|Pistol||Pisztoly 29 Minta||Manufacturer||FÉG|
|Magazine||7 rnd detach||Weight||1.7 lbs|
Hungarian small arms history is often overlooked but the inventors in Budapest were genuinely talented and came up with some wonderfully unique designs. Here we have a lesser known interim pistol, the 29M.
While the Frommer Stop was an excellent pistol it’s unique .32 caliber cartridge were unsuitable for the post war economy. One sustainable pistol market was the .25ACP pocket pistol, popular during the interwar years. While there was a “Baby” version of the pistol, the cartridge hardly justified the complicated locking action. Reducing production cost and capturing market share finally motivated Rudolf Frommer to concede to a simple, blowback pistol.
This Frommer Lilliput was a .25ACP “vest” gun with some Browning influence. It uses an external hammer, single action trigger, fixed barrel (held by an underside lug), and a grip safety. The gun did have a slide release but lacked a manual safety. A new feature of the Lilliput was a breech block separate from the slide (instead of being milled from one piece like most). This likely saved a good deal of machine time. The magazine was retained by a heel release. It entered production in 1921 and was a successful seller, seeing manufacture into 1940.
When the Hungarian military started looking for a replacement for the Frommer Stop they had some of the same concerns as the commercial market. The new pistol should be inexpensive, simple, robust, and easy to use. Fewer parts were better and the Frommer’s special .32 caliber cartridge had not caught on, so it should be replaced with .380ACP. They turned to Fémáru Fegyver és Gépgyár R.T. (Metalwares, Small Arms, and Machine Works, Ltd.) who took their simple Lilliput and adapted it accordingly.
Nearly identical in operation, the adopted Pistol 29M really does seem to be a stretched out version of its precursor. The grip safety remained the only safety, single action, external hammer, etc. They did, however, think to add a lanyard ring and on some models a finger rest has been noted on the magazine. This pistol was a military adoption and the police and gendarme stuck with the .32ACP cartridge.
The 29M served with few complaints but was upgraded into the 37M with further simplifications we’ll discuss later. Some 50,000 were complete before their replacement and many of these would likely hang on through the Second World War. While they don’t exceedingly stand out, they were simple, robuts, and reliable semi-automatic handguns for the era and are another unique looking Hungarian design.