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pbrajak 6:04am on Thursday, September 16th, 2010 
Chipset cause kernel panic in OSX 64 bit Just be aware that this drive has a chipset that cause kernel panic in OSX 64bit mode when connected using fi...
nekro 3:00am on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 
Upgraded to latest Firmware after months of abandonment due to crashes when transferring anything over 500mb...problem still there... My saga: I purchased a Buffalo LinkStation Pr...  Tech support is good about shipping you replace disk drives in 12 months, with 3 different drives..
ljones 9:18am on Saturday, August 28th, 2010 
Handles the fast output of a NAS during backup Attractive Design","Easy To Setup","Easy to use","High Capacity","Quiet No Power Switch
adamis 1:56am on Monday, August 16th, 2010 
Use as TV hard disk recorder Bought this to use with my Panasonic TX-L42D25BA LCD/LED TV to give basic PVR facilities. A good solid drive - not fancy. Sent this back with in a week I was so excited when I bought this product. Sadly it was sent back for a refund within a week as it died.
rivaitan 1:36am on Thursday, July 29th, 2010 
Considering its price, it is a very appealing NAS for the beginner, as I was a year ago with NAS technology (not computers.
dermarsianer 5:40pm on Sunday, July 18th, 2010 
Upgraded to latest Firmware after months of abandonment due to crashes when transferring anything over 500mb...problem still there... Wanted a simple but defective network storage...  Works smoothly, very simple & effective SLOOWWWWW user interface, data transfer could be faster
helpmenowplease 8:36am on Tuesday, June 15th, 2010 
Overall great drive. After researching many different brands, the Buffalo was definitely a wise choice! No Comment. Fast, easy to install. A little heavier than some other ext. hard drives. A good purchase - can't go wrong with Buffalo Technologies Fast, Quiet, Great looking product, High Quality None It arrive early, and with the software it's worth the price. Easy to install and setup.
DonPingu 5:08pm on Tuesday, May 25th, 2010 
Device broke after 3 months, too late to return to NewEgg. Support useless beyond the forums and manual.
kelly 6:01am on Sunday, April 11th, 2010 
Not the largest space but enough for my needs Compact, easy to use, plug in and go! None so far.
jbrains 4:40am on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 
Good HDD This works fine for me - stores all my films and music, is quick and near silent. All in all at £85 its a bargain.

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Diminutive firearms in.25 ACP and.22 rimfire have been around a long time, and while widely carried, they have never gotten much respect. They were considered marginal manstoppers back when roundnose.38 loads were the standard for police and civilians alike, and now, in an era of increasingly potent self-defense loads available in compact designs, many consider the mouse guns downright useless. Certainly, these puny rounds would never be chosen if a deadly confrontation were inevitable, but then most people facing a certain shoot-out would wisely opt for something more potent than any readily carried handgun. That is why police officers reach for the long gun when things get hairy. I'll neither defend nor defame these mouse guns. I've carried them on occasion, and while I had reservations about their stopping power, any firearm can be a comfort. In the majority of cases where a firearm is used in defense, shots are not fired. A look up the barrel of any handgun is often enough to dissuade those who wish you harm. You cannot depend on the cowardice of attackers, though, and if the choice is made to carry any firearm for self defense, some thought should be given to calibers and loads. In the case of our smallest handguns the choice is usually limited as to calibers and has traditionally come down to the various rimfires vs. the.25 Auto. The choices have been expanding in recent years, and some.32-caliber autos are now available in small platforms but are still larger than diminutive handguns like the Baby Browning and other.25 and.22 platforms. NAA has also recently introduced a new.25-caliber cartridge in the same petite platform as its.32 Auto (see "Mighty Mouse" sidebar).
MIGHTY MOUSE NORTH AMERICAN ARMS has teamed with Cor-Bon to add some sizzle to the.25 caliber. The new cartridge is called the.25 NM and is basically a.32 Auto necked down to.25 caliber. The velocity is impressive. The only factory load yet available launches a 35-grain Hornady XTP hollowpoint at 1,200 fps from the 2. 185-inch barrel of the NAA Guardian. To put it in perspective, what you get, ballistically speaking, is a load almost identical to a.22 Long Rifle hollowpoint fired from a rifle. That is no small accomplishment, and the.25 NM is faster and packs more energy than any other mouse-gun load in existence. The factory Cor-Bon load penetrates six inches on average in bare ballistic gelatin and expands to.40 caliber. The load travels up to J 0 inches in gelatin that has been covered in denim and still expands to.36 caliber. This performance is far superior to any.25 Auto loads and is delivered in a very compact autoloader. The Guardian is not quite as small as most.25 Autos, but there would be few, if any carry situations where the size difference would matter. The Guardian is a solid, American-made stainless handgun and provides good reliability and service. It is a straight blowback design and, like many such mouse guns, does not have an ejector. The next round rising in the magazine kicks out the empty case. With most guns of this type the last fired case may occasionally hang in the slide. This is not really a problem since the firearm is empty and the case is cleared as a new magazine is inserted and the top round loaded into the chamber. The trigger is double-action-only, the hammer is bobbed, and there are no external safeties to fumble with. None is needed, of course, and this is the safest design anyone has yet come up with for carrying these handguns in deep concealment. The Guardian is also available in.32 Auto. These slightly beefier and more potent mouse guns have cut into the.22 rimfire/.25 Auto market, but there are still a lot of the smaller guns in use, and they are the main focus here. If you choose to carry one of the smallest of defensive handguns, there are decisions to be made as to caliber and loads. CHOOSING A LOAD Much has been written in recent decades on choosing a load for self defense, and not all experts agree on the required criteria. Some view expansion as the ultimate goal while others insist penetration is most important, with expansion a second. It can be confusing, but thankfully, with larger-caliber handguns you have a built-in margin for error. Take the.45 ACP, for example. If you load a premium 230-grain hollow-point into the chamber, you will most likely get good expansion and all the penetration required. If for some reason the bullet doesn't expand, your attacker still gets a.45-caliber hole completely through his vitals. No such margin for error exists with low-powered rounds like the.22 rimfire and.25 Auto.

Consider the.25 Auto. In recent years bullets have been developed that expand reliably in this caliber, but expansion further compromises the round's already iffy penetration. Speer's Gold Dot bullets are second to none in regard to reliable expansion, and the 35-grain Gold Dot.25 ACP load is no exception. It expands reliably but only penetrates six to seven inches in ballistic gelatin. Some experts feel this amount of penetration is adequate, but rest assured it is cutting it mighty close. On the other end of the bullet spectrum are the conventional 50-grain Full Metal Jacket loads. They will penetrate decently, but we all know their poor track record in regard to stopping power of roundnosed FMJ bullets even in larger calibers like the 9mm. If you compare the ballistics of the.25 Auto and.22 Long Rifle, it is easy to see there is little practical difference between the two. As with the.25 Auto, users of the.22 must decide if emphasis should be placed on penetration or expansion. Again, you can't have both to an appreciable degree. The.22 does offer a wider variety of loads to choose from, and rimfire loads are economical, thus making practice more affordable and likely. This is a major benefit since precise shot placement is critical, and these tiny guns do require considerable practice to attain the skill necessary to place shots accurately under stress. When you consider firearms like North American Arms' Mini Revolvers and some of the derringers that have been manufactured over the years, your load choices expand to include the more powerful.22 Magnum. You don't get a lot more velocity over the.22 Long Rifle in short barrels, but there is an appreciable amount. You also get a wide selection of bullet weights and designs to choose from. What you sacrifice is the firepower of a semiauto.
THE BABY BROWNING THE BROWNING.25 Automatic Pistol is the most copied of the.25 Autos and has set the benchmark for the type. Its lineage goes back to 1905 when John Moses Browning designed the first.25 Auto for FN of Belgium and called it the Vest Pocket Pistol. Through an agreement between Browning, Colt and FN, these pistols were not imported to the U.S. Instead, Browning designed a modified version that was marketed here by Colt. In 1927 Dieudonne Saive, who would later design the famed FN FAL rifle, reconfigured the FN.25 Auto by eliminating the grip safety and slide hold- back, relocating the safety and adding a magazine safety, a popular feature in Europe. The new model was smaller and lighter than Browning's original design and was nicknamed "Baby." This model was imported in large numbers to the U.S. beginning in 1953, but this ended in early 1969 due to size limits placed on imported handguns by the Gun Control Act of 1968. Those lucky enough to own one of these superbly made little guns possess one of the most reliable.25 Autos ever made, and one of the smallest. The Baby Browning has been widely copied in Europe and to a lesser degree here in the U.S. Few of these copies quite matched the quality and reliability of the original.

THE RELIABILITY FACTOR If you choose to carry one of the small autos, the choice between.25 Auto or.22 Long Rifle appears to be a no-brainer based on ballistics and cost of ammo, but there is another critical factor to consider: reliability. The rimmed case and long profile of the.22 Long Rifle can cause functioning problems in small autoloaders. The.25 Auto, as the name implies, was designed to be used in autos and functions reliably in quality guns. This is not to say you cannot find.22 autos that function reliably. You can. But.25 Autos across the board are simply more reliable.


North American Arms offers mini revolvers in rimfire calibers ranging from.22 Short to. 17 HMR. These solid little stainless firearms have a well-earned reputation for being rugged and reliable. While they don't afford the rapid firepower of.22 autoloading mouse guns, they are more dependable since there are no feeding and ejection worries to contend with. The stout hammer spring and robust external hammer also enhance ignition. I have fired roughly a thousand rounds of various.22 LR and.22 Magnum ammo through a test sample with interchangeable cylinders and have not encountered a single misfire. The Black Widow models are bulkier than some and certainly larger than a.25 Auto. However, they are still easy to conceal and carry, and the large grip affords a good hold. As with any good single-action revolver, the critical first shot is quick and natural. I've found if I bring the gun up one-handed and fully extend my arm at eye level shots can be placed in the kill zone of silhouettes fairly quickly at close combat ranges. It takes a bit of practice to develop accuracy much beyond spitting distance with the short-barreled models of these tiny revolvers, but it can be done. There is little room for error with the short sight radius, and you must keep the sights lined up perfectly during the trigger release to maintain accuracy. I recently chronographed a variety of.22 Long Rifle and.22 Magnum loads through a 2-inch-barreled Black Widow to see what velocities could be achieved from the short barrel. I also ran some unscientific tests on water jugs to judge terminal performance If a bullet will not expand in water, it is very unlikely to expand in flesh. Most of the rimfire loads tested would not expand reliably due to reduced velocities from the short barrel. As discussed elsewhere, lack of expansion with these low-powered loads is not necessarily a bad thing. There were some surprises during the water-jug tests. CO Stingers, which I've long relied on when maximum explosive effects were desired in.22 rifles, failed to expand at all from the short barrel. The most reliable expansion among the.22 LR loads tested was turned in by plain old Winchester Super X 40-grain hollowpoints and Remingtons hyper-velocity 33-grain Yellow Jacket loads, The Winchester load expanded more slowly and provided decent penetration while the Yellow Jackets offered quicker expansion and less penetration. The best expansion in Magnum loads was provided by the gaping hollow point of CCIs 3D-grain TNT.22 WMR load. It expanded beautifully every time I tested it, and the recovered bullet looked like what one would expect from a premium handgun bullet. By comparison, COs 50-grain Gold Dot load failed to expand at all but provide deep penetration. The.22 Magnum cylinder would be the way to go for self defense with this handgun. Magnum loads lose a lot of velocity in the short barrel, but still offer more energy and a wider selection of loads than the.22 Long Rifle chambering. This means the user can pick a load based on his preference for either expansion or penetration.

Another factor is reliable ignition. Centerfire cartridges like the.25 Auto are more likely to go bang when you pull the trigger than are rimfire cartridges. Anyone who fires enough.22 rimfire ammo is likely to encounter some misfires in the best of guns, and the small autos are not known for having heavy hammer falls that enhance ignition reliability. The reliability of rimfire ammo seems to vary from lot to lot no matter the brand, although I believe the quality has improved all around in recent years. If you do choose to carry a.22, buy it by the brick and test a given lot thoroughly for reliability before betting your life on it. Once you've determined a particular lot of ammo is reliable, stock up on it. CONCLUSION If you carry any self-defense handgun smaller than a 9rnrn, do not kid yourself-you are not well armed. You will be armed, though, and any handgun is a deterrent in most situations. The bottom line: Mouse guns are popular because they are extremely easy to carry, and any firearm you have on you when it's needed is better than the most potent handgun at home in the safe. I wish I could tell you exactly which of the loads and firearm types is best for you, but I would not presume to do so. Even the experts who have dedicated their lives to such questions disagree. It is your choice, but hopefully, some of the information provided here will help you to make an intelligent choice.
From Guns & Ammo HANDGUNS October/November 2005 Edition


John M. Brownings

FN Pocket Pistols By Col. W.R. Betz
Though less celebrated than the inventors other small arms, the little.25 cal. semi-autos were money in the bank for Fabrique Nationale and dozens of copy cats. Mankind may well be the sorriest, weakest and most vulnerable animal to survive relatively unchanged physically since its emergence from obscurity. Man had neither the tough hide of the rhinoceros nor the fleet feet of the gazelle to protect himself from his enemies, nor did he possess the deadly fangs, horns or hooves of the other large animals with which to defeat them. To survive, man has always needed his wits and artifacts to augment the meager power of his hands. From rocks and clubs to firearms, man has always carried weapons as a vital necessity and inherent right. As he approached a state of civilization, a happy condition he has yet to fully achieve, man became a gregarious creature. But the welcomed proximity of his fellow non-enemies has not completely obviated mans need for a personal, self defense weapon. From the flint blade, dagger and sheath knife to the pepperbox, derringer and revolver, small concealable but deadly survival weapons have always been and will remain in demand. The superior reliability, effectiveness and capacity for rapid multiple discharge of a self-loading handgun was recognized long before the first automatic pistols were perfected in Europe in the 1880-1890 period. The names Schonberger, Shwarzlose, Bergmann and Mannlicher are associated with the earliest of this new breed of firearms, large, heavy and intended primarily for military use. It remained for a self-taught, modest and unsophisticated Mormon gunsmith from a small town on the edge of the great American Wild West to bring to the waiting world its first successful small automatic pistol, one of a series which became known as pocket pistols. This is a necessarily brief history of John Moses Brownings earliest pocket pistols. It is a wry commentary on the much-touted Yankee Ingenuity and the burgeoning U.S. arms industry of the 1890s that three great American inventors of automatic weapons found it necessary to travel to Europe to find a market for their inventions. Hugo Borchardt, Hiram Maxim and John M. Browning, all of whom made major contributions to automatic weapons design and the technology of their mass production, could not at first gain acceptance of their ideas in the United States. Borchardt was a naturalized American citizen, born in Germany, whose 1893 toggle-action military pistol was first made by Ludwig Loewe & Co. of Berlin. His original design was refined by George Luger and became the renowned Parabellum P08. Relations between Borchardt and the Loewe firm deteriorated to the point that Borchardt finally offered his massive toggle-action pistol to Fabrique Nationale dArmes de Guerre of Belgium, where it was rejected. Borchardt left the offices of FN in a rage, leaving behind a preproduction prototype, Serial No. 27. The unique collectors item is now in the private collection of Val A. Browning, the American inventors son, to whom it was given many years later when he was working with his father in the FN plant. Hiram Maxim found a market for his machine gun in England, where he also developed an automatic pistol intended for use with the now obsolescent British.455 rimmed cartridge, as well as the 7.65 mm Borchardt and the 8mm Schonberger rounds. Maxims pistol was one of the simplest ever invented, but it had a tendency to spray hot gases on the shooters hand and was never produced commercially.
John M. Browning (whose name customarily includes the middle initial M to distinguish the inventor from his eldest son, John Browning), the most innovative and prolific inventor the world has ever known, was approached by Colts Patent Fire Arms Manufacturing Co., which had purchased his Model 1895 machine gun, with a request to design a military semi-automatic pistol for submission to the U.S. Army. In just two years, from 1894 to 1896, Browning created and patented five different large automatic pistols in.38 caliber and one in the new.32 caliber. Colt bought all of the.38s but no the.32, believing, rightly, that the Army would not consider such small caliber weapon. Perhaps because of his own love for shooting, Browning applied the principles used in the military.32 model to a smaller and simpler pistol, the prototype of which was also completed in 1897. The inventor was fond of the little gun and was accustomed to carrying it in his pocket during hikes on spring evenings in the foothills of the Wasatch Mountains near Ogden, Utah. The pocket model.32 was also offered to Colt, but it too was rejected. Colts pre-occupation with the promise of the lucrative commercial market in conjunction with rich military contracts for the big pistol, and its already popular line of small revolvers, blinded it to the potential sales of Brownings little.32 caliber pocket-sized automatic. A representative of Fabrique Nationale (FN), Hart O. Berg, who was visiting Hartford, Connecticut in connection with new developments in the manufacture of bicycles, met Browning and convinced him of the advantages of offering his.32 pistol to FN. Berg took one of the handmade prototypes back to Herstal, on the outskirts of Liege, Belgium, and showed it to FNs management. Fabrique Nationale had been formed in 1889 as a syndicate of some 13 Liege gun makers to undertake the production of the 7.65 mm Model 1889 Mauser rifle for the Belgium Army. Production rights and the machinery needed to make the rifle were obtained from Ludwig Loewe & Co. of Berlin. In 1896, Loewe purchased more than half of FNs stock, and in the following year consigned its controlling interest in FN to Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (DWM). By 1894, the Belgian Armys rifle orders had been filled and FN began work on a small number of Mauser rifles as authorized by DWM for the German Army. Limited production of sporting arms was also begun, but the capacity of the large FN plant was not being fully utilized; therefore, FN turned to the manufacture of automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles and ammunition. The opportunity to resume increased arms production in an almost new factory equipped for that purpose, and the obvious superiority of Brownings.32 caliber handgun over any other then in existence, delighted FNs management. After exhaustive trials proved the worth of Brownings designs, FNs general manager, Henri Frenay, recommended their purchase. On July 17, 1897, the president of FN, Baron Charles De Marmol, and John M. Browning signed a contract giving FN exclusive rights to make and sell the.32 (7.65mm) pistols outside the United States, Canada, Ireland and Great Britain. By 1912, this agreement had been revised to include provisions for giving Colt exclusive rights to sell FNs Browning-patent pistols in Greenland, Newfoundland, St. Pierre, Miquelon, Mexico, Central America (including the Panama Canal Zone) and the Antilles in the West Indies. These rights included all sales to governments, institutions, dealers and individuals. Colt and FN were allowed to compete for sales in England and Ireland, with FN to pay a license fee of 1.5 Belgian francs to Colt for every pistol sold there during the life of the applicable patent. Brownings original Model 1896 military.32 caliber model was modified slightly by FN technicians to facilitate production and was designated the Modele 1899 Browning. Several thousands of the 1899 and the smaller version, which came to be called the Model 1900, were produced for Belgian Army trials in 1900. The Belgian War Department rejected the Model 1899 pistol but approved the purchase of an initial order for 20,000 of the Model 1900 for issue to Belgian Army commissioned and non-commissioned officers.

Although the two.32 caliber Browning pistols look somewhat alike, the Model 1899 is easily identified by its larger size and greater weight (see table). The Model 1899 was never produced for commercial sale and quietly disappeared into the hands of museums and collectors. The inventors model is displayed in the Browning Firearms Museum in Ogden with the five.38 caliber prototypes purchased by Colt. The florid letterhead used by the Browning Brothers Co. in 1899 showed an illustration of the big.32 prototype, an indication of John M. Brownings confidence in its design even before it had been put into production. The Model 1900, identical to the small prototype carried to Belgium by Berg, became the first of Brownings small automatic pistols made for commercial sale and the first commercially successful automatic pistol of its kind in the world. The handmade prototype remained in Belgium until April 1978, when it was returned to Utah by Dr. Claude Gaier, FNs public relations manager, who accompanied the exhibition of Belgian arms, Belgian Gun Making and American History, shown in Salt Lake City that year. Model 1899 Length: Barrel: Weight: 183 mm (7.2 inches) 122 mm (4.8 inches) 765 grams (27 ounces) Model 1900 162mm (6.4 inches) 102 mm (4.0 inches) 625 grams (22 ounces)
One of the attributes of genius which characterized John M. Browning was his ability to create many separate and distinctly different firearms designs almost simultaneously. In the peak years of his incredible productivity, from about 1890 to 1910, he worked on new mechanisms for application to machine guns, semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, as well as semi-automatic pistols in both large calibers for military and police use and small calibers for sporting and self-defense handguns. The firearms he designed in his small shop in Ogden included lever-action repeating rifles and shotguns, slide-action repeaters (called trombones), and both full automatic and semi-automatic types. Although the first Browning pistol was gas operated, all the rest of his nine successful semi-automatic pistols (five sold to Colt, four to FN) were recoil operated, either blowback or locked-breech designs. Many of Brownings guns were conceived before suitable cartridges were available: therefore he designed his own. Colts request for a larger caliber pistol in 1905 led to Brownings development, with Winchesters help, of the.45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) cartridge. Similarly, Browning and Winchester brought forth the.32 ACP (7.65mm) cartridge for the Model 1900 pistol. Both the.45 and.32 cartridges proved their worth and are still widely used eight decades after their birth. The Model 1900 FN/Browning was an instant success. Hundreds of thousands were sold commercially, and it was also adopted for military and police use throughout Europe. Belatedly, Browning was asked by Colt to design a similar pocket pistol. With customary aplomb, Browning invented the Model 1903.32 ACP (7.65mm) Pocket model, later also made in caliber.380 ACP (9mm short). The Model 1903 Colt closely resembles the Model mm Browning Long Grande Modele which Browning had designed at the request of FN for military sales in Europe. It appears that Browning satisfied both Colt and FN by submitting to them at about the same time in 1901, two automatic pistols that were basically of the same design but intended for entirely different use. Sales of the FN/Browning Model 1900 were booming in 1905 when Browning patented in Belgium another pocket pistol. It is not known whether FN suggested that a still smaller pistol would sell well or whether Browning originated the idea himself. At any rate, in 1905, the same year in which Colt introduced in the United states the first.45 ACP pistol (a Browning design) the.25 ACP (6.35mm) Vest Pocket pistol was sold to FN, which designated it the Browning Automatic Pistol caliber 6.35mm (.25 caliber).

While the little gun is referred to on FN ledgers as the Model 1905, its patent year, as well as the V.P.25, many collectors and authors came to identify it as the Model 1906. Offering still more confusion was the European practice, at least in Germany and Czechoslovakia, for example, of identifying the Vest Pocket as the Baby or Le Bebe, a name more firmly attached to its.25 ACP successor and the topic of the second planned installment of this story. By whatever name it is called, production of the 6.35 mm Vest Pocket (VP) model commenced at FN in 1905, and like the Model 1900, it was an immediate hit in Europe. Its popularity, in fact, spawned literally dozens of copies by other European makers. Once again Colt saw the glint of gold in the FN/Browning Vest Pocket pistol and purchased from Browning the rights to make and sell the gun in the U.S. The Colt version had a small but useful modification, a safety lever that also served as a slide holdback to facilitate disassembly. Officially the Pocket Model, Caliber.25, Hammerless, but better known as the Model 1908 Vest Pocket Pistol, the Colt was further modified with a magazine safety in 1916 after about 141,000 had been made. The slide holdback safety lever was covered by an earlier Browning patent; the magazine safety was designed and patented by G.H. Tansley, a Clot employee. Shortly after the appearance of the Colt version, FN also modified its Vest Pocket model to provide for a safety lever and slide hold-back notch, but Tansleys magazine safety was not adopted. Like the Model 1900, the first FN VP pistols were made in standard blued finish with black hard rubber grip panels. Nickel plated models were also offered from the first. In keeping with the traditional use of engraving on arms made in the Liege area, many ornately embellished, nickel plated VPs were made for normal sales, in addition to those even more elaborate pieces specially ordered. The 1927 FN catalog illustrates available engraving patterns designated as Type I (deep-cut engraving, blued or nickel finish, grips of black rubber, ivory or pearl); Type II (delicate gold inlays, special blue finish, optional grips); Type III (fine English pattern, special blue or nickel finish, optional grips); Type IV (deep-cut Renaissance pattern, blued or nickeled, optional grips); Type V (ribbon pattern, blued or nickeled, optional grips); and type VI (modern style, heavy gold inlaid, special blue finish, optional grips). The tiny 6.35 mm pistol was a natural candidate for presentation to important visitors or as a gift for friends and relatives. One such specially engraved piece was made for Val A. Browning, the only surviving son of the inventor. It was set in a satin and velvet-lined case bearing the Fabrique Nationale label, Serial No. 778226, made in 1926 (the year Val cared for his father on his deathbed in the FN plant). The piece is embellished with a heavily gold-inlaid floral pattern executed by famous Belgian engraver Felix Funken, has the initials V.A.B. on the slide and carries ivory grips. Another VP pistol, also with brown-veined ivory grips, was given to George Emmett Browning, one of the three half-brothers who assisted John M. and his brother, Mathew Sandifur Browning, in the operation of the Browning Brothers store in Ogden. This presentation piece, Serial No. 10587 (circa 1907) in blue finish is covered with delicate engraving in the FN Type III English style and is accompanied by a suede leather purse with snap-top closure (a standard case of the time) resembling a coin purse. Among the most significant of the special order breed of Vest Pocket pistols is a quartet of standard blue pieces: Serial Nos. 456188, 456354, 456XXX, and 456602, with the gold-inlaid inscription on the left side of the slides: Un million, surrounded by a simple curving gold line. These pieces were made up at the order of the FN management to be used for presentation during the celebration of the production of the one millionth FN/Browning pistol in 1912. The actual one millionth piece to come off of the line cannot be identified. It could well have been Model 1900 7.65 mm; 1903 Grande Modele; Model 1910 7.65 mm 9 (the successor to the Model 1900); or a VP 6.35 mm. All of these pieces were being manufactured in 1912 when the one millionth mark was reached.

FN management decided to commemorate this landmark with a lavish banquet to which, according to a local newspaper account at the time were invited many public officials including King Albert and members of his cabinet. The engravers finished the four VP pistols on January 31, 1914, just in time for the ceremony held that evening. Two of them were to be given to the two most important attendees, the King and John M. Browning. The King sent his regrets, but after the speeches were finished, M. Andri, FNs Director General, presented one of the little pistols to M. Berryer, the Belgian Minister of War, who accepted it on the Kings behalf. A second commemorative pistol was presented by Andri to John M. Browning in recognition of the tremendous impact his inventions had on the fortunes of the Company. Val A. Browning, the inventors son, remembers the evening very well. I was a bit nervous because I was wearing my first tuxedo, he told the author. At 18 years, he was probably the youngest guest at the table. The next evening, at a private dinner given by Andri, Val Browning was presented with the third commemorative VP Pistol, No. 456354, in a presentation case lined with green velvet and gold satin. This piece was donated to the City of Ogden by Val Browning many years later with the rest of the Browning collection, and it now may be seen in the Browning Firearms Museum in Ogden, Utah. The fourth gold-inscribed pistol, No. 456188, was retained by FN for its Salle dExposition at the plant in Herstal, where it may be seen today. Records of the serial numbers of the pistols given to the King and John M. Browning have been swallowed up in FNs cavernous archives. At this point, the story of the four gold-inscribed Vest Pocket pistols begins to read like a mystery novel. Early in 1982, the author learned that an arms dealer in New Jersey had for sale a gold-inlaid Browning.25 caliber pistol NO. 456602. He stated that he had bought it in England from the well known firm ParkerHale of Birmingham in the 1950s. He had been told that the pistol had been obtained from an English officer who admitted having taken it from the FN plant in Herstal while on duty with the Allied Forces during World War II. According to the U.S. dealer, Parker-Hale had contacted FN regarding ownership of the piece and had been told that it was one of the commemorative pistols made in 1914, and that FN would take no action to recover it. Attempts to document these statements with Parker-Hale have been unsuccessful; after all, it would be most unusual to find details of the sale of one small pocket pistol in a firm of that size after some 40 years. Dr. Claude Gaier of the FN staff confirms that four specially prepared Vest Pocket pistols came off the production line January 31, 1914, with the serial numbers mentioned above. Dr Gaier suggests that one of the four pistols may still be in the Royal Belgium Arms Collection, but he did not recommend that we call the Kings armorer for confirmation! The whereabouts of the pistol given to John M. Browning that night in 1914 has been a mystery for many years. It has been the belief of members of the Browning family that it had been lost or stolen after the inventors death in the FN plant November 26, 1926. The author discussed the discovery of pistol No. 456602 with Val Browning who said that he could not prove its identity. My father was not very much interested in guns per se, he said. If he wanted a gun, hed make one. Browning agreed with the hypothesis that his father may have tucked the presentation case and its pistol in a desk drawer in his office at the FN plant after the banquet, where it may have remained forgotten for many years until WWII. Dr. Gaier wrote about the lost or stolen pistol: Unit S/N 456602 will remain a riddle. All that can be said is that the chances are that it was the one given to John M. Browning. Whatever may be learned by further research into the history of this mysterious VP, it now rests in the Browning Firearms Museum besides its sibling, the piece given to Val A. Browning on February 1, 1914. The inventors hand-made prototype Vest Pocket pistol has disappeared. It may have been swallowed up in the clutter of some workbench in the FN plant, its parts used to dimension new tooling and never reassembled. An unmarked but clearly machine-made factory reproduction prototype may be seen in the Browning Firearms Museum in Ogden.

Fabrique Nationales early production records have been lost, but by July 1913 a hand-scribed account shows that 451,310 Vest Pocket 6.35 mm pistols had been made. When WWI halted the wheels in the FN plant, the total production had climbed to 503,434 units. Production resumed in 1918, but only 200 were made that year. Production increased steadily to number more than one million by mid 1940. Commercial production was again stopped in May 1940, but during WWII, from May 1940 until June 1944, the records show that 2,633 VPs were requisitioned by the armed forces of the Third Reich. Most references on the subject state that FN ceased making the VP after 1940, but actually a few more were made, probably on special order or for presentation purposes. The hand-scribed account mentioned above shows the following data: 1944: 45 pieces; 1945: 46 pieces; 1946: 13 pieces; 1947: 1 piece; 19481949: none; 1950: three pieces; 1951-56: none; 1957: 14 pieces; 1958: none; 1959: 22 pieces; Total production from 1905 to the end of 1959 is recorded as 1,080,439 units. These data do not however reflect serial numbers accurately. A member of the U.S. Browning Collectors Association in California owns a FN Vest Pocket pistol bearing Serial No. 1086133, possibly one of those reportedly made in 1959. By agreement between Browning, FN and Colt, the FN made Vest Pocket pistol was never imported for sale in the U.S. but many were brought home from Europe by travelers and members of the U.S. Armed Forces. They are prized by collectors as basic models in the field of automatic pistols. FNs Baby.25 ACP, currently being put back in production by Virginia firm, proved a worthy successor to the popular Vest Pocket model. Fabrique Nationales production of the John M. Browning designed 6.25 mm Vest Pocket Pistol, which had risen to an annual high of 54,500 in 1928, began dropping off to match declining sales in the 1930s. By 1939, the last full year of production before World War II, only about 5,500 were made, 10 percent of the 1928 record. While other factors contributed to this drop in sales, FNs management realized that the design was obsolete and directed its chief of weapons design and development, Dieudonne Saive (later to become better known for his FN FAL) to come up with a new 6.35 mm model incorporating many of Brownings patented features but simpler and lighter (and therefore cheaper to make), in order to compete with the successful German subcompacts. An FN photograph of a prototype of the new pistol is dated April 9, 1927. The new FN/Browning 6.35 mm pistol was first marketed in Europe in 1931 under the nickname Baby. Saive eliminated the VPs grip safety and slide hold-back features, relocated the safety lever and added a magazine safety, a feature more popular in Europe than in the U.S. The new BABY weighed less and was smaller than its ancestor, but its functional specifications, i.e., barrel length and cartridge capacity, remained unchanged. Vest Pocket Weight: Height: Length: Barrel: Magazine Capacity: 340 grams (12 ounces) 76 mm (3 inches) 114 mm ( 4.5 inches) 53.6 mm (2.1 inches) 6 BABY 275 grams (9.7ounces) 72 mm (2.8 inches) 104mm (4.09 inches) 53.6 mm (2.1 inches) 6

FN made 1,096 BABY pistols in 1931, the first year of production. By 1939, production totaled 50,134. Only 13 units were made in 1940 before Department of War Management (DWM) took over the FN operations at Herstal. During World War II, from May 1940 until June 1944, only 129 BABY pistols were made, probably for important members of the occupying German Army or other officials. The BABY production line was not restarted for commercial sales until 1946, with 6,999 units made that year. By 1950, 49,694 more units had been made for a total of 106,969. 1951-1952 production totaled only 3,296 pieces.
The output of BABY pistols continued at a steady rate after 1953 until 1969, the year the U.S. Gun Control Act of 1968 took effect. The 1968 law, passed in the emotion-charged atmosphere resulting from the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and the Reverend Martin Luther King made illegal the import of small, personal handguns which could not meet a point system imposed by the Treasury Department. Along with the FN BABY, many other high quality handguns of foreign manufacture were forbidden to enter the U.S. The importance of U.S. sales, where the guns were marketed under the Browning name, is shown by the drop in BABY production from 42,588 units in 1968 to 1,957 units in 1969. The original FN BABY made for the European market can be recognized by the usual Fabrique Nationale slide markings with the familiar legend: BROWNINGS PATENT DEPOSE, and the name BABY at the bottom of each grip panel. Very few of these FN-marked pieces are seen in the U.S. as they were never imported under the FN name, no doubt because of the longstanding agreement between Colt and FN. At some time in 1952, Val A. Browning, who was at work in the FN plant at the time, ordered a BABY Pistol for his personal use. Just to carry in my pocket, he told the author. Serial No. 104102 was delivered October 15, 1952. It is delicately engraved with the FN type III English style and has ivory grip panels. The only markings are the hand cut name BROWNING, encircled in an oval wreath on the left side of the slide and the usual MADE IN BELGIUM also hand cut, just above the trigger guard, along with the Liege proof marks on the left side. This was probably the first of the BABY pistols to bear the Browning name in lieu of the FN markings. The full line of FN/Browning pistols had been introduced for sale in the U.S. under the Browning Arms Co. name in 1953, with the first pistol, No. 116251, standard blue, shipped from Belgium on September 9, 1953. The BABY was then called simply Browning.25 Automatic Pistol. Browning advertising in 1954 listed the blued.25 Browning, the Lightweight model, with satin finish alloy frame and chromed steel slide, and deluxe Renaissance model with full coverage in an engraving pattern similar to the old FN Type IV. The early Renaissance pieces are finished in high polish chrome plate, called the coin finish by collectors. By 1966, the polished finish had been replaced by a satin finish, not as attractive to some eyes, and commanding a price on the collectors market lower than the coin finish pieces. The BABY pistols imported by Browning are marked on the left side of the slide either BROWNING ARMS COMPANY, ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI and MADE IN BELGIUM into two lines, or with the shorter legend BROWNING ARMS COMPANY and MADE IN BELGIUM. The change was approved December 8, 1958, and was put into effect early in 1959. The slide marking used on other, larger-caliber FN/Browning pistols which includes instead of ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI, the address MORGAN UTAH AND MONTREAL P.Q. was never placed on the.25 Browning. To illustrate the difficulties attendant upon the research of FN/Browning arms in general, take the case of the first.25 Browning Renaissance model shipped to the U.S., No. 122021. It left Herstal, Belgium, on February 17, 1954, but bears the short slide markings approved in 1958, according to FNs records. Another early piece, No. 140650, shipped on August 29, 1955, has the long markings including the ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI address. This is not an uncommon anomaly in the identification of FN/Browning arms, which arises not from any intent to obscure production data, but more probably because of assembly inconsistencies in the gargantuan FN plant. It is quite conceivable that already numbered frames in a stock bin from which workers gathered parts on the assembly line could have been made in more than one year. It is reasonable to assume that a frame with serial number belonging in any one year could be assembled and shipped in a later year. But the opposite, a unit shipped in 1954 with slide markings not approved until four years later is a stickier wicket. This particular early renaissance piece was traded to Guns Unlimited Co., in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1969 by Clayton Moore, for many years famous as a TV personality, the Lone Ranger. The Long Rangers.25 in its black leatherette case now rests in a private collection in Toledo, Ohio, where its present owner resists all efforts to dislodge it!

Both the Lightweight and Renaissance models were adopted by Browning Arms Co. as standard catalog items. A prototype Lightweight model, No. 124402, was made up by FN and submitted to Browning for sales evaluation in 1953. This piece has the satin-silver-colored frame made of Hiduminium (an alloy developed by Rolls-Royce of England for aircraft application). The steel slide and other exterior steel components are blued. According to John V. Browning, (Val A. Brownings eldest son who was the companys president at the time), the sample was not approved for production, and the example in the authors collection is unique. A skeptic, especially if he were interested in acquiring this delectable collectible might say, Anyone can put a blue slide on an alloy frame! true, but this piece is authenticated by the factory marked serial number on both frame and slide. On October 9, 1953, FN shipped another sample.25 Browning to the companys Morgan, Utah, offices for evaluation. This pistol, No. 329251, is all steel in a bright satin finish that looks like stainless steel, but it is not. It has the nacrolac imitation mother-of-pearl grip panels like those on the Renaissance model. Slide markings are of the type used since 1959, BROWNING ARMS COMPANY and MADE IN BELGIUM, in two lines. This proposed variation was also rejected by Brownings board of directors and now resides contentedly among the other 6.35 mm/.25 ACP FN/Colt/Browning automatic pistols in the authors collection. This model, with FN slide markings and black plastic grips, was adopted by FN for sale outside the U.S. The FN/Browning BABY.25 Automatic has been produced in several deluxe variations in addition to special order pieces. Several engraving patterns were available at extra cost, and a very few super deluxe gold-plated pieces were made for personages of high rank. An example of a deluxe piece embellished with the Type I engraving pattern of grape leaves. No. 64142 was made for a Col. Armstrong, an acquaintance of John V. Browning, and was delivered in nickel plate with genuine mother-of-pearl grip panels on May 8, 1950. The earlier deluxe models of the Models 1900, 1905, 1906, 1910, 1922 and 1935 FN/Browning pistols were nickel plated. In 1953, FN discontinued the use of nickel in favor of the more durable and attractive chrome plating, both in the highly polished and brushed satin finishes. The advanced gun collector, like those in other collecting fields, has one of his primary objectives, the acquisition of at least one example of every variation of the model he has chosen as his specialty. By this definition, variations include changes in factory model design designations, mechanical features and dimensions, finishes, engraving patterns, grip designs, proof marks and other factory markings, extending even to the precise location and type of lettering used in the roll marks usually appearing on the slides of automatic pistols. One such collector of FN/Browning 6.35 mm/.25 ACP pistols in the U.S. claims to have 31 variations of the BABY model. It is patently impossible to find and obtain every variation of an FN/Browning in any caliber because of the great number of special order pieces involving countless styles of engraving and finish. Another goal established by serious gun collectors is to date exactly the start and finish of production runs of the varieties of his chosen specialty. This, too, is most difficult to accomplish with FN/Browning pistols. Apparently neither FN nor Browning Arms. Co. ever had any need to record such data in detail. Moreover, many changes in such areas as grip materials and patterns, engraving, designs, etc., as well as a few mechanical changes, may have been phased in over a period of time. We have previously mentioned one such example in the case of the Renaissance BABY model marked with the Browning Arms. Co. name but produced before Browning introduced the BABY line in the U.S. In contrast, known variations in the Vest Pocket model are limited to the versions with and without slide hold-back, and blued and nickel finishes. Few differences have been observed in details such as changes in slide markings. One example in the authors collection does have in addition to the usual FN markings, the legend, Manufacture Francaise dArmes et Cycles de Saint-Etienne on the right side of the slide, indicating not that the piece was made in France, but that it was sold by one of FNs agents of the time. Another Vest Pocket pistol had the hand cut mark AKAH on the front grip strap, probably placed there after delivery of the piece to Albrecht kind, GmbH & Co. of Nurnberg in 1930.

Thus there are in existence more collectible variations of the FN and Browning-marked BABY models than Vest Pockets. The basic Saive design has not been changed since 1931, but other differences of significance to the collector are worth noting. In addition to the prototype pieces mentioned above (and without listing either the three cataloged standard variations or special order pieces), the following interesting mutations have been observed: 1. Serial No. 226995 (1961), standard blue finish; marked on the left side of slide BROWNING ARMS COMPANY/MADE IN BELGIUM in two lines; marked on the right side of the slide in small letters FABRIQUE NATIONALE DARMES DE GUERRE HERSTAL-BELGIQUE in one line; has standard Belgian proof marks on slide only and is equipped with the old-style black grips with the initials FN in an oval at the top and the name BABY at the bottom. This piece was shipped in a white plastic box with an owners manual printed in German. On the front bow of the trigger guard is stamped the name GECO (Geschow, Hamburg). 2. Serial No. 484320 (1976), standard blued finish; marked on left side of the slide FABRIQUE NATIONALE HERSTAL BELGIQUE/BROWNINGS PATENT DEPOSE in two lines, the top line in large letters and the lower line in much smaller letters; the familiar PV Liege proof mark on the front of the slide only with black grips marked with the name BROWNING in an oval at the top. The frame is blue anodized alloy, probably Hiduminium like that used in the pre-1969 Browning.25 Lightweight model. The piece was sold to the author in a Browning zippered pouch containing an owners manual printed in Spanish. Fabrique Nationale records show that this piece was one of a lot of 25 sold to the Dominican Republic on June 25, 1976. This Lightweight model was never listed by Browning for sale in this country, and the author has no authenticated explanation for the presence of Browning-type grips on a piece marked with the FN name in 1976. 3. Serial No. 205 PM4176 (1980), standard blued finish, all steel construction; marked on the left side of the slide FABRIQUE NATIONALE only; has the French St. Etienne crown proof mark on the front of the slide only and has the Browning type grips which have been used on other FN pieces made for sale outside the U.S. after the acquisition by FN of controlling interest in the Browning Corporation. This piece was contained in a Styrofoam box with a cleaning brush and was imported by a firm in California for re-sale to police or security forces as permitted in an exemption to the import restrictions of the 1968 Gun Control Act. After disassembly, there can be seen the U.S. companys abbreviated name INTER AMERICAN and the abbreviation SACTO CA (Sacramento, Calif.) on the left side of the frame, and the markings BELGIUM ST. ETIENNE and the French proof mark on the right side. Another category of variations is mentioned only to recognize its existence and as a warning to collectors, to whom the old adage caveat emptor is all too familiar. The author was once offered a.25 Browning tastefully engraved in a pattern much resembling Renaissance. It sported ivory grips, carved in an odd design, and was guaranteed by the seller to be a factory original. The serial number will not be mentioned to protect the innocent owner; upon checking with a representative of FN, it was found not to have been engraved there. Several other larger FN/Browning pistols have been engraved in the U.S. with the well-known Renaissance pattern. It is a simple matter to strip the blue finish from a standard model pistol without harming the markings or sharp edges. With a pistol in the white in the hands of a capable engraver, it is not difficult to produce a very close replication of the Renaissance model. There are a number of engravers at work in the U. S. some of them being former employees of FN, whose works is extremely difficult to tell from the factory product.

To the purist, this sort of piece is a counterfeit and should have no place in an honest collection. But to many other gun buyers, such an embellished piece is simply a beautiful gun worth a lot of money, so in spite of the existence of ways to authenticate the originality of these bad apples, there is a market for them in the U.S. and the practice will probably continue. Examples have been brought to the attention of both the FN and Browning staffs, but no legal action can be taken against the counterfeiters because the products have not been advertised as factory originals, and the name Renaissance is a generic term that cannot be copy righted. Shortly after the elimination of.25 Browning imports by U.S. legislation, much to the confusion of lawmakers and collectors alike, there appeared on the American market an exact copy of the FN BABY made by Bauer Firearms of Frazier, Michigan. Nothing in the 1968 law prohibits U.S. manufacture of the same kind of handgun which was prohibited from import. Today, nearly 20 years after the effective date of the ill-conceived law, hosts of small.25 caliber pistols are being made in the U.S., many of them direct copies of the foreign models declared illegal to import in 1968. Some are being assembled in the U.S. with some parts made abroad. John M. Browning, whose innovative pistol designs have endured in the factories of countless arms makers for almost 100 years and who gave unselfish service to his country in times of military emergency, would be puzzled and hurt if he knew that some of his most popular and successful handguns had been declared illegal by the elected representatives of the American people in the congress. While the VP.25 auto and the BABY were intended as personal or last ditch defense arms, they are only marginally effective in lethality because of their miniscule caliber and light projectiles. Both models are surprisingly accurate in the hands of an experienced shooter, but their chief value lies not in their power but in the sense of security they bring to their owners. In todays restricted market, both are considered collectibles, the FN BABY and the.25 Browning version being more sought after than the FN Vest Pocket. The charm of the BABY/.25 Browning lies in its sleek lines, beautiful finish and precision workmanship. It is possible to find in American pawnshops and gun stores some of the early and countless foreign copies of the Browning Vest Pocket, but the original FN guns and the BABY models are rarely seen for sale in any variation. Production of the BABY 6.35 mm was transferred to the Manufacture dArmes de Bayonne, France (MAB), an FN subsidiary, in November 1979. Units made at Bayonne were proofed by an inspector from the French arms facility at St. Etienne and bear the crown St. Etienne proof on the face (muzzle end) of the slide. The only other marks observed on a 1980 example are the two words FABRIQUE NATIONALE on the left side of the slide and the serial number in the usual place on the left side of the frame just above the trigger guard. FN catalogs of 1979-1981 illustrate only the standard blued model, although we have been told that some of the satin chrome units were available on special order. In 1982, FN announced a limited edition of 1,000 pieces, chrome plated with Renaissance (Type III) engraving and selected figured walnut grips. These pistols carried the serial number 1/1000, 2/2000, etc., on the underside of the frame ahead of the trigger guard. Serial numbers are in the 1979 (RN) series. This model appeared in the 1983 FN catalog as the BABY DELUXE. Although the sales of the little pistol were reported as about 16,000 in 1983, the MAB plant was shut down, halting production of the BABY 6.35 mm pistol at 527,482 units. At about the same time FN received an offer from an American company, Precision Small Parts, Inc. of Charlottesville, Virginia, to purchase manufacture and sales rights for a version of the BABY to be made in this country. Agreement was reached for PSP to buy the remaining spare parts, and to make two models of the BABY, a standard, FN-marked model for export and a new variation to be called the PSP 25/22 for sale in this country. It was advertised in a PSP flyer in 1985 as the most advanced and versatile small caliber automatic pistol on the market today. The new name reflects a major change in design, one that many BABY devotees have advocated for years, that is the capability to change from.25 to.22 short caliber. This can be done with the PSP pistol without tools merely by switching barrels, firing pins and magazines.

According to Bruce D. Norris, PSPs general manager, some difficulty was encountered in finding a source of barrels. This problem has now been solved. PSP has tooled up to make the barrels itself. First Article inspection was performed by FN personnel at the PSP plant in September 1987, with the first export expected that month. These pieces, which are being made in 6.35 caliber only, will carry Browning marked grips. Standard FN markings will be rolled on the sides, but the pistols will not be marked to indicate place of manufacture, nor will they carry Belgian proofs. PSP expected to ship 1,000 pistols to FN by the end of the year, and to accelerate that schedule in 1988. The export units will be numbered in the standard FN system, with the product code 205 followed by the last two digits of the year of manufacture and five digits constituting the sequential number, starting with some such combinations as 00001, 00010, 001000, etc. It is expected that the U.S. version of the PSP 25/22 will be numbered in its own range. So much for good news, Norris tells us that the company has hit a snag in its preparations for the introduction of the 25/22. The product liability bugaboo in the form of exorbitant insurance rates is delaying introduction of the pistol into the U.S. PSP still expects to make the U.S. model as soon as a solution to the insurance problem can be found. Collectors of Browning pistols will welcome the opportunity to add the U.S. made BABY to their want list, although it will not be sold in this country through normal distribution channels. In the eyes of both collectors and buyers having a need for a small defense weapon, the convertibility of the PSP to.22 short caliber gives it a decided advantage over other.25 caliber pieces in that sub-compact category. Reprinted with permission from Colonel W. R. Betz



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