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Old October 1, 2012, 05:51 AM   #1
duelist1954
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Shooting the French Model 1935A Pistol

The French Model 1935A pistol isn't something I run across very often. The .32 French Long cartridge has been obsolete for decades, so putting together ammunition is a major operation. I've gotten some custom made brass and developed a load, so in this video we'll see how this old pistol does on the range.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OamV22m4PLo
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Old October 1, 2012, 08:05 AM   #2
Pilot
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I have a 1935A, and bought a bunch of reformed brass that I've been reloading with .30 Luger bullets. It is an interesting, and accurate pistol. The trigger is odd, as is the safety set up, but it works. Sig used elements of the design for the P210.

RCBS still makes the dies, but they are pricey. I bought mine about 15 years ago.
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Old October 1, 2012, 05:15 PM   #3
tekarra
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Some years back these pistols were common on the surplus market with ammo somewhat available. Wish I had ppurchased one as it felt good in my hand.
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Old October 1, 2012, 07:47 PM   #4
superfleet
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Entertaining video. I am diggin the hat.
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Old October 1, 2012, 08:32 PM   #5
Bill DeShivs
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You can make a chamber spacer for these, and a magazine spacer, and they shoot .32 acp just fine.
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Old October 3, 2012, 04:59 PM   #6
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I own 4 of this pistols - two of the A models and two of the S. A friend of mine who also has an S model made his own reloads, made a small batch of the .32 French long which were very fun to shoot. Despite the oddity of this cartridge, I am a bit surprised that there is currently no company which produces this round. To the best of my knowledge, there seems to be enough of these M.1935 pistols both A and S models, to justify some sales, even if they are a bit more expensive than the average pistol cartridges currently on the market.

Judging from the number of times I see either of the M.1935 model pistols on the market, I would surmise that while the gun itself may be considered scarce, it is by no means a rarity. If there are only 2 or 3 at any given time on the market, I can recall seeing at least a dozen at various shows in the not-so-distant past when I move to the US. I would then assume that many have been bought up by collectors who have since stashed them in their collections, hoping for the chance that one day ammo might be available.

I would like to see at least one or two manufacturers consider releasing a limited batch for the market. I would like to think that they might be pleasantly surprised at how fast they sell.
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:39 AM   #7
amd6547
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It is a well designed pistol with some innovative features the OP didn't touch on.
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Old October 4, 2012, 08:54 AM   #8
Pilot
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Quote:
You can make a chamber spacer for these, and a magazine spacer, and they shoot .32 acp just fine.
From what I have read the .32 ACP rim is very different, and could cause an extractor failure and/or breakage.

The gun has an interesting modular design, which was used conceptually on the Sig P210. Why the French wanted a pistol in this caliber is beyond me, as they could have just adopted the excellent Browning Hi Power in 9MM.
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Old October 4, 2012, 10:07 AM   #9
Jim Watson
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As I am sure you know, the BHP was the outgrowth of a French request to FN for a 9mm pistol. They turned down the earlier GR and ignored the GP in favor of the 1935A. FN even cranked out a prototype in the caliber for a last shot at the French market, but they apparently had their minds made up.

I like it, the grip has that comfortable, almost sensuous feel that the Sig Sauer P225 is known for.
But the French National caliber is a negative. And the odd safety gives a manual of arms strange to those of us trained on Browning and other pistols with conveniently located thumb safeties.
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Old October 4, 2012, 10:56 AM   #10
Pilot
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Quote:
As I am sure you know, the BHP was the outgrowth of a French request to FN for a 9mm pistol.
No, I didn't know that. Thanks for the info. Maybe the French just needed the work for their state owned gun maker. I like the 1935A, and actually shoot the thing a bit. It is a soft shooter, and inherently accurate. Still prefer my BHP though.

If you want to see the 1935A in action in a movie, check out "The Dog's of War" with Chris Walken. There is a scene where one of his group of mercs is going through a border checkpoint, and he takes a 1935A out in case he needs to use it.

Scroll down about half way.

http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Dogs_of_War,_The
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Old October 4, 2012, 01:59 PM   #11
Jim Watson
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As I recall, without digging through books, Mr Browning designed a 9mm at the request of FN who had a RFP from France. Browning and Saive at FN kicked the basic design around a while and produced a finished gun called the Grand Rendement. The French turned it down.

Mr Browing passed away but Msr Saive kept fooling with the design, including plowing Colt-Browning 1911 elements back in as the patents ran out, eventually delivering the Grand Puissance we know as the High Power, first adopted by Belgium in 1935.

In the meanwhile, the French took some of those off patent ideas, added the Petter package lockwork, and came up with their 1935A. It is often said that the caliber was based on the .30 Pedersen Device cartridge. That is kind of hard to see, the Pedersen Device was never deployed and the round not otherwise used. Maybe a French ordnance expert saw one of the Pedersen Device demonstrations late in WW I and liked the round. Who knows for sure?

FN hurredly ran up a prototype in 7.65 French but there was no interest, the French already having their own in-house gun.
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Old October 4, 2012, 04:05 PM   #12
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The French built a nice compact SMG in the same .32 long chambering.

Quote:
From what I have read the .32 ACP rim is very different, and could cause an extractor failure and/or breakage.
Never had a problem with the extractor but it did bugger the hole for the loaded chamber indicator pin.
I did not use a insert in chamber or magazine, but so long as I loaded the mag with no more than six .32 ACP the pistol cycled just fine. The .32 ACP rounds hit so far to the left I'd have never been able to sight it in with that cartridge.
I actually gave that pistol away to a friend who admired it. I don't know if he ever found rounds for it.
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Old October 5, 2012, 07:02 AM   #13
jtb1967
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I have an A and an S. I was in a shop the other day and they had an 1935A in pretty rough shape and price of $375!!!! I asked the guy about ammo and he said "It's not hard to find". I just some poor slob doesn't buy it for a shooter or carry piece then head to Walmart looking for ammo.
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