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 one of the many thousands of hot blued units that we fabricated in our Charlottesville, Virginia, USA facility during the 80's and 90's. More than 500,000 of these beautiful pistols were made in Europe.The DNA of this celebrated firearm made its first public appearance in the small semi-automatic pistols of the early 1900's that were developed by American gun designer John Moses Browning. Dedeione Saive, Fabrique Nationale's man in charge of factory operations during the halcyon days of the 1920's, decided he could do better. Saive tinkered with Browning's original small pistol designs and brought to life 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 it right the first time.
1931 was a time in the world when some things of consequence were better made then ever before - and greatly valued by folks because of that simple fact. The 1931 Fabrique Nationale "Baby" pistol was one of those better made things. The factory was located in Leige, Belgium, in a building the size of a football field. The Pistol was manufactured by utilizing hand drawn blue prints and belt-driven mills and lathes to carve metal. An enormous amount of skilled labor was used in the step-by-step process of crafting each unit. Most of that labor was supplied by women who lived in the nearby town of Herstal. Decades later the Pistol was manufactured in Bayonne, France by one of FN's subsidiaires: 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 pistol.
1983 was the year FN 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 this celebrated pistol. The prime objective was to produce 40,000 of them and to do so at a level of quality that exceeded the original Belgium made Babys. We were uniquely qualified to undertake this assignment because we were the best-of-the-best of fully integrated North American Swiss screw machine shops. The fact that we had served as a major sub-contractor to FN for many years on several of its tier-one weapons systems helped the "Le Bebe Project" advance in a timely manner.
Canadian law being what it was during the 1980's, the first "Baby" ended up shipping from our Charlottesville, Virginia, facilities during 1987. Back then all of these exquisite firearms were exported to FN. Because of the 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 distributing the Pistol in limited quantities throughout America. And in keeping with the times, we marked it as the "PSP-25". In 1995 we separated small arms manufacturing from our aerospace/defense business and set firearms manufacturing up on its own. And then we re-christened the Baby as the "PSA-25". Since those days, we have manufactured this Art Deco classic in workshops under our 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 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 using 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 which is passed along to 4 and 5 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. In simple terms it comes down to having the requisite pre-conditions in place in order to acheive the desired results. After machining and the specialized and time consuming 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.
In closing, we are confident that the pocket pistol that we manufacture will appeal to your sense of historical significance, quality and usefulness. It's DNA is drawn from the early 1900's small pistol designs of America's most celebrated firearms designer. Ultimately it reflects the design genius of the man who ran Europe's largest arms manufacturer of the time and his sense of 1930's Art Deco style - as manifested in cold, hard steel. This celebrated 6.35mm, 6+1 shot semi-automatic 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 fact alone. The 1931 6.35mm FN Baby was designed right the first time. And it continues to this day as the American made PSA-25.