By Bob Walsh
The Gun of the Week this time around is the Lahti L-35 service pistol.
This is a 9mm semi-automatic service pistol designed by Aimo Lahti of Finland. The pistol was built from 1935 thru 1952 and was the standard service pistol of both Finland and Sweden. The pistol, especially the Finnish version, was considered to be very well manufactured and very reliable, including in cold and dirty conditions as one might reasonably find in actual combat condition in the area. The Swedish copy, the Husquvarna M/40, was in service there thru 1980 but was considered by many to be inferior to the original, allegedly due to inferior materials used in the manufacture.
The pistol has a profile similar to that of a Luger pistol though there is no mechanical similarity between the two. The pistol weighs 2,75 pounds with a loaded magazine, is 9.3 inches overall and is fitted with a 4.6 inch barrel. It is a recoil operated locked breach design and uses a bolt accelerator which is uncommon in a pistol. It is fed from an 8 round single column box magazine and features typical mediocre service sights. It is a single action pistol and is hammer fired rather than striker fired.
Interestingly the pistol was originally designed to fire an unusual 7.65 X 21 cartridge, which the Finns had a large supply of. However, when it came down to actually building the pistol they determined that going with the 9mm round was the way to go. It is almost impossible to fully load the magazine without the use of a loading tool.
Total production was slightly less than 100,000 units. They are somewhat rare on this side of the pond.