3.7 FROCS Special

Chapter 3 – Models & Variations of the Centaure

3.7 FROCS Special














FROCS Special

FROCS Special or Pocket Army 4th Variation?

Which Centaure to Modify?

Prototype of the FROCS Special Project

Official FROCS Certificate

FROCS Special – Collector’s Piece or Shooting Iron?




FROCS Special or Pocket Army 4th Variation?


The FROCS Special was Panhandle Paden’s and my pet project for a couple of months during 2009 after the first ads of the special order Centaure Pocket Army had been brought to our attention; but, before real life specimens of this rare New Model Army (NMA) variant were available for physical inspections and photographing. The idea was born to create a unique Centaure to commemorate this global research project:

# A shooting, very special NMA of limited availability only,

# For all those who helped with the task,

# To possess a Centaure reminding them of their contributions to the FROCS course.

Since it is unlikely anybody is going to endow us with such a FROCS Special we have to give one to ourselves as a present.

Incidentally, the original drawings were developed in the fall of 2009 from small size pictures of these ads and flyers of the Pocket Army Model. After my Pocket Army #8 had arrived in October 2011 comparative measurements of the FROCS Special were within fractions of mm or inches only.


D:\FAUL FROCS Special #FS11477\1-DSC_7972-001.jpg

3.7.1_1 FROCS Special #FS11477 (picture courtesy Terushi Jimbo, Düsseldorf/Germany)


The FROCS Special can be available to all interested FROCS provided modifications are legal in their home country. She will be modelled after the original Centaure Pocket Army, made today by a few ambitious gunsmiths on both sides of the Big Pond. These smiths have to agree beforehand to execute the modifications in high quality within the frame of the guidelines required.


D:\FAUL FROCS Special #FS11477\1-P1020837.JPG

3.7.1_2 Top Pocket Army #8 has this elegant look vs. bottom FROCS Special #FS11477 is all business with newly lathed „working“ loading tool



Which Centaure to Modify?


Project gun for a FROCS Special can be any Belgian 1960 New Model Army in your arsenal. We wish to emphasize however we do not propose to transform a valuable shooter or collector’s gun into a FROCS Special. It is suggested to rather select this old junker of yours, worn out and maltreated Centaure from yesteryear that you were planning to retire as a wall-hanger, paperweight or even throw on the junk pile anyhow.


D:\FAUL FROCS Special #FS11477\1-P1020844.JPG

3.7.2_1 Post front sight of the Pocket Army top vs. functional blade on the FROCS Special bottom: Two „Cool looking belly guns“


The goal is to have her rejuvenated and revitalized following the contour of the original Pocket Army from the early 1960s, according to a list of mandatory modifications. These modifications relate to the barrel only. The list is available as a download below – see hot links – or from this website in both English and German.

After the modification your FROCS Special shall either have the barrel marking “1960 NEW MODEL ARMY” or no barrel marking at all! If “1960 NEW MODEL ARMY” shall be engraved into an unmarked barrel like when a Marshal is chosen as the project pistol or an RNMA 5th variation 1st sub-variation care must be taken that the engraver is using the proper type of fonts.

The prefix FS for FROCS Special has to be stamped above the serial number on the barrel lug only.

Prototype of the FROCS Special Project


Regular New Model Army (RNMA) 1st variation 2nd sub-variation #11477 of 1971 production in my armament was selected for this project. She had seen some hard times as an exhibition gun. The outside of barrel and cylinder looked pretty molested but bore and lock work were crisp and clean.


D:\FAUL FROCS Special #FS11477\1-FIL13385.JPG FROCS Special project pistol RNMA 1st variation 2nd sub-variation #11477 from 1971


In fall of 2009 she was sent to Karl Nedbal in Austria for the FROCS Special modifications and some restoration work to bring her back to shape. The final touch was to be his rust blue on barrel, cylinder and back-strap. Eventually the missus got involved when she could not make up her mind regarding a X-mas present for yours truly.

Below are a couple of pictures of what I found under the tree on December 24, 2009 together with this frog which the War Dept. (aka the missus) suggested to use as a FROCS mascot. Approval of FROCS #1 Panhandle Paden still pending in June of 2020!


D:\FAUL FROCS Special #FS11477\1-FIL35054.JPG FROCS Special #FS11477 barrel marking “1960 NEW MODEL ARMY”, with forward segment of original barrel cut off


D:\FAUL FROCS Special #FS11477\1-FIL35082.JPG Close-up of FROCS Special #FS11477: Guiding hole for loading rod in barrel lug, FS stamped above #11477 on barrel lug


RNMA #11477 left Belgium with CENTENNIAL TRADE MARK “1960 NEW MODEL ARMY” roll-engraved on the barrel top. After Nedbal was done with her only the portion “1960 NEW MODEL ARMY” of the barrel marking was kept. He salvaged the factory front sight and mounted it on the barrel once the barrel was cut to the length of 4″ and he had crowned the muzzle again. Despite these modifications necessary polishing and refinishing jobs the original proof marks were maintained.


D:\FAUL FROCS Special #FS11477\1-FIL35063.JPG „Display“ brass loading rod lathed from 2 parts: Scale-up copy of 3rd gen. Colt 1862 Police „Trapper“ rod


D:\FAUL FROCS Special #FS11477\1-FIL34993.JPG Mandatory 90° cut of barrel lug, hole for loading lever maintained, slot plugged, muzzle crowned


D:\FAUL FROCS Special #FS11477\1-FIL35049-001.JPG Nedbal closed the loading lever guiding holes under the barrel


Compared to a Colt M1862 Police „Trapper“ said to be the inspiration for Fabriques d’Armes Unies de Liège (F.A.U.L.) when the original Pocket Army was designed the FROCS Special is quite a handful!


D:\FAUL FROCS Special #FS11477\1-FIL12548.JPG Big is beautiful: FROCS Special left vs. 3rd generation Colt Police „Trapper“ right

Official FROCS Certificate


Paden, or I, will issue a Letter of Authentication on the FROCS letterhead once the FROCS Special modifications of your individual Centaure are completed and we have seen pictorial proof of the mandatory modifications executed in line with the guidelines.