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Browning BDA (Browning Double-Action)

Semi-Automatic Pistol / Military Service Sidearm

Infantry / Small Arms

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Left side view of the Browning DBA semi-automatic pistol

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

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 1/30/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com
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.


FN Herstal - Belgium / Browning - USA
National flag of Finland National flag of United States Finland; United States
- Close Quarters Battle (CQB) / Personal Security
- Sidearm
Overall Length:
200 mm (7.87 in)
Barrel Length:
118 mm (4.65 in)
Weight (Unloaded):
2.03 lb (0.92 kg)
Iron front and rear
Short-Recoil; Locked Breech; Semi-Automatic
Muzzle Velocity:
1,148 feet-per-second (350 meters-per-second)
12 rounds-per-minute
Effective Range:
164 ft (50 m; 55 yd)
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.

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