Craftsmanship Is At The Heart Of What We Do
We manufacture a world famous pocket pistol. You've seen it before. Below is a picture of a hot blued unit that we fabricated for export in our Charlottesville, Virginia, USA facility during the 1980's-1990's. More than half a million of these beautiful pistols were manufactured in Europe. We've made and shipped tens of thousands more in North America as well.The DNA of this celebrated pocket pistol made its first public appearance in the John Moses Browning designed semi-automatic pistols of the early 1900's. Fast forward to the late 1920's. A man by the name of Dedeione Saive decided he could do better. Saive was in charge of Fabrique Nationale's factory operations. He tinkered with Browning's original small pistol designs and ended up designing the most famous limited blowback, semi-automatic pocket pistol the world has ever seen: the 1931 Fabrique Nationale 6.35mm, 6+1 shot Baby. And he got the pistol right the first time. No need to mess with it since.
1931 was a time in the world when some things of consequence were better made then ever before - and greatly valued by folks everywhere because of this simple fact. The 1931 Fabrique Nationale "Baby" pocket pistol was one of those "better made things". Back then FN's factory was located in Leige, Belgium. The building was the size of a football field. The Baby was manufactured in this building utilizing hand drawn blue prints and belt-driven mills and lathes to carve metal. Skilled labor was used in the step-by-step process of crafting each pistol. Most of that labor was supplied by women who lived in the nearby town of Herstal. Decades later the Baby was manufactured in Bayonne, France by one of FN's subsidiaries: Manufacture D'armes de Bayonne. We are the only company engaged by FN outside of Europe to ever manufacture the 1931 FN 6.35mm, 6+1 shot pocket pistol.
While talks had been going on for some time, 1983 was the year FN actually contracted with our Canadian parent company to utilize state-of-the-art engineering and computer numeric controlled machine tools to manufacture the metal parts for the Baby. An order was issued to us by FN for 40,000 of these pistols. It was our job to machine all of the metal parts and assemble, test and package each one for export. The primary objective was to produce the Baby at a level of quality that exceeded the original Belgium made version. We were uniquely qualified to do so because we were considered the "best-of-the-best" of fully integrated Swiss screw machine shops in North America. And the fact that we had served as a major sub-contractor to FN for many years on several of its tier-one weapons systems prior to the issuance of the "Le Bebe" contract worked to keep things moving in a timely fashion.
Canadian law being what it was during the 1980's, the first "Baby" ended up shipping from our Charlottesville, Virginia, facility during 1987. Back then all of these exquisite pocket pistols were exported to Belgium for re-shipment by FN to various buyers throughout the world. Because of the US Gun Control Act of 1968, none of them made their way back to the USA. And this upset folks here in the States. By the late 1980's we were both manufacturing and distributing the Pistol in limited quantities to distributors and dealers throughout America. And in keeping with the times, we marked it as the "PSP-25". In 1995 we separated small arms manufacturing from the rest of our Swiss screw machining activity and set firearms manufacturing up on its own. And then we re-christened the Pistol as the "PSA-25". Since those days in Virginia, we have manufactured this Art Deco classic in federally licensed workshops under our ownership, control and direction in Colorado, Illinois and Nevada.
Some folks who know a thing or two about limited blow-back, semi-automatic pistols claim that the 6.35mm, 6+1 shot pocket pistol we manufacture is the pre-eminent example of an elegantly designed, well machined, finely finished, exceptionally accurate firearm. And we agree with them. In fact we even maintain a federal configuration patent on its classic good looks.
Like all things well made, the process is the product. In keeping with the original mandate from Fabrique Nationale, we continue to this day to manufacture this Art Deco classic utilizing the very latest technology available. That technology includes the use of computer generated, 3 dimensional, interactive, detailed engineering drawings. These drawings give rise to thousands of lines of machine code that is passed along to multi-axis numeric controlled machine tools. We super-charge these machine tools with laser-guided, dimensional inspection probes that assure the accuracy of machined metal parts, regardless of cutting tool wear. Implementing this technology is no simple thing to accomplish.
An extraordinary amount of time, first rate engineering skill and hard earned money has gone into making things "right". All of this activity and effort is at the heart of what we do to carve metal parts for the PSA-25 pistol. Put simply: it comes down to having the requisite pre-conditions in place in order to acheive the desired results. After machining and the specialized hand work of deburring, sanding and polishing, each of these beautifully crafted pocket pistols is assembled by a single craftsman from 26 different parts. And then each is function tested to make sure that it does what it is supposed to do. The continuous quality control effort that infuses all we do when crafting a PSA-25 pistol is about building a near flawless firearm. Each must stand the test of time and regular use.
It is our humble opinion that the pocket pistol that we manufacture here in the USA will appeal to your sense of historical significance, quality and usefulness. The DNA of the Baby is drawn from the early 1900's small pistol designs of America's most celebrated firearms designer. It also reflects the design genius of the man who ran Europe's largest arms manufacturer from the 1920's into the 1930's - and his sense of Art Deco style - as manifested in cold, hard steel.
In closing, this celebrated 6.35mm, 6+1 shot, limited blow back, semi-automatic pocket pistol is a rare thing in the world today: a functional work of art in production for almost 100 years. You should take comfort from this very fact alone. The 1931 6.35mm FN Baby pocket pistol was designed right the first time. And it continues in production to this day as the American made PSA-25.