As you already know, the Frommer Stop pistol turned out to be a good service weapon. But among its minuses, one can note the excessive complexity of automation and its high cost. The army needed a simple and cheap pistol. Therefore, at the end of the 20s of the last century, Rudolf Frommer worked on a pistol that was cheaper to manufacture and easier to use. Since the National Army was in dire need of such a weapon, the designer decided not to develop it from scratch, but to use his own developments. As a result, he crossed the simple automatics of the Frommer Lilliput vest pistol with the grip of Frommer Stop's service pistol.
The choice of ammunition
During the hostilities of the 1st World Bullet, 7, 65-mm pistol cartridges showed their low efficiency, and the whole world began to switch to 9-mm cartridges. And since Frommer's 9-mm cartridge did not take root, Rudolf Frommer decided to develop his next pistol under the Browning 9x17 cartridge (.380 ACP). In the 20 years since its development, the.380 ACP cartridge has proven its effectiveness and gained popularity both in the states and in Europe.
Perhaps this cartridge was chosen by the designer in the hope of increasing the export potential of his new pistol.
Adoption for service
Frommer's new pistol was ready in 1929 and was immediately adopted by the Hungarian Armed Forces under the designation 29M (29 Minta - model 1929). And after the re-creation of the Hungarian Air Force in 1939, Hungarian pilots were also armed with the 29M pistol. The police, gendarmerie and others continued to use Frommer Stop, and their rearmament was not planned. Unlike previous models, the new pistol did not receive its own name, and the designer's surname is rarely mentioned in official documents. Since at the foundation (1891) the manufacturing company bore the same name, and in 1935 it was renamed - the pistol became known as FEG 29M (FEG - short for Fegyvergyar) and Femara 29M.
The lower part of the frame is almost entirely borrowed from Frommer Stop. On the back of the handle there is the same automatic safety catch, trigger and bracket, at the base of the handle there are a sling swivel for a belt and a magazine latch. A new detail has appeared on the upper part of the frame of the new model: the slide delay. Barrel length 29M, unlike Frommer Liliput, is doubled: from 53 to 100 mm.
As on Frommer Lilliput, the 29M has a removable barrel and is fixed on the front of the pistol frame by means of a dry joint *. For this, transverse grooves (grooves) are cut in the frame, and transverse protrusions on the barrel. The protrusions on the barrel fit into the grooves in the frame, thereby securing the barrel. Since the 29M uses a more powerful cartridge, and the barrel has become twice as long, there are not 2 protrusions on the barrel (as on Lilliput), but 4. The return spring was also one and was located under the barrel, put on the guide rod.
The new pistol inherited from Frommer Lilliput a recognizable detail in the back of the casing: the corrugated casing cover (in the patent - the cap), which held the bolt and served for cocking the weapon **. On Frommer's 1929 pistol, the trigger remained the traditional single-action trigger. So, given the design of its automation, we can safely say that this is a scaled version of Frommer Lilliput.
The sights of the 29M pistol are located in the same places, except that they have become more noticeable: after all, the 29M casing cover has become more massive than on Lilliput.
The magazine latch button is located traditionally: at the base of the handle, next to the sling swivel for the belt. It can slide over the latch button, thereby protecting it from accidental presses. The pistol was powered by 7-round magazines. As a rule, shops were equipped with a stop under the little finger in the form of a curved spur. By this spur and the casing cover, Frommer 29M pistols and its modifications can be distinguished from pistols of other designers. But there are also magazines with a smooth stop, and without the 29M mark on the heel of the store. They say that these are also original stores, but more simplified.
For pistols 29M, serial numbers from 1 to 50,000 were allocated. But as you can see, no more than 14 thousand pieces were produced in 5 years. How many of them were produced for all the time is unknown. At the moment, traders and collectors have seen pistols with numbers from 42 to 31 202.
Initially, the M29 trigger guard was stamped with a military acceptance with the crown of St. Stephen. But then pistols of later parties (barrels with numbers from 12 116 to 13 557 are known) were branded with the letter "E" in a circle. Some believe that this was the designation for the M29 pistols for the police or civilian market. Others believe that the letter "E" is an alternative stigma of military acceptance. As an argument, they cite the fact that the modernized Mannlicher rifles of the same Hungarian plant (35M and 43M) were also branded with the letter "E", but they went into service with the German and then the Hungarian army. So, most likely, the letter "E" on the M29 pistol has nothing to do with either the civilian market or the police.
Several types of holsters have been developed to carry Frommer 29M pistols. They were made from high quality leather and were worn on a waist belt.
Frommer's training and sports pistol
In 1939, on the basis of the 29M, a training and sports version of the pistol was developed for the small-bore cartridge.22 LR. Perhaps, the designer was inspired by the American small-bore Colt Ace (model 1911 under the small car). A small number of them were produced for testing. They differed from the base model in their lighter weight, lack of manufacturer's marking on the casing and the letter “C” in front of the serial number. For ease of grip, it was equipped with magazines with a "spur" under the little finger.
On tests, the target pistol showed good results, but this version did not go into production. Perhaps she did not receive approval because, as in the Frommer Lilliput pistol, the barrel and magazine for a small piece could easily be replaced with a barrel and magazine for 9-mm cartridges from the basic version. And this is no longer a sporting weapon. Since the production of 29M pistols chambered for.22 LR was very small, one of them was sold in 2006 for USD 4000. Regarding the prices for serial 29M pistols - at GunAuction. COM one was sold for $ 420, the other - for 650 …
I came across a photo of this artifact (you can't call it otherwise) without any comments.
A rifle butt is attached to the pistol. It seems to me that this is a stock from an experimental 1923 rifle, designed on the basis of the Mannlicher system. For better holding of the weapon, a wooden handle is installed in front of the trigger guard.
Regarding the pistol itself, on the back of the bolt casing, you can see the casing cover, unique in shape, which I wrote about above. It can be seen that the barrel is located above the spring. This is undoubtedly Frommer's 1929 pistol. Apparently, it was an attempt to create a pistol-carbine or "trench broom" on the basis of the 29M. From previous stories, you know that during the 1st World War, a modification of a pistol was developed on the basis of Frommer Stop, capable of firing bursts and even a machine gun from two such paired pistols. That is, the designer already had experience in creating automatic weapons and magazines with increased capacity. Perhaps, on this experimental model, he worked out his ideas. Pay attention to the absence of the handle cheeks: this leads to clogging of the units and even the magazine can also jam. It can be seen that this unique sample did not reach further than the workshop and the factory shooting gallery.
Below, for comparison, I present a table with the performance characteristics of the samples, which were discussed in the article.
Frommer's pistol FEG (Femaru) 29M was produced for 6 years (1929-1935). Based on the data I collected, more than 30 thousand of them were manufactured. In the Hungarian army, the 29M was received favorably and there were no special complaints about it. But it was still quite expensive to manufacture and difficult to maintain. Therefore, before the start of World War II, another sample was developed on its basis, which was mass-produced and which replaced its progenitor. But more on that in the next part of the article.
The author thanks Sergey Linnik (Bongo) for the advice.