The FN Browning Model 1922 Centennial
“FN Model 1922 pistol was one of the firm’s most popular, arming civilians, law enforcement and militaries for decades.
The Great War devastated the nation of Belgium and its industry. The Fabrique Nationale (FN) factory laid mostly idle during the war. Machinery had been looted, and finished products such as guns, automobiles and motorcycles were requisitioned by German forces during the occupation. Additionally, the years 1919 and 1920 were dominated by hyperinflation, scarcity of raw materials and labor shortages. Millions of Belgians worked for the war effort in France, England and the United States, and it took time for these workers to find their way home. Others had perished or been disabled during the war.
Despite those challenges, FN was no longer restricted in the products it could manufacture, as had been the case when the DWM company held majority ownership in FN (1896-1918).
The post-war military market was flooded with war surplus, and FN focused on sales markets far removed from the war. Rekindling relationships with Central and South American buyers was a priority. FN’s first post-war military design was the Model 1922 Mauser rifle, but it proved to be a failure. It was intended for the South American market, but the length of the rifle was antiquated and reminiscent of 19th-century designs.
A purchasing commission from the newly formed nation of the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (to become Yugoslavia in 1929) came to the rescue. After independence, the country’s military assessed that it had no less than 20 pistol and revolver models on hand—a logistical nightmare even in peacetime. The commission’s desire was to standardize all handguns to one common Browning model. FN demonstrated the military Model 1903 pistol, but the price of the gun was deemed to be objectionable. The FN Model 1910 pistol had just been adopted by the Belgian military (1919), but the commission desired a more substantial model with raised sights, so FN invited it to collaborate on the development of a new pistol.”
The full article can be found here.
Photo Credit: Original Author