|About the gun||Manual||Disassembly/Assembly|
|Serial Number 621676||WaA 140 = Fabrique Nationale d'armes de guerre, Lüttich (Liège), Belgium (Late 1941 - to liberation in 1944).|
This Nazi marked FN Browning model M1922 is a self
loading, semi-automatic pistol that utilizes the blowback system of operation.
The pistol is made from carbon steel and has a blued finish. It has been
chambered for the 7.65mm Browning(.32 ACP) cartridge. It is fed by a single
stack 8 round detachable box magazine. This pistol is striker fired and
incorporates a front blade sight and a V notch rear sight that is drift
adjustable for windage only. The barrel length is 4 1/2 inches and contains 6
grooves with a right hand twist. The total length of the pistol is 7.01 inches
and it has an unloaded weight of at 25.7 ounces. On the pistol's butt there is a
European style heel magazine release. This firearm does not incorporate any type
of slide hold open mechanism to inform the operator that the last round has been
fired. Although the manual safety lever can be pushed upward and engaged with a
notch in the slide which will lock it open for general cleaning. The checkered
grip panels are made from Walnut.
The Fabrique Nationale d'Armes de Guerre or National
Factory of Weapons of War Herstal Belgium or simply FN for short, was
established in 1889 when the Belgium government decided to build 150,000 Mauser
model 1888 rifles for the Belgium military. Eleven years later, FN entered into
a long lasting relationship with the firearms designer John Moses Browning. The
M1922 was designed after John Brownings M1910 pistol.
In 1922, Browning modified the M1910 pistol to
suit the requirements of the military of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and
Slovenes which today is known as Yugoslavia after being renamed in 1929.
Browning and the FN Bureau d'Etudes or Research and Development Office took
the M1910 and lengthened the slide by adding a removable frontal portion, added
a lanyard ring, they also lengthened the barrel and elongated the grip frame
which gave the magazine more capacity. This newly designed pistol would come to
be known as the FN M1922 and was just what the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and
Slovenes had wanted and on February 28, 1923 they ordered 60,000 pistols. This
also gives the M1922 the distinction of being developed solely at the request of
a customer rather then being targeted for a particular market.
In 1940, Nazi Germany occupied Belgium and took
over production of the M1922 at the FN plant. The Germans had two different
designations for the M1922 pistol. Depending on the caliber, these pistols were
designated as either the Pistole 626(b) for the 7.65mm version or Pistole 641(b)
for the 9mm Short version. The (b) was an abbreviation for belgisch indicating
Belgium. Another Heereswaffenamt name for the M1922 was Die Lange Browning
Pistole or The Long Browning Pistol. The pistol has also been called the 1910/22
or 10/22 which is short for 1910/1922. An interesting note is that the
Browning model M1922 was produced in larger numbers than any other firearm at
the Fabrique Nationale plant during the Nazi occupation of Belgium. In 1944,
Belgium was liberated by the Allies and production of the M1922 continued with
most of these post war pistols going to fill military and government contracts.
Up until around 1942, the M1922 was made available
as a commercial pistol being offered as a sidearm for factory security personnel
and police. The model M1922 pistol was very popular with the German officer's
and many took this pistol as their official sidearm. The primary user however of
the M1922, was the German Luftwaffe (air force). The M1922 pistols that were
accepted by the German military will have one of three Waffenamt stampings or
Weapons Office inspectors’ stamps. These would be WaA 103, WaA 140, and/or WaA
613 which indicate the following....
WaA 103 = Fabrique Nationale d'armes de guerre, Lüttich (Liège) Belgium
(January 1941 - May 1942).
WaA 140 = Fabrique Nationale d'armes de guerre, Lüttich (Liège), Belgium
(Late 1941 - to liberation in 1944).
WaA 613 = Fabrique Nationale d'armes de guerre, Lüttich (Liège), Belgium
(May 1940 - early 1941).
The Waffenamt stamping, WaA140 on the pistol
featured on this page was used from the 1941 to the liberation of Belgium in
1944 with approximately 325,000 of these 7.65mm pistols being produced. The
serial numbers for these pistols started around the 67,000 to 68,000 range and
proceeded to approximately serial number 155,000.
At the end of 1943, serialization of these pistols
was changed so that it limited serial numbers to five digits and a one letter
suffix. The letter indicated a block of 100,000 pistols. So for example, a
serial number of 55555c is actually the 355,555th pistol that was produced. The
first block of 100,000 had no suffix, then pistols numbered 100,000 through
199,999 were suffixed with the letter a, pistols in the range of 200,000 through
299,999 were suffixed with a b and so on.
Due to the increase in demand for arms during the
war, the serial number markings were simplified in 1944 to include just the full
serial number on the slide and the last four digits of the serial number on the
frame. The pistol pictured above has a six-digit serial number with no
The FN M1922 pistol has been used by numerous
countries including: Yugoslavia, Holland, Greece, Turkey, Romania, France,
Denmark, Nazi Germany and later West Germany. It is a smoothly elegant and
graceful pistol design that became immensely popular with both the military and
the commercial markets.
The Fabrique Nationale firm is still in business
today and is a subsidiary of the Herstal Group. The company now owns the
Winchester U.S. Repeating Arms Company as well as the Browning Arms Company
which was founded by the family of John Moses Browning. They are now located in
Columbia, South Carolina in the U.S.A. The FN Manufacturing LLC company is
responsible for the development of U.S. government contracted military and