Field Stripping the FN Browning 1910/55 Pistol

Browning's model 1955 is just like the famous model 1910 single-action blow-back pistol.

This example was made in 1968, just before the 1968 Gun Control Act, which caused the end of production of this elegant little pocket pistol.

Some published disassembly instructions have you remove the slide with the main spring still installed, and then disengage the barrel lugs with the barrel under spring pressure. The breech slams shut in a shocking manner, shearing bits of metal from the barrel and slide lugs. But at least you can't shoot yourself with the slide removed from the pistol.

Here we'll assume you're competent to unload the pistol before you take it apart.

You must accept responsibility if you shoot yourself as you follow the rest of these instructions.

First, remove the magazine and remove all cartridges from the magazine.

Clear the chamber.

It's important to be SURE the pistol is unloaded, because the next steps involve breaking rule #2.

The pistol should not be disassembled while cocked, but the only way to be sure it isn't cocked is to cock it and pull the trigger. It can't be cocked or fired without a magazine in place.

So, replace the EMPTY magazine, cock the pistol, check the chamber again, point it in a safe direction, and pull the trigger.

Remove the magazine again.

Here's where we break rule #2.

Still with us?

This is the barrel bushing. Notice how the slots are oriented vertically when it's installed.

Press the barrel bushing in against the main spring, turn it about 1/4 turn counter-clockwise, and allow the main spring to push it out. Lift the barrel bushing off.

Remove the main spring. It comes out easier if you twist it counter-clockwise as you pull it out.

Move the slide to the rear and engage the safety in the forward notch. You may need to press the safety in before it will go up.

This pistol doesn't lock back after the last shot, as most modern pistols do. The purpose of the forward notch is to hold the slide in the proper position for disassembly.

Rotate the barrel 1/3 turn counter-clockwise (as viewed from the muzzle end) to disengage the barrel lugs from the receiver.

Disengage the safety, pull the slide forward...

and remove the slide.

Rotate the barrel clockwise to disengage the lugs from the slide.

With the barrel lug and spring removed, this step doesn't abuse Brother Browning's elegant pocket pistol.

Remove the barrel.

The striker, spring, and guide will fall out the rear end of the slide.

This is as far as you need to disassemble the 1910/55 for routine cleaning.

Reassembly is more or less the reverse of disassembly.

Put the striker, spring, and guide into the rear end of the slide.

Here they are all assembled.

Slide the main spring onto the barrel; the end with the close-wound coils goes on first, and that end fits tight if your spring is in new condition. It slides on easier if you twist it in the direction that would unwind the coils as it goes on--counter clockwise.

With the slide upside down, insert the barrel into the slide with the lugs pointing toward you, like this.

In this position, rotate the barrel counter-clockwise to engage the barrel lugs in the slide.

Engage the slide rails and slide the slide onto the frame. Push down on the connector as the slide passes over it.

Here the striker spring guide is about to enter the stop in the back of the frame.

With the slide all the way back, engage the safety in the front notch in the slide. Then turn the barrel clockwise to engage the barrel lugs in the frame. Once again, the front notch serves to hold the slide in the proper position for the barrel lugs to engage the frame lugs.

Return the slide to battery and engage the safety.

Put the barrel bushing in place with the slots oriented horizontally; this will align the lugs to go into the slide.

Here the bushing is pressed into place and rotated clockwise enough to partly engage the lugs.

This barrel bushing is rather short, so it's not easy to get hold of it to turn it. Turn it clockwise until the lugs engage fully and the slots are oriented vertically.

It's all back together.

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© 2010 Porter Rockwell

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