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The Vault

Bergmann-Bayard M1910/21

We come now to the final chapter in the Bergmann pistol saga – the Danish M1910 and 1910/21 pistols. When Pieper (AEP) in Belgium contracted to build the 1908 Bergmanns for Spain, they also got the rights to build the guns under license for commercial sale. Bergmann’s own company had decided to get out of the pistol-making business and concentrate their arms production on heavy machine guns.

In addition to selling 1908 Bergmanns on the civilian market throughout Europe, Pieper managed to make a major contract sale of the guns to the Danish military in 1910. A few changes were requested to the design:

  • Semicircular cutouts at the bottom of the magazine well, to allow a better grip on the magazine.
  • Textured gripping surfaces on the magazines
  • Changing the flat mainspring to an “S” shaped one
  • Enlarged magazine catch
  • Slightly larger grips
Bergmann 1910

Belgian-made, Danish contract Bergmann M1910. Note gripping surface on magazine, and wooden grips.

With these changes made, Denmark ordered 4,840 pistols in 1910. These guns bear two numbers, an AEP serial number in the 6,000-11,000 range located in the standard places (primarily on the front underside of the frame) and also a Danish property number from 1-4,840 stamped on the right side bridge at the read of the frame. They will also have a crown over “D” marking indication Danish acceptance and standard Belgian commercial proof marks. The Danish order was completed by 1912, and AEP continued making commercial Bergmann pistols. When World War I began and Germany occupied Belgium, they had the factory continue to produce the pistols for German use (these were in the 15,000-16,000 range of serial numbers, and did not have the Belgian proof marks). Production ended at the end of the war, but a few more guns in the 17,000 range were assembled form the remaining stock of parts.

Danish-made Bergmann M1910/21 with Trolit grips

Danish M1910/21 with original Trolit plastic grips (which were prone to cracking)

By the early 1920s, the Danish military was in need of more pistols and replacement parts for the existing ones, and was unable to get them from AEP – so they decided to produce them domestically instead. Production began in 1922, with a few more minor design changes under the designation M1910/21. These changes were a larger and stronger extractor, larger contoured grips made of Trolit (an early plastic) and replacing the sideplate catch with a screw – no significant mechanical changes. The first batch of 900 was made between 1922 and 1924, and are marked “HÆRENS TØJHUS” instead of having AEP’s name. A second batch of 1,904 pistols was made in 1924 and 25, marked “HÆRENS RUSTKAMMER”. These Danish made guns also had two different numbers; serial numbers starting at 1 and Danish issue numbers picking up at 4,840 where the Belgian guns left off.

Bergmann M1910/21

Danish-made Bergmann M1910/21. Note larger wooden grips, used as replacements when the original Trolit grips broke (photo by Oleg Volk). The 9mm Steyr ammo is lower powered than 9mm Bergmann/9mm Largo, but will interchange.

At the same time, most of the M1910 pistol in Danish inventory were refurbished and updated to the /21 configuration. My overall impressions of the Bergmann pistol are a big clouded by the aesthetic crush I have on them – I think they are a pretty darn comfortable pistol to shoot. R.K. Wilson disagrees, calling them “clumsy” and “very unhandy”. I do admit that magazine changes are slow (at least on the examples I’ve handled – the mag catch is very stiff, and removing the magazine causes the bolt to slam forward) and the 6-round capacity is a handicap. Still, they served the Danish military until 1946 (when they were replaced by the FN High Power).

Technical Specs

Caliber: 9x23mm Bergmann (aka 9mm Largo)
Weight: 36oz (1020g)
Overall length: 10.0 in (254mm)
Barrel Length: 4.0 in (102mm)
Magazine capacity: 6 rounds
Action: Short recoil
Locking System: Vertically-sliding block

Videos
I made these videos several years ago, and the shooting video has a few factual goofs in it – eventually I will have a chance to redo these with better info and in high definition. But for now, here they are:

Photos

Photos of a Bergmann-Bayard M1910/21 (click to download high-resolution copies)

References

Buffaloe, Ed. Bergmann Bayard (web site)

Ezell, Edward C. Handguns of the World. Stackpole Books, New York, 1981.

Wilson, R.K. Textbook of Automatic Pistols. Samworth, 1934 (reprinted by Wolfe Publishing, Prescott AZ, 1990).

14 comments to Bergmann-Bayard M1910/21

  • Garrett

    I really appreciate these videos and this website. I’ve always been fascinated by firearms, particularly those more antiquainted (yet elegant in their own right, I think) by today’s standards. I really enjoyed these videos and I’m enjoying this site so far. Thanks.

  • strongarm

    Very informative website indeed. But please do extra care for the firearm
    terms. “Main Spring” is the part to give the necessary power for İmpact
    Elements like Hammer, Striker, Etc., and not the part to give power for
    Breechbolt to keep its place and return thereat after baçkward travel.

  • ehabanen

    Hallo over there.
    Really nice site and work your doing. I love the pistol too, as it was eksactly the type my grandfather stole from the germans, hidden between 2 wooden beerboxes. He had deliveret beer to the place were the luftwaffesoldiers was staying. The germans had token a lot of weapons from the danish military in 1943, an the NCO,s got thise M10/21.
    Here in Denmark its very difficult to get permission to have an automatic pistol. Strangly enought this type is only ekseption, as i still got the pistol along with hylster, german belt, spare magasine and a nice family story to tell. :-)

    Sorry for my english

    - Erik

  • Porteus

    Hi there,

    the Bergmann-Bayard is my favourite of the early semiauto pistols too. But I wonder why they have placed the magazine in front of the trigger.
    There are three reasons mentioned in the manual: a better balance of the gun, it allows to use an easier firing mechanism and as a magazine in the grip
    determines the size of the cartidge they could chose a bigger caliber if they place it outside the grip.
    Are there some more reasons?

    -Porteus

  • chris b

    I have one that the sear is worn, so with one pull of the trigger it goes into full auto :)

  • Ray Farley

    I would like to thank you for your range reports, and your informative videos on disassembling these forgotten weapons.

    I would also like to request a series on the Bayard M1908 pocket pistol.

    Thanks,
    Ray

  • charlie martin

    Your information is very interesting. In fact, it’s the reason I bought a Bergmann-Bayard to go with all my other “stuff”. Now, looking for magazines, holsters, and whatever else this pistol needs. Any suggestions on where to find?
    thank you,
    charlie

  • Brian

    Hi , charli martin
    You can send me youers email ard. So I can send info to you about all the thing for bergmann 1910 and 1910/21

    Br. Brian johansen

    Brian.eurofireworks@gmail.com

  • I_have_not_yet_begun_to_debauch!

    My favorite early semi-auto pistol is the Bergman-Bayard,too!
    They’re sleek,powerful,and awesome as all hell.

    What would be cool is if this site did a video and article on the Schouboe M1907.
    Alas,they’re pretty rare,though.

  • Charlie

    Help!
    Still need magazine(s) for my Bergman Bayard.

    Thank you

    Charlie

  • […] Bergmann -Bayard M1910/21 « Forgotten Weapons – At the same time, most of the M1910 pistol in Danish inventory were refurbished and updated to the /21 configuration. My overall impressions of the Bergmann pistol …… […]

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