .45s; really undersize.
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  #14  
Old 03-25-2020, 08:34 AM
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I'll bet older Mini-Mags would've worked. The problem was the thick wax they smear all over their bullets these days. CCI Blazers might work fine since they have a plain lead, un-waxed bullet, but there's no chance finding any of those for sale right now.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #15  
Old 03-25-2020, 07:21 PM
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Okay, Day Two...

Went out with some Federal bulk high-velocity ammo as well as some Herters "target" loads that just showed up today. All chambered just fine. However the Herters was too weak and nearly every spent case failed to extract. The Federal was much better, allowing for the fact that several rounds were weak and caused malfunctions. But overall reliability was 90%. Not great, but it shows with proper high-velocity ammo it'll run. One of the two mags I have was defective as most of my malfunctions happened with it, including the slide both locking back prematurely and not locking back at all after the last shot. With the other mag slide lockback was fine. Accuracy appears to be pretty good, but it shoots a couple inches above point of aim at the 7-10 yard distance I was shooting. Other than that though it's extremely fun to shoot, when it's working right.

Once the latest ammo shortage is over I'll have to try out some other high-velocity loads and see what it actually likes. I'm guessing it'll run with either CCI Blazer or Remington Golden Bullets, since those have better QC than most of the bulk ammo that's out there. I'm really disappointed with the CCI Mini-Mags though, considering they're waxed up so much that they won't even chamber. If it wasn't for that problem I'm certain this little pistol would run nearly 100% with those, since even my Jennings J-22 runs like a top with Mini-Mags or Blazer.

So anyway, it's a fun gun and looks like an interesting project to see if I can get it running perfectly, but I think I can see what folks were saying about these being so hit or miss and also why Llama kept making one design change after another to the small parts. The basic concept of the pistol is sound, but it has to have strong ammo to cycle that steel slide reliably. Unfortunately with the tight chamber it's not safe to run Stingers or other hyper-velocity ammo so it's hamstrung by the lackluster quality of .22 ammo that's available these days.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.

Last edited by dsk; 03-25-2020 at 07:24 PM.
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  #16  
Old 03-26-2020, 04:51 AM
glider glider is online now
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If memory serves, they made one chambered in 380 also.
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  #17  
Old 03-26-2020, 10:53 AM
12Bravo 12Bravo is offline
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If memory serves, they made one chambered in 380 also.
Yes they did. I have one in 380 and it's a fun little gun to shoot.
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  #18  
Old 03-26-2020, 11:55 AM
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Yeah, it makes me almost want a .380 as well. Maybe they're also less fussy with ammo.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #19  
Old 03-26-2020, 05:37 PM
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My replacement walnut grips arrived today. They look a lot better than the plastic thumbrest ones, but I'm not sure they actually feel better. One interesting observation, the plastic grips actually had steel inserts in them, presumably to help bring the pistol's weight up and gain additional import points.

Pictured below it's American uncle for comparison:

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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.

Last edited by dsk; 03-26-2020 at 11:11 PM.
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  #20  
Old 03-28-2020, 11:12 PM
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More shooting today, again with Federal ammo. I'm slowly de-bugging it, and now got both mags to run well. My only issues now are premature slide lock and the fact that the cheap bulk ammo won't always cycle the action, causing failures to eject. Unfortunately until the current panic subsides I won't have the opportunity to experiment with different loads. When it runs though it is extremely fun to shoot, and now it's got me interested in possibly picking up a Browning 1911-22 at some point.

For spare mags I may have to settle for the Triple K ones. My past experience with their magazines has been negative, but the factory originals are nearly impossible to find, especially ones that don't have rust all over them.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #21  
Old 03-29-2020, 08:18 AM
US1911 US1911 is offline
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When it runs though it is extremely fun to shoot, and now it's got me interested in possibly picking up a Browning 1911-22 at some point.
Thatís a handsome little pistol. I too wouldn't have been able to resist purchasing it either.

The Browning 1911-22ís are fantastic mini 1911ís. The three in the first pic have slightly different attributes. After shooting all three, Iíve only got hammer bit by the compact in the middle. But, thereís a couple minor adjustments that can be made to avoid it.

1) Use thinner grips. The wood grips that came with the pistol are thicker than the g10, but I dig the looks of the wood.
2) Swap in a flat MSH.

No such hammer bite issues with the Standard size mini (the plastic grips on that are thinner than the wood grips). No hammer bite from the railed Compact either (has flat MSH].

All three run without issues using a variety of standard and subsonic ammo. I did a few mods to the railed pistol - trigger and grip swap and re-contoured the trigger guard, because the square guard didnít meet my vision.

Snag one D, youíll have allot of fun with it.
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  #22  
Old 03-29-2020, 03:25 PM
Sistema1927 Sistema1927 is offline
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I had the .380 version, back in the 1970's. Great little pistol, it never failed to do what it was designed for. I can't for the life of me remember how, when, or why I got rid of it.

(Who knows, it may still be lurking at the back of one of the safes. )
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  #23  
Old 03-29-2020, 04:34 PM
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I saw some of the .380 versions for sale on GB last night, but at around $400 for a long out of production gun with no spare parts, mags or support I'll pass. As it is I'm on my own with this thing, and I'm trying to think of ways to modify the sights so I can get it to shoot to point of aim. I'm also wondering how I can ream or polish the chamber so it'll feed more brands of ammo. I checked with Numrich and virtually all their spare parts are out of stock, and the few which are still available show pictures of some old rusty junk part which isn't an encouraging sign.
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Avoid the temptation to replace everything on your brand-new 1911 just to make it "better". Know what you're changing out and why. You may spend a lot of money fixing things that weren't broken to begin with. Shoot at least 500 rounds through it first, then decide what you don't like and want to improve. Regarding vintage 1911s, pre-1970 pistols are highly collectible in original, unaltered condition and should NEVER be refinished or modified as it completely ruins their monetary value.
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  #24  
Old 03-29-2020, 06:28 PM
GT40DOC GT40DOC is offline
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If memory serves, they made one chambered in 380 also.

Yes they did, and I own two of them. They are the older version, and run 100%
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  #25  
Old 03-29-2020, 11:09 PM
Im41911 Im41911 is offline
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I had one in 32acp. Should have kept it as it was a fun, reliable shooter.
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