Tag Archives: firearms history

The Most Popular FN Pistol You Never Heard of

To satisfy a military contract for 60,000 modified examples of John Browning’s Model 1910 pistol, stretching that .380 ACP’s standard 3.4-inch barrel an extra inch and bumping up the magazine capacity from 7+1 to 9+1, FN introduced what was initially referred to by some historians as the Model 10/22 (not related to the later Ruger plinker) in 1923.

Later formalized as the Model 1922, or just the M1922, when compared to the preceding M1910, the new pistol had an elongated slide, complete with a small but distinctive barrel lug, over a slightly lengthened frame. The production model went 7-inches long overall and weighed 25.7-ounces.

A forerunner of the later success FN had with the Browning Hi-Power pistol and FAL battle rifle, the M1922 was soon adopted by military and police in dozen countries, and it would continue in active service for over 60 years in this role. Further, the Germans liked it so much that it was their most common handgun in WWII that wasn’t a P-38 or a Luger.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Texas Names the Most Texas Revolver Ever as Offical State Handgun

Republican Gov. Greg Abbott last weekend signed a resolution forwarded to his desk by the Texas lawmakers that makes the original 1847 Colt Walker the official handgun of the Lone Star State.

A hulking 4.5-pound 44-caliber revolver, the Walker was so-named after famed Texas Ranger Capt. Samuel Walker and only about 1,100 of the handguns were manufactured by Eli Whitney for Colt. Some 1,000 were promptly sent to Texas– two for each Ranger– and 100 leftovers for the commercial market. The gun was a collaboration between Walker and Colt, based on the latter’s earlier .36-caliber Paterson design, a five-shot revolver that weighed only half of what the Model 1847 would.

Samuel Colt (American, Hartford, Connecticut 1814–1862) Colt Walker Percussion Revolver, serial no. 1017, 1847 American, Whitneyville, Connecticut, Steel, brass, walnut; L. 15 1/2 in. (39.37 cm); L. of barrel, 9 in. (22.86 cm); Cal., .44 in. (11 mm) The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of John E. Parsons, 1958 (58.171.1) http://www.metmuseum.org/Collections/search-the-collections/24844

More in my column at Guns.com.

You do know the Model 1851 Feldstutzer, yes?

From the Hungarian site Kapszli comes a great piece on the Swiss Army’s innovative Model 1851 Federal Rifle, otherwise known as the Feldstutzer or Eidigenössischer Stutzer.

Via Cap & Ball (Kapszli)

“The Model 1851 rifle at the time of the acceptance was truly the best military rifle of its age. First of all, it fired a much smaller diameter and lighter bullet than any other military rifle. While the French military rifle fired a 17 mm bullet, the American and British a 14.7 mm bullet, the Swiss rifle fired a 10.4 mm bullet weighing only 16.5-17 g. The bullet was pushed from the bore with a relatively high 60-grain charge of fine grade black powder resulting in a 440 m/s muzzle velocity and a flat trajectory.

The flat trajectory was a key feature in Switzerland the soldier had to master shooting downhill and uphill. The Swiss army consisted of free people for many centuries. These civilians were more important to the state than to let them be killed in melee combat so sniping the enemy from a safe distance was always an important element of the Swiss tactics since the introduction of firearms. It is also a reason why the shooting sports have been always so popular in this beautiful little country.”

Much more here