The design was chambered for the popular 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge firing from a 14-round magazine (detachable) inserted into the base of the grip. The slide featured the usual ribbing along its sides for a firm grip and iron sights over the weapon gave some capability for accurized fire. It included a revised trigger guard (when compared to the GP35) and, while developed as a DA model, could be reworked to become a Single-Action (SA) model if desired. The decocking lever was ambidextrous and the magazine catch could be set to either the right or left side of the gun. A firing pin safety feature only allowed firing through complete and proper management of the trigger.
The BDA only saw large-scale acceptance with the Finnish Army as its standard service pistol. Other variants in the line included a medium and compact sized form. The Browning Double-Action Only (BDAO) was given an altogether different trigger which automatically decocked the hammer after each firing.
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