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Browning .32 Pistol

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(Note: This is a post from another board that Steve Camp has already commented on, but I thought I'd put it up here as well.)

My Grandfather apparently was quite a pistol enthusiast (I never met him). My dad says grandpa's favorite gun was a Browning .32. Having never heard of this, I did some research and came up with this:

.32 ACP
The .32 ACP pistol cartridge is the child of the famous firearms designer John Browning.

7.65 mm Browning rounds. Left: standard FMJ. Right: military round with nickel coating.
It was designed for early blowback pistols, that lacked a barrel locking mechanism.

The .32 ACP is compact and light, but short ranged and lacks stopping power. Even so it remains a viable self defense cartridge for use in compact pistols.

Muzzle velocity
4.8 g (74 gr) full metal jacket: 290 m/s (950 ft/s)

.32 Browning Auto
7.65 x 17 mm
7.65 mm Browning

Browning 1910, 1922 and 380 (Belgium)

Type: Single Action
Chamber: 7.65x17mm Browning (.32ACP) and 9x17mm Browning (.380ACP)
Weight unloaded: model 1910 - ca. 590 g; model 1922 - ca. 700 g
Length: model 1910 - 153 mm; model 1922 - 178 mm
Barrel length: model 1910 - 88 mm; model 1922 - 113 mm
Capacity: model 1910 - 7 (7.65mm) or 6 (9mm) rounds; model 1922 - 9 (7.65mm) or 8 (9mm) rounds

Model 1910 pistol had been developed by John M. Browning for Belgian company Fabrique Nationale (FN), Herstal. Model 1910 had been developed around two cartridges, also designed by Browning - the 7.65mm Browning, also known as .32ACP, which had been developed around 1900 for FN / Browning model 1900 pistol, and the 9mm Browning Short (9x17mm), also known as .380ACP, which, in turn, had been developed about 1908 for Colt / Browning model 1908 pistol.

In 1922, Browning modified the original pistol to suit requirements of the Jugoslavian military - he lenghtened barrel, enlarged the grip and magazine capacity by two rounds. The slide was lenghtened by adding removable frontal portion to the model 1910 slide.

Both models 1910 and 1922 were manufactured in large quantities until 1983 or so, when these guns were replaced by FN model 140DA / Browning BDA380 pistols. In the USA both model 1910 and model 1922 were imported under the name of "Browning 380 pistol", chambered in .380ACP. After the 1971, these guns have had ajustable target-type sights and slightly enlarged grips to suit new US gun laws. Between two World Wars these pistols became very popular across Europe as a police, military and self-defence guns. It is well-known also that the First World War was started by the Browning m1910 pistos, which had been used in 1914 to assasinate the Archduke Ferdinand.

Technically, both m 1910 and m 1922 (also known as model 1910/22), are blowback operated semi-automatic pistols. The recoil spring is located around the barrel, the trigger is of single action type and the gun is striker-fired. Both models featured three safeties - magazine safety (which blocks the firing when magazine is removed), automatic grip safety and manual, frame mounted safety.


Anyone ever shot this cartridge or this gun in .32? Are they still available in .32 as shooters? Any comments or observations would be much appreciated.

- Chris
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They haven't imported them new since the early '70s. The 1910 was a pretty neat little pocket gun, but the 1968 GCA killed it (FN brought in a target-sighted, thumb-rested abomination called the 1910/70 Target to try to get around the gun control act, but it flopped pretty heinously.)

There have been a fair number of surplus FN 1922s brought in over the years. You should be able to find a nice condition one for under $250.

In my experience, the 7.65 Browning/.32 acp is a pretty nifty cartridge. It's more accurate than most, and extremely pleasant to shoot. I've never fired a .32 acp (except for my Kel-Tec that was just toylike, but worked fine) that wasn't fun to shoot.

Here's a link to some 1922s for $250 (look under Browning):

I have a CZ27 in .32 ACP. I love the little cartridge, I don't perform any ballastics tests, so I can't say how much power it has, how it penetrates, or what not. But I can say, it's accurate in the gun I shoot, very controllable, and reliable. I very much enjoy shooting the gun and find absolutely no reasons to dislike the gun, even with the smaller bullet size.

I saw a lovely condition CZ27 with early Nazi marks for $225 not too long ago. I wonder if I should give the shop a call and make them an offer. . . ???
I have 1910's and 1922's in .32 and .380, collecting them in thier various contract forms is really rewarding.
But if you want a "Browning 32" get yourself a 1900 model, the gun he designed the cartridge for.
I bought a used Manurhin Walther PP .32 ACP in excellent condition at a gun show a couple of years ago. It is a very accurate pistol and pleasant to shoot, much more so than the .380 version, which smacks the web of my hand too aggressively. With WW Silvertip hollow points it also has a better than its ballistics would suggest reputation as a defensive round.
Thanks for the info, guys! I will have to show my dad a picture of the 1922 and a picture of the 1900, and see which one he thinks it was....

- Chris
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