BSA’s Experimental .34 Caliber Pistols at James D Julia

During World War One, Birmingham Small Arms (aka BSA) grew into a massive arms manufacturing facility to supply the previously inconceivable military appetite for rifles. When the war ended, they were left with a bit of a dilemma. As a private entity, what were they to do with such a huge production capacity and no more government orders?

One part of their post-war plan was to create and market a new line of handguns and ammunition in conjunction with a conglomerate of ammunition manufacturers. The result was a line of new belted cartridges including a .34 caliber belted round roughly equivalent to the .32 ACP. To use this cartridge, BSA designed a pistol, which was mostly a copy of the FN 1910. The hope was that a good marketing campaign centered around the state-of-the-art new ammunition would make for a popular product and many sales.

Unfortunately for BSA, the plan was a flop. Belted ammunition was new and innovative, but thoroughly unnecessary for blowback handgun cartridges. The new guns never went past the prototype stage, and only three are known to exist. Two of those are coming up for sale at James D Julia in October 2015, one in the new .34 caliber cartridge and one rebuilt by the factory to use .32 ACP.