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Labora Fontbernat Model 1938

Submachine Gun (SMG) [ 1939 ]

The Labora Submachine Gun was a rarity of the Spanish Civil War in that it was of wholly indigenous design and not based on any existing weapon.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 07/11/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The Labora Fontbernat Model 1938 was one of the few firearms to emerge out of war-torn Spain during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). It served with both the Spanish State (Nationalist forces) and the Spanish Republic (Republicans). Of traditional blowback operation, the submachine gun was chambered for the powerful 9x23mm "Largo" cartridge and fed from a 36-round detachable box magazine. Its characteristics were consistent with other submachine gun designs of the period: wooden shoulder stock, cylindrical receiver, straight magazine, etc...

The Larbora's design was initiated as early as 1936 but it was not made available in the numbers required until the last few months of the Spanish conflict. At its core the weapon was a "clean-sheet" design not copied from any existing submachine gun - which made it unique for a 1930s weapon. Its construction was also of particularly high quality in which machining was heavily used though this also added to cost-per-unit. The end of the war in 1939 (a Nationalist victory) forced an end to production of the Labora.

Production stemmed from Industrio de Guerra do Cataluna.

Performance-wise, the submachine gun managed a rate-of-fire of 750 rounds-per-minute with a muzzle velocity of 1,300 feet-per-second.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Spain national flag graphic


Submachine Gun (SMG)

Industrio de Geurra do Cataluna - Spain
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Spain Spain
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)

Overall Length
806 mm
31.73 in
Barrel Length
262 mm
10.31 in
Empty Wgt
9.66 lb
4.38 kg



Blowback; Automatic

Blowback Operation
Gas pressure from the rearward movement of the ignited cartridge case provides the needed bolt movement, ejecting the spent case and stripping a fresh case from the magazine.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


9x23mm Largo

Rounds / Feed

36-round detachable box magazine.
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
Max Eff.Range
250 ft
(76 m | 83 yd)
Muzzle Velocity
1,300 ft/sec
(396 m/sec)

Labora Fontbernat Model 1938 - Base Series Designation

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