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Origins of Obrea pistols?

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Re: Origins of Obrea pistols?

#16 Post by 72 usmc » Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:57 am

I could not find info on a .38 Largo cartridge in Cartridges of the world???? I did stumble onto this interesting post about the ammo & pistol. It seems to be a somewhat odd, rare, but inexpensiv revolver. https://www.gunpartscorp.com/forum/hand ... 574?page=3
This post has 3 pages of information. It makes me want to have an original cartridge for my collection. :think:

I am not sure how lucky one would have to be to actually find some at a gun/cartridge collectors show? Boxes look like this
77845919600236f293b7fc38720576e6-1.jpg
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Re: Origins of Obrea pistols?

#17 Post by S.B. » Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:08 pm

I take exceptions with posts of this nature where no usernames are used or always list the username as the websitebut, if you trust them, go for it?
Steve

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Re: Origins of Obrea pistols?

#18 Post by indy1919a4 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:50 pm

72 usmc wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 9:57 am
I could not find info on a .38 Largo cartridge in Cartridges of the world???? I did stumble onto this interesting post about the ammo & pistol. It seems to be a somewhat odd, rare, but inexpensiv revolver. https://www.gunpartscorp.com/forum/hand ... 574?page=3
This post has 3 pages of information. It makes me want to have an original cartridge for my collection. :think:

I am not sure how lucky one would have to be to actually find some at a gun/cartridge collectors show? Boxes look like this

77845919600236f293b7fc38720576e6-1.jpg
Hey many thanks for that yeoman bit of research work.. I can just about say with certainty, I never walked past those on a table... My eye would have caught the colors.. Love the boxes.. Now of course have read all over the place the that the rounds are Black Powder,, and they may be.. But I like how the box say "no corrosivo" so that tells me they were putting non corrosive primers on black powder rounds??? seems strange.. Many thanks for the photo.. you made my day.

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Re: Origins of Obrea pistols?

#19 Post by indy1919a4 » Wed Jul 18, 2018 2:51 pm

S.B. wrote:
Wed Jul 18, 2018 12:08 pm
I take exceptions with posts of this nature where no usernames are used or always list the username as the websitebut, if you trust them, go for it?
Steve
Sometimes you have to take what you can get and then build on from there... One step at a time..

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Re: Origins of Obrea pistols?

#20 Post by RWS » Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:41 am

I've had a few of these over the years. Never had to pay more than $60 for one and not sure they are worth more than that. A bunch of Spanish firms manufactured copies of the S&W M&P in the 1920's but by the 1930's the herd had been thinned down to where most revolvers you see were made by Garate & Antiua, Orbea & Cia (or Hermanos Orbea), orTracacola.

.38 Largo is .38 Long (Colt), which uses a case almost identical to .38 Special. .38 Special will not blow up a Spanish revolver but it will stress it significantly and the revolver will soon become unusable on a steady diet of .38 Special. Best to use a .38 Special Cowboy Action load. Something like 3.0 grains of Trail Boss behind a 148 grain lead HBWC should keep you at or under 12,000 psi, which is about the same pressure as a BP load. Don't expect stellar accuracy from these revolvers though.

I have a single, mostly bad photo of the last Spanish revolver I owned, which is an Orbea Hermanos. I paid $45 for it at a gun show without any grips and it did not function, but the culprit was just dried oil with mung & drool. I disassembled it and cleaned it thoroughly, after which it functioned perfectly with the above Trail Boss load. I had an old set of Pachmayr Presentation grips that fit with a few gaps but it worked fine.
Spanish S&W M&P.jpg


I showed it to my next door neighbor who was so taken with it that he asked to buy it after I let him shoot it so I let him have it for $50. He still has it and it's his nightstand gun, even though I've cautioned him to get something better to stake his life on.

At present I only have one Spanish revolver remaining in inventory. It's a Garate in .455 Webley that the British ordered to issue to non-combat troops in WW1 and given the moniker of "Substitute Standard" but it probably pre-dates Steve's revolver.
Spanish .455_B.JPG
-Bob
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Re: Origins of Obrea pistols?

#21 Post by indy1919a4 » Fri Jul 20, 2018 3:52 pm

There was an Obrea sell on Gunbroker in the 130 Range with active bidding W/reserve

https://www.gunbroker.com/item/771705741

But he had listed this before and it did not reach the reserve and only got up to 95 dollars. I do not think these are loved very much :(

I love the look of your Garate, That Smith & wesson design is just so darn nice,, Looks almost as
good as a Webley

I would Say awesome RWS.. But you already know you knocked it out of the ballpark,,, :)

Hey did you ever run across any 38 Largo ammo???

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Re: Origins of Obrea pistols?

#22 Post by RWS » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:31 am

Can't say that I have ever run across any .38 Largo ammo, but I know from experience using their .380 and .38 Special ammo (which use the same red-and-white boxes) that all that Santa Barbara ammo is Berdan primed. Since the .38 Largo case is dimensionally identical to .38 Special I either handload down to black powder pressures or make specialized cases per the next paragraph. Much cheaper. I never shot my Spanish revolvers much anyway because they are somewhat fragile and I have a bunch of .38 Special revolvers that I can shoot with impunity.

I do have a few S&W and Colt .38 Long revolvers though. Years ago I started taking .38 Special cases with split mouths and trimming them down to .38 S&W length, then loading them with 148 grain HBWC bullets and a light powder charge suitable for cast-iron breaktop frames (think early Iver-Johnsons). Velocity is only about 550 fps but they work well enough at 25 yards with paper targets or tin cans and I don't have to worry about over-stressing the old revolvers. Plus, with all the handloads I have laying around the uniqueness of the case helps me to NOT use .38 Special ammo in my .38 Long revolvers. And... the old .38 Special cases get another life in a new caliber. Win-win.

-Bob

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Re: Origins of Obrea pistols?

#23 Post by 72 usmc » Sat Jul 21, 2018 11:02 am

Thanks for this great info. RWS is one on the forum that really knows his pistols and revolvers. The wizard has spoken.
To old to fight and to old to run, a Jar head will just shoot and be done with you.

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Re: Origins of Obrea pistols?

#24 Post by RWS » Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:42 am

I usually ask people to hold their applause and just throw money instead. But thanks for the kind words. Lotsa good people on this forum.

However, I think I did Steve a disservice by getting a bit off-topic. By now though it should be evident that he has an Orbea copy of a S&W M&P revolver made in Eibar, a city in the Basque region of Spain that is designed for .38 Colt ammunition. I'm not surprised that the .38 Largo cartridge designation cannot be found in Cartridges of the World because it is simply a casual Spanish renaming of .38 (Long) Colt. All the information you need is under that latter designation.

Santa Barbara has made both .38 Largo and .38 Special ammo and IMHO you should never use their .38 Special ammo in the old Spanish S&W copies because it feels close to +P recoil when you shoot it. I bought a couple of cases of the SB .38 Spl ammo when Century Arms put it on sale years ago for 10 cents per round. I liked it so much that I subsequently bought some Santa Barbara .380 acp ammo that promptly broke my Kel-Tec P-380 after 12 rounds. Too hot for the little pistols.

Back when I was still a machinist I used to fit oversize parts to revolvers and pistols by careful filing. To Steve's inquiry about fitting a S&W Model 10 crane and cylinder to an Orbea revolver I can only say I have never done it but I am confident that it can be done with sufficient patience. Much easier if the part is oversized and can be filed down to fit, but if undersized the only remedy is weld up parts and grind/file them to fit. From a practical standpoint the juice ain't worth the squeeze but for a hobbiest who enjoys a challenge then this one will be interesting to see what it takes to get to a functioning revolver.

Be advised, Steve, that if you receive a pre-war S&W Military & Police revolver crane and cylinder then the extractor rod will have conventional right-hand threads but if it's a true post-war Model 10 part then the extractor rod will have left-hand threads and will have be unscrewed clockwise (backwards). S&W made this change because the CCW rotation of the cylinder (from the shooter's viewpoint) could cause the old M&P extractors to unscrew and put the cylinder in a bind. I've had this happen to me a few times.

All I can say is be patient and good luck.

-Bob

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Re: Origins of Obrea pistols?

#25 Post by S.B. » Sun Jul 22, 2018 10:27 am

I'll spring for steaks and some Crown Royal(more, my way of saying thanks). The cylinder and crane finally arrive and all but, dropped into the pistol. Will try and fit these as time alows. Right now covered up with things to finish.
Thanks again, Steve

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