The Cartridge

That French 7.65mm Long cartridge’s story itself it quite interesting. Most readers will have heard of the World War I Pedersen Device that could be installed on specially built US Model 1903 “Springfield” rifles. It turned them from a bolt action into a semi-auto, albeit only firing a pistol-sized cartridge instead of the hefty .30-‘06. This was done to make ‘03s more deadly in trench combat. As it were, World War I ended before the Pedersen Device-equipped Springfields got into action. How does that relate to the French 7.65mm Long? The .30 Pedersen and the French 7.65mm Long are the same dimensionally. One has to wonder if after World War I the United States left enormous stocks of their .30 Pedersen ammunition in France and so the French decided to capitalize on it.

In his book Military Handguns Of The Two World Wars, author John Walter says an engineer named Charles Petter, employed by Societe Alsacienne de Constructions Mecaniques (SACM), copied much of John Browning’s ideas to develop the Model 1935A pistol. It was adopted by the French army in 1936. Walter goes on to state only a “few thousand” SACM-Petter pistols were delivered to the French government before the German victory over them in 1940, and then by 1944 another 40,000 or so were taken by the Wehrmacht before France was liberated.

The Model 1935A has a 4.3″ barrel, weighs a mere pound and a half, and has an 8-round magazine capacity. Unlike the Colt 1911 it does not have a grip safety but does have a hammer block type on the left rear of the frame. Push it rearward and a piece of steel prevents the bobbed hammer from striking the firing pin. Sights are a simple small blade front dovetailed to the slide and a notch rear. Its trigger mechanism is single action only.