Unblinking Eye
                                              The PSP-25

 

The PSP-25 “Baby Browning”

by Ed Buffaloe

PSP-25The PSP-25 is simply a Baby Browning made in the U.S. under license from Fabrique Nationale because the FN “Le Bébé” has been banned from import into the U.S. since 1968.  It is no small thing for a company with Fabrique Nationale’s reputation for quality manufacture to license another entity to manufacture one of their products, but in the case of Precision Small Parts (PSP), now known as Precision Small Arms (PSA), quality of manufacture is not an issue. This gun simply exudes quality.  Even the low-end Traditional model is beautifully finished both inside and out.  You hold it in your hand and it “feels” right.  You work the action and you know immediately it is a well made weapon.

The “Le Bébé” pistol was designed in the late 1920’s by FN’s chief designer of the era, Dieudonne Saive, as a replacement for the Browning Vest Pocket pistol of 1905/1906.  I suspect FN needed something that could compete with Carl Walther Waffenfabrik’s Model 9, which appeared in 1921, and to my knowledge is still the smallest .25 ever made. The new FN product was smaller, lighter, and cheaper to manufacture than its predecessor, but incorporated enough of John M. Browning’s patents to be legitimately called the “Baby Browning.”  Col. W. R. Betz has written an excellent article entitled John M. Browning’s FN Pocket Pistols, which gives a detailed history of the gun, including some information on the Precision Small Parts company.

 

I picked up a brochure from PSA Incorporated at the Tulsa gun show, and only a few weeks later ran across the PSP-25 pictured here at a local pawn shop.  I bought it on the spot.  My impression was that the pawn shop personnel thought the gun was a cheap knockoff.

Since I’m praising the gun so highly, I don’t think the PSA company will take it amiss if I quote from their brochure: “Le Bébé is a single action, semi-automatic, self-loading, blow-back mechanism manufactured of all steel alloy components. It is striker fired and utilizes a smooth faced, single stage draw bar trigger with pull weight of 5.25 lbs.  It can hold six rounds in its magazine and one chambered. Le Bébé’s barrel is 2.13 inches long, has 6 lands and grooves and is right-hand twisted with a radius of 3.54 inches.  Le Bébé is 4.11 inches long, stands 2.88 inches tall and is .88 inches thick.”  In addition, the PSA website states:  “When utilized with modern high-velocity ammunition, this pistol can achieve the effectiveness of a .380.  It should not be underestimated with regard to lethality.”*

I’m sure many people will take issue with that last statement, but there is no doubt the little pistol is a comfort to those who carry it.  I’ve found mine to be relatively accurate, as well as extremely reliable. My PSP shoots a couple of inches high and to the right, but it does so consistently. I also own a Walther Model 9, which is even more accurate than the Le Bébé and equally reliable, but I find the Le Bébé fits my hand better.  It is possible that someone with smaller hands might prefer the Walther.

PSP-25
PSP-25 PSP-25

*Magsafe 25D +P Defender ammo delivers 1670 feet-per-second and 127 foot-pounds of energy in the PSA-25. My 2008 Gun Digest tells me that the average muzzle energy of a .25 automatic round is 64 foot-pounds.  The average muzzle energy of a .32 automatic round is about 132 foot-pounds, so it appears to me that the .25 caliber Magsafe ammo is about equivalent to a standard .32.

Copyright 2008 by Ed Buffaloe. All rights reserved.
Click on the pictures to open a larger version in a new window.

References

Precision Small Arms

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