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.


That Guy said...

That is a cool gun, and one I had never heard of before. Thanks for posting about it.

I always considered the form factor of the 1903 to be the perfect concealment form. If someone was able to modernize the 1903 (or this 1907) into a locked breach 9mm and keep the same dimensions and rounded form, it would be the ultimate CHL gun for IWB. Full power, thin, full grip, no pokey sharp corners...

Jamie said...

Heard your talk over on GunNation about the Husky '07 and liked it a lot. I have been a fan of the '03 and '08 Colt's for some time and their FN eqivalents. FN pistols of this vintage are all lovely and, while I like the concealed hammer design of these firearms, I like the look of the FN 1910 and 1922 pistols, if not their striker-fired actions.

There was some discussion about carrying surplus pistols as defensive weapons. I carried an FN 1922 in .32ACP loaded with WW Silvertips, with which it functioned flawlessly, for a time, since it was what I had that lent itself to concealed carry.

Douglas Hoff said...

I would like to buy a WW1 pistol, and have found a Husqvarna Browning 1907 marked System Browning serial no 11673. It also has I 23 No 173 on it. Does anyone know about when this was manufactured? It is in good condition and they are asking $800. Is this a fair price? Douglas Hoff doug@scotchcap.com

Sgt.Stiglitz said...

Love mine and the price was right...........have several .380's and reload for it. Not a bad little pistol.



Unknown said...

I inherited this M1907 and had never fired a gun in my life. I took some beginners safety classes and now I am hooked. Cant stay out of the gun range.
Mine is a Tor Thursson/Helgekoltoff who are both posted as 2 of the 20 inspectors they had in Sweden. Infantry Regiment. This gun was made before the legal implications of using the Browning patent statement in the type 2 text and states System Browning. Along with the Crown of Sweden.
I am a 60 year old woman and I find this gun to be easy to handle, very little kick, well balanced and a good size for CHL. Not that this is a womans gun, but after a few lessons I am very comfortable with it. Excellent for in home defense for a woman alone. There is no mistaking the sound of that slide locking into place. I thank my beloved Father in law for such a fine piece.

Sgt.Stiglitz said...

More good info here on the M 1907. I reload for mine, have both barrels, .380 and 9 Browning Long.


Sgt.Stiglitz said...

So I took the Husqvarna Model 1907 in .380 ACP that a lot of people have bad mouthed along with a NOS 9 Browning long barrel and recoil spring to the range today along with a supply of .380, 9 Largo cases with 5 grs Unique and .355 dia. 88-90, 95-100, .356 dia. 102, 110 jacketed and .356 115 Cast bullets to try out. I paid 95.00 bucks for the Model 1907, another 100 bucks for the barrel and 150.00 for new sights. For a .350.00 and change no paperwork 100 year old auto pistol it works pretty well! Even brought along some Factory 9 Browning Long made for the Husqvarna Model 1907. My .380's are on the light side for plinking, 3.5-3.7Grs of Unique with the listed bullets. In the 9 Largo cases cut down to head space on the case mouth (20.85 +-.2) I loaded 95, 100, 102 and 110 Gr bullets in both .355 and .356 diameter. 88-90 are too light to function reliably in the Husqvarna Model 1907 with the .380 barrel and recoil spring installed with 3.5-3.7Grs of Unique. The heavier bullets work fine. In .380 average velocity was 951 fps. 9 Largo with 5 grs of Unique were 1129 fps. factory 9 Browning Longs were at 1164 fps with empties ejecting 20 or more feet away to the 3-4 o'clock position. The .380's eject into a nice little pile at about the 1-2 o'clock position maybe 5-6 feet away. The Largo's went about 3 o'clock and maybe 6-8 ft. away.
Neat old Pistol. My 9 Largo cases function 100% and accuracy at 7 yds unsupported was about 2". .380's seated a little longer than normal shoot about the same. .380's seated to function in any .380 pistol seem to shoot low and about double the group size.