The Gun that Started the Great War: The Browning M1910

It’s not almost as nicely referred to as the Colt M1911 or the Luger, but the Browning M1910 fired probably the most consequential pictures in historical past. On June 28, 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb nationalist, used an M1910 to shoot Archduke Franz Ferdinand, inheritor presumptive to the throne of Austria-Hungary, and his spouse Sophie, as their motorcade handed via Sarajevo, mortally wounding each. This single act set the political and navy dominoes falling, in the end resulting in World Conflict I.
A. Blowback mechanism. When the M1910 is fired, the rearward gasoline strain on the cartridge case cycles the weapon, because the slide isn’t locked to the breech.
B. Sights. The weapon’s sensible vary is a bit more than 30 yards, with the sights organized in a groove lower alongside the highest of the slide.
C. Barrel. With a barrel measuring simply 3 1/2 inches, the pistol’s general size is a mere 6 inches.
D. “Triple Security.” A lever on the rear of the grip must be depressed earlier than the pistol will hearth. There’s additionally {a magazine} security, which blocks firing when the journal is eliminated, and an exterior security lever.
E. Journal. The journal holds both six rounds of .380 or seven rounds of .32 ammunition.
Princip’s weapon of selection was leading edge for the time, due to the ingenuity of John Moses Browning. Browning started designing magazine-fed “self-loading” (or semiautomatic) pistols round 1896 and located a prepared producer in Europe: the Belgian firm Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre. The M1910 was a slender blowback handgun, chambered in each .380 ACP (9×17mm) and .32 ACP (7.65 mm Browning Quick); all it took to modify calibers was a barrel change. The barrel was the information for the wraparound recoil spring, a design that contributed to the gun’s smooth profile, and the M1910 was striker fired, with no exterior hammer. The journal held both six or seven rounds, relying on the caliber. (The Mannequin 1910/22, launched in 1922, featured an extended barrel, a bigger grip body, and two additional rounds within the journal.)
The M1910 remained in manufacturing till 1983, with greater than 700,000 going to navy, police, and civilian markets. With its compact design, it was an ideal murderer’s weapon. The M1910 additionally claimed the lives of Paul Doumer, the president of France, in Might 1932, and Huey Lengthy, the governor of Louisiana, in September 1935. MHQ
Chris McNab is a navy historian based mostly in the UK. His most up-to-date e-book is U.S. Supercarrier: Operations Handbook (Haynes Publishing, 2020).

This text seems within the Winter 2020 concern (Vol. 33, No. 2) of MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Navy Historical past with the headline: Weapons Examine | The Browning M1910

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