|This article does not cite any references or sources. (November 2008)|
|Place of origin||United States|
|Designer||Browning Arms Company|
|Manufacturer||Browning Arms Company|
|Produced||1991 - 1998|
|Variants||BRM and BPM-D|
|Barrel length||120 mm|
|Feed system||magazine 15 rounds|
The Browning BDM is a semi-automatic pistol designed and manufactured by the Browning Arms Company up until production ceased in 1998. Similar in appearance to Browning's (FN Herstal) P-35 model "Hi-Power" pistol, the BDM was actually a new design created to compete in service trials as a standard issue pistol for the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation. However, the BDM was not ultimately adopted for issue by the FBI, and was instead sold only in the private market.
The Browning BDM was developed in 1991 by the Browning Arms Company, and unlike Browning's (FN Herstal) P-35 Hi-Power model, was manufactured only in North America.
The pistol is a magazine fed, self-loading, hammer firing type which was designed with a trigger "mode" switch installed on the left-hand side of the slide (actually only a flush inlaid disk with a bisecting groove), toggling between double-action/single-action(DA/SA) pistol mode, and the double-action-only (DAO) or "revolver" mode—though, of course, other than the similarity of the trigger mode, the BDM has no resemblance to revolvers. This mode switch is what gives the handgun its name, with BDM standing for "Browning Dual Mode" or "Browning Double Mode".
Variants of the design lacked the mode operating switch, and so were either full-time revolver mode, model BRM (Browning Revolver Mode), or full-time double action/single action pistol mode, model BPM-D (Browning Pistol Mode Decocker). Finishes included blued, matte-chromed, which Browning advertising called "silver chrome", and a two-toned combination of a silver chromed frame and blued slide, called the "practical" finish.
The BDM and BPM-D variants have an ambidextrous slide-mounted safety/decocker lever, which when operated always returns the pistol to the hammer down double-action setting for the BDM variant or to the pre-cocked setting for the BPM-D variant. After the next fired cartridge cycles the pistol's slide, subsequent rounds are fired in the single-action mode, until the decocker is used to drop the hammer to the "safe" position. The BPM-D innovation was the inclusion into the action of the pre-cocked mode in which the hammer is partially cocked and the hammer spring partially depressed resulting in a first shot trigger pull that is shorter and lighter than in the true DA variants. The BRM variant lacks a safety/decocker lever, leaving the pistol in the hammer down "safe" double-action position after every shot, i.e. DAO.
The BDM and its variants utilize removable cartridge magazines, of the double stack variety with a capacity of 15 rounds of 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition. To comply with the 1994 U.S. Assault Weapons legislation, BDM magazines were limited to 10 round capacity for civilian purchasers, although 15 round magazines were available for law enforcement use. After the 2004 expiration of the 1994 U.S. Assault Weapons legislation, 15 round magazines became legal and available in most states for civilian use.