Many thanks to the members of the Forum who have provided so much good info on this subject. I now have SFM drawings from 1899 and 1900 which are great references. I also have current CIP (European) and SAMMI (US) drawings to show the 'Standard" cartridges. It is interesting that the US standard allows bullet diameters both larger and smaller than the European (7.93mm -0.152 for US and 7.85, +.03 for Europe). Also Gordon Bruce’s book on the Webley pistol was pointed out to me. He discusses the fact that when the .32 Webley Automatic was introduced in 1906, the 32 ACP and 7.65mm Browning were considered different cartridges and the early pistols were marked for one or the other. The Metropolitan Police ran a test between the two cartridges and selected the 7.65mm Browning for their pistols. The decision to make a pistol that could use either cartridge was implemented with pistols in the 4000-4500 SN range!
Now we have hard evidence that the two were different cartridges in the very early 1900’s, probably because they were developed by two different organizations.
What I am missing are the very early drawings of US 32 ACP cartridges and related information. I need your help locating drawings and information on US 32 ACP cartridges from any date up through 1920 is critical and anything up through the 1980s or so would be useful just to show how dimensions change over time. Winchester drawings are particularly important, but UMC, Remington, USCCo, etc are all important.
I also am partricularly looking for Belgian drawings and information on these cartridges. Very early FN drawings could answer a lot of questions.
I have the information in the DWM case and bullet drawing books which date from 1906-1908 also make a distinction between the 479/479A case which is marked Browning and the 479C case with slightly different dimensions which is marked Winchester. The DWM bullets also make this distinction. Bullet 221A is marked as the original Browning bullet (diameter 7.85mm -0.03) and the 221C is marked as the Winchester bullet (diameter 7.93mm -0.03). Later the Winchester bullet is lined out and the number 221C is reassigned to what is called the "Match Munition “Standart” with the nominal diameter of the Browning bullet (7.85mm-0.01) intended to be loaded in the Browning (479A) case. The date of these changes is not noted in the listings.
It is increasingly obvious that the 7.65mm Browning and the 32 ACP were two seperately developed cartridges though both had their origins with John Browning. Although the gun references I have checked credit Winchester with the development of the cartridge, it is not credible that they would have developed two cartridges so close to each other as two seperate designs. The only practical conclusion is that FN developed the 7.65mm Browning cartridge and Winchester developed the 32 ACP which appeared 3 years later. John Browning was obviously involved in both efforts, but if he was involved in the detail design of both, it is not likely they would have been introduced as two different cartridges.
Eventually over time they have evolved into a single cartridge (probably around the end of WWI) but it is interesting that the European and US standards for the cartridges still differ!
Any help will be greatly appreciated. First priority are drawings and other information on these cartridges from before 1920 but ALL information will be greatly appreciated.
Finally, Agustus Francotte in his history of FN shows the FN M1900 pistol but indicates it was chambered for a 7.65x15.5mm cartridge. This is in fact the metric dimensions of the cartridge that the Browning prototype pistol was undoubtedly chambered for so he likely had some bit of source date that mentioned this cartridge. Is there anyone who can suggest how I could get in touch with Agustus Francotte or his estate? Lying in his notes may be the document that we need to put this all together! HELP-HELP-HELP!!!
Again, many thanks to those who have contributed.