P.A.F. Junior – South Africa’s First Production Gun
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The Pretoria Arms Factory was founded in 1954 by Piet Nagel and Jan Willem Dekker. both Dutch immigrants to South Africa after WW2. They began manufacturing a simplified copy of the Baby Browning pocket pistol, chambered for the .25 ACP (6.35mm Browning) cartridge. This appears to be the first domestic South African commercial firearms production, which gives the gun more historical significance than its design and production would otherwise justify. The initial 500 or so guns had a flaw in the frame design which led to the front of the barrel retaining lug breaking off when the slide went into battery, sending the barrel and frame flying off the front of the gun. The problem was fixed relatively quickly, but not quickly enough to save the reputation of the company.
After the bankruptcy of the P.A.F. company, its assets were purchased by one Bertram Rudolph Freiling, and he attempted to restart production under the brand name BRF. This was unsuccessful, with only a few hundred BRF pistols made. Today, the PAF guns are relatively accessible in South Africa, and can also be found in the United States and Europe. The white plastic grips are virtually all shrunken and cracked, however.
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