Ignacio Zubillaga 9mm Largo Carbine
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This is an interesting old 9mm Largo carbine that I purchased at auction. It is a bolt action magazine fed iron sighted carbine in a straight style stock. From markings on the carbine I have deduced that it was manufactured by Ignacio Zubillaga in Eibar some time around 1930 and brought into this country sometime prior to 1968. I have found mention of this type of carbine in two old articles and interestingly enough, both mention that the magazine is missing on the specimen examined; there was no magazine with this carbine either. Here are the notes that I was able to take before leaving for a one year overseas assignment.

When 9mm Largo ammunition was hard to find in quantity shooters regularly fired other cartridges such as the 9mm Luger, 9mm Steyr, 9mm Browning Long, etc in their 9mm Largo firearms. Many dealers and distributors also claimed the firearms would fire all of these and more. This however is not a prudent practice to engage in. The Destroyer Carbine, like all firearms using straight walled cartridges, headspaces on the mouth of the cartridge. When a cartridge shorter than the 23mm of the 9mm Largo is used, the cartridge case cannot headspace against the end of the chamber. This leaves only the extractor to hold the cartridge case against the breechface allowing the firing pin to impact the primer. This causes excessive wear and stress on the extractor, too much freebore (the distance from the bullet to the beginning of the rifling), and scoring of the chamber walls. The result of these abnormalities can result in broken/misshapen extractors, poor accuracy, and the inability to chamber and extract correct size cases.

The use of cartridges that produce too much chamber pressure is also discouraged. Yes, the .38 Super and 9x23mm Winchester will chamber in most 9mm Largo firearms, and if they will chamber they will fire. The metallurgy and design of the Destroyer Carbine was not developed to handle the pressure of these rounds. Use of these type cartridges in the Destroyer Carbine risks damage to the carbine and possibly yourself through a ruptured chamber and/or bolt lug failure.

Ammunition in 9mm Largo is now available from a number of sources. Surplus ammunition is now coming into the country in shootable quantities and is available at some gunshops, many gunshows, and via mailorder. Factory new 9mm Largo ammunition is being made by CCI in their Blazer line (product number 3513) with a 124g Gold Dot Hollow Point bullet. If you reload; RCBS makes dies in 9mm Largo (product number 56665), these are not a normally stocked item and require special order. You can also utilize 9x23mm Winchester dies to reload 9mm Largo, the exterior case dimensions are almost identical. Starline also produces virgin 9mm Largo brass for reloading. Gone are the days of manufacturing cases out of .223 Remington (done that, not fun), 9mm Winchester Magnum (done that, much easier) or other cases.

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An advertisement from the 1958 issue of Golden State Arms World's Guns and Other Weapons.





Right Side
of Carbine


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