Pistolet automatique modèle 1935A

The Pistolet automatique modèle 1935A is a semi-automatic pistol chambered for the 7.65mm Longue cartridge, developed to compete in the 1935–37 French military trials conducted by the Commission d’Experiences Techniques de Versailles to select a new sidearm.[2]

Modèle 1935 pistol
Modèle 1935A pistol
TypeSemi-automatic pistol
Place of originFrance
Service history
In service1937–1960s
Used bySee Users
WarsWorld War II
First Indochina War
Algerian War[1]
Vietnam War
Production history
DesignerCharles Gabriel Petter
ManufacturerSociété Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques SACM
No. built84,000
VariantsModel 1935A, 1935S
Mass730 g (1.61 lb) model A, 720 g (1.59 lb) Model S
Length7.75 in (197 mm)
Barrel length4.29 in (109 mm)
Height4.96 in (126 mm)

Cartridge7.65×20mm Longue
ActionShort recoil
Muzzle velocity345 metres per second (1,130 ft/s)
Feed system7 Round Magazine


The Pistolet automatique modèle 1935A (Automatic Pistol Model 1935A) or Modèle (Mle.) 1935 A is a semi-automatic pistol chambered for the 7.65mm Longue cartridge. It was developed by the Swiss Charles Petter (a former captain of French Foreign Legion), engineer of the French company Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques (SACM) and used by the French Army in several wars.[3]

Petter designed a pistol which had some of the same design elements as the John Browning M1911 such as the grooved slide and barrel which interlocked and recoiled together until a pivoting link lowered the barrel, thus unlocking the assembly and further rearward movement of the barrel and slide together, which after reaching the point of greatest movement would be returned to battery. Along the way the slide would strip a cartridge from the magazine and push it into the chamber just prior to the under barrel link forcing the barrel up into engagement with the slide, locking the action. Petter eliminated the barrel bushing and used a full length spring guide which had the effect of removing one of the elements of inaccuracy from the M1911 design and increased functional reliability.[3][4]

A unique feature of the system was an integrated fire control system. The trigger, hammer, mainspring, and sear assembly were contained in one unit. His design impressed SIG of Switzerland, who licensed it in order to produce their model 47/8 handgun (which became the Sig P210.[3])

It won the 1935–37 competition to produce the new French military sidearm. Initial production began in 1937, and the pistol began delivery to the French Army in late 1939, with a total of about 10,700 pistols built before German forces occupied the SACM factory in the summer of 1940. The Germans continued production of the 1935A, now designated the "Pistole 625 (f)", with about 23,850 pistols made for the German forces. Following the end of the German occupation of France in 1944, SACM resumed production of the 1935A for the French military, making a further 50,400 pistols. In total, about 84,950 1935A pistols were produced between October 1937 and February 1950.[3][2][4]

In 1937, Switzerland’s Schweizerische Industrie Gesellschaft purchased a license from SACM for the 1935A, which became the basis for the development by SIG Sauer of the SIG P210.[3][2]



  1. "L'armement français en A.F.N." Gazette des Armes (in French). No. 220. March 1992. pp. 12–16.
  2. "PISTOL MODEL 1935A". smallarmsreview.com. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  3. Hawks, Chuck. "French Modele 35A Pistol: The First Branch on the Developmental Tree". chuckhawks.com. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  4. "The 1935 French Service Pistols". unblinkingeye.com. Retrieved 26 February 2017.
  5. Rottman, Gordon L. (10 May 2007). Viet Cong Fighter. Warrior 116. Osprey Publishing. ISBN 9781846031267.
  • Medlin, Eugene and Colin Doane. The French 1935 Pistols: A Concise History. Latham, NY: Excaliber Publications, 1995.
  • Medlin, Eugene and Jean Huon. French Service Handguns 1858–2004. St. Louis, MO: Tommy Gun Publications, 2004.

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