The FN Browning M1900 is a single action, semi-automatic pistol designed c. 1896 by John Browning for Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN) and produced in Belgium at the turn of the century. It was the first production handgun to use a slide.
History The design was presented to arms manufacturer FN Herstal in 1898, with production commencing the following year (then under the designation Modele 1899). In 1900, an improved design featuring primarily a shorter barrel and wider grips was introduced as the M1900. These designations were applied retroactively after FN began manufacture of other Browning pistol designs; initially the M1900 was marketed as simply the "Pistolet Browning" (Browning Pistol). Production ceased only 11 years later, with a total of about 700,000 units having been produced.
United States President Theodore Roosevelt owned a mother of pearl-gripped M1900, which he regularly kept on his person and in his bedside drawer.
Eugen Schauman, a Finnish nationalist activist, assassinated the Governor-General Nikolay Bobrikov (the highest Russian authority in the Grand Duchy of Finland) with a Browning pistol on June 16, 1904, in Helsinki. The act was followed by spontaneous anti-Russian celebrations in the streets of Helsinki and after the 1917 independence Schauman was considered to be a national hero of Finland.
The North Korean Type 64 pistol is a copy of the M1900. Specimens examined by western authorities were marked with the date of 1964. A silenced variant was produced that featured a shortened slide to allow the threaded barrel to protrude far enough to attach the silencer.
Browning No.1 pistol was a first of a long and extremely successful series of the Belgian-made pistols, designed by the American firearms genius John Moses Browning.
The first semi-automatic, blowback operated pistol was designed by J. M. Browning circa 1896 and latter improved by the 1897. He offered his design to Belgian company FN Herstal circa 1898, and production began in 1899, as the Modele 1899. in 1900, this pistol, in slightly modified form (with barrel shortened from 122 to 102 mm), was adopted by Belgium as Mle.1900. Relatively simple and well designed, this pistol is also known as the Browning Number 1 pistol (Browning No.1). Widely used across Europe as a civilian and police sidearm, this was chambered for a new smokeless round, 7.62x17mm SR, which is also known in Americas as the .32ACP (.32 Colt Automatic). FN - Browning M1900 was widely copied in many countries, especially in S-E Asia. It was manufactured until the 1911 or so, with more than 700 000 pistols made.
Technical description. The M1900 is a blowback operated, semi-automatic (self-loading) pistol. The barrel is fixed to the frame. The recoil spring is located within the slide and above the barrel. This spring, via special lever, also acts as a firing pin spring. M1900 is a striker fired, single action weapon. Unlike all latter designs, the ejection port is cut in the frame, and not in the slide. Safety switch is located at the left side, above the grip panel. Magazine is removable, is inserted into the pistol handle and holds 7 rounds. Magazine catch lever is located at the heel of the grip. Sights are fixed.
Ammunition The weapon is chambered for the .32 ACP, also known as 7.65×17mm Browning SR, "SR" denotes semi-rimmed.
Synonyms This model is known by several names, including: