FN 140DA Auto Pistol: An Impressive and Popular Weapon

FN 140DA auto pistol FN 140DA auto pistol
FN 140DA Auto Pistol (Photo: FN)

The FN 140DA is intended as a general-purpose defense weapon or for use by police and security forces. It uses a steel slide and alloy frame to keep the weight low and has a large magazine capacity, of the sort more commonly found in major-caliber military weapons. An impressive and popular weapon, it is in widespread use, having been adopted by the Belgian and several other European police agencies.


The FN 140DA is a simple fixed-barrel blowback pistol in general form, though of extremely high-grade workmanship and reliability. It has a double-action lock and the trigger-guard is particularly large, permitting use in gloved hands. There is a complex safety system; the safety catch is mounted on the slide and has operating levers on both sides.

FN 140DA Auto Pistol in caliber 7.65 mm
FN 140DA pistol chambered in caliber 7.65 mm was an ideal choice for concealed carry (Photo: Fabrique Nationale Belgium)

On depressing the catch the firing pin is retracted into ‘neutral’ position – with both ends concealed within its tunnel – and securely locked; the hammer is then dropped onto the rebound notch. To fire, the safety is released and the trigger pulled through to cock and release the hammer.

The FN 140DA showed himself a comfortable and reliable weapon for self-defense, a very suitable for concealed carry. End users saw it as a very small gun with a large magazine capacity.

FN 140DA vs. Beretta 84

Any resemblance between this and the Beretta 84 is far from coincidental since this is basically the Beretta 84 with some slight changes, notably the use of an all-enveloping slide instead of the open-topped slide which is virtually a Beretta trademark. There are also strong similarities between FN 140DA and the Browning BDA sold in the United States.

FN 140DA vs. Beretta 84
Beretta 84 blowback double-action semi-automatic pistol (Photo: XY)

Technical specifications: FN 140DA

Manufacturer: FN Herstal SA, Liege, Belgium
Type: blowback, double-action, semi-automatic
Caliber: .380 Auto / 9 mm Short; .32 ACP / 7.65 mm
Barrel: 3.81 inches (97 mm)
Weight (empty): 22.05 oz (640 gm) with empty magazine
Capacity: 13 rounds (9 mm / .380 Auto); 12 rounds (7.65 mm / .32 ACP)
  1. A pupil pilot in 1977 (Promotion 77A “Climb & Maintain”), we were informed that as a sidearm we would be issued with a smaller/lighter equivalent to the 9mm GP used at the shooting range.

    As I was retrieving these souvenirs, I enquired with the FN Herstal about what exactly would have been the type of handgun issued to Belgian Air Force pilots at the time.

    FN very kindly responded it was the FN 140-DA

    So, not just for Law Enforcement/Police agencies

    Pierre Deveaux
    Rue Saxe Cobourg 23
    1210 – Brussels Belgium

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