During the 1920s and 1930s the Dutch placed an order for 60,000 Browning 1922 pistols to equip their police forces with and for use as an officer’s sidearm. Many of these were never delivered in the end due to the outbreak of war, but a good proportion did enter service and it is an example of one of these we are looking at today:
Astute readers will recall that we looked at a Browning 1922 a few years ago. That pistol was in .32ACP, this example however is in .38, or 9mm Browning calibre and this is marked on the barrel alongside Belgian proof marks:
The calibre is also stamped onto the magazine:
Other detail differences to note are the lanyard loop at the base of the grip:
And most distinctively of all, a lovely crowned ‘W’ marking on the top of the slide, the royal cypher of Queen Wilhemina:
The Browning 1922 was a hugely popular pistol in the interwar years for law enforcement and was also widely adopted by many european nations for use by officers. It was small and light, easy to maintain as it used a simple blowback action and at the time .32 and .380 were both seen as perfectly legitimate law enforcement calibres. These pistols were also captured and used extensively by German forces following the occupation of Holland. It is very interesting to compare this example with my previous pistol as despite being the same model they are very different in appearence and handling. The commercial example has very fat grips, where as this example has thinner scales that completely changes the feel of the pistol in your hand.