The Frommer series of automatic pistols were the work of Rudolph Frommer, an engineer born in Budapest in 1868. At age 28, he was hired by the arms company Fegyvergyar where he began a very respectable career. He was promoted to general manager of the factory in 1906, and by his death in 1936 (having worked at Fegyvergyar for 40 years) he had more than 100 patents in his name.
His work on pistols focused on the long-recoil action. In most handgun designs the action is locked only long enough to allow pressure to drop to a safe level – the barrel recoils back a few millimeters before unlocking from the bolt (this is known as a short-recoil action). Frommer’s design, however, kept the breech locked throughout the recoil sequence, separating only after the bolt had reached fully rearward travel. This type of action (more commonly seen in the Browning A5 shotgun and Remington Model 8 and 81 rifles) spreads out the recoil impulse, but tends to be more complex to manufacture.
Frommer’s first pistol design was the Model 1901, which reached market in 1903 and was not successful (only about 200 were made). It was submitted to several military trials, but did not win any of them. It had a 10-round blind magazine fed from the top by stripper clips, and was chambered for the 7.65mm, 8mm, and 9mm cartridges.
The next iteration was the Model 1906. The first few 1906 pistols retained the early 10-round blind magazine, but the design was soon revised to use a more modern but smaller capacity 8-round removable magazine (which would serve as the model for the Luger P08 magazine). The Model 1906 was chambered for a proprietary cartridge, the 7.65 Frommer. This model is also very rare, with only about 800 made. They were tested by the Austrian military, but lost out to the Roth-Steyr (which would be made in the same factory where Frommer worked).
The third, and most successful variant to date was the Model 1910. This Frommer used the same long-recoil action and proprietary cartridge as its predecessors, but had a number of modernizations. The spur hammer was replaced with a rounded one, and the manual safety was replaced with a grip safety. It was used by the Hungarian police, and many more were made than the previous models (although still fewer than 10,000 in all).
Finally, Frommer hit the big time (relatively speaking) in 1912 with the introduction of the Frommer Stop pistol. While still using the same basic mechanism, the Stop was redesigned to a much more conventional look and chambered for the commonly available .32ACP (and later .380ACP) cartridge. It was still a very complex and expensive gun to manufacture, but it remained in production until 1929.
Frommer 1910 Disassembly:
US Patent #802,279 (R.Frommer, Firearm, October 17, 1905)
Ed Buffaloe has a very thorough article on the Frommer pistols (particularly the Stop) published at unblinkingeye.com – and in addition to being very informative, it is also where we found the photos used on this page.
Take a look at the link provided at the end of the article: “Contrary to what many sources indicate, Frommer did not study engineering. He studied finance at the Kereskedelmi Akadémiát (College of Commerce) in Budapest.”
A 32 ACP long recoil operated pistol? For what sake? Why those guys were so stupid? Walther made a blowback 9 mm Parabellum pistol and Frommer made a long recoil operated 32 ACP pistol.
Stupid designs; like my Kingston flash drive (it has a safe partition, but only accessible to users with administrative privileges – this feature was corrected in a later version).
The idea would be great on a high powered pistol, maybe 44 automag pistol or smg, but so useless here.
I checked some videos in youtube. Is it a LONG recoil operated? This barrel recoils like a Luger barrel (for me). Am I wrong?
Yes, it’s long recoil. The bolt and barrel travel back (locked together) for the full length of the cartridge.
I found this today. In this animation is possible to see:
But in these videos the barrel seems to return after just a few milimeters:
After 10 seconds
After 3 minutes and 38 seconds
Maybe I was fooled by the low framerate… or the youtube pistol is worn out.
If you pull back the bolt to cock the gun, the barrel doesn’t come back with it. When you fire, the force of recoil is pushing both parts at the same time and without and additional force pulling the bolt back faster than the barrel, they will remain locked together all the way back.
Very good! Since the barrel is heavier than the bolt, once recoiling at the same speed (no more gas, just inertia), the barrel will always push the bolt back until being halted by its own recoil spring. I found some videos showing this on a Browning model 5. I am not used to recoil operated actions.
Hello, do you know someone Frommer 29M 22LR cal? Without any numbers, only 29 and E in a circle. Rare piece! http://www.hungariae.com/From29.htm
I like my Stop. 🙂
Among other Frommer-related posts on my blog (http://booksbikesboomsticks.blogspot.com/search?q=frommer) is the first time I field-stripped it, on Oleg’s kitchen table: “The slot atop the barrel nut thingie makes an inadequate substitute for a spanner, but forty year old congealed WD40 makes a perfectly adequate substitute for glue.“
First time I saw it, I thought it seemed a cross between a Luger and a Nambu.
I just got my own Frommer Stop, dated 1922. I was surprised on how light the recoil is due to the barrel and bolt moving together. I expected slow follow up shots but all in all its a very manageable handgun. The original grips are long gone on my STOP but someonew made bone grips possibly cow shin in my opinion. I paid $241 for mine and its in VG condition and looks to be all matching as all parts have a “R” stamped on them. Hope to see more Frommer related info from Forgotten Weapons and keep up the awesome work Ian!!!!
I have a Frommer Pat Liliput 6.35 mm ( 25 cal ) semi-automatic hand gun in above average shape. I cannot find out the history of this small handgun and when it was manufactured. Can you please enlighten me as to where I can find data? The web site seems to have all calibers but this one. I am in the process of having my weapons collection appraised and I would like the knowledge before I do this.
Some good information on Hungarian weapons is available on Hungariae.com. The link to the Frommer Liliput page is here: http://www.hungariae.com/FromLili.htm
It has information on manufacture, markings and serial numbers. Best of luck to your collection appraisal.
FEGYVerguar Fromner 32 Cal. semi Auto Pistol is at Gun Shop was offered $300.00 is this fair price?
You should make an in depth review of the Frommer Stop. Please.
FEGYVERGUAR FROMNER 32 Cal. SemiAuto Pistol offered $300.00/ HAS HUNGARIAN HOLSTER PICTURED ON SITE. IS THIS FAIR PRICE?
Hi all, I have a Frommer Stop pistol that I’m rebuilding / repairing and I currently lack only one part (The tiny Barrel Nut Retainer) Here is a link to a picture: https://www.marstar.ca/dynamic/product.jsp?productid=78039 There doesn’t seem to be any available to purchase so I plan to make my own. Could someone who owns a Former Stop post the dimensions of this part so I can turn one on a lathe? Thank you for your help,
PS. Ian, thanks for producing such great content..
Great info! Do you have any instructions on a complete detail tear-down of the FEMARU 29M??? Can’t find anything on the Internet, just field stripping.
The Frommer Stop was seen this past week on The Blacklist on NBC. The scene around it was silly, but there it was nonetheless.
My dad used a Frommer as an Austrian reservist during the Nazi incursion prior to the Assassination of Dolfuss. He swatted a Nizi a good one with the Frommer. The incident was reported and that put my dad on Hitler’s shit list but good. Anyhow. That’s the way I remember it. Dad escaped shortly after the annexation.
Does anyone know how effective this weapon was in ww1