The FN Model 1922 Pistol

The FN Model 1910 is famous for having plunged Europe into a World War after slaying Archduke Franz Ferdinand, but behind all the infamy is a very sound design. John Browning created the 1910 and it sold very well, and the 1922 is a version with a larger grip and barrel to make it more suitable for military use at the time. In this episode of TFBTV we do some shooting with a very historically significant example.

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Transcript …


(gun firing) – [Narrator] The FN Model 1910 and its variants were made for almost 75 years, which is an impressive feat for any firearm.

This is an FN Model 1922, which is a 1910 basically, with a longer barrel and grip to accommodate a nine-round magazine instead of seven.

These two changes led to greater combat effectiveness at the cost of concealability, but use as a military handgun often makes the need for concealment unnecessary.

This is a.32 ACP version that has some interesting history to it, but, being as how these never attained the fame of guns like the Walther PP, have never climbed as high in price.

However, I suppose that isn’t a bad thing, as you can easily find one like this for about $400.

The guns were designed by John Browning, and made in Belgium, and saw service in both World Wars.

But, let’s take a look at a few of its features.

First and foremost, the gun does have a heel magazine release, and a 1911-like grip safety.

How very Browning.

The trigger is single action only, and is actually quite crisp as well, especially for a wartime production military pistol.

The safety switch also reminds me of a 1911’s.

This gun also has German markings on it, as the Belgians were forced to make firearms for the Nazis under occupation, and it is my understanding that most of these went to the Luftwaffe.

The sights are a very simple notch and post arrangement, but, I suppose what’s important is how’s this thing shoot? (gun firing) The answer to that is, of course, quite good.

It works like a Browning design ought to, but it is a bit snappier than other.32s.

Perhaps the recoil spring is a bit tired.

(gun firing) The.32 shot in this video is provided by Ventura Munitions, and it worked extremely well.

It always brings a smile to my face when I can bring out a gun that was designed 100 years ago, made 75 years ago, and have it shoot as well as any modern.32 out there.

Anyways, I hope you enjoyed this video, and as always, we hope to see you next time.

(gun firing)

Alex C.

Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Ive got one with Nazi stampings also.

  • Paul B.

    I remember they added target sights + grips to the 1922 get enough import points after the GCA of 68.

    The 1910 and the Colt 1903 were really smooth and user friendly. Browning really knew how to design a carry gun.

  • Ooh, they’re expensive in the US. They run about CHF 225 to 275 over here! A 10/22 is on my bucket list for next year 🙂

    (and while I don’t like to criticise dry firing in general, that long firing pin / ejector *is* known to break with dry firing – my 1910 is the only centrefire firearm I have that I never dry fire with an empty chamber).

  • noob

    The 1910 is interesting as a striker fired pistol. Strange that it predated the glock by so many years but was not so famous. Was the 1910 “triple safety” system not so safe?

    Also disassembly looks terrifying – is there any way to get the barrel nut that holds the main recoil spring back off the muzzle without pointing the pistol into your hand?

    Not to mention that the step immediately before that was to dry fire onto a spent case to uncock the striker. How many left hands got their tickets punched over the years?

  • Will P.

    I have worked on a model 1922 in 32acp that my friend’s dad picked up in the 70’s for less than $50. It was marked in German “For Railroad Police” or something along those lines. It has a very strange takedown that I wish you would have demonstrated in this video. It’s a very fun pistol to shoot as the .32 has almost no recoil.

  • Very serendipitous that TFB did an article about this pistol, since I’ve been reading and watching a lot about it the last couple of weeks. One of these plays a significant role in my current work-in-progress novel.

  • StraightshooterJeff

    Classy looking piece Alex. I rather like old guns.

  • BigR

    An old friend of mine who landed on Normandy on D-day gave me two pistols he took off of German POW’s who were officers in the Wehrmacht. One is a Saur & Sohn, model 1913 in .32 cal., and the other is an FN 1922, also in .32 cal. The Saur is in pristine condition, and the FN need to be refurbished and reblued. I wonder if FN USA would rework it and could reblue it. I’ll pass both guns on to my sons, in his memory. I’m going to call them and find out is they will refurbish it! It seems like it would be a good idea to honor his memory by passing them on to the kids. His brother landed on the beach next to him and was killed on the beach. He didn’t find out until a month or two later, when his parents wrote him and told him the brother was killed on D-day. He just passed away a few days ago at 98. He was a “helleva” guy. That whole generation earned the moniker “The Greatest Generation”.