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The .30 Kiraly-Cristobal Carbine, also known as the San Cristobal or Cristobal automatic rifle was manufactured by the Dominican Republic’s Armeria San Cristobal Weapon Factory.

Although called a carbine the gun may be termed a submachine gun since it is almost identical to the Hungarian 39.M submachine gun; in spite of it being almost identical to the 39.M, it is actually based on a similar design, the 44.M, despite popular beliefs. Both weapons were designed by Hungarian engineer Pál Király, who came to the Dominican Republic as an expatriate in 1948. The gun's name is a reference to the San Cristóbal Province, which is the birth place of the late Dominican dictator, Generalissimo Rafael Trujillo. The Dominican Republic's military was the main user of this weapon although it was also exported to Cuba prior to the Cuban Revolution.

The Cristobal had a wooden stock, a 30-round bottom-mounted box magazine, and tubular receiver with a fixed cocking handle on the right-hand side. It used Lever-delayed blowback for its operation. The original version was produced in 9 mm Luger. The most typical version of the Cristobal was made in .30 Carbine.

Over 200,000 Cristobals were made by the Armeria San Cristobal from 1950 to 1966. After Trujillo’s assassination on 31 May 1961, the Dominican government decided not to maintain a local military industry and production was slowly wound down. By 1990, the Cristobal was no longer a standard Dominican firearm, but continues to be used for basic training in the Dominican Republic's military schools.

This carbine was used by Che Guevara during the Cuban Revolution.


  • Rifles and Pistols, Jeremy Flack, Sunburst Books 1995

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