Chambered in 9x20mm Long, the blowback action FN 1903 was a stepping stone between John Browning’s innovative Model 1900 and his famous 1911.
In the evolutionary period of Browning handgun designs, the M1903 is something of the missing link.Whereas the 1900 was a pipsqueak pocket pistol chambered in .32 ACP, the 1903 was a longslide that fired a much larger round, used a 5-inch barrel and a single-stack 7-shot detachable box magazine– just as the later 1911 would. You can also take one look at the trigger and barrel bushing a disassembled 1903 and find it an almost dead ringer for the 1911. And we didn’t even mention the beavertail grip safeties yet.
In the above video from C&Resnal’s Small Arms of WWI Primer series, Othais and Mae take an in-depth look this week at the M1903 from the history to the breakdown and range time.
Sweden ended up liking the gun so much that they put it into production as the M07 under license by Husqvarna (yes, the chainsaw people) with a more military finish and some minor changes– which Mike from Bloke on the Range covers in great detail in a video dropped this week by our friends at The Firearm Blog. Pretty sweet coincidence.