Iíve recently been intrigued by super tiny pistols.
And I ran across the Le francais .25, Itís the smallest double action 25 Iíve seen at 4 /716 inch in length.
I was wondering if any of you own one and if so what you think of it?
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March 30, 2009, 02:36 AM
March 30, 2009, 11:47 AM
I donít own one, at least for the moment. But besides the small size it also has the most simple double-action system I know of. It consists of the trigger and trigger bar assembly, the striker/firing pin and two springs.
Some yearís back I was having a discussion about 9mm services pistols with Bill Ruger, who was in the process of designing one. I suggested that he look at the Le Francais, not as a final design, but as a departure point. He was aware of it, but not impressed. However another potential gun manufacturer apparently was.
His name was Gaston Glock.
March 30, 2009, 02:28 PM
Very interesting story.
I looked at the link you provide, and see that this French pistol was a blowback DAO without safety. The trigger was non pivoting, moving straight back like a 1911. The 'tilt the barrel up & forward to load the first round' peculiarity is odd. Made almost exclusively of cheap stampings. One model produced till 1969....and wasn't it 20 or so years later that the Glock was released?
The shape of its grip at the top -where the beavertail would be on a 1911- looks just like a Glock grip.
March 30, 2009, 03:04 PM
I think the only thing Gaston might have been interested in was the simplicity of the system. In a military sidearm, and from the perspective of manufacturing costs, simplicity is a virtue. Of course this was nothing but a concept that offered a starting point. Obviously the Glock design is much more involved. Keep in mind that the Le Francais dates from 1915.
March 30, 2009, 06:56 PM
I think it is interesting to compare the "Modele de Poche" with my Beretta Model 20 and other similar tip-ups. The only significant difference I see is the hammer-fired TDA lockwork of the Beretta. The barrel, slide and recoil-spring arrangements are about the same. It's kind of neat how the 1913 Le Francais design lives on even today.
March 30, 2009, 07:52 PM
It is also interesting to compare the striker spring arrangement of the Le Francais design with that of the H&K VP70, which is another DAO striker-fired design. Both designs utilize two springs, one pushing forward and one pushing backward. Apparently the function of the backward pushing spring is to keep the striker nose away from the breech face when chambering a round, thereby preventing chambering difficulties and slam fires. This spring is overridden by the main forward pushing spring when the gun is fired.
Glock's contribution to the design was to eliminate the backward pushing spring by partially cocking the striker upon slide closure, thereby serving the same function, as well as providing for a shorter trigger pull when firing the gun.