FN Browning Pistols: Side Arms that Shaped World History, by Anthony Vanderlinden, is a greatly expanded follow-up to the author’s 2nd edition, single-volume, 334 pages of the same name. This a beautifully rendered edition and a “must have” addition to your library if you have the slightest interest in the pistols produced by Fabrique Nationale.
The book starts off with a very concise and interesting history of gun making in Belgium and the establishment of the FN factory in Liege. It continues with a decade-by-decade history of FN from 1889 through World War I and then every decade after to the current time.
Anthony Vanderlinden, who has authored five books on FN arms as well as published more than 10 gun books via his Wet Dog Publishing house, has done much to further our understanding of many of the nuances of European arms manufacturing that would be understandably lost to those of us who are only fluent in English. His in-depth history of FN and the European gun trade alone are reason enough to delve into this massive two-volume tome, but he has also scattered numerous gems throughout the text to keep the reader curious as to what bit of new-found information will change our perceptions of what we thought was gospel truth.
Case in point: Is it High Power or Hi Power? The reader will find that both are right, depending on the actual year and manufacturer of the pistol. Details never published before about the biography of John M. Browning are covered in the last chapter and again, are worth the price of admission.
The full-color photography that graces the 840 pages gives the book an almost 3D feel, so much so that the chapters on factory engraving give the reader such a clear picture of the engravers art that it is almost impossible not to run your fingers over the photos.
Of special interest to the collector will be the serial numbers and years of production of every FN made pistol from the Model 1899 through the Hi Power. Proofmarks and codes are revealed in detail, and no attention to detail is overlooked in the description and illustrations of grips, accessories and even user manuals and advertising broadsides.
Even if you have the 1st or 2nd editions of the same title, you will be well served to add this edition to your collection as the information added is vast and significant.
MSRP is $149.95, and NRA members will receive free shipping by using the code ‘NRA’ when purchasing online from Wet Dog.