Welcome to the TFB Field Strip series, where we dig in (literally) to any gun we can get our hands on. In this edition, we’ll be looking at the Fabrique Nationale or FN 1922 pistol designed by John Moses Browning. The 1922 pistol had quite a production run from 1922 (go figure) to 1983, and this model saw plenty of service in Europe throughout World War II, as well as pre-war and post. The FN 1922 is a larger version of the pocket-sized FN 1910, and the changes allowed for more bullet velocity, better sights, and increased ammunition capacity. The 1922 example for this field strip is chambered in 7.65 Browning, also known as .32 Auto or .32 ACP, yet they were also offered in .380 ACP as well. Thanks to my friend Chad for letting me photograph his FN1922, which was brought back by his grandfather from WWII.
FN 1922 Pistol @ TFB:
- Illegally made, modern copies of the M1922 were seized in UK in 2019
- See the FN M1922 in action with TFB TV’s Alex C
- FN 1910 History and Shooting
Bloke on the Range gave a good look at the history of the FN 1922 pistol for TFB TV which you can view below.
TFB FIELD STRIP: FN 1922 pistol
BEFORE YOU FIELD STRIP ANY WEAPON, REMEMBER the four rules of gun safety:
- All guns are always loaded.
- Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
- Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
- Be sure of your target and what is beyond it
STEP 1. As always, make sure your firearm is unloaded before field stripping. The FN M1922 retains its magazine with a heel tab. Remove the magazine and work the slide to make sure the chamber is empty.
Once the gun is free of all ammunition, find the spring-loaded tab on the left side of the slide where it meets the barrel extension. Push the tab forward and turn the barrel extension toward the right side of the gun. Keep hold of the tab and extension as the recoil spring will be pushing on it. The tab is not captured, so if things go flying, it can get lost easily. Once the barrel extension and tab are set aside, you can pull on the recoil spring to move it off the barrel.
STEP 2. Lock the slide to the rear using the safety lever up into the second notch of the slide. Then turn the barrel a half turn towards the right side of the gun. This will release the locking lugs of the barrel from the lug recesses on the frame.
STEP 3. While holding the slide in one hand, and the frame in the other, move the safety lever down to release the slide forward off the frame. I placed the exclamation point on the slide in case the firing pin spring is pushing on the slide.
STEP 4. With the slide removed from the frame, twist the barrel to expose the locking lugs and the barrel is now free to be pulled out the front of the slide. If the firing pin and firing pin spring is sitting loose in the slide, you can pull it rearward out of the slide.
This ends the field strip process for the FN 1922 pistol, reassemble in reverse order.
NOTE: Some sources say to pull the trigger prior to field stripping, but this model was equipped with a magazine safety that requires a magazine to fully engage the trigger. Chad did not have a magazine yet, but it can still be field stripped, the firing pin and spring may still be compressed on the trigger sear, so be careful it doesn’t get bumped. I also had better luck getting the pistol back together with it in this position. The safety lever can also be removed from its UP position, then out of the frame.