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 Nazi FN Hi-Power -- Dates of Manufacture?
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ChrisKnox

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2011 :  18:38:26  Show Profile  Visit ChrisKnox's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi! I'm new here and found the site as I was doing some Internet research on this gun. I'm researching a Belgian FN Hi-Power with Nazi proof marks that it was taken off a dead Nazi. The serial number is 25XXX with a "loop" character at the end that I can't identify. The proof mark is WaA140, which was apparently used for all the guns produced at FN during the occupation. What I'm trying to confirm is the date of manufacture. I'd also like to find a history of the seizure of the FN factory in Belgium. Any pointers?

Much obliged!

Chris Knox

Visit us at http://firearmscoalition.org/

submoa

USA
363 Posts

Posted - 11/21/2011 :  07:42:25  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Based upon your description, the pistol is a German "Pistole 640(b)" (FN P35/"Hi Power") produced 1943/44. As you surmised, the Waffenamt WaA140, serial number and the serial number suffix...you describe as "a "loop" character at the end that I can't identify", are the keys.

WaA140 was in fact, the 3rd Waffenamt Acceptance Stamp employed for 640(b) production, not the only (WaA613 followed by WaA103 both preceeded WaA140), and was used from January 1942 through September 1944, when the Germans abandoned the FN plant.

A plain 25XXX serial number is far too low to have been produced under German occupation as the Germans began production in 1940 with existing pre-war Belgian produced parts and began their serial numbers where the Belgian pre-war serial numbers left off...in the 50,000 range.

That leaves suffix and serial number. The Germans...in May 1943, began stamping barrel, slide and frame of 640(b) pistols with a cursive letter "a". The sequential serial number was later added in front of the "a", resulting in a complete serial number containing an often somewhat mis-aligned "a" suffix. Although month to month production was anything but consistent, a 25XXX "a" suffix 640(b) would have been produced summer 1943.

In January 1944 the Germans changed the suffix to the letter "b" and began sequential serial numbering all over again from 1b to approximately 61800b. If by any chance that ""loop" character at the end that I can't identify" is actually a b suffix your 25XXX would have been produced in the spring of 1944.

The FN plant at Herstal, Belgium fell to the Germans in May 1940 and was abandoned by the Germans in September 1944. The important aspect for the owner of 640(b) pistols, particularly those produced with an a or b suffix is that, as the war progressed, production quality suffered in general AND downright, mostly subtle, sabotage crept in. There are respected authors/collectors who recommend such pistols NOT be shot, while others suggest very limited use with mild ammunition.

FWIW, I've shot my 640(b) pistols with a very limited amount of WW white box 115 Ball...just because I shoot what I own , cleaned them well and put 'em away for future fondling , the same treatment I reserve for my pre-war and immediate post-war FN P35s as well as my MkI* Inglis pistols. I shoot my 50's through very early 60's internal extractor P35s more, but because of the difficulty in finding/fitting internal extractors, limit them to occasional range trips. I've got plenty of '60s through current MkIII P35s to shoot more 9mmP...and even .40 , than I can afford.

If you're really interested in researching your pistol and the Hi Power in general; Blake Stevens, Collector Grade Publications "The Browning High Power Automatic Pistol", though out of print, sometimes hard to find and expensive when you do, is a good place to start. Anthony Vanderlinden's "FN Browning Pistols", currently in publication...but again, expensive is...as the title suggests, a broader view of JMB designed pistols produced by FN, but contains a wealth of information on the Hi Power, and specific information on the Pistole 640(b).

There is, of course, information available on-line through various forums, but take what you find...including that which I've just provided with a grain of salt. Strange as it may sound, conventional, previously authoritative information can be tweeked with the discovery of new information, frequently as a result of surfacing of grandpa's and great grandpa's previously stashed "Nazi pistol". Collector forums can be a good source of information, but you might just find a "character" or two who seem to delight in arguing "mid-July vs. a late-July" introduction dates .

Good luck with your search Chris...
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Vividia

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2011 :  22:39:23  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I read the above with interest since I picked up a nazi marked BHP a few months ago.

Mine is also marked with WaA140, but the serial number is only 3 digits + the letter a: 5XXa

The serial numbers on the barrel, slide and frame all match. I am not quite sure what to make of the low number with the a suffix, since your info indicates that the serial numbers started over in 1944, but with the b suffix.

Sadly, I don't have the original mag.
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submoa

USA
363 Posts

Posted - 12/02/2011 :  23:26:00  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Your 5XXa was the 5XXth. 640(b) produced, in all probability in May 1943...when the "a" suffix first appeared.

"The Germans...in May 1943, began stamping barrel, slide and frame of 640(b) pistols with a cursive letter "a". The sequential serial number was later added in front of the "a", resulting in a complete serial number containing an often somewhat mis-aligned "a" suffix. Although month to month production was anything but consistent, a 25XXX "a" suffix 640(b) would have been produced summer 1943."
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Vividia

USA
7 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2011 :  10:18:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ah OK - i took what you wrote to mean that the 25,XXX series of numbers was used until the numbers restarted with b in 1944, meaning the 25,xxx were used with the a suffix

Thanks for the clarification.
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submoa

USA
363 Posts

Posted - 12/03/2011 :  13:11:58  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Collectors break the occupation P35s into numerous variants and sub-variants based upon combinations of DOM/serial number range/proofs/WaA Acceptance Stamps/Eagle "N" Stamps/features, yada, yada, yada...

Simplified, the Germans continued the "Standard" serial numbers sequentially where the pre-war Belgian P35s left off...in the 50,000 range and ceased that practice in April 1943 having reached the 210,000 range. As per their production planning, they then started the "a" suffix pistols...with a brand new serial number sequence of 1a in May 1943 to 99,999a in December 1943.
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loadedstick

5 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2013 :  13:39:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I found this post and know it's several years old. but... I have found a FN Nazi hi power, It has ser# 585XX + symbol on the slide and only 5xx + symbol on the above and below on the frame etc. Does the previous post pertain to this as well. Why was this done? does this make the gun a little more valuable?
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submoa

USA
363 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2013 :  21:38:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Already replied to your original post and just now noticed you dredged-up this old post...Necro-posting ...wish I'd noticed this thread first . Anyway, everything here does apply to your 585XXb pistol ...
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fred

Canada
1 Posts

Posted - 02/04/2014 :  08:34:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
reading all the above helped me figure out alot about the one we have in our class but i realized while checking all the stamps on it the there was a MR stampped on the trigger guard and im wondering what is the signification of that stamp. if anyone could help me about it i would really appreciate it
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discover

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 04/07/2014 :  08:41:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
New to the forum...hope you guys can help me...

Just got my life long dream of an early German proofed mint tangent sight High power with slot for stock..serial is 444XX. Bob simpson said its the earliest he has ever seen with German proofs...But he also said it was the best he has seen...came from doug Smith collection. This is the problem...it has the tiny Waa 140 army proofs..not the Waa 613. So what should I assume? that it is out of sequence as the early guns were pieced together from parts out of sequence...no signs of recent stamping or reblue or touch up...

Hope I dont have a problem here:)

discover
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don

2 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2014 :  10:12:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi. New to forum. I have one that is marked as follows: barrel at ejection port has the Eagle holding the Swastika. Below that it has 068b? ( the b is slanted about 20 degrees to the right and the bottom loop is open, almost like a backward J) and has a thicker spot in the middle of the vertical, almost like a hash mark, and the end of the loop is thicker also, almost like a dot on the end. On the slide, just below the ejection port it has 50068b. On the frame, just below where the slide release pin comes through it has 068b. On the forward part of the trigger guard it has MR. On the front of the slide, under the barrel opening it has WaA140. On the frame where the clip is inserted it has a small circle, surrounded by slightly larger ovals at 9 o'clock and 1 o'clock, and what looks like a third circle at 4 o'clock. This is followed to the right by a large capital F. On the other side of the slide it has the FABRIQUE NATIONALE D'ARMES DE GUERRE, centered below that is HERSTAL-BELGIQUE. Below that to the left is BROWNING'S PATENT DEPOSE. To the right of this the WaA140 and the eagle/swastika just above and to the right of that. Continuing on the same side (side with the safety), on the frame just above the grip is what looks like a capital U, slanted slightly to the right, and followed by what looks like a dash mark. Below the slide release, just above the trigger is another eagle/swastika, and just under that to the left is the WaA140 mark.

I have had this weapon since the early 60's. It was given to me by my father who was in WWII. Unfortunately I do not remember where he got it or how long he had it. I fired it twice into a 4X4 fence post back then (it went all the way through). It has been in a case since then. It has browned out nicely, no pits or rust. barrel is excellent. I am looking to sell this weapon. Any help will be appreciated.
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alfredb

USA
741 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2014 :  10:48:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
don :
Post us some pictures.
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whit

USA
128 Posts

Posted - 04/13/2014 :  11:09:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I can already tell it's a WaA140, "b" suffix pistol made between Jan. to Aug. 1944.

It should have fixed sights and bakelite grips.

Post pictures!

quote:
Originally posted by discover

New to the forum...hope you guys can help me...

Just got my life long dream of an early German proofed mint tangent sight High power with slot for stock..serial is 444XX. Bob simpson said its the earliest he has ever seen with German proofs...But he also said it was the best he has seen...came from doug Smith collection. This is the problem...it has the tiny Waa 140 army proofs..not the Waa 613. So what should I assume? that it is out of sequence as the early guns were pieced together from parts out of sequence...no signs of recent stamping or reblue or touch up...



A gun in the 44000 range would technically be a HP assembled under the Occupation, mid 1940, FN Browning Pistols shows # 44104 in this category actually.

WaA140 proofs did not come until much later.

Edited by - whit on 04/13/2014 11:21:01
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don

2 Posts

Posted - 05/10/2014 :  16:46:08  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the response. It does have fixed sites and bakelite grips. I will take some pics next week and post.
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tarheeltim

USA
1 Posts

Posted - 05/27/2014 :  20:22:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Guys, sorry to piggyback on an old thread, but I'm new to the site also. I just picked up a Nazi marked Hi Power this weekend. The serial number is 203,410, and of course it has the WaA140 proofs. I noticed in previous threads that 210,00 went up until April 1943. Does anyone know specifically when 203,410 would have been manufactured? Thanks in advance for any information.
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faa7850

1 Posts

Posted - 08/08/2014 :  12:19:12  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I too am very late to the game but have a very similar question. I to have WaA140 on slide and above trigger on the body of gun as well as MR on the front of trigger guard and (H) on the barrel. My serial number is 82935a. I am having trouble finding information. Can anyone point me in the right direction.
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mfh249

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2014 :  12:22:37  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I may as well jump on this, too. Just picked up the FN, with a 5-digit serial number of 32***. From what I can determine, it's a 1950's era, West German Police pistol; it has the markings PV under the upright lion, and the same stamp, with the letter M and what looks like a bag, closed with a string, and the letters LG on the bag. I'm thinking about refinishing it and changing out the sights to make is a daily carry, but not if it has some historical (or monetary) value that would be damaged by the refinish. It shoots like a champ, by the way.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance. (I would gladly post pix if I could figure out exactly how)
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mfh249

USA
2 Posts

Posted - 09/15/2014 :  12:23:27  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I may as well jump on this, too. Just picked up the FN, with a 5-digit serial number of 32***. From what I can determine, it's a 1950's era, West German Police pistol; it has the markings PV under the upright lion, and the same stamp, with the letter M and what looks like a bag, closed with a string, and the letters LG on the bag. I'm thinking about refinishing it and changing out the sights to make is a daily carry, but not if it has some historical (or monetary) value that would be damaged by the refinish. It shoots like a champ, by the way.

Any thoughts? Thanks in advance. (I would gladly post pix if I could figure out exactly how)
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