August 2000:

Flag of the Hungarian Monarchy Flag of the Hungarian Monarchy

Frommer Stop Pistol Type:  Self Loading Pistol
System of Operation:  Long Recoil
Caliber:  7.65mm Browning and 9mm Browning Short
Capacity:  7 rounds (Stop), 5 rounds (Baby)
Sights front: Blade 
Sights, rear:  Notch
Length: 6.5" (Stop), 4.875" (Baby)
Weight (unloaded): 1.6 lbs (Stop), 1.4 lbs (Baby)
Barrel: 4" (Stop), 3" Baby

article by Merv Broten

The Frommer Stop and Frommer Baby pistols are the culmination of a series of handgun designs by Rudolph Frommer based on the long recoil system of operation.  Long recoil refers to the fact that the bolt and barrel remained locked together as they recoil rearward for a distance greater than the length of the cartridge.

Rudolph Frommer was born in Budapest, Hungary, in 1868.  Educated as an engineer, he was hired by Fegyvergyar, “Small Arms-and-Machine-Company” in Budapest in 1896.  There, he worked on developing semi-automatic handguns, and also machine guns. By 1906, he had been appointed general manager.  His name is often linked with that of Austrians Karl Krnka and Georg Roth, with whom he collaborated on early handgun designs. Frommer stayed at Fegyvergyar until 1935, by which time he had registered over 100 patents.  He died in Budapest in 1936.

Frommer’s first handgun design was the Model 1901.  It was of long recoil design, had a 10 round fixed magazine in the grip that was loaded by a charger from above, and was chambered for an 8mm cartridge.  The Model 1901 was submitted in the military selection trials of a number of countries, but was not chosen.  In 1906, Frommer slightly redesigned the pistol to incorporate some manufacturing improvements, and also changed the caliber to 7.65mm Frommer.  This is the same cartridge as the 7.65mm Roth Sauer, dimensionally similar to a .32 ACP with a shorter cartridge case.  The first Model 1906’s were charger loaded from the top like the Model 1901, but the design was soon changed to a conventional box magazine inserted into the bottom of the grip frame.  The next step in the evolution was the Model 1910, which added a grip safely to the rear of the grip.  Contrary to what is sometimes written, the Model 1910 was also chambered for the 7.65mm Frommer cartridge, never the .32 ACP – the magazine well is much too short.  Total production of the M1901, M1906, and M1910 is hard to estimate.  They were probably serial numbered in the same block of numbers.  M1910’s are found in the 7000 to 10000 range.
Frommer M1910
Frommer M1910
The M1910 still did not meet with much success. With an eye toward commercial sales, Frommer set to work to redesign his gun.  He retained the long recoil system, but he drastically changed the frame profile both to give it the shape of a “modern” semi automatic pistol, and also to simplify manufacturing.  He changed the caliber to the more popular and universal .32 ACP (7.65mm Browning) and .380 ACP (9mm 
Browning Short).  Finally, he designed a smaller pocket version of the new gun.  The result was the Frommer Stop and Frommer Baby pistols.  (NB:  The author has never yet come across a good explanation as to why Rudolph Frommer named the gun “Stop”)

The Frommer Stop is about 6 1/2 inches long, 4 1/2 inches high, 7/8 inch thick, and weighs 21 ounces.  Magazine capacity is 7 rounds in both .32 and .380.  The grips are either black horn or wood.  The Frommer Baby is basically a cut down Stop.  All parts except the frame, barrel, spring guide, grip safety, magazine, and grips interchange.  It is about 4 7/8 inches long, 3 1/2 inches high, 7/8 inch thick, and weighs 15 1/2 ounces.  Magazine capacity is 5 rounds in both .32 and .380.  The grips are black horn.

The Frommer Stop and Baby were patented in 1912.  Like all of the previous Frommer pistols, manufacture was at the Fegyvergyar factory in Budapest. Production was slow at first, undoubtedly due to the fact that between 1911 and 1914, the Fegyvergyar factory was committed to the production of the Roth Steyr pistol for the Imperial Austro-Hungarian Army.

Frommer Stops and Babys have a large assortment of proof marks, located on the left trigger guard.  Military guns usually have the Hungarian crest, sometimes accompanied by the Austrian crest, and the letters Bp and a two digit date.  Commercial guns usually have the Hungarian commercial proof, which consists of a crown over the letters BP, all enclosed in a circle.  Only one set of serial numbers was used to number both Babys and Stops, and it was probably a continuation of the serial numbers of the previous Frommer models.
Most of the early guns produced were the Baby version, in both .32 and .380, for the commercial market.  They are found in the 20000 to 30000 serial number range.  With the beginning of WWI in 1914, handguns of all types were needed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  The Hungarian Honved, (roughly equivalent to our National Guard), was equipped with Frommer Stops, the first deliveries 
Frommer Baby
Frommer Baby
beginning in 1915.  These guns were all in caliber .380, and were marked with the military proof on the left trigger guard. The serial number range for these guns is roughly between 30000 and 55000.  Next came a contract to provide guns for the Imperial German army.  Approximately 40000 guns from serial number 55000 to 95000 bear the Hungarian commercial proof mark, and also a crown over the Gothic letter D, which is the acceptance mark for the German military.  These guns are all caliber .32. This contract took up most of the production from late 1915 through the middle of 1916.  Following the completion of this contract, guns once again began going to the Hungarian military, in both .380 and now also .32 caliber.  These wartime guns are military proofed, and dated 16, 17, or 18, and are serial numbered up to about 275000.

After WWI, Hungary became an independent country.  The Frommer Stop in caliber .32 was chosen as the official military handgun, and was given the designation Piztoly M19.  Proof marks for these guns are military proofed and dated 20, 21, or 22.  After 1922 the two digit date was dropped.  These military guns continue up to about serial number 350000.

At about serial number 350000, Fegyvergyar began manufacturing Babys again, in .32 caliber.  Most were commercial proofed for the civilian market, but a few were military proofed with just the Hungarian crest, supposedly for issue to the pilots of the Hungarian Air Force.   Beginning at serial number 360000, a small run of .380 caliber Babys was made.  Full size Stops are also interspersed throughout this serial number range.  Production stopped somewhere above serial number 363500, probably in 1929 when Fegyvergyar started manufacture of the new 29M pistol for the Hungarian military.

As stated before, the Frommer Stop functions by long recoil, locked breech operation.  The breech is locked by a rotating bolt that locks into recesses in the barrel extension.  The operating sequence goes something like this:  When the cartridge fires, the bolt and barrel are locked together, and recoil rearward for a distance that is greater than the length of the cartridge.  The barrel and bolt each have their own recoil springs, housed in the spring tunnel on top of the frame.  At the end of the rearward travel, the bolt is held back by the bolt catch, and the barrel is free to return, powered by its’ recoil spring.  As the barrel returns forward, it pulls away from the bolt, causing the bolt head to rotate and unlock.  The fired case is held against the bolt face by the extractor, and the barrel actually pulls away from the case, not the other way around.  As the case clears the chamber, an ejector kicks it out the ejection port.  When the barrel returns all the way forward, it trips the bolt catch and the bolt snaps forward, powered by its’ separate recoil spring.  On its way forward, the bolt strips the next round from the magazine, and the gun is ready to fire again.  Simple, huh?

There are both advantages and disadvantages to the long recoil system in a handgun.  One advantage is that the weight of the gun can be less, as the heavy slide of a blowback operated gun is unnecessary.  Also, the recoil energy is spread out over a longer time span, and is absorbed by more moving parts, so felt recoil to the shooter is less.  Disadvantages are that there are more total parts in the gun, that require more complicated machining, and therefore the cost of the gun to manufacture is higher.  Also, Frommers are somewhat sensitive to the power of the ammo used, requiring a fairly stout load.

I am always looking for Frommer serial number and proof mark information for my data base, and am interested in purchasing Frommer Stops and Frommer Babys for my collection.  If you know of a Frommer for sale, or have information about Frommers, please email me at

What In Blue Blazes Is A Cruffler??
What Do You Do At Cruffler.Com?
Products & Services
Historic Firearm Of The  Month
Legal And Legislative  Issues
Shops Specializing In C&R Firearms
Links Of Note
Monthly Book Review
Contact Cruffler.Com
Firearms Technical  Trivia
Becoming a Cruffler
Firearm Review
Accessory Review
Secure Communications with PGP
Results >From Cruffler Matches One   And Three And A Consolidated  Match Database!
The Best in South American Military Surplus from JLD Enterprises, Featuring M1911A1 Style .45's!
Paying by Credit Card with!