Thursday, July 21, 2011
Gratuitous Gun Pr0n #54: Bayard 1908 .380ACP
Long before George Kellgren was hawking little pistols, and decades before Larry Seecamp was even born, the Belgian firm of Anciens Etablissements Pieper was selling the diminutive little Bayard 1908: A hammer-fired straight-blowback pistol available in .25ACP, .32ACP, or .380ACP.
The one in the picture is a .380 (although the .25 and .32 were the same size and, in fact, were identical except for the barrel, magazine and the dimensions of the breechface.) It's about the same in height and length as the P3AT, although a little wider and obviously heavier, since the only way to manufacture a firearm back then was to take a block of forged steel and machine away everything that didn't look like a gun.
In general layout, the pistol resembles a chopped-down FN Browning 1900, with the recoil assembly positioned over the barrel, although the internal mechanics differ, not least in that the gun is hammer- rather than striker-fired.
It's an interesting artifact from an earlier age when a gentleman could purchase a pistol through the mails, slip it into his vest pocket, and travel the world with not much needed in the way of a passport or papers, other than the kind that spend.