October 26, 2021
Question: I bring to your attention a rare pocket pistol in 6.35mm (.25 ACP) caliber, probably made in the early 20th century, and seemingly in low numbers. The name “Bronnie” clearly suggests an opportunistic intention of fishing in the waters of John M. Browning, which wasn’t uncommon among modest European arms makers of that time. But the little gun has its own merit with a certain manufacturing quality and ingenious details such as the conical rear of the recoil spring guide contributing to the firm assembly of the fixed barrel. The pistol has no serial number, nor a name for its production site. The legend on its left side reads, “FABRIQUE D’ARMES AUTOMATIQUES DE PRECISION – BRONNIE PATENT DEPOSÉ.” Will you be kind enough to advise when and where could it have been made. Would you have a guess of its value?
-E.A. via email
Answer: I have a particular penchant for unusual early pocket autos. Your “Bronnie” was a new one to me, so I had to do a bit of digging to come up with an answer such as it is. What I discovered is the pistol was perhaps manufactured by Star-Bonifacio Echeverra SA in Spain. It is similar to that company’s 7.65mm Star Model N-2. However, there is also the possibility that some other Spanish firm pirated the design and produced one chambered in 6.35mm. From what I can see in your photos, the proofs appear to be Spanish. Value is difficult to determine. Rock Island Auction had an N-2 for offer in its February 25, 2016, sale with an estimated value at between $1,100 and $1,600. However, there is no price realized listed in their past auction information. Even if there was, I’m not sure how it would relate to a “Bronnie.” If any readers know more about this interesting little pistol, I’d be glad to hear from them!
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