In the mid-thirties, the Spanish-Argentinean joint venture Hispano-Argentina Fábrica de Automóviles SA (HAFDASA), previously engaged exclusively in automotive topics, decided to try its hand in the field of small arms. A similar activity began with copying and refinement of the American Colt M1911 pistol. Soon, the designers of the company, headed by an engineer of French origin, Roris Rigau, began to develop their own projects, some of which offered the production of promising submachine guns.
General view of the submachine gun C-2. Photo Forum.valka.cz
According to some reports, work on the subject of pistols and machine guns started from the study and copying of one of the existing foreign samples. Having received little experience, the designers of HAFDASA began to develop their own project of a similar weapon. It was planned to use some ideas, peeped from foreign colleagues. At the same time, new solutions of one kind or another were proposed that would most noticeably enhance the basic characteristics of the weapon. For example, a high-capacity ammunition system was developed. In foreign projects, such funds appeared only after a few years.
The project of the first own submachine gun from HAFDASA received the working designation C-2. According to some sources, the letter “C” meant Criolla - “native” or “local”. The two, in turn, indicated the ordinal number of the project. As far as is known, the designation C-1 is left behind the previous copy of foreign weapons. Also, the HAFDASA line of weapons is known by the collective name Ballester-Rigaud. This title reflects the names of the chief designer Roris Rigot and the head of the enterprise-developer Arturo Ballester.
The project HAFDASA C-2 offered the manufacture of a compact submachine gun with sufficiently high firing characteristics and maximum ease of operation. It is interesting that within the framework of one project it was planned to develop two unified samples for different cartridges. The first version of the C-2 was supposed to use Parabelum 9x19 ammunition, the second - .45 ACP. Thus, the two submachine guns could be different trunks, shops and some features of automation, while the rest were almost the same.
The product C-2 in a certain way stood out against the background of other submachine guns of the time. Argentine engineers decided to reduce the size of the weapon to a minimum and due to this, to facilitate its operation. In this case, the traditional layout was used with the barrel carried forward, the lower magazine and the pistol grip of the fire control. At the same time, the weapons of the classic layout received unusual stamped aluminum fittings. Obviously, the automobile company chose to use already mastered technologies and do without wooden parts.
Regardless of the type of cartridge used, the HAFSADA submachine gun C-2 should have a rifled barrel with a length of 105 mm. When using the “Parabellum” cartridge, the relative length of the barrel was 11,6 caliber, in the case of the .45 ACP - 9,2 caliber. The barrel of the weapon looked like a pistol. It had a cylindrical outer surface with bulges at the barrel and breech. The front thickening served as the base of the front sight, and the rear one was intended for installation in the receiver.
As follows from the available data, all the main parts of the submachine gun were placed in the receiver, to a certain extent resembling units of rifles of that time. An upper tubular casing was used to install the shutter and other automation components. The trunk was fixed in front of it. Behind him, at the top right, there was a window for ejection of spent cartridges. On the left side of the slot was provided for the withdrawal of the bolt handle. The rear end was equipped with a cap mounted on the thread.
Dual magazine chambered for 9x19 mm "Pair". Photo Guns.com
From the bottom, a small width unit joined the tubular part of the receiver, which contained all the necessary parts, from the receiver of the stores to the trigger mechanism. In connection with the original proposals implemented in the ammunition system, the front of this part was characterized by an increased width.
Product HAFDASA C-2 received the most simple automation, based on the principle of free shutter. Behind the breech of the barrel inside the box was placed a cylindrical bolt, propped up by a reciprocating-combat spring. Two gates and a pair of springs were developed, the mass and characteristics of which corresponded to the power engineering of 9-mm and 11,43-mm cartridges. In the rear part of the bolt, it was necessary to install the control handle, which was placed on the right side of the weapon. This handle had a rigid connection with the bolt and moved when firing.
There are no exact details on the design of the firing mechanism, but there is reason to believe that the simplest system was used in the C-2 project. Submachine guns of that time for the most part fired from the open bolt, and a significant number of samples did not have a single firing mode. It is possible that the first sample from HAFDASA also had similar design features. Fire control was carried out using the trigger of a traditional design. The fuse-interpreter handle of the fire was on the left side of the weapon, behind the receiver. She could move back and forth.
Roris Rigo and his colleagues proposed an original ammunition system, which made it possible to obtain a remarkably large ammunition while maintaining acceptable dimensions of the weapon. In order to achieve the desired characteristics and capabilities, certain innovations had to be made both in the design of the shops and in their own devices of the submachine gun. This task was solved in a curious way, and all the products of the new line received interesting possibilities.
For storage and supply of cartridges it was proposed to use detachable box-shaped stores of special design. The store was distinguished by a large width, which allowed it to place two parallel rows of cartridges into it. Each of the rows was strictly vertical and serviced by its own spring-loaded pusher. The upper cut of the store was made in such a way that it formed a pair of separate feeding devices. In fact, the new store consisted of two separate devices made in the same package. On the front and rear walls of the store there were a couple of round projections interacting with the fastenings on the arms.
For two modifications of the submachine gun were created two types of shops. The sample for ammunition 9x19 mm contained 50 cartridges, 25 pieces in each row. The larger .45 ACP chucks required the use of an increased cross-section body. At the same height as in the case of the shop under “Parabellum”, the shop for .45 ACP contained 40 cartridges - two rows of 20 pieces.
HAFDASA stores for different types of cartridges. Photo Guns.com
The submachine gun, designed for an unusual shop, received non-standard receiving devices. At the bottom of the receiver, just behind the breech of the barrel, placed a rectangular receiver of increased width. Before him was a swinging lid with a hole for the front ledge of the store. In the absence of the latter, the lid closed the large receiver. The rear ledge of the store was placed in the hole of a separate plate located behind the receiver. In addition, a separate latch was provided for fixing the store in one of two operating positions.
Being installed in the receiver, the magazine could swing on an axis formed by the front and rear protrusions. This made it possible to use cartridges of one series and another in turn. To use one row, the magazine had to be rotated in a vertical plane and transferred to a working inclined position. According to some reports, the removal of the lower part of the store to the right allowed the left row of cartridges to be brought into position and vice versa. Having spent half the ammunition, the shooter had to open the lock and turn the magazine in a different direction, after which the supply of second-row cartridges began. Simultaneous filing of cartridges from two rows was not provided.
Submachine gun HAFDASA C-2 in a known configuration had the simplest aiming devices. On the muzzle of the trunk was placed a small fly. In the back of the receiver, directly in front of the lid, there was an unregulated rear sight. Such a sight allowed to fire at short distances, but could limit the real capabilities of the weapon. However, in the future, as the project developed, the submachine gun could get a more advanced sight.
The prototype of the C-2 submachine gun received very curious accessories, not quite typical for weapons of this class. The receiver together with all the devices was mounted on a stamped aluminum box of complex shape. The latter contained a significant part of the parts, above its upper cut there was only a small portion of the tubular housing of the receiver. Another interesting feature of the box was the shape of the side surfaces. Due to the presence of a wide receiver, designed for swinging stores, the side surface of the lodge consisted of four separate sections located at different levels. In the back of the wooden part there was a pistol grip, in front of which there was a trigger hook. It is curious that the protective bracket was made together with the box. You can imagine how much time and effort gunsmiths spent on making molds for stamping such fittings.
The new weapon was distinguished by its small size, which made it possible to simplify the means for carrying. It was proposed to fasten the belt on an in-loop ring placed on the pistol grip bottom. The second ring in front of the weapon was not used.
The C-2 submachine gun from Hispano-Argentina Fábrica de Automóviles SA was distinguished by its small size. The total length of the weapon, not equipped with a butt, was 300 mm with 105-mm barrel. The mass of the product did not exceed several kilograms. According to reports, the product with a free gate could show the rate of fire at the level of several hundred shots per minute. The initial speed of 9-mm bullets reached 360 m / s. A larger bullet cartridge .45 ACP showed similar characteristics. Provided effective fire at ranges up to 150-200 m.
The only known specimen of the C-2, now a museum exhibit. Photo Strangernn.livejournal.com
The line-up of its own submachine guns was created by HAFDASA in 1938. At the same time, prototypes of three types were tested, the results of which the weapon could be adopted by the army or the police. As far as is known, the weapons presented received ambiguous assessments. The compact sample C-2 could not interest the military and law enforcement, while the other two submachine guns soon became the subject of new orders.
However, according to some sources, the company-developer still released a small pre-production batch of new weapons. It consisted of no more than 35-40 products. What made this weapon, and who ordered it - is unknown. Perhaps, despite the well-known skepticism, potential buyers decided to check the proposed sample in the framework of trial operation. However, even the use of the received submachine guns did not have a noticeable effect on the opinion of the command. After the transfer of the pre-production lot, production was not resumed.
The further fate of most of the experimental and pre-production samples is unknown. Apparently, this weapon, not needed by potential customers and the manufacturer, later went to the smelter. Only one surviving sample is reliably known. Now this product, used, according to available data, the cartridge 9х19 mm, is stored in one of the Argentine museums. Among other things, this sample is interesting for its decoration. The aluminum box of the submachine gun was painted under the tree in brown and black tones. Submachine guns chambered for .45 ACP, apparently not preserved.
In the thirties of the last century, the Argentine command was studying the subject of submachine guns and was looking for a model suitable for adoption. The first project of H. Lenar did not interest the military, which is why the rearmament of the army was postponed indefinitely. A few years later, Hispano-Argentina Fábrica de Automóviles SA offered three promising samples at once. The compact submachine gun C-2 also did not interest potential customers and was released only by a small pre-production lot. Two other projects turned out to be more successful and were able to reach full operation in different structures.
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