Dieudonné Joseph Saive Invented Many of the World’s Most Popular Firearms 3

Dieudonne Saive Header and Pistols

Firearms Inventor, Dieudonne Joseph Saive, 1888-1970


FN-FAL Battle Rifle Adopted by 93 Countries During the Cold War

The Fusil Automatique Léger (“Light Automatic Rifle”) or FAL is a self-loading, selective fire battle rifle produced by the Belgian armaments manufacturer Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN). During the Cold War it was adopted by many North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries, with the notable exception of the United States. It is one of the most widely used rifles in history, having been used by over 90 countries.  The FAL was predominantly chambered for the 7.62×51mm NATO round, and because of its prevalence and widespread use among the armed forces of many NATO countries during the Cold War it was nicknamed “The right arm of the Free World”. – More


Hi-Power video courtesy of Youtuber Hickok45



Dieudonne Joseph Saive 

In 1922, when the French put out the call for a new military pistol chambered in 9 mm Parabellum, Belgium’s Fabrique Nationale (FN) answered with firearm titan John Moses Browning and a little-known Belgian designer;  Dieudonné Saive.

The American-born Browning had a long working relationship with FN, and his firearm designs were already the stuff of legend.

Browning started by creating a staggered double-column magazine that held 16 rounds, unheard of for a flush-fitting unit.  As development progressed, Browning conceived of the basic shape of the pistol and its breech locking system in which the rear of the barrel cammed down to disengage dorsal lugs from recesses in the slide.

Working with an FN design team that included Saive, Browning ultimately produced a pistol called the Model 1927 Grande Rendement.  However, Browning passed away in 1926 still awaiting the pistol’s patent, which was not issued until the next year.  Despite Browning’s and FN’s efforts, the Model 27 Grande Rendement was found wanting.  It was considered too large and heavy for its intended purpose.  It fell to Dieudonné Saive to rework the design and produce a gun that satisfied the desires of the military.

Saive made numerous crucial changes to the pistol, dispensing with its complicated contours, removable plate-mounted lockwork, interrupted screw breech bolt and internal striker. He also reduced the dimensions of the gun and the capacity of the magazine. The new magazine held a still-considerable 13 rounds. Dubbed the M35 or Hi Power, the final version of the pistol was not finished until 1935, but it was a design so sound that it has remained virtually unchanged to this day.

Strangely, the French military—the original catalyst for the Hi Power’s creation—chose not to buy the gun, adopting a lesser-chambered pistol of French design. Other nations, however, immediately recognized the numerous benefits of the Hi Power, and a great many adopted it as their standard-issue service pistol. These benefits include reliability, generous magazine capacity, excellent ergonomics and the fact that it is chambered for the ubiquitous 9 mm Luger cartridge.

The FN plant was seized by the Germans during World War II, and the Nazis produced the Hi Power for their own troops. Meanwhile, Dieudonné Saive re-settled in Toronto, Canada to assist John Inglis Co. produce Hi Powers there for Nationalist Chinese, British, Canadian and Greek forces. Thus, both sides made use of the P35 pistol during the war. A well-known variation of the gun was the Capitan model that incorporated tangent sights graduated to 500 meters and a detachable wooden combination holster/shoulder stock.

Still in production in 2004, the Hi Power remains in use by militaries and civilians around the world and, despite myriad new designs, maintains favor for those same qualities that drew acclaim initially. While many may contend that this venerable single-action gun has been equaled, few will say that it has ever been surpassed.


Saive baby_browning

The Baby Browning – by Ed Buffaloe

Historical Perspective

Dieudonné Saive became a tool designer in the employ of Fabrique Nationale soon after he completed his education in 1906.  He escaped to England during the First World War , where he worked as a machinist for Vickers.  Saive was assigned to be John M. Browning’s assistant shortly before the latter’s death in 1926, and afterward Saive became the head arms designer for FN.  He was primarily responsible for the design of the High Power pistol, as well as for the Baby Browning.  Saive escaped to England again during World War II, and eventually travelled to Canada to supervise production of the Inglis-made High Power pistols.  After the war he designed the SAFN rifle, which evolved into the FAL.  He worked for FN until his retirement in 1957.   More     

BABY Browning Wikipedia  

Photos, Variuos models


Super Saive, 12ga., 27 1/2″ M/F, double triggers with hinged front trigger, 3 piece forend, cross bolt lock-up, solid rib, straight grip stock, automatic ejectors, pachmayr pad, gold inlayed oak leaves, dog and quail in wood, 90% bluing and wood finish, 80% case coloring, completely original, very high quality workmanship throughout.

SOLD: Connecticut Shotgun Co.   Archive

Super Saive Shotgun12 Ga


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