Browning 1955 or bda?


January 22, 2013, 11:57 PM
I have two trades available to me. The first is a BDA .380 in approx. 85-90% due to some dings in the grips, everything else is perfect. The second is a Browning 1955 in .380 that is easily 95%. What are they worth and which would be the better shooter (not sure if I'll resell or keep)?
Thanks in advance
BTW fairly new to THR and just wanted to say what a great resource this site is.
Keep it up everyone

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January 23, 2013, 11:44 AM
The BDA.
You can replace the grips.

The older BRowning design has a grip safety powered by the same flat spring that the trigger operates off of.

Even on a good day, they have very heavy trigger pulls that get heavier when the grip safety is depressed.


January 23, 2013, 11:49 AM

These pistols are so different, you cannot really compare them.

1955--Is a very compact, extremely well made pocket pistol. If you want to carry one of these pistols in a pocket or ankle holster, this is the only choice.
The sights are NON DRAG, because they are almost non-existant. The 1955, which is the same as the original 1910, use a trough on the top of the slide for the rear sight. The front sight is a very small blade in the middle of the trough, located near the muzzle. It sounds odd, but it does work for close range shooting.
I have only fired a limited number of hollow points through the 1955, so I cannot tell you if it is 100% reliable with them.
Also, this pistols is cocked and locked or empty chamber gun for carry. The safety is small and you may need a lot of practice for it. I would carry it with a full mag and empty chamber, then rack a round in when I need it.

I would put a 95% gun at $350.00

The BDA is a BERETTA 84 pistol with a solid (non open top) slide. It uses a slide mounted location for the safety, so cocked and locked is not practable.
Other than that, it should shoot just like the model 84. That is very well. The large size of the pistol makes it harder to conceal, but very easy to control.

Also, the sights and trigger are generally very good. I have found the BERETTA 84 to be the most reliable .380ACP pistol.
The 13 round magazine capacity is also nice to have and magazines are easy to find. You can find 3rd party manufactured for the BROWNING, but originals will cost you.

I have seen several used BDA'S and they start at $375.00 for a good model.

I would take either pistol.

Good luck,


January 23, 2013, 12:02 PM
BDA. Easy shooting, very accurate.

January 23, 2013, 12:18 PM
BDA. Mine's sweet in every way.

January 23, 2013, 05:59 PM
I believe the BDA is bigger, bulkier, but has way better sights. For a hideout, close range gun, the 1955 might be nice, but you are at risk to carry it loaded, safety off, and trying to fumble to go from empty chamber to bang, or loaded and fumbling for the tiny, hard to operate safety probably puts it out of the running for a carry pistol. I have one, and it is a very high quality gun, but mostly a curiosity, or to be used as a loaded & ready bedside gun for close range. Also, it is as big as Walther PPK, which is why many people chose the Walther way back when.

January 23, 2013, 07:45 PM
Having both I would go for a BDA if using as a regular carry gun and practice shooter, for a deep concealment gun the 1955 with it's much smaller size would be my choice.

January 23, 2013, 09:09 PM
The 1955 is an interesting gun but not even close, aesthetically, to
the BDA. I'm relatively new to guns, but even I know that kind of craftsmanship
is rare these days.
Thanks everyone for your responses. Just wanted to be sure I wasn't passing on a small fortune in the 1955.

January 24, 2013, 12:38 AM
I also have owned both and while the Browning Model 1955 is an extremely well built pistol, its design is that of a bygone era. While the overall shape is very streamlined it tiny sights and safety and carrying mode made it a less than ideal choice for any sort of CCW.

The Browning BDA is also very well built and benefits from being a much more modern and effective design for practical use. It is somewhat large for the cartridge its chambered for but I think the 13 rounds in the magazine more than make up for concerns about its size.

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