Test Firing Hijinks – Frommer 1910

Days at the range don’t always go as planned.

After over a year of looking, I finally managed to recently find a box of 7.65mm Frommer (Short) ammo that I could use to test-fire my Frommer 1910. Huzzah! It sure is tiny little stuff…and I was able to get is for a great price because the seller (a professional ammo seller, surprisingly) thought it was 7.65mm Browning. So anyway, I packed up the gun, the ammo, and the cameras and headed out to the range.

Well, it turned out that the test-firing was a flop. The hammer spring in my 1910 is really weak – much to weak to successfully overcome the firing pin spring and also detonate a primer. But there is no firing pin safety on the 1910, so it should be possible to fire the gun manually by hitting the firing pin, right? Well, I really wanted to get some slow-motion footage of the thing operating…

Epilogue:

I need to replace the firing pin spring, and then we can try again. I think there is a decent chance that resistance from the rod used to hit the firing pin slowed the slide enough to cause the action to short-cycle. It is possible that there are other problems with the action that need to be addressed, though. Oh, and I also discovered that the feed lips on my magazine are pretty sketchy – the mag likes to fountain all the cartridges out if you load more than two at a time. Not that I was ever planning to do any very rigorous shooting with this particular pistol, but I would really like to get it running well enough to get some better video.

13 Comments

  1. Yeah, make it into pistol project. This gives you space to elaborate and enjoy yourself. As long as you do not try to sell it you should be legal.

  2. YAY!!!!! You made it fire!!!! ‘…we’re gonna make this thing shoot if it kills us!…’ I can totally see me doing this. It was a hoot. Have you compared the case dimensions of the short with the standard 7.65? Visually, they appear the same, so, you could probably make some out of standard 7.65, and shoot all day, once you get a good firing spring. AND! you could even put a high tensile bungie on it to assist the hammer!

    (snort, snicker!) mikey

  3. That’s classic, Ian. I’m still giggling.
    I love the way you refuse to take “click” for an answer.
    This is further proof that a bad day at the range can still a pretty good day.
    God bless all the sort-of professionals who more or less know better but make it happen regardless.
    That’s the spirit that made this country great…or something kinda like that… pretty much… maybe.
    (high five)

  4. Causes of short cycling could be from the worn springs in the gun, but might also be the 100-year-old ammo. Not many chemicals are good for a century, particularly the sort of chemicals which can generate any meaningful energy while burning.

    This page has some Frommer 7.65 and Frommer 7.65 long ammo, compared to the 7.65 Roth-Steyr. The first and third cartridges in his image appear to be the ones you’re shooting here. Unlike the .32 ACP (7.62x17SR), these appear to be a rimless design. The picture may be misleading but the 7.65 long looks like its case-head is larger diameter, barely, than the regular (short) Frommer.

  5. Ian – The firing pin spring having taken a set suggests that all the other springs in your little Frommer have taken a set. The metallurgy of spring steel wasn’t well understood before WW II and pre WW I was truly the dark ages of spring steel metallurgy and processing.

    The springs take a set due to high phosphorous in the spring steel, coupled with the dubious wire processing techniques of the era. ‘Swedish’ spring steel got its reputation from their low phosphorous iron ore, which produced low phosphorous steel. Continental European iron ore has very high phosphorous. Generally you should replace all springs in pre WW II automatic firearms before shooting them to avoid damage. This also holds true for most North American firearms of this era.

  6. My 1st Sgt in Germany (Nov ’71 – Jul ’74) told us a similar tale…his gunner in a post war tank on a training range in Germany could not get the main gun to fire, so he, Top (‘Madman’) Partyka, solved the problem with a screwdriver and a hammer…Good ol’ Top – he was given to telling tall tales, most of which had an aura of believability about them…This is the first time I’ve seen that ‘myth’ proven!!! Kinda like watchin’ Jamie and Adam on ‘Mythbusters’!!!

    CB in FL

  7. Just wondering if you had ever gotten back to the Frommer. One respondent remarked that the springs had taken a set. Were I you, and i’m not, I would remove the springs, take them to a gunsmith who knows how to make springs (not all do) and see if the smith could put the ‘spring’ back in them, or make new ones. It’s sad to have a gun that doesn’t go bang 🙁 Hope this goes well for you. mikey

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