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Thread: History of the magazine disconnect?

  1. #1
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    History of the magazine disconnect?

    Hi there!

    I wonder, can anyone provide some insight about the history of the magazine disconnect?

    Can magazine disconnects be "blamed on" (or traced to) any particular legislation, or an unhappy court-case outcome where the lack of one resulted in liability for a gunmaker?

    We've had magazine-fed autopistols and rifles now for a while -- can anyone provide what they consider the earliest example of a magazine disconnect? I have a few guns with, a few guns without; I know they inspire lots of strong feelings among some THR denizens, but hopefully this question can generate more light than heat.

    Cheers,

    timothy

  2. #2
    Hello. It is my understanding that the French military was to order some of the then-new "P35" 9mm Hi Powers but specified the magazine disconnect, which FN dutifully added to the gun.

    It has pretty much remained there ever since and the French never did order a single Hi Power.

    Best.

  3. #3
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    Funny you should ask. We've been having a jolly discussion about the wisdom of disabling the magazine disconnect in a carry gun over at http://www.thehighroad.us/showthread.php?t=402078.

    During the course of those discussions, I tried to find some documentation of the history of this controversial device, and pretty much came up empty.

    R. Blake Stevens, in his book, The Browning High Power Automatic Pistol (Collector Grade Publications, 1992) describes the birth of the gun that became the High Power starting with the French asking FN to consider designing a high capacity service weapon in 9mm Parabellum caliber. It's therefore possible, as Mr. Camp suggests, that the early French specifications called for the magazine disconnect. According to Mr. Stevens, a French report of the testing of the 1923 variant notes: "...There is also an automatic safety that prevents the arm from firing when the magazine has been withdrawn...." (Stevens, pg. 30)

  4. #4
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    Colt started putting magazine disconnects in their pocket models as early as 1916 for the .25 and 1926 for the .32 and .380. I know of no specific stimulus, they just decided you needed to be protected from yourself.
    There were a few Lugers made with magazine "safeties" but they did not make it into volume production.
    I have a few facts and a lot of opinions.

  5. #5
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    What Mr Camp and fiddleton said -- the mag safety on the High Power was part of the French military specs. Kind of like how the US military (cavalry specifically) demanded a grip safety on the 1911, the French wanted a mag disconnect/safety, so that's what Browning/Saive designed.

    I think its appearance on more recent designs (or it being a factory option on some designs) is catering to law enforcement sales, as some departments/agencies consider it a desirable feature.

  6. #6
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    FN's Browning-designed M1910 pocket pistol also featured a mag disconnect, and pre-dated the other models mentioned. I have never seen a documentable reason for this mechanism . . .

  7. #7
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    "FN's Browning-designed M1910 pocket pistol also featured a mag disconnect, and pre-dated the other models mentioned. I have never seen a documentable reason for this mechanism . . ."
    98 years, 98 years, do I hear 99 years? Going once, going twice ... I realize now I ought perhaps have asked this in the firearms history area

    Interesting answers -- thanks!

    timothy

  8. #8
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    Star too

    Star handguns started coming with them around the 1980s, perhaps earlier.
    Super easy to remove

  9. #9
    The magazine history is too old it started from world war 2 in Britain. When people read a magazine during world war 2 they probably show 99papers.com reviews about the situation in the war of the country.

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