Llama Firearms - Omni and Spanish Military Competition

Omni and Spanish Military Competition

In the late 1970s, the Spanish military began modernizing their handguns. The extensive trials continued into the 1980s and Llama-Gabilondo proposed first, the Omni series, and then later a new model, the M-82. Both entries were radical departures from their normal products and used the latest technology.

The first Omni dispensed with the Browning 1911-style swinging link in favour of the Browning 1935-type fixed cam to lock the breech. Apart from the method of locking the breech, other features of the pistol were highly innovative. Three new magazine designs were tried. Omni I was a .45 ACP pistol with a single stack 7-round magazine. Omni II was a 9 mm parabellum pistol with a single stack 9-round magazine. Omni III was a 9 mm parabellum pistol with a double stack 13-round magazine, however the first five rounds fed into the action in a single column to reduce the likelihood of jamming. Another feature was the two-piece ball-jointed firing pin, which was designed to never break. Additionally the Omni had dual sear bars for improved trigger pull; a trigger safety; finger-contoured trigger guard and a decocking manual safety lever. The wealth of features meant the Omni was an expensive pistol to make compared to previous models, and together with its radical appearance, this discouraged commercial sales. Production of the Omni therefore ceased in 1986.

Despite the Omni's lack of success, it was used as the point of departure for the military M-82 design. While the appearance of the pistol remained the same, the mechanism was completely changed and numerous features copied from the Beretta M-92 including the locking mechanism, the trigger mechanism and the number of rounds (15) in the magazine. However, the open-topped slide of the Beretta was rejected in favour of a traditional closed slide with ejection port. An extractor-mounted loaded chamber indicator, reversible magazine release and ambidextrous safety levers were also included. Military models had a magazine safety, but this could be removed on request for commercial customers. The M-82 began production in 1986 and was adopted by the Spanish forces in 1987 as Modelo M-82 Doble Accion. Commercial models experience difficulties feeding some brands of hollowpoint ammunition, and unsurprisingly, best reliability is achieved with NATO specification ball ammunition.

The Llama M-87 was introduced in 1986. This was a high-grade competition pistol based on M-82 with extended barrel, compensator, muzzle weight, target sights, target trigger, additional manual safety, extended magazine release, extended safety levers, beveled magazine well, and two-tone finish (chrome with blued slide). Despite the high price, (Retail $US1,450) the M-87 was greeted with excellent reviews on release. However the glowing reviews were unable to overcome distrust of so many innovations on such an expensive gun.

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