Kommer Models 3 and 4: German Browning Copies

Theodore Emil Kommer was born in 1866, son of a German gunsmith. He took the same profession, and at the age of 23 in 1889 opened his own business making guns. He initially focused on sporting rifles and single-shot pistols, but expanded into semiauto pocket pistols after World War One. His first design came out in 1920, mechanically a copy of the Baby Browning in .25 ACP. The first model had a curved grip frame, which was replaced by the Model 2 which was a closer copy of the Browning, with a straight grip and 6-round magazine. In 1927 he added the Model 3, identical to the Model 2 but with a longer grip and 8-round magazine. In 1936 he added a Model 4, a copy of the FN 1910 in .32 ACP.

All of Kommer’s guns were simplified from their Browning parents, with the grip safeties and magazine safeties removed. They were produced in a single serial number range with just under 20,000 total made by 1940, when production ceased. Kommer died in 1942, and his company ended with him.

Sold for $2,875 as a pair at the December 2019 RIA Premier auction.


  1. At the same time DWM was making the Model 22, their own Browning M1910 copy, in 7.65mm;


    The M1910 was also copied by several of the Spanish Basque region “Eibar” gun makers, again mainly in 7.65mm;


    The Ruby is fairly typical. Note the lack of a grip safety, the lack of a manual safety, and the slide retraction serrations, cut on a lathe rather than with a (more expensive) end mill.

    Some, like the ACHA/Longines, went with the simpler Browning Baby recoil spring arrangement under the barrel in its own spring tunnel, but tried to disguise this to look more like the M1910 with its barrel-concentric recoil spring;


    “Cloning” the Browning Model 1910 to sell pocket automatics seems to have been as popular between the world wars as cloning the Honda Civic to sell small cars is today.



    • “(…)“Cloning” the Browning Model 1910 to sell pocket automatics seems to have been as popular(…)”
      In case of interwar Spain Model 1906 seems to be prefer source. See Zhuk’s drawings here: http://www.earmi.it/armi/atlas/226.htm starting at 37-81 (AAA).
      In his book (or at least Russian-language edition I have access to) he group them into:
      – knockoffs of Browning 1906, 6,35 mm caliber (shows 157 models)
      – knockoffs of Browning 1906, 7,65 mm caliber (shows 111 models)
      – knockoffs of Browning 1910 (shows 9 models)
      naturally this should be treated as no less than estimate, as there might existed models not listed by A.B.Zhuk.

  2. “(…)Kommer Model(…)4(…)”
    A.B.Zhuk report existence of two sub-variants of this model: one with and one without indicator of striker being cocked.

  3. Barrel bushing of 1910 copy seems undependable since having no retainer effect on its location. lt might be flied off during heavy followed on shootings… 1906 model copy seems having better, more positive take down.

  4. Sorry Ian but you mistaking baby browning vs 1906 and colt vest pocket. Bit of a difference between the two. [IMG]https://i733.photobucket.com/albums/ww332/357SandW/babybrowningorFN1906.jpg[/IMG]

  5. FN Grip safeties from model 1906 to 1922 are not practical and functional as model 1903… They need a firm grip to retract the slide if the gun is uncocked. Deleting it at these pistol might bring somewhat a more practical use.

  6. With this and numerous other ‘close’ copies (the Spanish ones ‘somewhat’ of a special case due to legal differences). What did Colt do to pursue patent and other related payment ?

  7. I quite like these pistols. The standard of finish looks good, and the sights, whilst rudimentary, are better than those on the Brownings.

    I find it ironic that German gunmakers kept going in the 1920s and 30s by making pocket pistols for self defence. In Britain this market was crushed by the imposition of gun control in the 1920 Firearms Act. Remind me who won the war?

  8. Not sure what model I have but Virginias book on the weapon list mine as 1936 with 5 digit ser. #

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