The Argentine Ballester-Molina is a 1911-type handgun made from 1938 to 1953. The Ballester-Molina was used by British SOE commandos operating in occupied France and the British 8th Army in North Africa during World War II. The serial numbers on those guns begin with "B"; this is not one of those collector items.

According to, the Ballester-Molina for sale here was made between 1938 - 1942.

The barrel the magazines are interchangeable with the 1911.

The major differences are that

  • the Ballester-Molina lacks the 1911's grip safety. Depending on your pointof view, this is either a liability or a feature. In an interview with Soldier of Fortune (December 1991), Jeff Cooper stated that "I don't depress the grip safety properly all the time, so I pin mine shut." The Detonics Combat Master had the grip safety pinned shut by the manufacturer.
  • The trigger pivots instead of pulls straight back. The trigger pull on this gun is very crisp.
  • The back-strap is integral, instead of removable.

Therefore, flat mainspring housings and upswept beavertail grip-safeties are not an option, unless you're a machinist.

Disassembly and operation is the same as the 1911.

The original sights have been replaced with a Novak 14-kt gold bead in the front, and a Novak Ghost Rear sight. The gold-bead on the front picks up light from all angles, making it highly visible under almost all lighting conditions. The wide opening of the Ghost rear sight allow for quick aiming at close distances.

I had the original serrated grips replaced with checkered grips from Grips4U. Note that the placement of the screws is not identical to the 1911, so 1911 grips will not fit without major modification. I was not aware of this when I had my gunsmith install 1911 grip bushings -- I'm not sure what I was thinking at the time -- so Ballester grips require enlarging the screw holes slightly for this gun.

Condition is good. The gun was arsenal refinished, and there is some light-pitting on the slide. Serial numbers on the frame, slide, and barrel all match.

In the pictures below, you'll notice that there is piece of skateboard tape on the front of the grip. This is a common and inexpensive way to prevent a pistol from shifting in the hand.