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Handguns of The Great War: Belgium and France

Of course, it was an FN pistol in the hands of the Black Hand that ignited the Great War in the first place. In this installment of the Handguns of World War I, we look at the Fabrique Nationale pistols, including, the Model 1900 and Model 1903 pistols, used by the Belgian Army during World War I. How good were they? Here’s a hint: They were designed by John Moses Browning. If the Belgians were squared away on handguns, the same could not be said of the French. The standard French sidearm at the start of the war was the anemic 8 mm Modele 1895 double-action revolver. While the French dug the Modele 1873 (made more famous by Brendan Frazier in “The Mummy”) out of mothballs for use in the trenches, France relied on Spanish-made Ruby pistols for more firepower. And firepower is a relative term—these were .32 ACP copies of the Browning 1903. Know what a Ruby is? Better watch this.

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