The Bayard pocket models were made by Anciens Etablissements Pieper (A.E.P.) and were produced in three calibers: 6.35, 7.65, and 9 mm. The first to be produced was the so called Model of 1908 which appeared in late 1909 or early 1910. The first advertisement of this pistol appeared in the April 1, 1910, issue of Schuss and Waffe. The design was based on patents taken out by B. Clarus from 1905 to 1907 and purchased by A.E.P. in 1907 or early in 1908.
In 1911 the 9 mm. model appeared and was advertised in the May 1 issue of Schuss and Wage in that year, and the 6.35 mm. model was introduced to the public in the August 1912 issue of the same publication. The proper model designations would therefore be: 6.35 mm., Model 1912; 7.65 mm., Model 1910; and 9 mm., Model 1911.
These pistols are characterized by their small size. The 7.65 mm. and 9 mm. models are no larger than the ordinary 6.35 mm. pistol. The three models have the same dimensions (Figs. 107, 108).
The Model 1923 Bayard was made in the same three calibers: 6.35, 7.65, and 9 mm. They bear a very close resemblance to the F.N. Brownings, and operate the same way. Catalog information indicates that the 6.35 mm. guns had a magazine capacity of 6 cartridges, a weight of ca. 12 ounces, and dimensions of ca. 41/16 x 31/8 x 3/4 inch. The 7.65 and 9 mm. guns also had magazine capacities of 6 cartridges, but the weight was ca. 20 ounces, and dimensions were ca. 53/4 x 31/4 x 1 inch.
According to the manufacturers, the distinctive feature of the 1923 Model is a shock absorbing device which permits the use of 7.65 and 9 mm. ammunition in a very small, light pistol. „This device receives the locking mechanism as it is thrown back and weakens the recoil to such an extent that it becomes almost imperceptible. It consists of a special spring which is located behind the recoil spring in a cylinder case and which works only after the previous stretching of the locking spring, thanks to the pin in the interior of the latter." Another feature is in the omission of the automatic safety, present in many other automatic pistols, whose purpose is to prevent discharge after the magazine has been removed. This omission was adopted after a number of Mod. 1923 pistols had been made and the stated reason for the change is that since this automatic safety device may be broken or rendered inoperative its presence is more dangerous than its omission. They consider that full reliance should be placed on the main safety which, being on the outside, can be seen. If a cartridge has inadvertently been left in the chamber and the magazine is reinserted the automatic device is unlocked thereby and . the pistol can be discharged should the main safety be off. Hence the automatic safety device is dangerous and should not be used, in their opinion.
The 1930 Model is of the same type as the Model 1923, the principal point of difference appears to be in the magazine release. On the 1923 Model this is a pivoting affair, similar to that used on the 1910 and 1922 F.N. Brownings, whereas on the Model 1930 Bayard this has been changed to a two-pointed sliding design that does not project so much.
Fig. 107. 6.35 mm. Bayard Mod. 1908, Anc. Etablissements Pieper, Herstal, Belgium.
Fig. 108. 6.35 mm. Bayard Mod. 1908, Anc. Etablissements Pieper, Herstal, Belgium.
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