Unblinking Eye
Melior & Jieffeco Model 1922 Pistol

 

The Model 1922 7.65 mm
 Melior, Jieffeco, and Record Pistol
«New Impoved Model»


by Vaclav Vriesen


Presumably, the production of 7.65 mm pistols created under the Belgian patents of 1913, № 259178, and 1914, № 265491, began at the end of 1921, but the earliest known advertisement, published in the Polish catalog Tadeusz Jaruszewski, is dated 1922, and the instructions with the 7.65 mm Jieffeco pistol are also dated 1922. Therefore, these pistols may be called the Model 1922 in 7.65 mm.

Catalog of Tadeusz Jaruszewski - 1922 Catalog of Tadeusz Jaruszewski - 1922

Catalog of Tadeusz Jaruszewski - 1922


Instructions for the Jieffeco pistols - 1922

Instructions for the Jieffeco pistols from the Queensland Police Museum

The Model 1920 Type 3 pistols in 6.35 mm and the Model 1922 pistols in 7.65 mm have an identical construction.

Melior Model 1920 - 6.35mm Melior Model 1922 - 7.65mm

Left: 6.35mm - Right: 7.65mm -Photographs courtesy Ed Buffaloe

The 6.35 mm Model 1920 Type 3 pistol and the 7.65 mm Model 1922 pistol do not have a lightweight frame, with the front portion of the frame above the bow of the trigger guard hollowed out, such as were made earlier on the 6.35 mm Model 1920 type 2 pistols.

Melior Model 1920 - 6.35mm Melior Model 1922 - 7.65mm

Left: 6.35mm - Right: 7.65mm -Photographs courtesy Ed Buffaloe

The Model 1922 pistols in 7.65 mm may be divided into two types according to appearance. The first type has 16 vertical serrations at the rear of the slide, and the second type has 20 vertical serrations at the rear.

Melior Model 1922 7.65mm - Type 1 - 16 serrations

Type 1 has 16 serrations

Melior Model 1922 7.65mm - Type 2 - 20 serrations

Type 2 has 20 serrations

In addition, the Model 1922 7.65 mm pistols, have two different safety levers with different serrations. These two types of safety lever can be seen on both types of pistol, though safety levers with small serrations are more typical in late-release pistols.

Type 1 Safety Lever Type 2 Safety Lever

Safety levers with fine serrations are more often found in late pistols.


Presumably, the serial numbers of these pistols continued the order of the serial numbers of the 7.65 mm pistols of 1907 and 1911. The last known serial number of Louis Robar pistols of 1907 and 1911 is 27306, and the earliest known pistol of the Model 1922 in 7.65 mm is serial number 27351.


Model 1922, Type 1

The pistol with serial number 27351 has a two-line inscription on the slide:

MELIOR
BREVETS-259178-265491-LIEGE-BELGIUM

Melior SN 27351 Slide Inscription

A total of 74 Melior Model 1922 pistols with this inscription
have been documented.

None of the documented 7.65 mm pistols with the Melior trademark has the word "BELGIQUE" in French in the second line of the slide inscription, right through to the end of production.

The Model 1922 Jieffeco pistols in 7.65 mm with serial numbers 27668, 27687, 27796, and 27995, which were sent to the American market for the DAVIS-WARNER ARMS Corporation, have three-line inscriptions on the slide :

AUTOMATIC PISTOL JIEFFECO DEPOSE
REVETS-259178-265491-LIEGE-BELGIUM
DAVIS-WARNER-ARMS-CORPORATION NEW-YORK

Model 1922 Jieffeco/Davis-Warner Arms Corporation - SN 27687 Model 1922 Jieffeco/Davis-Warner Arms Corporation - SN 27687

Model 1922 Jieffeco/Davis-Warner Arms Corporation - SN 27687

This American contract consisted of two deliveries. We know this because in the middle of the serial numbers of this order, we find some pistols with the Melior trademark that were sold elsewhere. The 7.65 caliber pistols ordered by the DAVIS WARNER ARMS CORPORATION can be seen in the 1924 catalog of the Kirtland Bros & Co.

Kirtland Bros. & Co. -  1924 Catalog

Kirtland Bros. & Co. -  1924 Catalog

Jieffeco pistols intended for the French market have a two-line inscription on the slide :

PISTOLET AUTOMATIQUE JIEFFECO DEPOSE
BREVETS-259178-265491-LIEGE-BELGIUM

Jieffeco Model 1922 - SN 31613 Jieffeco Model 1922 - SN 31613

Jieffeco Model 1922 - SN 31613 - Photographs courtesy Janne Salopuro

The second Model 1922 Jieffeco pistol with this inscription on the slide, serial number 34465, does not have the symbol "Perron".

In 1924, the large Liege arms company, "MANUFACTURE LIEGEOISE D'ARMES A FEU", ordered a batch of Model 1922 Melior pistols from Louis Robar for export, to supplement its trade line, since the company "MANUFACTURE LIEGEOISE D'ARMES A FEU" did not produce automatic pistols, but produced revolvers and high-end hunting rifles; it was also a major exporter around the world.

For this purpose, in addition to the usual two line inscription, a third line was added with the name of the exporting company :

MELIOR
BREVETS-259178-265491-LIEGE-BELGIUM
MANUFACTURE LIEGEOISE D'ARMES A FEU

Melior Model 1922 - SN 33604 Melior Model 1922 - SN 33604

Melior Model 1922 - SN 33604

This Melior pistol with the serial number 33604 is also interesting because it does not have the "Perron" symbol on the slide, frame, barrel, or breech block. As mentioned earlier in the article about the Model 1920 Robar pistols, this symbol was no longer used on pistols in 1924.

Perron

The last known Model 1922 Type 1 Melior pistol marked with the symbol "Perron" has the serial number 33178.

It should be noted that at the time when the Louis Robar factory began producing an upgraded version of 6.35 mm pistols, which was the third modification of the Model 1914 pistols manufactured under the Belgian patents of 1913 and 1914, as well as the Model 1922 7.65 mm pistols, none were provided with caliber markings on the frame.

Caliber marking on the Model 1922 pistols in 7.65 mm appeared in the range of serial numbers between 34587 and 34644, and on the third modification of the 6.35 mm, the caliber marking appeared in the range of serial numbers between 68364 and 68700.

Melior Model 1914, Third Variant 6.35 mm

Melior Model 1914, Third Variant 6.35 mm
with caliber markings - SN 68700

Melior Model 1922 7.65 mm

Melior Model 1922 7.65 mm
with  caliber markings - SN 37240

The Model 1922 Type 1 pistols in 7.65 mm with serial numbers 40664, 40675, and 40680 are made with a lanyard ring in the lower part of the grip on the left side.

Melior Model 1922 - SN 40664 Melior Model 1922 - SN 40664

Melior Model 1922 - SN 40664

These pistols may have been intended for use in the police or for military purposes.

Two Model 1922 Type 1 Pistols in 7.65 mm with stamps of the Finnish Army (SA) are also documented. This is a Melior pistol with the serial number 38280 and a Jieffeco pistol whose serial number is not known. Please contact us if you another example.

Melior-38280-L-S

Melior Model 1922 Type 1 - SN 38280

Jieffeco SA-S

Jieffeco Model 1922 Type 1 - Unknown SN


On June 26, 1942, the Finnish army was ordered to use the SA-mark.

Finnish army Suomen Armeija stamp

The abbreviation SA stands for – «Suomen Armeija» (Finnish Army)


Model 1922, Type 2

In the range of serial numbers 40771 and 41459, the Robar factory increased the number of vertical serrations in the back of the slide to hold the slide securely.

The pistols of the model 1922 type 2 with the trademark Melior had the same two-line inscription on the slide as the pistols of the Melior model 1922 type 1 :

Melior Model 1922, Type 2 - SN 41612 Melior Model 1922, Type 2 - SN 41612

Melior Model 1922, Type 2 - SN 41612

MELIOR
BREVETS-259178-265491-LIEGE-BELGIUM

The studied Melior pistols of the model 1922 type 2 with serial numbers 42147 and 42183 sent to the English market have a two-line inscription and the export marking "MADE IN BELGIUM" in the front of the slide :

Melior Model 1922, Type 2 - SN 42183 Melior Model 1922, Type 2 - SN 42183

Melior Model 1922, Type 2 - SN 42183

MADE IN BELGIUM                                  MELIOR                                                  
BREVETS-259178-265491-LIEGE-BELGIUM

The Melior pistol with serial number 42183 has an additional Birmingham Proof House deactivation mark on the right side of the slide and frame, as well as on the barrel.

It is possible that some pistols with the export label "MADE IN BELGIUM" were sent to America.

Special attention should be paid to the Model 1922 Type 2 pistol with the trademark "Record" which has the serial number 43144. On the slide of this pistol there is a two-line inscription :

RECORD
BREVETS-259178-265491-LIEGE-BELGIUM

Record SN 43144 slide inscription

Record Model 1922, Type 2 - SN 43144 Record Model 1922, Type 2 - SN 43144

Record Model 1922, Type 2 - SN 43144 (photographs courtesy Bob Rehkopf)

This pistol has grips decorated with a logo with the inscription "Record" and the letters "M.F" above. The abbreviation is "M.F" can be deciphered as "Manufacture Française."

Record grip logo

With a high degree of probability, a small batch of pistols with this trademark was ordered by a large Spanish distributor, Eduardo Schilling from Barcelona, and sold in France through "Manufacture Française" in Saint-Etienne.

Eduardo Schilling

Eduardo Schilling

Schilling received the trademark 23982 on June 15, 1914 in the name "Record". You will note the Spanish text uses the word “patente,” but the Spanish word also covers what are called trademarks in English.

Record trademark notice

Eduardo Schilling was one of two official distributors for the Astra company during much of the first two decades of the 20th Century, and sold their products in the Spanish, French and German markets where Astra granted him sole rights. He also collaborated with Echave y Arizmendi and MAPF, as well as other pistol manufacturers, and sold pistols marked with his own trademark "Record" in 6.35 mm and 7.65 mm worldwide without the market restrictions he faced with Astra.

The grips on the Spanish "Record" and "Excelsior" pistols were decorated with Eduardo Schilling’s trademark from Patent 21420.

Eduardo Schilling Trademark

The trademark from patents 21420/22851 appears on the grips of Record and Excelsior pistols.


Record-Pistol-ES-S Record and Victoria Pistol Advertisement

The "Record" pistol was made by Echave y Arizmendi with grips decorated with Eduardo Schilling’s "ES" logo.

There is also a French pistol with grips decorated with the inscription "Record". Probably this pistol was bought by Eduardo Schilling from a French manufacturer in white and then Schilling installed the handles with the inscription "Record".

French-made Record pistol - SN 760 French-made Record pistol - SN 760

A French-made pistol with the inscription "Record" on the grips.

During the entire study, only one Jieffeco model 1922 type 2 pistol with the serial number 45068 was documented. This pistol has an inscription in French on the slide and was intended for sale on the French market :

PISTOLET AUTOMATIQUE JIEFFECO DEPOSE
BREVETS-259178-265491-LIEGE-BELGIUM

Jieffeco Model 1922 Type 2 - SN 45068 Jieffeco Model 1922 Type 2 - SN 45068

Jieffeco Model 1922 Type 2 - SN 45068

The pistols of this model 1922 model went on sale even after the release of the following new models of Louis Robar pistols.

Advertisement from the 1932 WUM catalog.

Advertisement from the 1932 WUM catalog.

The latest known advertisement for model 1922 pistols was published in the catalog of the Geco trading company No. 65 of 1937.

Advertisement from the 1937 Geco catalog No. 65.

Advertisement from the 1937 Geco catalog № 65.

Three Melior pistols have been observed, with serial numbers 48455, 49364 and 49424, which were sold by the trading company Geco. These pistols are marked with the "Geco" stamp on the left side of the frame.

Geco stamp.

Geco stamp.


Melior Model 1922 Type 2 - SN 49364 - with Geco stamp. Melior Model 1922 Type 2 - SN 49364 - with Geco stamp.

Melior Model 1922 Type 2 - SN 49364 - with Geco stamp.


Previously, it was assumed that the serial numbers of pistols of the 1922 model of the 7.65 caliber should not exceed 50,000, since the serial numbers of the next model of Louis Robar pistols of the 7.65 caliber begin with 50,000 thousandth serial numbers, but at the moment the Melior pistol of the 1922 model of the type 1 with 78,000 thousandth serial number is documented. Why the Melior model 1922 Type 1 pistol has such a high serial number remains a mystery.

Melior Model 1922 Type 2 - SN 783xx Melior Model 1922 Type 2 - SN 783xx

Melior Model 1922 Type 2 - SN 783xx - with Geco stamp. (Photographs courtesy Konstantin Solovyov)

 

Related Articles of Interest

The “Old Model” Pistols:
The Robar & de Kerckhove Melior and Jieffeco Pistols Model 1907 & 1911
The 7.65mm Melior and Jieffeco Pistols Model 1907 & 1911
The Model 1911 Melior & Jieffeco Pistols in 6.35mm
Patents, Technical Data, and Advertisements for the Model 1907 and 1911
The Rebirth of the Phoenix

The “New Model” Pistols:
History and Development of the Model 1914 Melior and Jieffeco Pistol
The Model 1920 Melior, Jieffeco, and Gladiator Pistol

References

  • Tadeusz Jaruszewski Catalog, 1922
  • Kirtland Bros. & Co. Catalog, 1924
  • WUM Catalog, 1932
  • Geco Catalog No. 65 of 1937
  • Matthews, J. Howard, Firearms Identification.  Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois: 1962.
  • Vanderlinden, Anthony. FN Browning Pistols, Side-Arms that Shaped World History.  Wet Dog Publications, Greensboro, NC:  2013.

Links

Caza y Armas (discussion of Eduardo Schilling)

Acknowledgments

Special thanks to Robert Adair for his help in providing information about Spanish pistols. Thanks also to Ed Buffaloe for his help in editing and translating the article into correct English, as well as for providing old advertising and photos! Many thanks for the photos provided by Janne Salopuro, Bob Rehkopf, and Konstantin Solovyov (Costas). And thanks to Marianna Lepina for her help with photographic editing.

Copyright 2021 by Vaclav Vriesen.  All rights reserved.

Return to Gun Pages Home

 

 

E-mail Ed Buffaloe