1. Slide cap
3. Firing pin
4. Firing pin rebound spring
6. Left recoil lever
8. Trigger spring
9. Left grip
10. Barrel pin
13. Barrel lever spring
15. Recoil link
16. Recoil spring
17. Recoil link pin
18. Recoil lever screw (2)
19. Right recoil lever
20. Recoil spring guide
21. Barrel lever
23. Trigger guard
24. Right grip
the chamber without retracting the slide. This makes the pistol easy to operate, even for weak women. The barrel pivots open under spring pressure when the barrel lever on the right side of* the frame is depressed. It also pivots open automatically when the magazine is removed. Unloading the chamber after the magazine is removed is thereby not forgotten, and no magazine safety is required.
Well made and finished, this compact arm with blued finish and checkered hard-rubber grips weighs only 11 Va ozs. unloaded, and has a seven-round magazine. In the early version of this pistol, the magazine is detached by pulling it slightly forward and then down. The later version has a conventional thumb-operated magazine release in the lower rear of the frame. Also, the rear part of the frame is more slanted in the late version than in the early to give an improved grip.
Extraction in this pistol is by blow-back force only, and an extractor is not provided. Despite this, functioning is reliable. Accuracy is excellent for a pocket pistol.
There also are larger Le Francais blowback-operated pistols in calibers .25 ACP and .32 ACP. The Policeman Model in cal. .25 ACP has a domed mainspring housing at the rear of the frame and a longer barrel than the Pocket Model. A blowback-operated Military Model in cal. 9 mm. Browning Long was introduced about 1928, but was discontinued shortly before World War II. ' ■
1 Takedown of Le Francais begins with removal of magazine (12). To do this, pull forward and down on knurled wings extending from sides of magazine bottom. Barrel (11) automatically tips up as magazine is withdrawn. Remove any cartridge from chamber. Pivot barrel fully upward, and lift slide (5) up and forward off frame (7). Later versions of this pistol have a conventional butt-mounted magazine catch, but takedown procedures are similar to above.
2 Press slide cap (1) forward into slide, rotate Yx turn counterclockwise, and ease out to rear. Remove mainspring (2), firing pin (3), and rebound spring (4). This completes field stripping for normal cleaning.
3 To disassemble further, unscrew grip screws (25) and remove grips (9) (24). Cut a short section of Ya" copper tubing, and tighten against recoil link (15) with clamp or vise to slightly compress recoil spring (16). Unscrew recoil lever screws (18), and remove recoil levers (6) (19). These levers are offset slightly to provide clearance for trigger (22), and must be replaced with offsets facing outward.
4 Release clamp, and remove recoil spring assembly (14) and barrel lever spring (13). Move barrel lever (21) to down (released) position, and push out of frame with punch. Straight leaf of barrel lever spring must seat within barrel lever's notched lug during reassembly.
5 Holding pistol in left hand, pull rear of trigger guard (23) out of frame with right forefinger, keeping the guard bowed with pressure from right thumb and middle finger. Release pressure and rotate guard forward out of frame. Barrel can now be removed by driving out its pin (10).
6 Insert a punch between trigger and trigger spring (8), and flex the spring rearward to disengage from trigger. Press down on rear of trigger to unlatch from frame and slide trigger forward and out. Remove trigger spring. The late version of this pistol has a coil-type trigger spring.
7 Cutaway indicates relative positions of assembled parts. Magazine has been removed, causing barrel to tip up. Parts are number keyed to parts legend.
Absence of ejector and extractor permitted simple breech con« struction. Note fixed firing pin in percussion mechanism and rear sight notch in loading gate
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