Russian FN 1905 Vest Pocket Officer’s Pistol

In the years before World War One, the Imperial Nicholas Military Academy in Russia purchased several thousand handguns from FN for resale to its officer candidates and graduates. These were mostly FN 1900 and FN 1905 models, although also a small number of FN 1903s. The pistols were marked with a pair of crossed Mosin Nagant rifles and and inventory number, making them easily identifiable as Russian-purchase pistols today. Both blued and nickel-plated examples were purchased, although the majority (like this one) were nickeled. Most of the purchases were about 1908 and 1909, and that is evident in this example, which is the early pattern of FN 1905 without a thumb safety.

Thanks to Legacy Collectibles for the loan of the pistol!


  1. Look how easy it is to see this nickeled pistol against your black shirt. Imagine how hard it is to see a blued pistol against your black shirt. Please change your shirt to a light color and use a light colored background. The guns will be much easier to see. Thanks!

  2. “…for resale to its officer candidates and graduates…”(С)
    This is not entirely accurate.
    Such a sign, together with the extension number, was placed on property manufactured for the Officer Shooting School from 1911. Basically, these were items that were awarded for FREE to graduates along with epaulettes. The kit included a pistol of an approved combat sample, a saber, binoculars and a compass.
    Non-combatant pistols, like Browning 1900 or 1906, were awarded to winners of shooting competitions.
    Also, surplus property could be sold, but only for official military units.

  3. This kind of early 1906 samples without manuel safety have not take down point where the slide to be retrackted at. To dissassamble, one should slightly forced to rotate the barrel while slowly retracting the slide until barrel retaining lugs entering into the recesses of slide.

    • Or simply retracting the bolt until slide recesses seeming at inside the ejecting port to come same level with barrel’s back.

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