Leaders in Machine Pistols: the Beistigui Hermanos MM31

Leaders in Machine Pistols: the Beistigui Hermanos MM31

Beistigui Hermanos is probably the least known of the Spanish machine pistol manufacturers, despite being the first to actually make such pistols. Beistigui was founded in 1910 in Eibar, and was one of the initial subcontractors chosen to make Ruby pistols for the French military during World War One. The discovered a substantial market for C96 Broomhandle type pistols in China during the 1920s, and introduced their own similar looking pistol in 1926 – the Model H.

This pistol was popular, but Beistigui realized that a fully automatic version would probably be much more desirable – and they were right. They introduced such a machine pistol in 1927 or 1928, and sold 22,000 of them in China by the end of 1929. These early pistol still used the same 10-round fixed magazine as the Mauser C96, however, and were seriously limited in practicality as a result.

In 1930, Beistigui introduced an improved version of the gun as the MM31 – the Modelo Military 1931. Despite being a C96 Mauser lookalike (and deliberately trying to make Chinese customers confuse it with actual Mausers), it was a legitimately very good gun, and included a number of improvements over the Mauser. A 20-round fixed magazine version was quickly introduced, followed by a detachable magazine version, to address the issues inherent to a gun with a 10-round magazine and a 900 round/minute rate of fire. Shortly after Beistigui introduced they detachable magazine gun, Mauser began to sell the Schnellfeuer. In an excellent marketing decision, Beistigui changed their guns to use copies of the Mauser magazine, allowing interchangeability with the most respected and desirable model of the pistol in China. The gun we are looking at today is one of these last pattern MM31 machine pistols, using Mauser magazines.

By the mid 1930s, the market for these guns had pretty much collapsed. In Spain, the abdication of the king in 1931 and growing civil unrest led to much increased government regulation of arms manufacture and the Japanese invasion of China limited the ability of Japanese traders to bring the guns to Chinese markets. Beistigui made one last unsuccessful effort to market a Broomhandle type gun (the MM34) to the Spanish Guardia Civil, and then transitioned to manufacturing bicycles instead of guns.


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Readers Comments (50)

  1. Want that wall.

  2. Beistigui Hermanos needed to meet Los Pollos Hermanos – a guns and chickens store would have been FASCINATING.

  3. be i st tee g(hard g)ee not gwee rest of your spanish is on point

  4. What is the difference between a machine pistol and a compact sub-machine gun?

  5. A guy named Léo Mutombo is spamming a video link in the reply section of comments.I haven’t seen it but its probably self promotion.

  6. *they

  7. "BeistEgui" Hermanos and Modelo "Militar" 1931.

  8. Not a peep about caliber! I figure it was either 9mm or 7.62×25. although, the Chinese seemed to like 45ACP. I’d take any of them!

  9. Knockoffs being imported to China, never thought I’d hear that.

  10. Han Solo approves.

  11. Boredoutofmywits November 25, 2020 @ 7:27 pm

    I had a BH (Beistigui Hermanos ) bycicle growing up. My first. I lean how to rice in it.

  12. Mauser magazines, the Glock magazines of the early ’30’s.

  13. We sell Beistigui
    I want an iPhone
    We sell Beistigui
    Okay, iPhone

  14. Hi !! Spanish here,
    Tiny little thing: Bestigui is pronounced something like "bestighi"
    Great videos btw !! I love your channel
    *flies away*

  15. How much is the RE4 merchant selling this for?

  16. Mauser c96, chinese type 17, and now this one. I badly want one of these style pistols, but they are all so expensive. I wish a company would produce some modern remakes.

  17. Francisco Meléndez November 25, 2020 @ 7:36 pm


  18. The’ Basques’ were defeated by Carlistas who were committed anti- marxist Catholic Monarchists. To defeat the scum communists they lost their own independence under Franco. Thank you USA and England for back stabbing us

  19. Beistegui Hermanos started as a weapons manufacturer and after WWI they moved to bicycles. Currently they are one of the best bicycle manufacturers in the world. Arkea-Samsic is a professional cycling team which uses BH bikes in the world tour and the big races (i.e. tour de France) but they also produce cheap shitty bicycles for the mass consumers.

    P.S. The correct name is BeistEgui Hermanos (not Beistigüi), or BH for short. In Spanish, the U in GUI is not pronounced, it should sound like "gee" in english.

  20. I totally get why so many companies copied this great design, what I have never understood is why most of them (99%) also copied the stupid totally unergonomic ‘broomhandle" instead of a decent grip.

  21. My first bicycle was a BH Bistigui Hermanos

  22. luis carlos rodriguez pascual November 25, 2020 @ 7:40 pm


  23. Add a longer barrel as in the carbine models. 30 or 40 round stick mag and it’s a sub gun.
    I wonder if anyone ever modified a 1911 into a machine pistol.

  24. Could the 1947 indicate the Summer or Autumn Offensives of 1947 in China? Of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) against the National Revolutionary Army? Could be some militiaman’s sidearm from the offensive that he decided he would customize to remember where he and his pistol have been. Just a thought.

  25. Dhananjay Chafale November 25, 2020 @ 7:45 pm

    Why firearm company, choose to manufacture bicycles like bsa

  26. At 10:42 when I look at the screen and see two pistols with very different internals, and then hear you say "subtle differences" it seems strange. Why are the differences subtle in your opinion?

  27. I can not take my eyes off the stg 44 from behind

  28. Great video as always. Let me just say, the last ‘u’ in Beistigui isn’t pronounced – it’s read like Beistigi. Cheers from Spain!

  29. JCCalvente fotografo November 25, 2020 @ 7:51 pm

    Amazing gun

  30. Regardless of who made it… it’ll always look like the "DL-44"

  31. No, no, Ian, this wasn’t even invented until the future when Luke Skywalker & Han Solo were flying the M-Falcon. Han I know carried this gun because I had the action figure. Just needs a scope & …….Long ago in a galaxy far far………..

  32. The Basques fought with the communist republic against the majority of Basques from Navarra daring the Spanish civil war.

  33. The idea of a nation full of people having gunfights with 900rpm machine pistols that have 10rnd or 20rnd internal mags fed with 5rnd stripper clips is very interesting. What is the doctrine for this absurd situation?

  34. Imagine selling cheap knock offs to China…

  35. they were Beistegui Hermanos

  36. Here in Spain nobody calls it "Beistigui", just BH. And if you didn´t grew up with a BH bicycle , you didn´t had a childhood.

  37. Jaysus Mac Gabhann November 25, 2020 @ 7:57 pm

    Suppose China was in a revolutionary war at the time.

  38. Interestingly enough Beistigui Hermanos is still in business making bicycles today. They make 200,000+ bicycles a year.

  39. I realize I’m two years late, but isn’t the first digit of the serial number a 5 rather than a 3?

  40. >make ripoff gun
    >ripoff better than original

  41. Did Beistegui Hermanos make one with a longer barrel or a drum mag?

  42. Miguel Ángel Simón Fernández November 25, 2020 @ 8:02 pm

    E.P.V. stands for Ejército Popular Vasco or Valenciano, a small post civil war communist guerrilla group (basque socialist guerrillas often didn’t speak basque). They would act as highway robers and be called "maquis".

  43. The Communist Loli November 25, 2020 @ 8:04 pm

    Kinda look like sniper’s SMG from TF2

  44. "R" stands for Rafaga (edited) that means automatic or burst in Spanish.

  45. What a goofy looking gun.

  46. I want that gun so bad. I hate it that the USA doesn’t like its people owning guns that are fun.

  47. Would go well with my Bucci bag

  48. Finally after years of vague wondering I learned why civil-war-era China loved the machine pistols so much.

  49. What caliber is it??

  50. Beistigui-> fail. Bestigui-> fail. Beistegui. FYI 😉 They do bikes as well , BTW https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beistegui_Hermanos

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