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BSA’s Experimental .34 Caliber Pistols

During World War One, Birmingham Small Arms (aka BSA) grew into a massive arms manufacturing facility to supply the previously inconceivable military appetite for rifles. When the war ended, they were left with a bit of a dilemma. As a private entity, what were they to do with such a huge production capacity and no more government orders?

One part of their post-war plan was to create and market a new line of handguns and ammunition in conjunction with a conglomerate of ammunition manufacturers. The result was a line of new belted cartridges including a .34 caliber belted round roughly equivalent to the .32 ACP. To use this cartridge, BSA designed a pistol, which was mostly a copy of the FN 1910. The hope was that a good marketing campaign centered around the state-of-the-art new ammunition would make for a popular product and many sales.

Unfortunately for BSA, the plan was a flop. Belted ammunition was new and innovative, but thoroughly unnecessary for blowback handgun cartridges. The new guns never went past the prototype stage, and only three are known to exist.

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