John Moses Browning designed some enhancements on his vestpocket-pistol, but was not able to realize them. He died in 1926 and his plans remained in the shelf.
His pupil Dieudonne Saive picked them up later on and with additional ideas he designed a "facelifting" to the Model 1906. It seems that the prototype was existing already in 1927, but the first serial of the new "Baby" appeared first in 1931 on the market.
Saive made the older model smaller again. The grip-safety was missing now, the safety lever was enlarged. By it's tiny dimensions it became a typical lady-pistol, and therefore - like the modell 1906 - also engraved and nickle-plated types were produced, which came with mother of pearl grips from the factory.
The standard types were sold in blued finish with plastic grips. Until 1966 FN produced this type with high grade polish, afterwards only in dull finish.
The company Colt and Fabrique Nationale did agree, that FN will not sell any M 1906 or Baby to the American market until the begin of the 1950ies. As late as 1953 (Colt got out of the vestpocket-pistol business long before) The Browning Arms Company started with the import of FN-pistols. Many of these pistols have just the name "Browning" at the top of the grips instead of "FN" and "Baby".
The American sales-boom was stopped in 1968, as a new gun control act did not longer allow the import of "Saturday Night Specials" (cheap vestpocket pistols). This encouraged the US-manufacturers to fill up this area. The company Bauer Firearms from Michigan produced a stainless-copy of the FN Baby, and other small companies produced small .25 pistols with fantasy names like "Raven" or "Titan".
In 1979 the place of production of the Baby changed to Bayonne/France, where FN owned the company "Manufacture d'Armes de Bayonne" (MAB). The pistols produced there just have the insignation "Fabrique Nationale" and the proof marks of St. Etienne. In Bayonne the carreer of the small .25 pistol ended, when the company was closed in 1983 because of financial reasons.
SYSTEM: self-cocking pistol with mass system and firing pin
CARTRIDGES : 6
CALIBRE : .25 ACP
BARREL LENGTH : 53.5 mm , 6 grooves right hand twisting
WEIGHT EMPTY : 275 g
TOTAL LENGTH : 103 mm
TOTAL HEIGHT : 73 mm
TOTAL WIDTH : 21 mm
TRIGGER : single action
SIGHT : fix
SAFETY : safety-lever and magazine-safety
FN Baby renaissance
Manufactured by the "Manufacture de Bayonne"
Many thanks to H.J.M for the pictures.
A curiosity, a Baby FN.....in 7,65mm!!
No, it is not a joke, it's a marking of origin but reassure you the weapon shots well the 6,35mm.
An error with the manufactory undoubtedly!?
Copy of a FN Baby in caliber 7.65mm. Unknown maker !
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