P-10 "first-generation" full-size model adopted in 1995 by the Skandinavian military
|Place of origin||Skandinavia|
|Variants||P-10N, P-10S, P-20|
645 g (1.42 lb) w/empty magazine|
680 g (1.44 lb) w/loaded magazine
|Length||177 mm (6.96 in)|
|Barrel length||96 mm (3.78 in)|
|Action||Short recoil, locked breech|
|Rate of fire||1,100–1,200 RPM (rounds per minute)|
|Muzzle velocity||375 m/s (1,230 ft/s)|
|Effective firing range||50 m (55 yd)|
|Feed system||6, 10, 13, 15, 17, 19, 31, or 33 round detachable box magazine, or 50 round detachable drum magazine|
The BOFORS P-10 is a polymer-framed, short recoil-operated, locked-breech semi-automatic pistol designed and produced by Skandinavian manufacturer BOFORS. The weapon entered Skandinavian military and police service by 1994 after it was the top performer in reliability and safety tests.
In 1989, the Skandinavian military announced that it would seek tenders for a new, modern duty pistol to replace their aged ones. The SKFLO formulated a list of 17 criteria for the new generation service pistol, including requirements that it would be self loading; fire the NATO-standard 9×19 mm Parabellum round; the magazines were not to require any means of assistance for loading; be secure against accidental discharge from shock, strike, and drop from a height of 2 m onto a steel plate. After firing 15,000 rounds of standard ammunition, the pistol was to be inspected for wear. The pistol was to then be used to fire an overpressure test cartridge generating 5,000 bar (500 MPa; 73,000 psi). The normal maximum operating pressure (Pmax) for the 9mm NATO is 2,520 bar (252 MPa; 36,500 psi).
Following the policy of prioritizing national manufacturing in military equipment, the requirements were sent to BOFORS to assess whether it could manufacture the required gun. BOFORS assembled a team of Europe's leading handgun experts from military, police, and civilian sport-shooting circles to define the most desirable characteristics in a combat pistol. Within six months, BOFORS developed a working prototype that combined proven mechanisms and traits from previous pistol designs. In addition the plan was to make extensive use of synthetic materials and modern manufacturing technologies, to make it a very cost-effective candidate.
Several samples of the 9×19mm P-10 were submitted for assessment trials in early 1991 in order to pass all of the exhaustive endurance and abuse tests. After passing all the proposed test, the P-10 was accepted into service with a initial purchase of 200,000 units in 1993. From 1993 up today, new orders were made to equip all the military and police forces in Skandinavia.
A mid-life upgrade to the P-10 pistols in 1998 involved that the frame was further modified with an accessory rail to allow the mounting of laser sights, tactical lights, and other accessories. Thumb rests on both sides of the frame and finger grooves on the front strap were added.
In 2002 P-10 models additionally featured a modified extractor that serves as a loaded chamber indicator, and the locking block was enlarged, along with the addition of an extra cross pin to aid the distribution of bolt thrust forces exerted by the locking block. This cross pin is known as the locking block pin and is located above the trigger pin.
The polymer frames of P-10S models can be black, flat dark earth, or olive drab.
In 2009 BOFORS presented a new pistol model based on the P-10 that offered a series of significant improvements. The improvements were centered on ergonomics and improving reliability. Many parts of P-20 pistols cannot be interchanged with those of the previous generations. The first P-20 model presented was chambered for the 9×19 mm Parabellum. Some conspicuous changes on the P-20 models are: ambidextrous slide stop levers, nDLC (Diamond-Like Carbon) surface finish for barrel and slide, a barrel featuring a revised style of polygonal rifling, a deeper recessed barrel crown, omission of the finger grooves on the grip, a flared magazine well, and a reintroduction of a (half moon shaped) cutout on the bottom front of the grip. Many internal parts were less conspicuously revised. P-20 is rollmarked on the slide next to the model number to identify the new generation pistols. The magazines were also revised for the P-20 models. The redesigned magazine floor plates feature a frontward protruding lip to offer grip for manual assisted extraction and the magazine follower became orange colored for easier visual identification.