FN Model 1910

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FN Model 1910
FN Model 1910 IMG 3065.jpg

FN Model 1910 of the Gendarmerie of Vaud, on display at Morges castle museum.
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin  Belgium
Production history
Designer John Browning
Manufacturer Fabrique Nationale (FN)
Produced 1910—1983
Variants See Variants
Specifications
Weight Model 1910: ca. 590 g; model 1922: ca. 700 g (unloaded)
Length Model 1910: 153 mm; model 1922: 178 mm

Cartridge 9×17mm Browning
7.65×17mm Browning
Action Blowback
Feed system 1910: 6-round (.380) or 7-round (.32) detachable box magazine
1922: 8-round (.380) or 9-round (.32) detachable box magazine
Sights Notch and post iron sights

The FN Model 1910 is a blowback-operated, semi-automatic pistol designed by John Browning and manufactured by Fabrique Nationale of Belgium.

Development[edit]

The FN Model 1910 was a departure for Browning. Before, his designs were produced by both FN in Europe and Colt Firearms in the United States. Since Colt did not want to produce it, Browning chose to patent and produce this design in Europe only. Introduced in 1910, this pistol used a novel operating spring location surrounding the barrel. This location became the standard in such future weapons as the Walther PPK and Russian Makarov.

It incorporated the standard Browning striker-firing mechanism and a grip safety along with a magazine safety and an external safety lever (known as the "triple safety") in a compact package. Offered in both .380 ACP (6-round magazine) and .32 ACP (7-round magazine) calibres, it remained in production until 1983. It is possible to switch calibres by changing only the barrel. However, FN never offered packages containing a single pistol with both calibre barrels.

An FN M1910, serial number 19074, chambered in .380 ACP[1] was the handgun used by Gavrilo Princip to assassinate Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, an act that arguably precipitated the First World War.[2] Numerous previous sources erroneously cited the FN Model 1900 in .32 calibre as being the weapon Princip used. This has led to confusion over the calibre of the pistol actually used.

Variants[edit]

FN Model 1922 7.65mm

A variant of the Model 1910 was known variously as the Model 1922 or 1910/22. This was a larger model with a longer barrel (113 mm), slide extension, and a longer grip frame to accommodate an extra two rounds. This model was aimed at military and police contracts and many examples were produced for various agencies. The FN Model 1910/1922 was initially designed for Yugoslavia.

1910/1922 pistols went on to see extensive service in World War Two, and continued to be manufactured by the Germans after their occupation of Belgium and seizure of the FN factory. These examples carry Nazi production stamps, and most have simple chequered wood grips instead of the earlier horn or plastic grips bearing the FN logo.

The FN Model 1922 was also used by the following countries: Yugoslavia, Holland, Greece, Turkey, Romania, France, Finland, Denmark, and West Germany in the post war period. While the Model 1910 was widely sold on both civilian and military markets, the Model 1922 was considered specifically a military and police pistol, with FN offering it to individual civilians only by special order.

In 1955, the Browning Arms Company introduced the Model 1910 pistol for the American market as the Model 1955. Made in Belgium, this model was virtually identical to the European model except for the markings and grips. Importation ceased in 1968 due to the passage of stricter gun-control laws in the U.S.

Another version, the Model 1971, featured a longer barrel and slide (similar in length to the Model 1922, but with a one-piece slide), adjustable sights, a finger-rest magazine, and enlarged 'target' grips. These features were intended to comply with the Gun Control Act of 1968 which had halted import of the Model 1955.

North Korea made copies of the Model 1910 without licence as the Type 70 pistol. The weapon is made not only for domestic use but also for export.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Belfield, Richard (2011). A Brief History of Hitmen and Assassinations. Constable & Robinson, Ltd. p. 241. 
  2. ^ Kate Connolly (2004-06-22). "Found: the gun that shook the world". The Daily Telegraph. 

References[edit]