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View Full Version : I have two FN/Browning 1910 pistols


OldShooter
February 6, 2010, 09:18 PM
One is a cal. 7.65, SN 54XXX.
Marking on the left side of the slide reads "FABRIQUE NATIONALE D'ARMES de GUERRE HERSTAL BELGIQUE" over "BROWNING'S PATENT DEPOSE"
Marking on the rigth side of the slide reads "Manufacture Francaise d"Armes & Cycles de Saint-Etienne". The magazine is marked on one side with the fancy letters F superimposed over N all in an oval and has 6 view holes through both sides.

The other is Cal. 9m/m00, SN 627XXX.
Marking on the left side of the slide reads "BRWONING ARMS COMPANY St LOUIS Mo & MONTREAL P.Q." over "MADE IN BELGIUM". The magazine is marked "-F N-" over "9M/M" on one side and has 5 view holes through both sides.
There is no marking on the right side of the slide.

What I would like to determine is the vintage and heritage of each. I believe the FN .32acp version may have been manufactured in the early 1920s. I have no idea of the Browning .380acp; is it the so called 1955 model? Each magazine fits in both pistols.

Thanks in advance for any help.

James K
February 8, 2010, 04:06 PM
Manufacture Francaise d'Armes & Cycles de Saint-Etienne was a French company that made arms and also was a major French distributor of foreign arms. They may have used their name as a way of gaining the trust of French buyers. There is a M1910, No. 26337, with identical markings, shown in The Belgian Browning Pistols, by Anthony Vanderlinden.

The serial number should be in the 1920's. FWIW, the .380 caliber Model 1910 used by Prinzip to kill Archduke Franz Ferdinand was 19074.

"Browning Arms Co." was the importer/distributor for the U.S. and Canada. Importing began in 1954 but really got underway in 1955, so some collectors started calling them the Model 1955 to distinguish them from pre-war guns. I don't think that name was never used by Browning or the FN factory. Importation of the M1910 was stopped by the Gun Control Act of 1968 as it could not meet the import criteria.

Both guns run about the same in value, a top of $500 or so NIB, an average of around $250 in good shape.

Jim

F. Guffey
February 8, 2010, 04:40 PM
Old shooter,

http://www.fn-browning.com/fn.htm

F. Guffey

OldShooter
February 8, 2010, 05:06 PM
Thanks Jim,

That good information on the FN 1910. It's good to confirm a general manufacturing date. I am familiar with the Archduke event.

So then the conclusion I should draw is that the Browning marked 1910 was made somewhere between 1954 and 1968 when Browning was importing?

F. Guffey,

Thanks for your input, but I've previously been to that site you reference and it adds nothing useful to the body of knowledge on the model 1910.

James K
February 8, 2010, 11:39 PM
Your conclusion is correct. Those guns were not imported pre-war on a regular basis because Colt and FN made an agreement not to invade each other's territory, and the 1910/1922 competed with the Colt M1903/M1908 hammerless pocket models. FN had Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Colt had North and South America.

After the war, the agreement expired and Browning Arms began bringing in FN-Browning handguns. Top of the line was the beautiful Renaissance cased set, a BHP, a Model 1910, and a Baby Browning, all beautifully engraved. IIRC, the set sold for around $600 in the 1950's; they bring close to ten grand today.

Jim

Lazarus40
September 10, 2010, 11:01 PM
Too too many people make incorrect comments about the end of 1910 production. They somehow think the GCA-68 ended the FN 1910 manufacture. Taken from an earlier reply, the statement repeated below - quote - is more correct

"Importation of the M1910 was stopped by the Gun Control Act of 1968 as it could not meet the import criteria."

However, 1) Manufacture of the 1910 continued on until 1983 at FN in Belgium and 2) importation of the FN 1910 did not cease totally - the FN 1910 along with half-a-dozen other police favored "backup pistols" were in fact sold to police departments as well as individual police officers long after the GCA-68 was in place. Sales were only thru so-called police distributors like Jack First. The individual police officer had to keep the pistol for a minimum of three years before he wa allowed to sell or trade or give it away.

I own one of these ex-police department/ cop guns made in 1969.

I just felt I could clarify these points that needed clarifying.

James K
September 11, 2010, 11:28 AM
As a matter of fact, I knew that, and some German-made Walther PPK's were also imported under the same conditions. But the numbers were tiny mainly because police in those years did not favor auto pistols and many police departments banned their use by officers, citing unreliability and ammunition incompatibility with the service weapon.

The real reason was a general police bias against what anti-gun police chiefs considered "Saturday Night Specials", which meant anything except a Colt or S&W revolver. (NYC police were reportedly instructed to shoot on sight anyone who had an auto pistol because no "good guy" carried anything but a revolver.)

Jim

PetahW
September 11, 2010, 12:47 PM
Your Browning .380 with SN 627xxx was made in 1967.

FWIW, the pistols were not discontinued after GCA68, just modified to pass the requirements for import.

The "new" model, with a longer bbl, an adj rear sight & thumbrest grips, was imported until 1975.

.

Lazarus40
October 16, 2010, 02:48 PM
Yes, Browning attempted to sell a modified form of the 1910 called 1971 by collectors. It was no longer a 'pocket pistol' and there were 9 X 19 guns made smaller even in 1971. The idea of a 5" 380 with huge target sights, target thumb-rest grips and an 8 round mag made the gun more an up-dated 1922 then a Browning 1910. No.

Lots of cops in the Southeast where I grew up carried small flat automatic pistols as backups guns for their heavy 357 mag holster gun. And the quality was at least that of the S&W or Colt on their hip ....Walther ppk......Walther pp......Browning 380.....Mauser HSC..... Star DK........H&K model 4

The unmodified 1910 FN made Browning was made until 1983! Two, by the Serial Number chart on THE PROOF HOUSE, my gun was indeed made in 1969. :D

Lazarus40

gyvel
October 18, 2010, 02:23 AM
The idea of a 5" 380 with huge target sights, target thumb-rest grips and an 8 round mag made the gun more an up-dated 1922 then a Browning 1910.

Actually, the magazine is the same capacity as the 1910 (6/.380, 7/.32), the only difference being the large finger rest grafted to the bottom. They will work in a 1910 and the 1910 flat bottoms will work in the 10/70.

The so-called "Model 1971" is more correctly called the Model 10/70. Initial production began in late 1970. I believe the factory European designation for it was either Model 125 or 130 (my memory is getting really bad!), and another version of it (long slide, short frame) with fixed sights was sold in Europe as the Model 120 or 125 (memory again!).

Late model 1910s also incorporated the more squared rear slide contour found on the 10/70 as well as the cocking indicator pin.