Browning Model 1922 (Model 1910/1922)
The Browning Model 1922 design was born of a specific Yugoslavian semi-automatic pistol requirement and based on the existing Model 1910.
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In 1923, the Yugoslavian authorities contracted the Belgian concern of Fabrique Nationale to develop a semi-automatic pistol firing from an eight-round magazine and sporting a 114mm long barrel for accuracy. FN took to reworking their existing Browning Model 1910 (also FN Mle 1910) and lengthening the barrel as such and increased its magazine capacity from seven rounds to eight, extending the pistol grip as a result. The end-product was nothing more than a dimensionally different Model 1910 to suit the Yugoslavian requirement, featuring a longer slide and equally lengthened grip handle. The remaining features of the Model 1910 were left largely intact including the solid trigger facility, ribbed slide sides and iron front and rear sights. The Model 1922 relied on a striker based firing mechanism through the blowback principle and was fitted with a grip safety at the grip rear spine. The weapon was designated as the "Browning Model 1922" but would also become known by the name of "Browning Model 1910/1922". The pistol appeared in two distinct forms chambered for the 9x17mm Browning Short (.380 ACP) cartridge and the 7.65x17SR Browning (.32 ACP) cartridge.
With its introduction during the interwar years, the Model 1922/Mle 1922 inevitably went to war during World War 2. It was adopted by several European powers (for military and police use) in the time leading up to war and these included Holland, Greece, Romania, France, Denmark and Finland. After Belgium fell to the German invasion, FN factories continued output of the Model 1922 though this time for their German overseers. These production models were applicably stamped with German markings to indicate their fate and were introduced in 1940 under the designation of Pistole 626(b) - the "b" signifying their Belgian origins, common practice for the German Army inventory concerning captured weapons. The Pistole 626(b) was largely issued to Luftwaffe personnel as a standard sidearm.
The Model 1922 saw service through the end of the war in 1945 and after. It was further issued to West German troops following the division of Germany in the post-war world. Several attempts were made in the 1950s by the Browning Arms Company (established to market John Browning's military-minded designs to civilians) to bring the Model 1922 to a broader audience. This created the Browning Model 1955 and Browning Model 1971 designations within time.