Manowar's Hungarian Weapons - Frommer Handguns

Frommer Fémáru Pisztoly 37.M (1937 Minta)

Approx. 185,000 were manufactured by Fémáru Fegyver- és Gépgyár R.T. Budapest 1937-44
An additional approx. 1320 C-prefix 37M's were manufactured in 1937
An additional approx. 3900 C-prefix 37M's were manufactured in 1944
Type: blowback operated automatic pistol
Chambering: 9mm Browning Short (9mm Kurz / 9x17mm / .380 acp)
Muzzle velocity: 300m/s [984 fps]
Length overall: 182mm [7.17"]
Barrel: 110mm [4.33"] 4-groove rh
Weight unloaded: 770g [27.2oz]

Appearing a year after his death, Rudolf Frommer's last design was an improved Model 1929 in 9mm Short chambering. Frommer's actual involvement in the design of this model was believed to be limited. The pistol was adopted by the Hungarian Army as the '37M.' The principal difference between the 1937 and 1929 patterns lies in the abandonment of pinned-in cocking grips at the rear of the slide in favor of conventional grooving. The later gun also has a smaller hammer and an additional finger-rest on the toe of the butt. A Frommer-type grip lever provided the only safety device. The grips are wood.
The pistol was also manufactured for a German Contract under the designation of Pistole 37(u) or 'P37'.

Frommer 37M Assembly Drawing and Parts List
Frommer 37M Large Detailed Assembly Drawing
Frommer 37M Disassembly Instructions

The slide is marked: FÉMÁRU- FEGYVER ÉS GÉPGYÁR RT 37M. Some time after serial 234943 the dash after 'FEGYVER' was dropped in the spelling. Please check your 37.M pistols with higher than 234943 serials if they have this dash or not.

Standard Hungarian Army acceptance mark located on the left side of the trigger guard.

St. Stephen's Crown acceptance mark on the left side of the trigger guard. Believed to be a non-military Hungarian mark: police/civilian/export mark.

An alternate Hungarian Army acceptance mark on the right side of the trigger guard. E = Elfogadva (Accepted). More commonly found on wartime Hungarian military rifles.

7-round detachable box magazine. All original magazines have the finger-rest. The bottom of the original magazines are marked '37M'
Frommer 37M Magazine Details

Standard Frommer 37M straight grooved grip is shown on the far left. An alternate, possibly after market grip is shown next.

A Frommer 37M leather holster

Leather holsters makers' stamps. "BÖRGYÁR" (Leather Factory), shown on the far left, 'Mauthner' shown next.

A different style Hungarian 37M leather holster. Photos courtesy of Al Gerth

High quality nickeled examples of this pistol can be found. These do not appear to be bubba jobs. These are possibly factory original nickeled/chromed? for civilian and/or export purposes. I have no official sources to confirm or deny the possibility of the factory original nickeled 37M pistols. However, I have seen advertisements of the civilian-only 6.35mm Frommer Liliput which was offered with factory nickeled finish, so the possibility is there for the factory nickeled 37M. Please contact the author if you have more info on the subject.

It appears that the 37M serial numbering continued the 29M serials approx. from 50000

Estimated serial number ranges,  [known Serial Number ranges]:
1937 C1 - C1318    [C-121 - C-1318] (prototypes with unique serials - see below)
1938  50000 - 51000   [50557]
1939  51001 - 60000   [59021]
1940  60001 - 100000    [61352 - 95734]
1941 100001 - 150000    [101963 - 149804]
1942 150001 - 180000    [154975 - 177876]
1943 180001 - 210000    [184019 - 209142]
1944 210001 - 245600    [219193 - 245562]
1944 C-111800 - C-115700   [C-111877 - C-115677] (post German-Contract wartime mfg - see below)
Please provide your pistol's info to update this list.

Observations contributed by Dave Ong (thank you):
- The early pistols had lightening cuts on the barrel that were dropped around 80,000.
- The pistols had a circle K proof on the muzzle until around 82,000, then changed to a circle E proof, which proof was eliminated around serial number 200,000. Serial 71xxx was reported with circle E proof
- The crown proof was dropped from the barrel around 200,000
- The short St Stephan proof was on pistols until around 190,000, then it was changed to the tall St Stephen proof.
- Somewhere around 234,000 the St Stephan proof is dropped for a FEG shield, and older barrels with lightening cuts and crown proofs are recycled in production with new circle E proofs?
- Two pistols, in the serial range 196243 - 1966xx were reported with no dash after FEGYVER.
- One quality nickeled pistol has engraving from Austria. Probably something the GIs were having done locally in Austria post war to their souvenirs.

Rare C-Prefix Frommer Fémáru 37.M Pistols

These are rare unusual C-prefix serial numbered pistols. Two serial ranges have been reported with the 'C-' prefix: 3/4-digits (121-1262) and 6-digits (111877-115677).
The 6-digit serial pistols chamber the 7.65mm, have the thumb-safeties installed, utilize German Contract leftover P37 parts and P37 slide legend with the addition of "BUDAPEST" and the 'FFG' shield logo on the slide. These pistols are considered a variant of the P37 and discussed there.
The 3-digit and 4-digit serial pistols display (mostly) standard 37M markings, and chamber the 9mm, so they are considered a variant of the 37M. There are different theories about the origin of these pistols:
1) They were early manufacture (1937) for prototype / testing purpose.
2) A small manufacturing run for civilian use.
3) Manufactured for export.
4) Dispersal guns made Nov '44 - Feb '45 during the short life of the Szalasi Government.
5) Post WW2 assembly from existing parts.
6) Post WW2 production, until the Tokarev 48M was accepted in 1948 by the new army under Soviet pressure.

A minor, but interesting difference between the standard 37M an the C-prefix 37M is that the spelling of FÉG's name on most, but not all of the C-prefix 37M pistols was 'FÉMÁRÚ-' instead of 'FÉMÁRU-', also 'FEGYVER' is shown as 'FEGYVER-' with the dash. (For complete grammatical correctness a space should be shown after each dash.) These pistols have the barrel marking shown above.
The spelling of 'FÉMÁRÚ-' and 'FEGYVER-' are identical to the late model Frommer 29M, which gives more weight to the prototype theory 1) mentioned above.
Serials C-121 - C-561 have the old 'FÉMÁRÚ-' spelling.
Serials C-593 - C-1318 have the new 'FÉMÁRU-' spelling.
Note: a small amount of .22 cal. Frommer 29M's were manufactured for military trial for training purposes in 1933. These pistols have 5-digit C-prefix serials. More info on 29M
Please e-mail any info about these C-prefix pistols.