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

 Updated: 1/30/2017; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

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

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

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 went on to see large-scale acceptance with only the Finnish Army (as its standard-issue 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.

Browning BDA (Browning Double-Action) Technical Specifications

Service Year: 1983
Type: Semi-Automatic Pistol / Military Service Sidearm
National Origin: Belgium
Manufacturer(s): FN Herstal - Belgium / Browning - USA

Design (Internal, Dimensions and Weights)

Firing Action: Short-Recoil; Locked Breech; Semi-Automatic
Available Caliber(s): 9x19mm Parabellum; 9x21mm IMI
Ammunition Count / Feed: 7-, 14- or 15-round detachable box magazine
Overall Length: 200 mm (7.87 inches)
Barrel Length: 118 mm (4.65 inches)
Weight (Empty): 2.03 lb (0.92 kg)
Sighting Assist: Iron front and rear


Muzzle Velocity: 1,148 feet/sec (350 m/sec)
Rate-of-Fire (RoF): 12 rounds-per-minute (rpm)
Typical Range: 164 feet (50 meters; 55 yards)

Global Operators / Customers / Users

Finland; United States

Model Variants (Including Prototypes)

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.

Browning BDA (Browning Double-Action) Images