New Model Melior: A Remarkably Nice Belgian FN Lookalike

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The New Model Melior was patented just before World War One, but did not go into production until 1920. It was a visual lookalike of the FN Model 1910, where the (retroactively named) Old Model Melior had been a copy of the FN Model 1900. The New Model was actually a remarkably well designed and well-made gun, with a working system quite different from the FN it was externally modeled after. It was in production until the 1950s (with a hiatus during World War Two), which is a remarkable achievement for this sort of pistol. This example is in .380 caliber, which was introduced after 1945, along with a .22 rimfire model.

Thanks to Ozark Machine Gun for loaning me this pistol – check out his cool machine gun rental range in Missouri!

Reference: Ed Buffaloe has good reference pages on both the Old Model Melior/Jieffeco (https://unblinkingeye.com/Guns/R-K/r-k.html) and the New Model Melior (https://unblinkingeye.com/Guns/MelNM/melnm.html).

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