Tuesday, June 17, 2014
Husqvarna Model 1907 in .380 ACP
The Swedish Husqvarna began life as the Fabrique Nationale FN Model 1903. If you think it looks like a Colt Model 1903, the resemblance is quite intentional. FN was licensed to produce Browning's .32 caliber Pocket Hammerless for the European market while Colt had the U.S rights. Several countries reportedly wanted a larger service pistol on the same design so FN produced this model to handle the 9mm Browning Long cartridge. They enlarged and lengthened the grip to accommodate the bigger 9X20mm Browning Long cartridge. FN also lengthened the barrel to 5 inches as opposed to the 3 and a half inch barrel of the Colt .32 ACP.
One of the items FN added was a unique slide stop lever on the right side of the frame. The Colt 1903 had no slide stop. The FN version is a frame mounted "L" shaped armature that pops up into a notch on the slide when the slide retracts over an empty magazine. To release the slide you do not press the lever down you simply pull the slide further to the rear and the lever will then release the slide.
Otherwise the FN 1903 and the Colt 1903 are very much the same. They are both single action pistols utilizing a concealed hammer, they both have a grip safety and the magazine release on the heal of the grip is both company's models. Like the early versions of the Colt 1903 they both have a removable barrel bushing and they both share the same lack of useable sights. The Husqvarna Model 1907 weighs in at 32.8 ounces with an overall length of 8.07 inches. The magazine capacity is seven rounds.
The rear sight is a very small and shallow notch and the front sight is a very small rounded hump.
Sweden adopted the pistol in 1907 and imported them from FN dubbing it the model 1907. FN produced these pistols for Sweden until their factory was captured by German troops in 1914 during the Great War. Subsequently Sweden procured a license to produce them and Husqvarna began manufacturing them in 1917.
The Husqvarna Model 1907 was Sweden's stand sidearm from 1907 until 1940 when they adopted the 9mm Lahti. Sweden put many of them into the surplus pipeline in the 1950's with most of them coming to the U.S. They did pull them out of mothballs in the 1980's as their Lahti's began wearing out with the use of higher powered 9mm ammunition. The Model 1907 were a stop gap measure until Sweden received their order of Glock Model 17 pistols.
This pistol is one of the 1950's exports which came with it's leather military holster and three magazines.
Once they arrived in this country most importers re-chambered them to .380 ACP or in it's European designation 9mm Browning Short. The original chambering of the 9X20mm Browning Long cartridge was not very popular in the U.S. and the pistols were fairly quick and easy to convert to .380 ACP.
The pistol is devoid of any importation markings but does have this crown over the initials G.B. on the rear.
My assumption is that this is the inspection marking of Carl Gustaf Bjorkenstam but if anyone has any different information please drop me an email.
Shooting the Husqvarna Model 1907 is a snap. By today's standards of pistols this pistol is really over built for the .380 cartridge. The recoil veritably defines the word "minimal" and the accuracy is much better than to be expected.
I first rolled a three inch bullseye out to 15 feet to get to know the pistol a little better and was astonished with a ragged one hole 5 shot group.
Pushing the next target out to 21 feet I still got a good 5 round grouping. On the one hand you would expect pretty good accuracy with a five inch barrel and the recoil taming weight of this pistol but the tiny sights present a challenge.
Going out to 35 feet the grouping opened up due primarily because I could no long really distinguish the minuscule black front sight against the black target. Still they would have all been good upper torso hits.
In order to get a little more contrast I borrowed a red marker and hastily drew a 4X4 inch red box. The 16 rounds did group a little tighter.
Looking at this pistol it drips with INTRIGUE. During WWII Sweden declared their neutrality as they had since the 1815 Napoleonic wars. However, they were never completely certain if Germany was going to honor this declaration but they were able to stay out of the war with certain concessions to the Nazi's such as allowing them to ship troops and equipment through their country's railroad system. To the Allies they shared military intelligence and one can only imagine one of their intelligence officers on a mission armed with the Husqvarna model 1907 concealed in his jacket.
While Sweden exported several thousand of these pistols to the U.S. you do not see them all that often. GunBroker.com currently only shows one at a price of $475.00. For that money you get the pistol, three magazines and the leather holster. Not a bad deal for such a fun pistol.
Posted by Average Joe's Handgun Reviews at 6:22 PM