SOLD FOR: $1,011.76
Model: Le Francais Modele de Poche ( Pocket Model ), Number 4, 820 Series
Serial Number: 118871
Year of Manufacture: 1940’s to 1964; In 1965, cooling fins were added to the design. (Per http://unblinkingeye.com/Guns/Francais/francais.html: Manufrance changed the identification of the engraving level from the numbers 1,2,3,4 to numbers in the 800 series. In 1939, a model 812 was added. The model continued manufacture into the 1960’s when the company went out of business.).
Caliber: .25 ACP / 6.35mm Browning
Action Type: Double Action Only, Tip-Up Barrel, Internal Magazine Fed Pistol
Markings: The barrel, slide, frame, grip screws and trigger are finely engraved; please see our detailed photographs, this work is beautiful. The top of the slide is marked “LE FRANCAIS” in a countersunk oval and the right side of the slide is marked “MANUFACTURE FRANCAISE D’ARMES ET CYCLES DE SAINT-ETIENNE”, the front bottom flat of the slide is marked “871 / D”. The lower left side of the barrel is marked with an arrow passing through the center of a bullseye and “P T h”, the underside of the barrel is marked with a Crossed Cannons Manufrance proof, “Brevete S.G.D.G. / CAL 6.35”, and a “MF” logo (“MF” inside a laurel), the lower right side is marked “118871” and the right side of the barrel lug is marked “No 4 / 820”. The magazine floorplate is marked “MF” inside of two laurels.
Barrel Length: 2-3/8”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is an inverted “V” fixed to the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “U” groove at the back of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The wooden grip panels feature line etching with a defined line border. The panels are unmarked and there is no record of Manufrance ever using this style of grip (normally, we see “MF” laurel plastic grips), but the panels fit superbly and have holes to inlet the action bar screws. The left grip panel’s inlet looks to have been repaired with wood putty as photographed. The façade of the grips display light scuffs and scratches with no major losses, or damage. The grips rate in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blued, with jeweled action bars ‘in-the-white’.
Finish Originality: Factory Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is defined, but worn. There is pin prick erosion the length of the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 92% of its metal finish. There are wear, scratch and scuff marks present as well as wear from interacting metal surfaces as photographed. There is pin prick erosion and a brown patina on the bolt face. The left side of the grip frame has a building brown patina. The screw heads are finely engraved, displaying slightly elongated slots. The markings are sharp. Overall, this handgun rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We did not fire this handgun. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: One 7 round Manufrance marked magazine is provided. It has loss of finish on the knurled release tabs and on the body, from use but rates in about Fine condition.
Our Assessment: From http://unblinkingeye.com/Guns/Francais/francais.html : “Early Poche models were available in four grades, from No.1 to No.4, with number 1 being the low-end unengraved model, and numbers 2 through 4 featuring increasingly elaborate engraving. All were blued. Later, with the advent of other models, each grade was given its own model number: 802, the standard model; 808, with improved finish, polished trigger guard, and minor engraving; 814, with nickel trigger guard, finely checkered grips, deluxe brilliant blue -black finish, and luxury engraving; and 820, the same as 814 but with further artistic decoration. In later years the model 802 was also offered in nickel finish.” This is a pocket pistol that holds the highest rated engraving coverage of the entire Modèle de Poche line. It features engraving throughout the metal surfaces, with jeweled internals. There is pin prick erosion in the bore but the rifling is highly defined. There is minor patina and wear on the metal surfaces. The pistol incorporates the first successful ‘Double Action Only’ tip-up design and was revolutionary for its time. Please see our photographs for full detail.