Saturday Night and I’m beat

Evening Me Droogs n Droogettes
Spawn #1 came by today.  Had a nice visit.  I got my order of 9mm and the stuff I ordered for him (some 230gn .45ACP) in last night, hence the visit today.  I managed to find some extremely hard to come by  ammo online about a week and a half ago.  The website/company is Freedom Munitions…

 They’re primarily a re-manufacturing company, which is why I think they had shit in stock.  Lotsa folks won’t buy reloads…  They –do– however also have ‘first run new’ ammo available as well…  I’ve bought from them in the past (couple of years back), and I thought of them a few back as I was getting a bit on the anxious side to get some basic 9mm to feed the Uzi…  I mean what good is a weapon without ‘food’ for it?

So, I got me a buttload of 9mm, and they surprisingly had .45 in stock, as well as lo and behold! .25 caliber.  My rationale for needing “poodle-shooter” ammo is thusly:

It’s a Fabrique Nationale Vest Pocket Model 1906.  .25 caliber.  Itty Bitty Baby Poodle Shooter.

It’s also 114 years old LOL.  I got it as a High School graduation gift from a friend from back in the day.  He was an adult friend-of-the-family who thought it was nonoperational, as it was in the half-disassembled mode, and had been that way for 40 + years in his dads drawer… his dad was cop who kept this as a drop piece back in the old days, and dude thought it was just a nonfunctional curio.  When he gave it to me, I immediately went to my books (no internet back then) and researched it.  Found out what was going on, and soaked it in some carb cleaner.  That did the trick.  It unbound the jammed slide and allowed me to rotate the locked barrel lugs to get it back where it needed to be.  Disassembly of this, and a lot of the guns from John Browning’s menagerie involve locking the slide halfway, then rotating the barrel, and releasing the slide lock.  In this case, dude’s dad had locked it to the rear, turned the barrel halfway, and released the slide causing it to ‘lock’ ON the lugs.  40 years of that caused the metal to bind like crazy.  When I soaked it, and then re-engaged the slide lock, the barrel, with a bit of convincing with some pliers, rotated back into place, and allowed it to go back into proper battery.

So instead of a hunk of broken metal, he ended up giving me a functional sterling silver plated “Gentleman’s Vest Gun.”  I used it all the way up until the back strap mainspring broke in 1996.  It’s a leaf spring that is split that allows it to cock properly.  One of the leaves, (leafs?) snapped off when I was out with friends doing a shoot… it’s one leaf style spring, but cut down the middle so one side puts pressure on the trigger, allowing it to cock, and the other (the one that broke off) allowed the ‘hammer’ (lil sliding early version of a striker hammer in a Glock) to be cocked.  When that piece broke off, the striker couldn’t lock into place, so it became nonfunctional.  So, at that,  I threw it into my sock drawer with the “eventually I’ll fix it” thing going on…

Cut to the past 20 years… I’ve looked diligently to find a replacement part but fuck… no dice.  Mind you, they made upwards of half-a-million of these things, but no fuckin’ dice on getting THAT spring.  Lots of the other fiddly bits available, but apparently, THIS part is the most common failure point.  NO ONE to include Numrich or any of the other ‘odds n’ sods’ gun part companies have it.  The list it, but it’s always been “out of stock.”

So, fast forward to a few weeks ago.  The Missuz knows how to shoot an AR/M-4.  Taught her myself.  However, it’s not concealable.  AND truthfully, I love her, but I –don’t– want her at my back with an M-4… 

So, I busted out the FN Baby Browning as it’s more commonly known as.

Its got matching numbers, and it’s in really good shape for it’s age.  I’ll never have it refinished, as it’s got charachter.  It also is NOW, fully functional.  That in itself is kind of cool, and, yeah, I’m patting myself on the back really hard, but I deserve it… not many motherfuckers could do what I did.

When I couldn’t find the actual part for it, I started looking around at other guns in similar make, model and year.  As a quick aside:  Back in the day, a well dressed gentleman of the “upper crust” so to speak, never left the house unless he was in a three-piece suit, and accouterments.  This was usually gloves, hat, spats and on his person, a watch, which went in the vest, as well as a very small pistol, which went in the other vest pocket.  Because of the anti-reality of gun grabbers, the vest pocket guns at the turn of the Century have been eliminated from the norms and retelling of history.  The vest you wear to this day?  Yeah.  One pocket was for yer cool-assed watch on a chain, and the other?  That was for yer fuckin’ gun bro.  Cool history lesson eh whot?

So, I digress… anyways, I found out Colt made a Vest Pocket 1908 as well… veeeeeery similar… two years AFTER the FN version but damn… the similarities amiright?

So while looking on various sites, I found that the VP 1908 is FAR more prolific than the Fabrique Nationale… dunno… maybe Colt in the States being the ‘gold standard’ and taxes on imported guns?  Tough to say.  The Late Great Hognose (AKA Weaponsman) did a whole writeup on the Baby Brownings HERE.  

So, after perusing various parts sites as I said, I found that the best price was on fucking Ebay of all places.  $3 for the spring.  The shipping cost more.  However, there were some significant differences in the spring from the FN…

The FN doesn’t have that folded over piece (the one with the hole in it) and the leaf is split wider and deeper on the FN.  So… to work I go…  I cut the folded over part with my dremel… cut it right off.  Then, I filed the thing smooth.  The hole in it is for the mag release, and matched perfectly.  Then I cut down between the two leaves really fucking carefully until it matched the FN.  I had to also hand-file the width of it, as when I put my calipers on it, the Colt was .025 wider than the FN, so I filed it very carefully til it matched.

Now the one pictured has a really good angle on the curve to the leaf springs.  The one I had?  Holy Shit!  Almost a full circular curve to it.  It needed to be more like the one in the picture.  So, I filled a small dish with gun oil, and then busted out the blowtorch.  I super-heated the spring til it glowed, and used tweezers to put the right curve on it, and cooled it/hardened it in the oil.

Then I fitted it.  Surprisingly, it went right fuckin in… no mess-no fuss.  I then loaded up some of my precious but dated ammo (at the time I only had 10 rounds left over from 1996, and the mag holds 6) and took it into the side yard. 

The test fire worked like a charm, and it’s now in the missuz side table at night. 

Damn I’m good.

So when I found a box of .25ACP at Freedom, I didn’t mind paying a premium.  The only thing I did was put the BBs on the drill press…

Viola… Instant increase in lethality.  Gimme Hollowpoints over FMJ any day. 

So, that was the newest gun adventure.  I’ll post more as I build more.  The Uzi should be done by next weekend I hope.  I’ll tune y’all in then.

Til then I remain, the Intrepid Reporter
Big Country

By BigCountryExpat

Fuck you if you can't take a joke. No one gets out alive so eat me.


  1. Nice job on the gunsmithing there, IR. Must have taken a lot of cogitating to figure out that spring issue.

    Always liked the feel of a .25ACP in a real gun, not some Jennings POS. Colt, FN, as you said, a gentleman's gun. Or a lady's purse gun. Lots of people have been popped by a .25. Not that great against a speed-head or bath-salt zombie, unless a head hit, but good enough to put the skeered in your average dumbass.

    Thanks for the history lesson on that other vest pocket. Also one of the many reasons for the suit pockets. Or the inner pocket of the overcoat, or the pocket that can be reached from both sides.

    History is an interesting subject, as long as you don't prejudge and predispose your opinions. Let the facts flow.

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