What a find,Type I Polish Radom P-35


As I suspected... various Types are being quoted without a clear definition... that we have found yet.
 

Some define type I as prior to occupation and others define type I as the first run after Nazi occupation. I'm inclined to think that type I is after Nazi occupation and the expert that looked at mine called it a type I. Prior to occupation he called them a Polish P-35 not a type I.
 
Radom Vis 35 P35(p)

Hi Guys, sorry to but in... I have a dilemma, I just took possession of a Radom Vis 35 P35(p) according to the description; take down latch, decocker, slot for extended stock, it has the waffenamps marking, WaA77... this tells me it is a Grade I (type I) first series of Radom made during the German occupation 1939-1940. So the serial number should be Axxxx to Dxxxx. The Radom I have has all matching serial number. The dilemma is that the serial number is a 3 digit serial number (numeric) No prefix letter. Can any one of you help me on this? I'm trying to understand why this Radom has only a 3 digit as a serial number...being from the German occupation...and it's not because the letter is erase or worn out...the pistol is in good condition.

J. Connery
 
Welcome to USAcarry, J. Connery. You've got me on that one. I'm going to a Gun Show Saturday and I'll ask the expert if he's there this weekend. I'll post what I find out.
 
Well, I'm no expert, therefore I may be wrong. Sounds to me like you may have a pistol made before German occupation but still in house when the germans took over. If memory serves me correctly, only the ones made before german occupation didnt have the prefix number. If so, I'm jealous!!
 
I thought about that to, that it might be a pistol made before German occupation but still in house when the germans took over... but I thought that Polish pistol pre-German occupation had the Polish emblem.
 
Gents, as far as I know (could be wrong - won't be the first time), there are only 2 books on the P35 - the first by Robert Berger(1981) and the second by Terence Lapin (2004). Short of any other info, I refer to those two books. This is partailly a continuation of an exchange RedHat and I had a month or so ago. There seems to be no accepted standard regarding "Types" of P35s and in fact neither Berger or Lapin refer to "Types". Berger refers to Group 1 (Pre-War with Poish eagle), Group 2 (early war thru SN E8000), Group 3 (mid war - SN E8000 thru approx Z5000) and Group 4 (late war - SN Z5000 thru K9000 including some P35s produced entirely by Steyr in Austria) - after Z, they started over with the alphabet, so there are some late war P35s with SNs that appear to be early production, but the pistols are clarly different. Berger claims that when the Germans took over the FB factory and restarted production in 1940, they started with SN 1 and went thru 10000 before starting the alphanumeric SN system (AXXXX, etc). If that is true, then one can only assume that J Connery's P35 with only a 3 digit SN with no letters is one of those early pistols.
Now, referring to Lapin's book, he classifies P35s into only 3 groups (no types): Early War (1940-42), Mid War (1943-44) and Late War (1944-45). Lapin claims that the Germans started with SN 001 and continued thru 12000 before going to the alphanumeric (AXXXX) system. OK, so one expert says 1-10000 and the other says 001-12000. Considering the chaos of the time and the 23 years difference between the writing of the two books, its close enough for me. I think it is safe to say that J Connery's P35 is an early-early-war (pre alphanumeric SN) and while it may not have the pre-war Polish eagle, it is possible, maybe even likely that it is built from pieces made before the war.
One last factoid of interest. Berger apparently had some discussions with P Wilniewczye, one of the P35 designers prior to his death and Wilniewczye said that contrary to popular belief, there was NO involvement of Belgian FN engineers in the design of the P35, so the story that the P35 was based on the BHP design is without merit. There is no question that some design aspects of the 1911 auto were incorporated into the P35 and Wilniewczye (try typing that 3 times) said they did borrow some details from the 1911 because by that time, the patents on the 1911 were expiring or had expired.
Lastly (almost) - RedHat, regarding our previous exchange on the subject of "Types", I still can't find any consistent definition of "Types" for the P35. Lots of definitions, but no consistency, so if we are unhappy that we have a Group 2 (Berger's definition) P35, we can use Lapin's definition and say we have an "Early War" model.
And LASTLY for sure, if Robjams is still out there, back in March, I said I didn't think any of the P35s had blued barrels, but I find I was mistaken. According to Berger, some (not many) of the early Group 2 pistols had blued barrels and recoil spring assemblies. Would be interesting to know if J Connery's P35 has a blue barrel. I'd say that is a rare P35.
 
Radom P35 again

Should have run the spell checker... getting too old to be writing detailed stuff after 11pm.... hmmmm
 
To Pugster. I knew that all Polish P35 (with Polish Eagle) had numeric serial number. When the Germans took the FB factory, what I understood is that they started with alpha-numeric serial numbers. What you are saying sounds right and makes a lot of sense. I read some where that the first group of Germen occupation P35 (with decocker, take-down latch and shoulder stock slot, slide markings: “F.B. Radom VIS Mod. 35 Pat. Nr. 15567″. Waffenamt acceptance mark and “P-35(p)”) that they produced, was approximately 60,000 of them. From SN : Axxxx to E8xxx and plus, what your saying, the numeric one SN :0001 to 10000 or 12000, that would make it right about the 60,000. From what I know, Germen where very consistent and I would assume that serial numbers of P35 never went more then 4 digits (i.e.: 9999 or A9999).
By the way, I do not have a blued barrel on my P35, never the less, I’m very happy with it. Thanks for the info.
 
To J. Connery - There is a bit of uncertainty wrt annual production numbers (at least between the two main reference books). Lapin says there were about 60,000 produced in 1940 (001-12000 plus A0001 - Dxxxx) - thats something over 50,000, but again, close enough. Berger says German production at FB in 1940 was only 12,239. I think we have to take into account the fact that Lapin's book was written after the Iron Curtain came down and he had access to much more info than Berger did (presumably). As for the Germans consistency, Ich habe gearbeitet im Deutschland (i worked there) and the Germans are nothing if not meticulous and consistant.
I think that with both "expert" authors claiming that the early German production SNs started at 001 without the letter, as illogical as that may be, it is probably reliable.
Do you have the holster? I do and mine has the runic SS letters stamped inside. While I may know a little about the Radom P35, I know much more about the Holocaust, especially the connection Radom (the city) and the P35 have to it.
 
To Pugster. I thank you for the info, it is very useful to me. No I don’t have a holster but a friend of mine has one. He got it with a P35 late war produced in Steyr Factory. The pistol is in decent condition, most of the blue is worn out but the holster is in very good condition. Black holster with an extra clip. Is your holster black or brown? I was looking at a brown one on e-bay for about $75.
 
It's hard to say whether my holster is black or brown. Inside it looks black, but out in the sun, it looks a bit brownish. Considering its over 60 years old, I suspect it was black originally. It is in surprisingly good shape.
Don't know how far back you may have read in this series of comments, but if you haven't, look back to my post No. 22 of 15 Mar on page 3. Interesting historical note about the P35 Vis.
Also, don't know if you noticed, but on the bottom of the barrel in front of the lug, there should be a number stamped - 8.81 or 8.82 or 8.83, etc - that's the inside diameter of the barrel in mm. Mine is an 8.82.
 
German holsters were brown until 1942 and in 1943 holsters and belts changed to black. A lot of brown holster were died black over it. That could be the reason why you might have a brown sheen on your holster and if your holster and P35 came together and you have an early WWII pistol, it would explain that the SS who had it, died it black.
Yes by the way I read the comments from the beginning, that's what made me sign in to the group. For the diameter of the barrel, I'll let you know when I'll pull it out next time.
 
I talked to my contact at the gun show today. He and another individual are co-authoring a book on the P-35. As far as your 3 digit P-35 he confirmed Pugster's theory that they were the ones in production when occupied. After the low serial number run they went to the Letter prefix. He also agrees that the types are for the Nazi production only. The Polish P-35 is considered a separate class of weapon from the Nazi P-35. So I'm going with Type one for my P-35. I have no idea when the book will be finished or when it will be available. At least it will be two books to one as far as types go.
 
P35 history

Gents, here's another little factoid I found on the Fabryka Broni website - it was pretty much hidden away and I had to work over the English a bit (left mostly unchanged), but the message is clear.

"On January 1st, 1939, 4.635 people were working at the FB Weapon Factory. During time of War and German occupation, the factory worked under German supervision on three-shift system. Civil production was cancelled, focusing on production of VIS pistols. A group of workers from the Weapon Factory was strictly cooperating with Armed Fight Union (resistance), delivering parts of guns for the “underground” partisan soldiers. Because of that on October 16th, 1942, in front of the factory building, German soldiers hanged 15 workers in front of eyes of all working people."

See pic below...

Link Removed
 
P35 Radom again

Question for J Connery... I meant to ask, but forgot... your P35 doesn't have an "M" stamped below the German eagle does it? Of the first 10 or 12 thousand produced (with number only SNs) somewhere around 4500 went to the Kriegsmarine (German Navy) and many of those went to the submariners. As you probably know, the vast majority of the Germans subs reside on the ocean floor these days and consequently, P35s with Navy markings are even more rare. Just a thought...
 
To Pugster....About my P35 barrel, it is marked with 8.82. About the letter under the German eagle...I was'nt sure what it meant, but yes I do have a ''M'' under the German eagle. So you are saying that my P35 is one of the Kriegsmarine's ....Thank you for the info.
 
Radom P35

J Connery - just came from the barn and saw your post. Give me until later tonite or tomorrow and I'll send the info regarding the Navy P35.... one more question - does yours have an "N" stamped on the front grip strap below the trigger guard? If you have an "M" under the German eagle, then the Eagle must be larger than on the non-Navy P35. One of the worries is that the Kriegsmarine version is one of the most counterfeited because it is not that difficult to stamp an "M" under the eagle. The test is whether the eagle is bigger than on the normal version - it should be. Can you take a pic and post it? Good fun, huh??
 
P35 Kriegsmarine version

J Connery – OK, I had to look up the info regarding the Navy version of the P35. My two references (Lapin and Berger) are more or less consistent regarding the Kriegsmarine version.
Of the first approx 10,000 P35s produced with numeric SNs, the Kriegsmarine took 4500. They took another 6000 the following year and as far as is known, there are no Kriegsmarine versions with SNs above Axxxx. The U-boat crews got preference over the rest of the Navy, presumably because they were having successes while the surface ships like Bismarck were being shot to bits by the Brits or scuttled by their own crew as in the case of the Graf Spee (the last part of that sentence starting with “presumably” is my theory only). I’m assuming your P35 with 3 digit SN is one of the 4500 (reasonable assumption). The distinguishing marks of the Navy version are the Hoheitsabzeichen (national emblem – eagle over swastika) stamped on the left side of the FRAME (as opposed to other versions on which it is stamped on the SLIDE) and there is an “M” stamped below the Hoheitsabzeichen for “Marine”. Also, the eagle/swastika stamp is slightly larger than on the other versions. Look at the photos of RedHat’s nice P35 on page 1 of this thread and note the height of eagle/swastika stamp is slightly less than the digits of the Patent Nr. The eagle/swastika stamp on the M version should be slightly bigger… a hard judgment to make unless you have one of each in your hands I think. It is reported, but uncertain, that a relatively small number (1000) of M version P35s were stamped with an “N” on the front grip strap which is thought to indicate “Nordsee Flotte” (North Sea Fleet) headquartered at Wilhelmshaven which was a major U-boat base. So the logic is that most early M version P35s went to Wilhelmshaven where there were many U-boats and because many, many U-boats were lost (something like 1150), the M version of the P35 is really rare. Berger mentions that the M version often has a blued barrel and may not have the lanyard ring on the bottom of the grip. I think you said your barrel was not blue (OK, not all were), but you didn’t mention the lanyard ring.
I’ll correct what I said the other day when I said your “numbers only” low SN P35 is rare. I would say now it is very rare…. Just my opinion for what its worth…
 
Another Radom,

Hello to all. My Radom was recently given to me after the passing of my father-in-law. I believe this unit was built in Austria as the serial number starts with T5XXX. It also has all 3 levers on the left hand side of the gun. The barrel number is 623 with all serial numbers matching as well.

My father-in-law was a 2nd Lt when the war ended. I think he was a navigator in one of the bombers and remember him saying he brought this gun home from the war.

Thank you for bearing with me.

Best to all,

kenf
 

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