Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by mikefcpd, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. mikefcpd

    mikefcpd New Member

    Nov 21, 2015
    I have an older semi auto firearm that I am looking for some information on. It has "FABRIQUE NATIONALE DARMES de GUERRE HERSTAL BELGIQUE" on the left side of the firearm. On the top it has a "Queens Crown" on top of a "W". The left side also has what looks like a small "lion" on top of a "line". Under the "line" is the initials "PV" which is on top of a "star" which is on top of a "N". On the left side is also the words ""BROWNINGS PATENT DEPOSE". It has a 4 diget serial number starting with 5. On the left side trigger guard is the initials "FN" which are inside a "Oval". The magazine has some markings with "9m/m" under them. The magazine has a 5 diget serial number on it that does not match the firearm. It has some wear on the end of the barrel and all serial numbers match other then the magazine. I am interested in the year, condition, military/non military and overall approximate value of this firearm.

    Attached Files:

  2. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    You appear to have a Browning Model 1910.

    As you may or may not know, in Europe, Browning guns were made by the National Fabricators of Weapons of War (Fabrique National D'Armes de Guerre), in Belgium. Known throughout the world simply as FN.

    The pistol came in both 7.62 Browning and 9mm Browning Short. Those are known, here in the States, as 32 Automatic Colt Pistol (ACP) and 380 ACP. Don't confuse it with what is normally called "9mm", because that refers to the 9mm Parabellum (or 9mm Luger - same round), and that one won't work.

    If anyone knows how to date FN guns, they are doing better than me. As I understand it, if you wired FN and told them you wanted to buy 10,000 pistols for your army, they'd send them to you, Serial Numbered 1 though 10000. Then if some other country wanted 5000 guns for their army, FN would send them out, Serial Numbered 1 through 5000.

    After 1958 they seemed to get it in one sock, and their numbers kinda make sense, but before that - it's anybody's guess.

    Looking at your proof marks, the standing lion over PV means it was proofed for smokeless powder after 1903. That helps a lot, right? The Star over the N is an inspector's mark. The N is the code for two different people. But only one was prior to 1958, so I'm SWAGing that it was Couchant Louis, from 1923 to 1952. That narrows it down to a 30-year window. :p

    I'm also gonna SWAG that the crown-over-W is probably a mark of the end-user. Not a Browning mark, but a mark for whoever the gun was made for. Like 1895 Mauser rifles, made in Berlin, but with Chile markings stamped on them, since they were made for the Chilean Army.

  3. mikefcpd

    mikefcpd New Member

    Nov 21, 2015
    Thank you very much Alpo. That helps me out a lot. Much appreciated.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2015
  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    You're welcome.

    And I forgot to mention - them was real good pictures. [​IMG]
  5. Lanrezac

    Lanrezac Well-Known Member

    Sep 18, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI
    I can add a couple of details:

    This version of the FN Browning Model 1910 is usually called the Model 1922. It is a Model 1910 with a longer grip in order to hold a bigger magazine, an extended barrel, and better sights. It was sold mainly as a police or military pistol, especially to small armies. A lot of them were made in 7.65mm Browning for the Germans during the occupation in World War II, and after the liberation, production continued into the 1950's, I think.

    I think the "W plus Crown" slide stamping on this one indicates it was purchased by the Dutch Army prior to World War II. "W" stood for Queen Wilhelmina, who reigned from 1890 until 1948. This makes it a moderately scarce variety. I don't know how many the Dutch bought, but I wouldn't be surprised if that information could be found online.

    The Germans would have seized all the Dutch pistols they could get their hands on. They didn't use 380 very much, so I have very little idea how they might have used them.

    The good news about this gun is that it appears to be in original condition, which is very preferable to having been refinished from a gun collector's point of view. The bad news is that it is somewhat rough, but it's not too bad, and would still be readily salable.

    I don't have any idea about values. There are a number of online gun auction websites, all with free registration. You might try signing up to some and checking the completed auctions for similar guns.

    This is a good article about the FN 1910, which contains directions for taking it apart, if you want. Your gun comes apart the same way;

    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015
    mikefcpd and rawright54 like this.
  6. Judge Henry Magnum

    Judge Henry Magnum New Member

    Jan 6, 2017
    This is an old thread, but I just ran across it, so perhaps someone will see it....

    I have a 1910/1920 FN pistol my father took off a "dead Jap officer," as he described, it on Peleliu in early 1945. The serial number, 450892, matches the barrel and magazine. There is no marking on the top. On the side of the receiver and on the slide there looks to be a lion rampant followed by a line over the letters PV. After that is a star over a C. The barrel is marked "CAL. 7m/m65" meaning I believe 7.56 mm. or .32 ACP. which it shoots.

    The pistol is in very rough shape - pitted in spots, well worn, the "D'Armes d' Guerre" barely legible, etc. Nevertheless, the pistol fires and cycles nicely. I know it has little intrinsic value, but it is a family heirloom. Dad was awarded a Navy Cross on Peleliu (and later a MOH at the Chosin Reservoir, among many others, (General Raymond G. Davis, you can look him up)).

    I wonder what the markings mean, but what mystifies me is how a Japanese Officer possessed a 1910 model in 1945. I can't find any indication that FN sold weapons to the Japanese, although they apparently did to the Chinese. Perhaps he took it off a dead chinese officer prior to tWW II. Or perhaps the Nazis sold it to the Japanese after they invaded Belgium in 1940.

    Any ideas? Thanks.
  7. tuckerd1

    tuckerd1 Moderator Supporting Member

    Pics would help a lot in answering some of your questions. It would be even better if you would start your own thread so everyone could start with your post and not the year old posts.
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