While the 1911, Glock, and other handguns are well-recognized, handguns that truly pushed forward technology can often be overlooked. While yes, the 1911 featured a different Browning design that exists to this day, few recognize the impact of the Fabrique Nationale Model 1900.
A little over a half million units were produced prior to production ceasing. It was and still is a novel design introducing two commonly used designs today, the .32 ACP chambering and the concept of a slide-based action for self-loading handguns.
Many could argue that the 1911 is a bit of parts overload, with many tiny components through the system. The 1900 is nearly the opposite, with parts being used for multiple functions. The most noticeable feature is the main recoil spring, housed above the barrel. It acts and both the main spring and the striker spring through a rather unique linkage in the top of the handgun.
For those interested in seeing the actual parts, TFB’s own Alex Capps produced a great video showing the takedown of the handgun into its major parts.
If you enjoy the design, check out the full C&Rsenal video going into the detailed history of the platform, including the details of how FN and John Moses Browning connected to begin their long history of innovative designs.