Tag Archives: Browning 1903

The classic Colt 1903, a forgotten hammerless

In the early 1900s, John Browning was perhaps the most prolific and most ground breaking firearms engineer of the day. As it turned out, he produced an all-steel, 24-ounce, 9-shot pocket pistol whose design is still very relevant today.

John Moses Browning, the famous Utah gun genius, spent most of his formative years selling his designs to big name firearms makers to include Winchester. By 1900, he started a long relationship with Colt Firearms of Connecticut, which included such guns as the Model 1900, M1902 and the legendary 1911. These handguns however were large framed firearms for field service in the military. For home defense and use by police and detective bureaus, the company wanted something smaller than the 37-ounce M1902 with its 6-inch barrel. That’s where Browning came in at again.

Welcome to the world of the Colt 1903 Hammerless.

Welcome to the world of the Colt 1903 Hammerless.

Read the rest in my column at Firearms Talk

The FN 1903: Browning’s long lost 9mm

Everyone knows that John Moses Browning begat the 45ACP Colt 1911 and then later helped give the world the P-35 Browning Hi-Power. What you may not know is that he tried these waters first with a long slide 9mm pistol years before either of these better-known designs. This forgotten Browning is the FN M1903, and, despite its obscurity, it’s a solid addition to the library.

In the early 1900s, Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN) was just a Belgian-based clearinghouse for small arms and their favorite designer was the American firearms guru, John Browning. He had collaborated with them to sell his very popular Model 1900, a small semi-automatic that was superbly reliable and some would say the preeminent pocket pistol of the time. The thing is, FN wanted to make large quantity military sales and the 1900 was a mouse gun. They wanted something bigger, and Browning set out to deliver on this request.
Read the rest in my column at GUNS.com

browning military model with buttstock holster and extended magazine