In 1896, Paul Mauser introduced the Mauser C96 “Broomhandle”, the first mass-produced and commercially successful semi-automatic pistol, which uses the recoil energy of one shot to reload the next. The distinctive characteristics of the C96 are the integral 10-round, box magazine in front of the trigger, the long barrel, the wooden shoulder stock which gives it the stability of a short-barreled rifle and doubles as a holster or carrying case, and a unique grip shaped like the handle of a broom. The grip earned the gun the nickname “broomhandle” in the English-speaking world, because of its round wooden handle.Luger Model 1900/06 is one of the first semi-auto pistols to use a detachable magazine housed in the pistol-grip.
THE PISTOLE PARABELLUM
The Pistole Parabellum, commonly known in the United States as just the Luger. It is a toggle-locked recoil-operated semi-automatic pistol produced in several models and by several nations from 1898 to 1948. It was one of the first semi-auto pistols to use a detachable magazine housed in the pistol-grip. The design was first patented by Georg Luger as an improvement upon the Borchardt Automatic Pistol, and was produced as the Parabellum Automatic Pistol, Borchardt-Luger System by the German arms manufacturer Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken (DWM). The first production model was known as the Modell 1900 Parabellum. Later versions included the Pistol Parabellum Model 1908 or P08 which was produced by DWM and other manufacturers. The first Parabellum pistol was adopted by the Swiss army in May 1900. In German Army service, the Parabellum was later adopted in modified form as the Pistol Model 1908 (P08) in caliber 9×19mm Parabellum. Colt M1911 pistol, has been in continuous production since 1911
COLT MODEL 1911
The Colt Model 1911 is a 7+1-round, single-action, semi-automatic, magazine-fed, recoil-operated pistol chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It served as the standard-issue sidearm for the United States Armed Forces from 1911 to 1986, however, due to its popularity, it has not been completely phased out. Designed by John Browning, the M1911 is the best-known of his designs to use the short recoil principle in its basic design. The pistol was widely copied, and this operating system rose to become the preeminent type of the 20th century and of nearly all modern centerfire pistols. It is popular with civilian shooters in competitive events such as USPSA, IDPA, International Practical Shooting Confederation, and Bullseye shooting. Compact variants are popular civilian concealed carry weapons in the U.S. because of the design’s relatively slim width and stopping power of the .The 45 ACP cartridge. The Walther PPK pistol is famous as fictional secret agent James Bond’s gun in many of the films and novels: Ian Fleming‘s choice of the Walther PPK directly influenced its popularity and its notoriety.
The Walther PP (Polizeipistole, or police pistol) series pistols were introduced in 1929 and are among the world’s first successful double action, blowback-operated semi-automatic pistols, developed by the German arms manufacturer Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen. They feature exposed hammers, a traditional double-action trigger mechanism, a single-stack 8-round magazine (for .32 ACP version), and a fixed barrel that also acts as the guide rod for the recoil spring. The Walther PP and smaller PPK models were both popular with European police and civilians for being reliable and concealable. They would remain the standard issue police pistol for much of Europe well into the 1970s and 80s. During World War II, they were issued to the German military, including the Luftwaffe. The Browning High-Power is the first high-capacity magazine, semi-automatic pistol.
BROWNING HI POWER
The Browning Hi Power is a 13+1-round, single-action, semi-automatic handgun available in 9mm. Introduced in 1935, it is based on a design by American firearms inventor John Browning, and completed by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Herstal, Belgium. Browning died in 1926, several years before the design was finalized. The Hi-Power is one of the most widely used military pistols in history, having been used by the armed forces of over 50 countries. The Hi Power name alludes to the 13-round magazine capacity, almost twice that of contemporary designs such as the Luger or Colt M1911. The Browning was one of the first pistols to use high capacity, detachable magazines.Heckler & Koch VP70Z semi-auto-only version of the VP70.
HECKLER & KOCH VP70
The Heckler & Koch VP70 was introduced in 1970, it is an 18+1-round, 9×19mm, blowback-operated, double-action-only, select-fire, polymer frame pistol manufactured by German arms firm Heckler & Koch GmbH. The VP70 was a revolutionary pistol, introducing the polymer frame, predating the Glock by 12 years. It also uses a spring-loaded striker, instead of a conventional firing pin and has a relatively heavy double-action-only trigger pull. It also uses a high-capacity 18-round magazine, twice as many rounds as the single-column magazine designs of the era, and 5 more rounds than the Browning Hi-Power. In lieu of a blade front sight, the VP70 uses a polished ramp with a central notch in the middle to provide the illusion of a dark front post. Contrary to a common misconception, the VP70 does indeed have a manual safety. It is the circular button located immediately behind the trigger and it’s a common crossblock safety. One unique feature of this weapon involved the combination stock/holster for the military version of the VP70. The stock incorporates a selector switch that, when mounted, allows for a three-round-burst mode of fire. Cyclic rate of fire for the burst is 2200 rounds per minute. When not mounted, the stock acts as a holster. VP stands for Volkspistole (literally “People’s Pistol”), and the designation 70 was for the first year of production: 1970.S&W Model 5906, the “third-generation” of the 59 series pistols.
SMITH & WESSON MODEL 59 semi-automatic pistols
The Smith & Wesson Model 59 was a 14+1round, semi-automatic pistols introduced in 1971. It was the first standard double-action pistol to use a high-capacity 14-round staggered-magazine. It went out of production a decade later in 1980 when the improved second generation series was introduced (the Model 459). The Model 459 was again improved into a third generation series, the 5904. Stainless steel versions of the second and third generation models were also widely popular, and were designated the Models 659 and 5906, respectively. The original Model 59 was manufactured in 9×19mm Parabellum caliber with a wider anodized aluminum frame (to accommodate a double-stack magazine), a straight backstrap, a magazine disconnect (the pistol will not fire unless a magazine is in place), and a blued carbon steel slide that carries the manual safety. The grip is of three pieces made of two nylon plastic panels joined by a metal backstrap. It uses a magazine release located to the rear of the trigger guard, similar to the Colt M1911.Beretta 92 FS.
The Beretta 92 is a 15+1-round, 9mm Parabellum, double-action, semi-automatic pistols introduced in 1975. It has an open slide design, an alloy frame and locking block barrel, originally used on Walther P38, and previously used on the M1951. The grip angle and the front sight integrated with the slide were also common to earlier Beretta pistols. What were perhaps the Model 92’s two most important advanced design features had first appeared on its immediate predecessor, the 1974 .380 caliber Model 84. These improvements both involved the magazine, which featured direct feed; that is, there was no feed ramp between the magazine and the chamber (a Beretta innovation in pistols). In addition, to a 15-round “double-stacked” magazine design, it was the first Beretta design to use a magazine release located to the rear of the trigger guard, similar to the Colt M1911. The United States’ military replaced the M1911A1 .45 ACP pistol in 1985 with the Beretta 92FS, designated as the M9.An early “third generation” Glock 17 (full-size pistol chambered for 9x19mm Parabellum), identified by the addition of thumb rests, an accessory rail, finger grooves on the front strap of the pistol grip and a single cross pin above the trigger.
GLOCK 17 semi-automatic pistols
The Glock 17, is a 17+1-round, 9mm Parabellum, polymer–framed, safe-action, short recoil-operated, locked-breech semi-automatic pistols designed and produced by Glock Ges.m.b.H., located in Deutsch-Wagram, Austria. It entered Austrian military and police service by 1982 after it was the top performer on an exhaustive series of reliability and safety tests. Despite initial resistance from the market to accept a perceived “plastic gun” due to unfounded durability and reliability concerns and fears that its use of a polymer frame might circumvent metal detectors in airports, Glock pistols have become the company’s most profitable line of products, commanding 65% of the market share of handguns for United States law enforcement agencies, as well as supplying numerous national armed forces, security agencies, and police forces in at least 48 countries. Glocks are also popular firearms among civilians for recreational and competition shooting, home and self-defense, and concealed carry or open carry. All-black FN Five-seveN USG pistol surrounded by twenty FN 5.7×28mm cartridges—the contents of a standard magazine.
The FN Five-seveN, is a 20+1-round, semi-automatic pistol designed and manufactured by Fabrique Nationale d’Armes de Guerre-Herstal (FN Herstal) in Belgium. The Five-seveN pistol was introduced in 1998. It was developed in conjunction with the FN P90 personal defense weapon and the FN 5.7×28mm cartridge. Developed as a companion pistol to the P90, the Five-seveN shares many of its design features: it is a lightweight polymer-based weapon with a large magazine capacity, ambidextrous controls, low recoil, and the ability to penetrate body armor when using certain types of ammunition. The Five-seveN is currently in service with military and police forces in over 40 nations. In the United States, the Five-seveN is in use with numerous law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Secret Service. In the years since the pistol’s introduction to the civilian market in the United States, it has also become increasingly popular with civilian shooters.