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Browning M1922

ebeshirsebeshirs Member Posts: 382 ✭✭
edited June 2014 in Ask the Experts
I need help dating this Browning M1922. Serial number is 2616XX. It has 16 serrations. I know the grips aren't original and would like to get some correct ones. So if anyone knows what type should be on here (plastic, wood, etc.) that would help also. Any idea on the scrolling gold inlay design?
Added: Also, do all of these pistols have the magazine disconnect safety? If so, it appears this one has been removed.

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Comments

  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,453 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    From the serial number and markings. Your 1922 was made during the 1930's, for commercial sale.

    The early commercial grips were made of animal horn dyed black. Although the latter black plastic appeared very similar. They have molding markings on the back. The engraving with gold inlay, might or might not be factory original?

    Photo off the net of the grips. I can't tell if they are plastic or horn?



    336444348.jpg





    EDIT #1,

    The quality of some of the modern repo grips is really crummy. Bought some for a Sauer 38 H years ago. Fit was poor, and plastic detailing left a lot to be desired. Be careful buying replacement grips off the auctions. Without a actual hands-on, hard to tell if they are originals or repos.



    EDIT #2,


    The Plexiglass/Lucite grips have only been noted on war souvenir handguns, that the G.I.'s wanted to personalize. Needless to say these handguns weren't military issue. But obtained through bartering, or from surrendered or dead Germans. This is the first instance I have run across of additional holes being drilled and tapped in the frame to secure the grips, though.
  • Bill DeShivsBill DeShivs Member Posts: 1,271 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I would say the gold inlay is original. Deluxe walnut checkered grips are available on Ebay.
  • 1BigGuy1BigGuy Member Posts: 4,032 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    The slide legend is the most common style that was used from 1932 on.

    rufe-snow is correct regarding the original grips. They would, most likely, have been made of animal horn, with a flat underside. Plastic grips came into use in 1940 as the Nazi occupation of Belgium forced changes and horn was no longer available. Some soldiers that captured pistols during the war replaced the grips with plexiglass. These "sweetheart" grips allowed the soldiers to place photos underneath. The person that applied those grips drilled extra holes in the frame to lock them down. Originally there would have been only one screw for the grips.

    quote:From rufe-snow: The Plexiglass/Lucite grips have only been noted on war souvenir handguns, that the G.I.'s wanted to personalize. Needless to say these handguns weren't military issue. But obtained through bartering, or from surrendered or dead Germans. This is the first instance I have run across of additional holes being drilled and tapped in the frame to secure the grips, though.

    Edit: I did some double checking and ALL my FN 1922s have those two extra holes in the frame; from the earliest models made in 1922 through the war years and well into the 1950s. Those extra holes are standard manufacture. You can see them in the exploded diagram below. They're not threaded though, so the person responsible for those plexiglass grips probably tapped them for his grip screws.

    Serial numbers from 200,000 through approximately 285,000 would be in the standard pre-war range. Serial numbers 1 through approximately 180,000 are POST-war production. The lanyard ring MIGHT indicate pre-war contract production. I believe that lanyard rings were dropped from production during the war years.

    The Lion over PV represents the Belgian state symbol, the letters PV stand for "Poudre Vive" or "smokeless powder". This was the standard proof mark. The * "N" is the mark of inspector Henri Florkin. He worked as inspector from 1927-1958.

    Vanderlinden (in FN Browning Pistols ~ Side-Arms That Shaped World History page 220) states that "A number of prewar and postwar Model 1922 pistols have been observed featuring simple gold line engraving. These pistols are almost always represented as factory originals but are in fact modern creations." He has only ever seen one factory engraved 1922.

    It's certainly an interesting gun. I wish it were in my collection. I have a "thing" for 1922s.


    Browning_19101922_schem.jpg
    Edit: Yes, they all have it. Part #16 on the diagram is the Magazine Safety. #17 is the Magazine Safety Spring. I can see the Magazine Safety Pin (#19) in your photo; so maybe it's just a spring issue. They Safety is available from http://www.gunpartscorp.com/Products/491440.htm but they're out of springs.
  • Hawk CarseHawk Carse Member Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    You can get black plastic reproductions from Vintage and N.C. Ordnance.

    If it were mine, I would polish up the Plexiglas and trim pinup pictures to fit.
  • DaveFDaveF Member Posts: 75 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Not trying to hijack this thread, but......
    I also have a 1922 Browning, similar to rufe-snow's photo above, except mine was made with no provision for a lanyard ring. It has the plastic grips, and the slide legends as the above photos, and is proofed 'Lion' above 'PV' above '* M'.
    (I'm in Canada, and due to our insane firearms laws, with it's original .32 ACP barrel in place, it's a prohibited pistol.
    However, when I drop in the .380 ACP barrel I also have for it, it magically transforms itself into a non-prohibited, but merely restricted pistol - amazing, eh ??)
    Serial Number is Y.0987 on frame, original barrel and slide extension.P1020663.jpg~c200
    P1020659.jpg~c200P1020660.jpg~c200P1020662.jpg~c200

    There are some other frame markings.
    On the trigger guard, left side, bottom left is 'D' and top right is 'L6'(very lightly struck), right side bottom left is '1', top right is '0' under what looks like a lightly struck upside down and backwards 'J'.
    Underside of slide on the extractor side of the firing-pin spring slot is the same serial number, but preceeded by an 'X' and over a sideways 'U over_', and on the opposite side of the slot is 'A over _'.
    Can anyone give me a manufacturing date for this ??
    Thanks, DaveF
  • 1BigGuy1BigGuy Member Posts: 4,032 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    DaveF, I am not aware of any serial numbers beginning with "Y" for FN 1922 model pistols. Can you post any high quality photos as an edit to your post? This thread will be locked when it reaches ten posts, and this is number seven.

    I can only assume that you must have a "contract pistol" of some sort. Are there any other markings anywhere that might be helpful?


    Edit for rufe-snow below: The Greek pistols had the Greek letters Epsilon Sigma ( E O ) in their serial numbers, but no "Y".
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,453 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by DaveF
    Not trying to hijack this thread, but......
    I also have a 1922 Browning, similar to rufe-snow's photo above, except mine was made with no provision for a lanyard ring. It has the plastic grips, and the slide legends as the above photos, and is proofed 'Lion' above 'PV' above '* M'.
    (I'm in Canada, and due to our insane firearms laws, with it's original .32 ACP barrel in place, it's a prohibited pistol.
    However, when I drop in the .380 ACP barrel I also have for it, it magically transforms itself into a non-prohibited, but merely restricted pistol - amazing, eh ??)
    Serial Number is Y.0987 on frame, original barrel and slide extension.
    Can anyone give me a manufacturing date for this ??
    Thanks, DaveF





    This is just a guess, as I have nothing to substantiate it. Greek Model 1903 and 1903/14 army rifles. Use the letter "Y" as part of their chamber marking. As shown in this photo. Perhaps your 1922 was part of a small Greek order or contract?








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  • competentonecompetentone Member Posts: 4,651 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by 1BigGuy


    . Some soldiers that captured pistols during the war replaced the grips with plexiglass. These "sweetheart" grips allowed the soldiers to place photos underneath. The person that applied those grips drilled extra holes in the frame to lock them down. Originally there would have been only one screw for the grips.



    Personally, I think history the grips likely represent might be better for it as a collectable (and for its value as such) than trying to "restore" it closer to the condition it was in when it left the factory.
  • 1BigGuy1BigGuy Member Posts: 4,032 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    DaveF I am reasonably certain that those grips are of post-war manufacture. If they are original to the gun, then it would be from 1946 through 1952. That's about the best guess I can come up with. Perhaps Fabrique Nationale would be able to give you better information if you were to contact them directly.

    The Y serial number must be a contract number, since it doesn't fit any standard serial number range; but I have no idea who took out the contract.
  • DaveFDaveF Member Posts: 75 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thank you 1BigGuy and rufe-snow for your help with this.
    DaveF.
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