The FN Model 1910, also known as the Browning model 1910, was a departure for Browning. Before, his designs were produced by both FN in Europe and Colt Firearms in the United States. Since Colt did not want to produce it, Browning chose to patent and produce this design in Europe only. Introduced in 1910, this pistol used a novel operating spring location surrounding the barrel. This location became the standard in such future weapons as the Walther PPK and Russian Makarov.
It incorporated the standard Browning striker-firing mechanism and a grip safety along with a magazine safety and an external safety lever (known as the “triple safety”) in a compact package. Offered in both .380 ACP (6-round magazine) and .32 ACP (7-round magazine) calibres, it remained in production until 1983. It is possible to switch calibres by changing only the barrel. However, FN never offered packages containing a single pistol with both calibre barrels.
A variant of the Model 1910 was known variously as the Model 1922 or 1910/22. This was a larger model with a longer barrel (113 mm), slide extension, and a longer grip frame to accommodate an extra two rounds. This model was aimed at military and police contracts and many examples were produced for various agencies. The FN Model 1910 was initially designed for the Kingdom of Serbia. In 1913, a purchase order for 235, Model 1910 semi automatic pistols was made by the Serbian National Army. The purchase was made for the 1st and 2nd Timok infantry divisions of the first army.
1910/1922 pistols went on to see extensive service in World War Two, and continued to be manufactured by the Germans after their occupation of Belgium and seizure of the FN factory. These examples carry Nazi production stamps, and most have simple chequered wood grips instead of the earlier horn or plastic grips bearing the FN logo.
The FN Model 1922 was also used by the following countries: Yugoslavia, The Netherlands, Greece, Turkey, Romania, France, Finland, Denmark, and West Germany in the post war period. While the Model 1910 was widely sold on both civilian and military markets, the Model 1922 was considered specifically a military and police pistol, with FN offering it to individual civilians only by special order.