|Cartridge||7.65 Frommer||Overall Length||6.5″|
|Action||Long Recoil||Barrel Length||3.7″|
|Magazine||7 rounds vertical||Weight||1.32 lbs|
One upside-down looking pistol saw both world wars in the hands of Hungarian troops and police officers. But just why is it so strange in appearance?
The Honvédség was Hungary’s independent army and it’s creation was part of a settlement during the founding of the Austria-Hungary in which Hungary was permitted a home defense army. Around the turn of the century this defense force began to receive artillery and further equipment and by WWI it was a full fighting army.
Rudolf Frommer (1868-1936) was a Hungarian weapons designer and the inventor of the Stop and others. His pistol was produced specifically for the army at Fémáru-, Fegyver és Gépgyár (FÉG) beginning in 1912. At this point the pistol was only known by the name Stop, literally named for its ability to stop opponents, and had no model number. In 1919 the Hungarian Army readopted the pistol and at this point it became the Pisztoly 19M. With or without the designation the pistol was used by Hungary, Germany, Turkey, and Bulgaria.
The Stop was created as an answer to issues found with the Frommer 1910 pistol. Rudolf Frommer believed in the Long Recoil system and wanted to see a compact and modern looking pistol use this process. It has been argued that this was an overly complicated design for a pistol that would be firing a round perfectly suited to simple blowback operation. It’s believed that Frommer kept the complicated system to make sure the pistol would be capable of manufacture for different calibers and because the 7.65 Frommer round, while dimensionally identical, is loaded hotter than standard .32ACP. There was one commercial model release in .380 but this was not accepted by the military.
The Long Recoil system wasn’t very popular in the firearms world. The only place it can really be observed in more modern production is in auto loading shotguns. The bolt on a Frommer Stop Pistol looks just like a miniature Steyr-Mannlicher M95 bolt. It has a helical groove that twists the bolt head’s lugs into matching notches in the barrel. When the Stop is fired the recoil force sends the barrel and bolt rearward together. A spring driven catch engages the bottom of the bolt through a gap in the bottom of the barrel extension and locks the bolt back. The spring in the forward chamber pushes the barrel forward. The ejector is fixed inside the barrel extension and is spring loaded. As the barrel travels it catches the back of the spent casing and forces it forward against the extractor on the bolt, ejecting the casing. When the barrel seats home a taper at its bottom rear shoves the bolt catch back down, releasing the bolt. The rear chamber spring pulls the bolt shut, stripping the next round from the top of the magazine.
Hungarian acceptance marks have been observed from 1916 to 1922 on the front of the trigger guard. The format is Bp. (Budapest) followed by the Hungarian coat of arms and then the two digit date. Pistols before and after these dates are not specifically marked. These dates are acceptance dates and are not necessarily manufacture dates but should be close. Frommer Stops were sold to Germany and should be marked with a crown over the letter D. These pistols should not, however, be marked with waffenampts and fakes are known to exist.
There have been more than a few questions about using .32ACP in a Frommer Stop. Suzie keeps one in her private collection after falling in love with the little ugly gun at the pawn shop. After much research we decided to try out several available .32ACP rounds of varied power. The pistol operates safely but invariably jams at random by failing to drive the bolt far enough back to lock. The hottest loads did the best but it appears hand loading may be the only want to get the required power. So get the most powerful standard commercial .32ACP you can find and be ready for some failures unless you want to make your own.
Disassembly instructions can be found here.