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Browning BDA (Browning Double-Action) Semi-Automatic Pistol / Military Service Sidearm (1983)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/15/2016

The Browning BDA semi-automatic pistol of the mid-1980s was based on the proven Browning High-Power / GP35 model of the mid-1930s.

Picture of Browning BDA (Browning Double-Action)
Designed in 1983, the Browning BDA ("Browning Double-Action") was another semi-automatic pistol form to emerge from Fabrique Nationale of Herstal, Belgium and based on the classic John Browning work. It mimicked the form and function of the pre-World War 2 FN "GP35" model which ended as Browning's last contribution to guns (he died in 1926). The BDA went on to find only limited value in a crowded Double-Action (DA) pistol market which led to restricted production totals - manufacture of the product was given up as early as 1987. There were also concerns as to the product's quality control.

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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Specifications for the
Browning BDA (Browning Double-Action)
Semi-Automatic Pistol / Military Service Sidearm

Country of Origin: Belgium
Manufacturer: FN Herstal - Belgium / Browning - USA
Initial Year of Service: 1983

Overall Length: 200 mm (7.87 in)
Barrel Length: 118.00 mm (4.65 in)
Weight (Empty): 2.03 lb (0.92 kg)

Caliber*: 9x19mm Parabellum; 9x21mm IMI
Action: Double-Action; Blowback; Semi-Automatic
Feed: 7-, 14- or 15-round detachable box magazine
Muzzle Velocity: 1,148 ft/sec (350 m/sec)
Rate-of-Fire: 12 rounds per minute
Range: 164 ft (50 m; 55 yds)
Sights: Iron front and rear

* Listed caliber(s) for firearms may be model dependent if more than one model type/chambering was produced. Always consult official manufacturer's information or a licensed dealer.

Browning BDA ("Browning Double-Action") - Base Series Designation.

BDA-9S - Original designation

BDA-9M / BDAM - Medium frame model

BDA-9C / BDAC - Compact frame model

BDAO ("Browning Double-Action Only") - Revised trigger system.