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Ecia Model 1930 Family: Lost Competitors to the Astra

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Juan Esperanza was one of the two partners who formed the Astra company (with Pedro Unceta). When the two had a falling-out in 1925 and parted ways, Esperanza formed his own company and went on something of a patenting binge. He made an unsuccessful attempt at designing a new machine gun for the Spanish army, and then settled down to make a family of pistols to compete with his former partner’s. These were all called the Ecia Model 1930, and there was a small frame .25 ACP (targeted at the Astra 200 market), a medium frame .32 ACP / .380 ACP (to compete with the Astra 300), and a large frame 9mm Largo model to match up against the Astra 400. The Ecia design was double action, and each size offered a magazine capacity one greater than the comparable Astra. They also have a nicer grip angle, and handle more nicely than the Astra.

Unfortunately for Esperanza, the Spanish military had already adopted the Astra in 1921, and the new Ecia was not sufficiently better to warrant replacing the guns already in service. The pistols were also relatively expensive, and there was minimal civilian interest. Total Ecia production was just 100-150 guns, with each frame size being numbered in a separate series. For more information on the Ecia as well as Astra and other Spanish handguns, I recommend Leonardo Antaris’ reference book “Astra Pistols and Selected Competitors”:

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