View Full Version : Browning M1899/1900

January 7, 2010, 05:12 AM
Does anyone else have a Browning M1899/1900 in 32 acp.
I`ve had this gun for several years and decided to research it. The M1899 was Brownings first automatic pistol design put into production by FN.
Are there any Browning collectors here with more information?
Thanks, Dennis



January 7, 2010, 05:54 PM
I have one I inherited from my Grandfather. Cool little pistol.

Trying to get info such as manufacture date will not be possible b/c the FN records were destroyed during the little skirmish that Europe had a while back. ;)

Some good general info here:

January 8, 2010, 04:54 PM

Thanks for the reply.
I had originally thought mine was an 1899 since it didn`t have a lanyard ring.
But I found that the 1900 had an overall length of 162 mm, which is the length of mine.
The 1899 has an oal of 183 mm.
Does yours have the lanyard ring?
What do your grips look like?

Thanks, Dennis

January 8, 2010, 07:33 PM
Mine does have the ring, and the grips (IIRC) have the FN logo on them. I'll have to double check tonight when I get home.

January 8, 2010, 09:25 PM
Just checked.
My grips have the little FN logo and the picture of the gun on them. The same as the pic on the Wiki link.

Mine is SN 177XXX.

James K
January 8, 2010, 10:14 PM
A very clever design. I like the way JMB used the recoil spring to power the striker. I could be wrong, but I don't think anyone else has ever done that.

I think the M1899 didn't have the safety markings, while the M1900 did.

I have never seen an 1899/1900 with wood grips, only hard rubber, but I checked Vanderlinden's book and he says the large model 1899 had checkered wood grips.

Here is a rundown:

Model 1899 Compact:

Offered Jan 1899 to late 1901
Length 158mm
Barrel length 100mm
Grips Vulcanite/hard rubber
Sights Fixed with sight safety incorporated. (This seems to mean the cocking indicator, not a sight safety like the 1900 Colt, since the Model 1900 description says the same thing.)

3900 made in 1899, up to 6000 1900-1901
Slide legends on guns made in 1899:

Slide legend on guns made after 1899:
Same as first above.
Model 1899 Large:

Offered mid-1899 to late 1900

Length 184mm
Barrel length 122mm
Grips Checkered wood
Sights Fixed with sight safety incorporated. (see above)

Probably less than a dozen pistols made, very limited production.


The Model 1900 was 164mm overall, with a 102mm barrel length, hard rubber grips.

So that gun has wood grips, but appears as best I can tell to be a Model 1900. I doubt anyone made wood aftermarket grips, so either the factory used some leftover grips or they replaced broken 1900 grips with large 1899 grips.


January 9, 2010, 07:19 AM
Thanks for the info guys.
Mine has matching #`s 112xxx on the sights, slide and the frame.
It also has the #190522 on the left side behind the trigger.
Any idea what the #`s are for

January 9, 2010, 09:52 AM
The numbers are serial numbers. Mine matches everywhere.

It seems that you have somewhat of a chimera between the grips and non-matching numbers.

January 9, 2010, 05:39 PM
The numbers aren`t on the grip panels, they are on the grip frame.
All of the serial #`s are on the right side.
These #`s are on the left side just behind the trigger and in front of the grip panel.
They are just visible in the above pic.
Are there any #`s in that area on your gun?

Thanks, Dennis

January 9, 2010, 06:14 PM
All the numbers on mine are on the right side.

January 29, 2011, 07:03 PM
I have a FN M1899, part #89. It is in great working condition, with a very strong spring, but no longer has the bluing on it. It has a few small chips out of the right grip, but you can still see the FN logo with the pistol on it very well. By any chance would anyone know what something like this would be worth?

James K
January 29, 2011, 10:06 PM
Joe, in the condition described, probably around $300.


January 30, 2011, 01:25 AM
Thanks Jim, I have had this pistol for many years. I have researched it a lot, and found out a lot of things about it. I always have wondered what it was worth but could never find anyone who really had any answers. Even though it might not be worth very much, I feel pretty special to have the 89th semiautomatic pistol made in the world... It seems like you like this type of gun, so if you are interested in seeing mine, here are a few pics of it... Thank you for your time...http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=66744&d=1296348058


James K
January 30, 2011, 03:30 PM
Sorry, Joe, but your gun is not the 89th auto pistol ever made. By the time FN made that pistol, Mauser had produced thousands of the Model 1896, Borchardt pistols were well known and the Swiss had tested the Borchardt-Luger. Bergmann, Mannlicher, and Schwarzlose had also made and marketed auto pistols by 1899 and in 1898 Browning himself had submitted a prototype of what became the Colt Model 1900 to the U.S. Army for testing.


November 15, 2011, 07:59 AM
Joe--Actually your gun is worth a lot more than $300, even in its bad condition, because it is a model 1899, not a model 1900. These guns are quite scarce in the U.S. Plus you have a very early serial number. I would love to see more photographs of your gun.