Király-Cristóbal Submachine Guns & Machine Pistols

Brief History:

These weapons were not made by or used by Hungary, but they are included here on this website, because they were designed by the former Danuvia engineer and famous Hungarian weapon designer Pál Király, after WW2

After WW2 Dominican President (Dictator), Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo realized the difficulties in obtaining arms and the ammunition, considered the idea to produce them in the Dominican Republic by constructing an armory. His problem was solved in 1947 with the arrival of a few expert European gun makers as refugees of WW2. One of these foreigners was Hungarian industrialist Sándor (Alexander) Kovács, president of the Hispaniola Corporation. He convinced Trujillo to enter Dominica into the arms manufacturing industry. The result, the San Cristóbal Armory produced a great variety of arms, of which the most famous was the Király-Cristóbal Carbine. Its designer was the Hungarian inventor, Pál Király.

For more detailed History of Dominican Armed Forces and the San Cristóbal Armory go to the bottom of this page

Submachine Gun Cristobal Carbine Model 1
Pistola Ametralladora Cristóbal Modelo 1

Manufactured by Armeria San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic 1949-50
Quantity: 200,000 combined with the Modelo 2
Caliber: .30 US M1 Carbine [7.62x33] rimless and possibly 9mm Luger
Auto-loading action, delayed blowback
945mm [37.2"] overall, 3.51kg [7.74 lbs] without magazine
410mm [16.14"] barrel, 4-groove rifling; RH, concentric
Detachable box magazine, 30 rds
Spring-leaf and elevator sight
564 m/sec [1850 fps] with standard ball cartridges; 250 rpm

The first Cristóbal Submachine gun was the Modelo 1. It was almost identical to the Hungarian Danuvia Machine Pistol 44.M. Most sources claim the Modelo 1 is a simplified version of the Danuvia Machine Pistol 43.M which is not completely incorrect, but shows their lack of knowledge about the 44.M. The 44.M had no stock, the Modelo 1 is a close copy of the 44.M with a folding stock. Also, the 'experts' statement, that the Danuvia and Cristobal machine guns were 'inspired by the Swiss SIG MKMO' needs to provide the proper credit, that Pál Király, the designer of the Danuvia and Cristóbal guns WAS working for SIG at that time, as the co-designer of the MKMO.

At first the gun was actually called 'Király-Cristobal Carbine', but the designer's name was dropped at the end of 1951, apprently for marketing reasons: the gun was mainly marketed in Latin America.
This gun's design was patented by Pál Király. It was a delayed blowback utilizing a simple lever system. The bolt was engaged with the receiver by a pendant lever. When the bolt is blown back by the force of the exploding cartridge it revolves the lever and disconnects before recoiling freely. This achieves the necessary delay for bullet travel before extraction. It had two triggers: the front trigger for semiautomatic firing and the rear trigger for firing full automatic.
Internally, a lever connected the lightweight bolt head and the heavy body. When the gun fired, the resistance of the lever had to be overcome before the bolt body began to move backward, delaying the opening of the breech until the chamber pressure had dropped to a safe level, much the same system had been used in Király's Hungarian Danuvia Machine Pistols a decade earlier.

Submachine Gun Cristobal Carbine Model 2
Pistola Ametralladora Cristóbal Modelo 2

Manufactured by Armeria San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic, 1950-61
Quantity: 200,000 combined with the Modelo 1
Caliber: .30 M1 Carbine, rimless
Auto-loading action, delayed blowback
945mm [37.2"] overall, 3.55kg [7.8 lbs] without magazine
412mm [16.2"] barrel, 4-groove rifling; RH, concentric
Detachable box magazine, 25 or 30 rds
Spring-leaf and elevator sight graduated 100-600 meters
572 m/sec [1876 fps] with standard ball cartridges; Rate Of Fire: 550 rds/min theoretical, 250 rpm actual
No bayonet

The Modelo 1 had a safety problem. A sharp blow to the gun may set it off firing and injuring the soldier if there is a round in the chamber. Several leg injuries were reported using this weapon in 1950. The trigger system was quickly redesigned and this problem was eliminated on the Modelo 2. Due to the influence of former Beretta engineers at the factory, the the modern folding metal stock was replaced with an outdated style wooden stock and handguard, similar to the Beretta M38, effectively changing the design from a machine pistol to a machine carbine. The wooden stock caused barrel overheating, but the stubborn Beretta engineers did not allow it to be changed until 1961 with the Modelo 3. The gun has a battle range up to 300 meters and a maximum range of 1500 meters. The practical rate of fire by bursts is of 110 firings per minute.

The Modelo 2 was adopted by the Dominican Army and the National Police in 1950. For marketing purposes the Trujillo government organized the Fair of La PAz in 1954. These arms were offered for export to the military delegations attending the exhibitions of Dominican Arms. The first export order of 1500 guns came from the government of dictator Red Gustavo Pinilla of Colombia. These carbines were popular in Central America, the pre-Castro Cuban government was the largest purchaser of Cristóbal Arms. A semiautomatic only version with a single trigger called Modelo 2M was also offered.

A special nose cap with a bayonet lug for a Mauser-type bayonet was used by special services, such as Police and Prison Guards.

Parts description from a Dominican Army Spanish manual:
The Carbine Cristóbal M2 consists of 9 parts groups:
Barrel Group: Includes the chamber, the barrel, barrel shroud
Operating Group: Includes the bolt handling, cartridge ejection, magazine latch, bolt manipulator and other operating parts, 12 parts total
Trigger Group: Trigger guard with the firing gear and firing mode selector, burst firing disconnector, 8 parts total
Bolt Group: 17 parts total to make the operation of the bolt
Front Sight Group: the front sight, its base, pin and sight protector, 4 parts total
Rear Sight Group: the base, the ladder, the slide, 3 parts
Wood Group: buttstock and handguard
Sling Group: Strap, 2 clasps, strap clip, support
Magazine Group: parts of the detachable magazine

Operating instructions from a Dominican Army Spanish manual:
In order to load and to unload the Carbine support it with your left leg with the trigger guard towards the right and hold it with your left hand by the handguard. With your right hand insert the magazine into its place in the receiver, until it fits with a clicking sound. Familiarise yourself with the correct sound of a correctly attached magazine. To unload the carbine: hold it the same way described above. With your right hand hold the magazine and with your thumb press the magazine latch inwards until it releases the magazine. Operate the bolt to make sure no round is left in the chamber.

Submachine Gun Cristobal Carbine Model 3
Pistola Ametralladora Cristóbal Modelo 3

Manufactured by Armeria San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic, 1961-62
Quantity: less than 1000 for trials
Caliber: 7.62x51 Nato
Auto-loading action, delayed blowback
Detachable box magazine, 20 rds
FN export-pattern knife bayonet, Mauser rifle type

Király developed the Model 3 in 1961 as a competitor with the Belgian FN-FAL, an assault rifle using the more powerful 7.62X51mm NATO ammo. By 1961 service showed that the Modelo 2 overheated in automatic fire. The improved Modelo 3 (or 'Mk 3') discarded the original wooden hand guard for a perforated sheetmetal fore-end and the gun could accept an FN export-pattern knife bayonet. A number of guns were also made with a tubular folding butt. This rifle had the gas tube and regulator was underneath the barrel. The ammunition box was vertical, not inclined like the carbine. After Trujillo's death (assassination), the new Dominican government was not interested in Dominican weapon manufacturing and the M3 was not adopted by the Dominican Armed Forces.

Submachine Gun Cristobal Carbine Model 1962
Pistola Ametralladora Cristóbal Modelo 1962

Manufactured by Armeria San Cristóbal, Dominican Republic, 1962-65
Quantity: 10,000?
Caliber: .30 M1 Carbine, rimless
Auto-loading action, delayed blowback
945mm [37.2"] overall, 3.55kg [7.8 lbs] without magazine
412mm [16.2"] barrel, 4-groove rifling; RH, concentric
Detachable box magazine, 30 rds
Spring-leaf and elevator sight
570 m/sec with standard ball cartridges; 250 rpm
FN export-pattern knife bayonet?

The Model 1962 had a retractable butt similar to the US. M1 Carbine. This was a single trigger semiautomatic only weapon. The original Modelo 1 perforated handguard design was re-introduced. The quality and workmanship of these guns was lower than the previous models', but they remained popular.

The Model 62, was produced from 1962 until 1965. After Trujillo's death in 1961, the new Dominican government was not interested in Dominican weapon development and manufacturing. These carbines remained in Dominican military service until 1990, although they were gradually replaced by more modern weapons. They remained in use as training weapons.

History of Dominican Armed Forces and the San Cristóbal Armory

The Dominican Army was formed in order to stop a Haitian invasion and to face internal problems. The total number of the Army in 1937 was of 3839, including the police. In 1942 the Army had 3200 men and the police had 900, armed with 2409 Spanish 7mm Mausers, 1800 Krag Jorgensen M1898 - left by the US in 1924, 38 Springfield guns, 13 mortars, 4 purchased Italian Breda anti-aircraft machine-guns, 27 Browning machine guns, 49 Thompson machine guns, 1765 pistols and revolvers. The Navy had, 7 coastguard vessels and Air Force had a Curtis Wrigth model 1937, 634 pumps, 1 Bellanca of 1934, 1 Fleet trainer of 1937 and four Piper Cubs airplanes. In a study by two US experts brought by the government of Trujillo to inspect the Dominican arsenal, reached the conclusion that 481 Krag rifles, 547 Mauserslugs and 38 Sprinfield rifles did not meet the requirements for US Military use.
During 1945-47, the Dominican government persisting in modernizing the armament, bought new weapons and the ammunition, mainly from Brazil and Canada. The purchased Brazil material was great quality. The size of the Dominican Armed Forces grew after the threats of invasion by Venezuela, Guatemala and Cuba. The standard Dominican infantry weapon was the 7mm German Mauser acquired from Brazil, where it was manufactured under license. The Dominican government of Trujillo was always looking for ways to protecting the country. Trujillo was looking for the possibility of producing arms in the country. Trujillo was looking into an arrangement with Winchester to produce Thompson machine guns in Dominica, which was not succesful.

HISTORY OF THE ARMERIA: The Armory was founded by the Hispaniola Corporation. Their first project was manufacturing racks for the textile industry in Latin America. The factory quickly overproduced the demand. In December 1946 Sándor (Alexander) Kovács arrived to the country and provided the opportunity to manufacture arms for the military locally using the industrial capacity of the Hispaniola Corporation. Kovács quickly associated with the Dominican military leaders and after a year in the country, Trujillo granted a privileged citizenship to him. He become the director of technological services to the Secretary of the Armed Forces. Alexander Kovács of Jewish origin, was born in Kezel, Hungary, 11/2/1888. He was a Hungarian Army officer during WW1. After the war he dedicated himself to industrial development. At the beginning of WW2 he was economy advisor for India. The Armory was designed by Kovács and a Hungarian engineer, named Lotsos. The original plans included new manufacturing and weapon repair facilities and ammunition production. Kovács' proposal was accepted by Trujillo and the Armory of San Cristóbal was born.
During the first semester the production of the first sub-machine guns was started, along with the repairs of existing Army weapons and ammunition production. In the beginning from the 1500-2000 employees 6-7% was foreign engineers and workers and the rest Dominicans.

THE INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX: The industrial complex which houses the Armory San Cristóbal, was constructed in the city of San Cristóbal, native city of Trujillo, near the capital, Santo Domingo. The complex was made up of nine buildings, which served lodging the foreign experts, the factories and offices. The complex had a smelting plant, tool factories, carpentries, two electrical furnaces for the steel manufacture, offices for drafters and designers. The majority of the foreigners who worked at the Armory came from the former Axis countries of WW2. Many had worked in Danuvia Arms of Budapest, Hungary. The machinery and the equipment of the Armory were acquired during 1948-49. The majority of the machinery was acquired from Europe, Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Switzerland. The Chemical Factory for ammunition production was in the vicinity of the town of Villa Notch, far from the capital city. This factory would produce the raw materials for the ammunition production and war material of the Armory. The awaited production was 8 tons of nitrocellulose simple and an additional 1/3 tons of nitrocellulose double. In 1948 200 Beretta automatic guns were made. In 1950 the first 500 Cristóbal Carbines were made, based on the patent of Pál Király.

MANUFACTURE OF ARMS And AMMUNITION: Kovács proposed the development of a light machine pistol, 2,5 kg, capable of shooting 800 meters horizontally. With the approval of Trujillo, as of 1948 the total production was 200 small arms per month (automatic rifles designed by engineer Pál Király, using his Hungarian patent for manufacture. Manufacturing of 100.000 cartridges per day cartridges taken place. In 1950 the first 500 Cristóbal Cal.30 Carbines were completed. The planned production was about 1.000 guns per month, but only 400 monthly units were produced. The factory also produced copies of different weapons, including .50 cal. heavy machine guns, M3 anti-tank guns, Mauser rifles, etc. After the death of Trujillo in May of 1961, the Armory's production for the Dominican Armed Forces was limited. By 1965 almost all the foreign personnel left the plant. During the 1970's the Armory's operations were reduced to just repair aging weapons. By 1990 the Armory was no longer in use by the Armed Forces.

LIST OF PRODUCED ARMS: Cristóbal Carbines Cal.30-30 (7.62mm), 60mm Mortars, 9mm Beretta Submachine guns, 7mm Mauser rifles, M2HB Machine guns, cal .50 M1919 Machine guns, cal 30-30 (7.62mm), Anti-armored M3 37mm
LIST OF PRODUCED AMMUNITION: 7mm Mauser, 30-30 M2, M1919, 30-30 M1 Carbines, 9mm Parabellum, 20mm, AP 50 M2HB (12.7mm), 38 Special, 45ACP, 37mm
LIST OF HEAVY ARMS PRODUCED: 100 antiaircraft cannons, copy of 40mm Bofors, 50 to 100 Howitzers (80mm cannons), 50 Howitzers (105mm cannons), copy of US M1, 50 howitzers (150mm cannons), 70 75mm anti-aircraft guns (copy of ex-German gun), 500 to 1000 mine throwers