A little more historical firearm information courtesy of Forgotten Weapons. Next up is the Plus Ultra, a larger version of the earlier Ruby manufactured by Llama. Llama was a Spanish company the full name of which was Llama-Gabilondo y Cia SA (originally Gabilondo y Urresti). The company was founded in 1904 in Basque Country, Spain. After decades of business they began experiencing financial difficulties, eventually going bankrupt in 1992. Despite attempts to save some semblance of Llama on the part of its employees, its run came to a close in 2005.
The Ruby was one of Llama’s earliest pistols. Its design was inspired by Browning’s Model 1903 and chambered in .32 ACP. The French government ended up being interested in The Ruby due in part to their being a bit hard-up for small arms in the early part of World War I. The French ordered 10,000 pistols per month, a number they soon increased to 30,000 and then 50,000. Llama ended up contracting with almost 50 other companies to attempt to meet the French contract’s stipulations.
The Ruby Plus Ultra did not come along until 1928 and was meant to be an improved, larger version of the original Ruby. It was also chambered in 32 ACP and came with a 22-round double stack magazine. There were various versions offered including an extended 140mm barrel model and one with select fire capabilities. Records show the latter was actually favored by and sold to a number of Chinese warlords and Japanese pilots. Those particular sales were made through private purchases at military-supply type stores. The Plus Ultra was only manufactured for a short time and is a fairly rare find today.
Take a look at Ian’s video for a better look at the Plus Ultra. Why do you think this gun was popular in many foreign countries despite its small caliber?