What is information on an SACM Model 1935A pistol?

It was a french auto pistol that was for a time made under Nazi occupation. As such it was sometimes carried by German soldiers as a side arm. After the war it became the standard french side arm used by both military and police until it was replaced in the 1950s. I was first produced in 1946 until 1948 when changes were made. Those changes resulted in the M 1935S.


This is mostly correct. The date of introducion should be 1936 rather than 1946, with the PA model 1935-S introduced in 1938 and a small number reaching the French military in 1939. The 1935-S did not replace the 1935-A; it was a very similar design produced by different manufacturers when the original manufacturer could not produce enough to meet the French military's need. They have few, if any, parts in common. While both have 8-round magazines, these are also not interchangable.

Because the arms factories producing the 1935-A were captured by the Germans, these were continued to be made and were used by the Germans. The arms factory producing the 1935-S remained in French hands (under the Vichy governemnt) until 1940, and the workers were able to hide the stocked parts and tools needed to make the 1935-S before the Germans took control, so production of that ceased until 1944.

Both pistols were officially replaced by the 9mm PA model 1950 (aka MAC 50) starting in 1952. The model 1950 was essentially a PA 1935-S updated and redesigned to accept the 9mm cartridge.

The 1935-A & -S were used extensively in the French Indochina wars and less so in Algeria, as the PA 1950 gradually replaced them. French troops in Afghanistan are reported to still be using the PA 1950 (by choice), although officially the French army replaced it with a 9mm Baretta almost 20 years ago.

The PA 1935-A & -S are well-known for being rugged, reliable pistols. The PA 1935-A and -S design, which was by Charles Gabriel Petter, was licensed to the Swiss arms manufacturer "SIG" (now "SIG Sauer") and was the basis for the SIG P210, used by the Swiss and Danish military and often called the most accurate pistols made. It is used as a highly prized (ie, very expensive) target pistol today.

I think "ASCM" is a mistake and should be "SACM" (Société Alsacienne de Constructions Mécaniques), the designer and original manufacturer of the 1935-A. The "A" in 1935-A refers to "Alsacienne." The 1935-S was designed and originally produced by MAS (Manufacture Nationale d'Armes de Saint Etienne), with the "S" referring to "Saint Etienne," the city where the arms factory was located.

Both the 1935-A and 1935-S used design elements from the US's Colt 1911 and the USSR's Tokarev T-33 military automatic pistols. Both used the 7.65mm Long (or Longue or MAS or French) cartridge, which was used in only a few other French firearms (and with the Pedersen Device, an option to allow the US 1903 Springfield rifle to fire as a semi-automatic). This cartidge is still available, but is fairly expensive since it is no longer used by the French military and made in small numbers.