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Who made it and when? Depending on when, and where, it was made, I'd be more concerned about the metallurgy.
 

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NOt an expert but I think I have seen one very similar in the past...looks to me to be a NAZI Occupation Gun...one made by FN while under occupation by the germans...look at the German Arms stamp in the second pic upper rt corner...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
From what I understand the Germans made three versions between 1940 and 1944 and this is the third version so I would guess this would be the later part of that period. :scratch:
 

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FN Herstal Belgium . One plant . Naxi occupied until liberated . I've never seen/heard of any steel problems with HP's . The finish inside and out worsened as the war progressed . I think the extractors are the weak link on these . They've been known to break at the hook . Also lose tension .

Does it have an "a" serial suffix ?

Hard to tell about the finish with just a couple photos . The rough finish is normal . Many times the die stamps were worn or damaged and didn't stamp evenly leaving some lettering "thin" or even missing . I think many of these went "East" where qty was more important than careful finishing .

Nice piece of history . My favorite Nazi occupation mfg pistol . I've owned 5-6 over the years .

Got any more close-ups ?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I tried to send you a pm but I am not sure if the pics came through. I you give me your email I can send the other pics. This gun is not mine yet so I would rather not post the pics here. Thanks for your help.

Greg
 

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I understand there were approx. 300,000 of them made during WWII. I have one with matching serial numbers on barrel, slide and frame. Kinda neat gun. The finish was notorious for not being the best. Like Mr. Sajer said, they were interested in quantity, not quality.

Mr. Sajer, What significance does the "a" suffix on the serial number have?

dj
 

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Most fixed sight pistols are in the (a) suffix range .

Roughly June/July 1940 , the Nazi marked guns started at approximately ser #50000 and went to 210000 . At that point they decided to start adding letter suffixes like the rest of their firearms production . So the next series starts at 01a and goes to 99999a or100000a . Next 01b to roughly 63000b when the Allies liberated the factory .

Early guns still had a high polish finish and have the tangent rear sight with a slot cut for a shoulder stock . These are highly sought after and bring big money . Only a 2-3 thousand were made until the slot was eliminated . The tangent sight continued until roughly #145000 . Then came the fixed sight version shown by our friend .
 

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I've got one with a "b" suffix serial, late 1943. Some guy in the distant past did a buff and reblue on it, destoying collector value, but I still shoot it. Broke an extractor about 5 years ago and it was a major pain finding another one.
 

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Looks about like the one I have. Mine came with a broken slide stop that I had to "age" the finish on the replacement to get a close match.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks all for your help. I should have it by Monday and then I can do a good hands on inspection. Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Well I received the 640b today and I am happy with what I see. The finish is darker than in the pictures supplied by the seller. There is some high edge wear and a few dings and scratches that are all in the white and no indication that it was buffed or refinished. I am curious about when the different markings were applied (before or after the finish), is the finish a rust bluing, and also if the magazine follower is supposed to be aluminum or steel (this one is aluminum). I have two reference books, Axis Pistols by Jan Stills and The Browning Automatic Pistol by R. Blake Stevens and I am very disappointed with the lack of detail on the Nazi Hi-Powers all be it the information is probably not available. Thanks Greg
 

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Sounds like a nice one .

Aluminum follower is correct . Magazines might also have the Waa140 stamp like the pistol , but most late war did not have any if I recall correctly .
I'm pretty sure they used a hot chemical blue . Rust blue is too slow . Not positive , but i think the stamps were applied before bluing .

That's about the extent of my knowledge .
 

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Most fixed sight pistols are in the (a) suffix range .

Roughly June/July 1940 , the Nazi marked guns started at approximately ser #50000 and went to 210000 . At that point they decided to start adding letter suffixes like the rest of their firearms production . So the next series starts at 01a and goes to 99999a or100000a . Next 01b to roughly 63000b when the Allies liberated the factory .
One thing I noticed is that the 'a' and 'b' suffix German Hi-Powers do not have a magazine safety, while those before the 'a' suffix do have a magazine safety. Considering the odd change over point, it seems that the change in serial numbering method ties in with the magazine safety change.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks Mitch The reason I asked about rust blue is because the finish turns brownish at certain angles in bright light. Glad to hear the follower is correct and also my magazine is marked WaA140 and all WaA140's look to be stamped before finish. I took 15 great pictures to post but they would not work again,I notice the size limit is 100kb so I have to get an editing program and figure out how to make them smaller. Thanks again Greg

Sounds like a nice one .

Aluminum follower is correct . Magazines might also have the Waa140 stamp like the pistol , but most late war did not have any if I recall correctly .
I'm pretty sure they used a hot chemical blue . Rust blue is too slow . Not positive , but i think the stamps were applied before bluing .

That's about the extent of my knowledge .
 

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Discussion Starter #20
CPW Mine is 21903b and does not have the mgazine safety.

One thing I noticed is that the 'a' and 'b' suffix German Hi-Powers do not have a magazine safety, while those before the 'a' suffix do have a magazine safety. Considering the odd change over point, it seems that the change in serial numbering method ties in with the magazine safety change.
 
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