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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm leaning toward a Spanish Llama semi-auto 22lr. Mostly for target practice.
I see that they came in three models.

XV Airlight
XV Especial
XV Standard

Of the three models which one would hold up the best for medium to heavy use target practice?
Thank you.
 

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Depending on condition, all will serve you well.
They are very similar in mechanics.
The airlite is made from an alloy and is lighter. Harder to find and more expensive.
The Especial is machined better than the later models. The earliest models have hard to find recoil springs.
The later Especials up to the mid 70s have parts easier to find but the extractor is hard to find and tends to
fly off into orbit on certain guns.... not all, just some. The extractors can be found at Jack First in SD but they
are pressed on and don't seem to stay on. It's the design. If you have a good one, it can last a long time. If
you get one that had the extractor replaced (and then sold) you may have heartaches. I love my Especial. Hopefully
it is a good one but the only way to tell is shoot it a lot.
The latest made models (late 70s until the 90s) seem to be the most reliable, have a new extractor and seem to be
hardy. The machining is not as nice but they are still nice guns.

So, it really depends on how much you want to spend plus a flip of a coin on reliability. There are a lot of nice ones out there and chances are good you'll get one. Just go in with your eyes open. If you get a good one you will love it and never sell it.

They do prefer the hotter HV ammo to function the best. Use the RN ammo as the HP ammo is not as reliable in feeding and really serve no useful purpose. HV RN ammo and you're good to go.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Depending on condition, all will serve you well.
They are very similar in mechanics.
The airlite is made from an alloy and is lighter. Harder to find and more expensive.
The Especial is machined better than the later models. The earliest models have hard to find recoil springs.
The later Especials up to the mid 70s have parts easier to find but the extractor is hard to find and tends to
fly off into orbit on certain guns.... not all, just some. The extractors can be found at Jack First in SD but they
are pressed on and don't seem to stay on. It's the design. If you have a good one, it can last a long time. If
you get one that had the extractor replaced (and then sold) you may have heartaches. I love my Especial. Hopefully
it is a good one but the only way to tell is shoot it a lot.
The latest made models (late 70s until the 90s) seem to be the most reliable, have a new extractor and seem to be
hardy. The machining is not as nice but they are still nice guns.

So, it really depends on how much you want to spend plus a flip of a coin on reliability. There are a lot of nice ones out there and chances are good you'll get one. Just go in with your eyes open. If you get a good one you will love it and never sell it.

They do prefer the hotter HV ammo to function the best. Use the RN ammo as the HP ammo is not as reliable in feeding and really serve no useful purpose. HV RN ammo and you're good to go.
Thank you for the reply and sharing your knowledge, is there a way to date a late model Llama Especial .22lr from the markings on the pistol?
I'll take your advice and try to find a later made Especial hopefully in very good condition.
At your convenience what is the grip length from the bottom of the trigger guard to the bottom of the magazine?
Other than recoil springs, magazine springs and correct ejectors what would you recommend for spare parts?
I only have two Spanish pistols so far, a Star BM 9mm and a Star model m43 Firestar 9mm but they both run nicely and looking at adding another Spanish pistol to my collection.
Thank you.
 

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I measured the front grip strap and it was approx 2.25".
There is a date code/proof mark by the left trigger guard. This shows the year made. It is a Letter and a Number (except early models where it's just a letter). Here is a link for the conversion:

http://www.9mmlargo.com/year_codes.htm

The Especial was made until the mid 70's. It has 'Especial' stamped on the slide.
The thin extractor came about 1980 and was used until the 90s when they stopped making them.

For spare parts I'd have a few recoil springs (depending on how much you will shoot it. Maybe 1 for every 5000 rounds shot).
I'd also have 2 spare firing pins. These seem to break especially if they are dry fired (a big no-no).
IMO you can never have too many mags. There are some nice aftermarket mags out there that I own and love. I'm not aware
of spare mag springs but if they make new mags, someone has the springs. To date I haven't found a need for new mag springs but I have 10 mags so they don't get used a lot at one time.


Unless you detail strip after every time you use it or you tend to lose parts that's about all you'd need. They are pretty hardy
and a lot of fun. If you like the 1911 design, as I do, you will just love the Llama .22. If you just like shooting .22s then you may not get the satisfaction of a .22 target pistol. Don't fool yourself, it doesn't have a bull barrel and the barrel isn't 6" long. It's for fun and show and is a great conversion piece in the 1911 world.
 

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I'm glad to help.
This forum is full of great guys who help anybody that needs it.
This is probably the best forum on the net for good people helping others without the BS you usually see.

For a comparison, here's a picture on my Especial model from 1963. You can see the difference from the 2 pictures above in the finish and overall design. Same innerds, slightly more elegant outside.





I know ibMikey has some nice ones to share!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I'm glad to help.
This forum is full of great guys who help anybody that needs it.
This is probably the best forum on the net for good people helping others without the BS you usually see.

For a comparison, here's a picture on my Especial model from 1963. You can see the difference from the 2 pictures above in the finish and overall design. Same innerds, slightly more elegant outside.





I know ibMikey has some nice ones to share!
No doubt that's a fine looking pistol Larry. And your about this being a great forum with a bunch of good guys.
ibMikey helped me out with some springs and as I recall another member helped with a slide stop for my Star pistol.
This is a good place to be. Hopefully sooner than later I'll have a Llama .22 to share with everyone if things go well.
 

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Mikey, if you ever wish to post a picture or three, just email it to me and I'll get it up here for you.
Jake, you should have you parts soon. My only concern was the rear sight. Yours is an old model and the rear sight may differ a bit. It looked slightly different from mine. It may need some filing to fit. The size appeared to be similar but I didn't have a 40s slide to compare it to. Let me know how it works.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Mikey, if you ever wish to post a picture or three, just email it to me and I'll get it up here for you.
Jake, you should have you parts soon. My only concern was the rear sight. Yours is an old model and the rear sight may differ a bit. It looked slightly different from mine. It may need some filing to fit. The size appeared to be similar but I didn't have a 40s slide to compare it to. Let me know how it works.
Larry maybe there is another Jake on this forum, I have not ordered parts from you yet?
 
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