So I'm looking at this FN 1922, which was originally ginned up as a service pistol for the newly-formed Yugoslavian army. It's basically an FN 1910 (a pistol of momentous significance in Balkan history) with the barrel and grip stretched so that it wouldn't get lost on a soldier's belt, although it's still a ludicrously tiny-looking military sidearm to American eyes.
It is hefty for its original .380 chambering, and in .32 it seems ludicrously overbuilt by modern standards, but in those days there was simply no other way to make a firearm other than taking a block of steel and whittling away everything that didn't look like a gun. This results in weapons that are beautiful examples of the machinist's craft, but hardly the most efficient way to supply hundreds of thousands of troops.
If you look at infantry rifles from before the Great War, and compare them to their descendants in the closing days of WWII, you will see the effect of mass production really being seriously applied to arms, and I'm not referring to the last-ditch examples turned out in the bombed-out arsenals of the Axis countries, either. Look at an early Springfield M1903 and compare it to a late M1903A3: Stampings have replaced intricately-machined parts and function just as well, and a fairly simple rear peep sight works even better in the real world than the elaborate barrel-mounted Camp Perry slide rule it replaced.
Meanwhile, stamped-and-welded tube guns like the Sten and the PPS were churned out by the jillion and worked just fine for their intended purpose of arming conscripts in job lots so they could kill other conscripts in job lots. By the latter part of the century, welded stampings and castings and injection-moldings had almost completely replaced machined forgings and dead trees as firearm components.
So, anyway, like I said, I'm looking at this FN 1922, which is a nine-shot .32 that weighs as much unloaded as my full-size M&P 9, which is a superior weapon in every way that matters...
...except I wonder if someone will be looking at that disposable plastic pistol in 2100 the way I am the FN right now? Somehow I don't think so, and it's kind of sad in a way. The modern manufacturing techniques can produce just about anything better except an heirloom.