As someone who speaks English as a second language, the ebb and flow of firearms development and ownership outside of the US is of interest to me. Latin America is especially in my sphere since Spanish is my first language and what I primarily speak at home. So when my friends down south told me of a new pistol they’d seen and that it came from a country that borders Brazil. I was all ears.
Colombia, that wonderful South American nation that borders Venezuela is mostly known to Americans for cocaine, narco-terrorist Pablo Escobar, and the Narcos television show on Netflix. But Colombia actually has a domestic arms industry.
INDUMIL (short for Industria Militar Colombiana) is a state-owned arms producer founded in 1954 and headquartered in Bogotá with a factory in Sogamoso. Originally founded to repair the various Mausers and later the HK G3s in service there, INDUMIL branched out when the Colombian government adopted the Galil in 5.56 as their service rifle back in 1992.
Since then, INDUMIL has had a close partnership with Israel and now actually makes the Galil and exports them to neighboring countries, even producing some parts for IWI.
With that partnership, INDUMIL grew in experience and confidence and eventually struck out on their own.
Named after Colombian War of Independence hero and “Lion of Ayacucho“, General José María Córdova Muñoz. The Cordova is a modern production pistol. A slide-mounted safety, standard breech-locked tilt barrel, double/single action, hammer-fired 9mm pistol with a capacity of 15 rounds and an accessory rail.
It was initially designed for government agencies and the Colombian armed forces. At the beginning of 2014, the first production run of 500 units was made exclusively for the Ministry of Defense, planning to export more that same year. The tests at first were positive and the pistol began its commercialization in the Colombian private market, available to some active and retired military as well as private security personnel and police.
After the initial release, users found some flaws, especially in feeding. In December 2014, INDUMIL, issued a recall of all pistols and production of the Cordova stopped as the factory concentrated on correcting the failures. By May 2015, 75% of the guns on the market had been fixed. By August 2015, 99% of the pistols were ready, and full commercial production started again in September of that year.
In June 2016, the current version of the gun was launched and was subjected to the National Institute of Justice standards testing for the Colombian National Police, along with the Ministry of Defense – Army of Colombia testing. That process showed that the pistol met or exceeded what the Colombian government wanted.
The Cordova is currently in service with the Colombian Army, National Penitentiary and Prison Institute, National Protection Unit, Colombian National Police and various private security companies. It’s also now available for general civilian sales (if one is lucky enough to get a permit).
The Cordova has, for the most part, been serving with little to no issues. The Colombian National Police’s elite Anti-Kidnapping & Anti-Extortion unit, known as Grupo GAULA has also adopted the Cordova as their official sidearm.
The pistol weighs in at 1.7 lbs and has an 11 lb double action pull with a 8 lb single action pull. On the dust cover of the frame is a MIL standard 1913 accessory rail with a removable cover. The backstrap is replaceable for different grip profiles. The magazine release is fully ambidextrous.
The barrel is 4.4 inches long and has hexagonal rifling. Overall length is 7.8 inches and, as an extra option, it can be had with tritium night sights.
Capacity as mentioned is 15+1 and on the general civilian market in Colombia, it’s 9+1. That’s right, in Colombia you’re limited to 10 rounds total in the gun, not just in the magazine.
The Cordova has gained popularity in Colombia and export to other markets is possible. Back in 2017, INDUMIL told Jane’s Defence Weekly that they were in talks with possible importers for the US and Canadian markets. According to the article . . .
In mid-September  INDUMIL sent 10 pistols to a prospective client in the United States and three to Mexico, seeking to open North American markets. It is also in talks with possible buyers in Guatemala, Honduras, and Ecuador.
Has anything beneficial come of INDUMIL’s talks with possible importers? At the moment, there’s no official word. The Cordova is already being exported to Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile, and Argentina. Maybe we’ll see it here in US gun shops one day soon.