Saturday, June 11, 2011

Well, it almost went right...

So today’s challenge was to clean Dad’s Model 1922 Browning .32.  Note to Dad – I know you thought it was safely hidden in your underwear drawer, but I’ve known where it was for more than 50 years.  I did always try to make sure the t-shirts were put back neatly after I had been messing with it, though.

I don’t know where Dad got it - it was just always there. Made by Fabrique Nationale in Belgium,  it has the Nazi stamps that show it was made during the German occupation.  The West Virginians from Dad's area all went to the Pacific.  Dad was a medic in the Philippines, and his unit was supposed to move into Japan with the first wave of Marines when the U.S. invaded.  Then, after carpet bombing didn’t get the idea across, a couple of larger bombs finally convinced some folks that it was time to quit, and he served as part of the occupying army in Tokyo.   He did bring some souvenirs home - the blanket the gun is laying on was courtesy of some Japanese cavalry horse - but the Browning must have been picked up later.

Anyway, this gun hasn’t been fired for I don’t know how long, and I thought it was time to make it useful again.    So, first step:

Safe?  Yes.  No surprises waiting.

Next step, take it apart.  I've a fair amount of confidence that I can take it apart.  It's the putting back together that concerns me.

OK.  Yes.  Some of it's a bugger just trying to move little pieces that haven't much to get hold of, but it's safely disassembled.    Now for application of a great deal of cleaning oil.

All the serial numbers on the parts match.

If I squint I can read all the stampings and see the German eagles on each part.                                       

Then came the reassembling.  Ummm... well.  It's the barrel.  No matter which way I turn it, I cannot get it to lock back in the way it is supposed to. Watched a video on field stripping this model, swear I'm doing it the same.  Went through it step by step to make sure I was doing exactly the same thing.  Over and over.  But that barrel ain't about to move past a certain point no matter how much wiggling or grumbling I do.  

So that's where I am right now.  Thought I'd set it down and go do other things for a while and see if I develop a magic touch in the interim.  Or if the shoe elves will fix it.  I wonder if there's a patron saint of I-took-it-apart-and-now-I-can't-get-it-back-together causes?

Added 10 min later:

Dang!  Decided to take one more crack at it and slide, click, done.  No gaurantee it will fire, but, hey, I figure this was a victory!


  1. I'm looking forward to the range report. Good job getting it back together, by the way.

  2. Very nice! Here's a link to a set of instructions

  3. Thanks, Old NFO! I was looking for something like that but wasn't hitting it on Google.