By Bob Walsh
The Gun of the Week this time around is another trip down memory lane, the FN Model 1910.
I bought one of these for its historical significance. This is the gun that started WWI. That is interesting, and kind of heavy in a psychological sense.
This pistol was a product of the fertile mind of John Moses Browning. It was unusual in that it was patented and produced only by FN in Europe. His previous designs were produced by Colt in the U. S. and FN in Europe. Colt was not interested in it.
The design was novel at the time in that the recoil spring enclosed the barrel. That is fairly common now. It was offered in both a .32 auto and a .380 auto, which is what killed the Archduke Ferdinand and his wife. It carries 6 rounds in the .380 format and 7 in the .32 auto. The caliber could be changed by changing the barrel, everything else was the same. The magazines would even work for both calibers, usually. The weapon had a magazine safety, a grip safety and a manual thumb safety. It remained in production thru 1983 and was a very popular police pistol in many parts of the world as well as a common personal protection weapon.
The pistol was originally designed and produced as a military pistol for Serbia. A later model, the 1922, or sometimes the 1910/1922, was produced for the military market in many countries. That variation had a longer butt and carried more rounds. A further variation was known as the 1955 for the U. S. market. It was killed off by the Gun Control Act of 1968. A further variation, the 1971, was produced to get around the GCA. It had a longer barrel, similar to that of the 1922 model, adjustable sights and target grips.
This is a very comfortable weapon to shoot. I managed to pick up a couple of actual factory magazines for it at a reasonable price so I can actually enjoy shooting it without worrying about it being put out of action by one damaged magazine. Aftermarket magazines are available but are often of dubious quality.