Looking for info on an FN 1922 7.65mm (.32 ACP)


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UpTheIrons
March 14, 2009, 12:51 AM
I need a little help with this nice little pistol. This belongs to a friend, whose father brought it back from Europe decades ago. I don't remember when or where. I'll find out Sunday hopefully and add that info if it helps.

All serial numbers match, and they are somewhat lowish, I think: 317XX.

There are marks on each part. Every part that's big enough has a 6 in a square. In several places there is a 3, or it might be a J that's underlined.

The Belgian proof mark is on the slide, frame and barrel (see the photos): the lion above a line with PV underneath. There's also the inspector's stamp on the slide, barrel and frame: a G with a star (5-point, not an asterisk) over it.

I'm curious if the stamp on the barrel will help further identify the pistol. It looks like an oval with a crown on top. The oval has an E on top, LG on the next line, and maybe a star at the bottom.

Fit and finish are remarkable. This pistol could not have been fired much. I took it down, cleaned up a little surface rust (mostly on the recoil spring), and blew the dust out of the barrel. Ran a patch down it with Hoppe's and it came out almost clean. The bore is beautiful - no rust, pitting, or anything. It shone with a mirror finish.

I found this website, which gives me about all I know about it:

http://www.cruffler.com/historic-may01.html

I can't find an example with the wood grips this pistol has. I don't know if they are custom, or from a limited factory run. The pistol does have engraving on the right side that says "Anna Sage". If you don't know, she's "The Lady in Red" or "The Woman in Red," a Chicago madam who fingered John Dillinger for the FBI.

OK you experts, you have your homework, now hop to it! :)

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bertus
March 14, 2009, 06:44 AM
elg is the belgian proofmark,the lion on top of PV is a belgian as well it is the mark for the final test with smokeless powder,I`ll include a link,it is in Dutch but is you need a translation,just holler

http://www.proefbankstempels.nl/belgi%C3%AB2.html
* G is indeed an inspectors mark from 1928 till 1959
regards,
Oscar

Ron James
March 14, 2009, 12:16 PM
You have a very nice 1922 Browning, the grips while very nice do not appear to be original and rest assured the name engraved on the firearm is not the Anna Sage of Dillinger fame. She was a cheap hooker and didn't own a fire arm.

UpTheIrons
March 14, 2009, 12:47 PM
OK, I guess I've got a window of 1928-1959.

Any idea if I can narrow that down with the serial number anywhere?

On the engraving - I should have been more clear. The owner had it engraved himself. I wasn't trying to infer that this was owned at one time by Anna Sage.

Thanks for the help!

UpTheIrons
March 16, 2009, 12:32 AM
I got a little more of the story today. It seems I was a bit confused about the provenance of the pistol. The owner's father aquired it in Mexico in the 1970s, where it likely got the grips it has now.

I know that doesn't help date it, but I'm still looking for a place I can do a serial number search to find out the approximate date of manufacture.

Ron James
March 16, 2009, 05:09 PM
Well, don't know. Spent some time researching with no results. It appears to be a pre-war commercial version that has been re blued. That and the engraving lowers it to the statues of a shooter. Value 300 to 400. Sorry I couldn't be of more help. Ron

Jim K
March 16, 2009, 08:52 PM
I have about given up on trying to make sense of the serial numbers on those guns. That number could be just pre- or just post-WWII. If it has no German markings, it would not have been made under the occupation, so it is very likely a civilian model.

They are good pistols and were well thought of. The Model 1922 was a "quick and dirty" way to respond to complaints that the Model 1910 had too short a barrel and not enough magazine capacity.

There were so many of those guns that they are in the so-so collector category except for the contract guns for specific countries.

Jim

UpTheIrons
March 16, 2009, 10:49 PM
Thanks for the help! Wasn't really looking for a value, but that certainly makes the owner happy to know it's worth a few dollars. And with the serial number, I was ready to pull my hair out, since i could find nothing. Glad to see I'm not the only one having fits with it!;)

Ron James
March 16, 2009, 10:59 PM
Jim, I was thinking just post, but it should have an A in the serial number but even that is not certain. BTY do you have any ideal why the ladys name was ingraved on the gun?

Jim K
March 17, 2009, 10:34 PM
Ron and guys,

The more I read, the more confused I get on those M1922 serial numbers. Supposedly regular production started at 200,000 but there are contract guns above that. Some guns made under contract had a number series for that contract, duplicating numbers on other contracts. Some contract guns were apparently taken from regular production and have 200k plus serial numbers. For example, the French Navy contract (c.1932) seems to have started at 1000 and run to about 5500, while the earlier Dutch contract series started at 3000.

Then wartime serials put on guns produced under occupation seem to have just been ignored and numbering started over, though at what number seems not to be known.

All of this bears out what I have often said. Except in the U.S. at a recent date, serial numbers were of little concern to arms factories. They considered numbers to be a means of inventory control by a using organization, and of small interest to anyone else.

The interests of future collectors, of course, were of absolutely no concern at all.

Jim

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