A French gun is an Obscure Object Of Desire? You’re probably wondering how much wood alcohol got into the hooch I’ve been drinking all winter. But bear with me, because something like this gun probably has a place in any true collector’s portfolio . . .
Manufacture d’armes de Bayonne was a French arms manufacturer who supplied handguns to French police and military forces (and, briefly, Nazi German occupiers) from 1920 to 1982. Their designs were typically based on successful patterns from other manufacturers such as Browning and Walther, and their P-15 briefly held the title of ‘world’s most capacious handgun’ with its (duh) 15-round magazine.
You’ve probably already recognized the profile of the .25 ACP Model 1906 Browning (with grip safety) in the MAB Model A, which is exactly what it was. The first version of the Model A was introduced in 1921, and the second version (shown here) was made from 1925 until 1964 or 1966.
That’s a pretty long production run for an abysmally underpowered handgun. Like most French industrial products, MAB pistols were not remarkable for their quality of manufacture. They were, still, good enough for police and military use in the ‘never fired, only dropped once’ French armed forces.
Despite its long production run, few MAB pistols were ever imported for the U.S. civilian market. Despite this scarcity, prices are fairly low for these obscure handguns. The example shown here was offered for sale at $199.