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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen : This example pictured here is my candidate for the Bulgarian FN HP. Few facts are available so speculation follows but rational reasoning can reduce it down to a matter of accepting logical deductions. If we can accept that this holster is Bulgarian and was made in the WW2 time frame then we have a platform in which to launch into the other half of the problem. Which is , what pistol went into this holster ? This holster is clearly made for the FN HP but only recently has been identified that the Bulgarians did ,in fact, use the FN HP through the discovery of these holsters. We then can ask ouselves, if no other candidate has been found or identified, then what pistol did they use ? I have come full circle on this reasoning but the following pistol is my candidate for the German ally. Comments are expected and encouraged.

Download Attachment: holster front.JPG
136.48KB

Download Attachment: holster rear.JPG
121KB

Download Attachment: holster exposed.JPG
143.67KB Inside the flap is an oval ink stamp which is aged enough to preclude any deciphering.

Download Attachment: pistol left side.JPG
123.23KB

Download Attachment: left side close up.JPG
139.27KB Only the German military test proofmark are applied and is without any of the WaA140 waffenamts that normally would be stamped on this pistol at this timeframe.

Download Attachment: rear slide mark.JPG
144.82KB Perhaps it is only me, but I have not remembered seeing this stamp before. It appears to be a open bottom triangle with the letter J inside it.

Download Attachment: pistol right side.JPG
121.97KB

Download Attachment: right side close up.JPG
136.63KB

Download Attachment: ejection port.JPG
121.49KB I do not accept the above pistol to be a commercial sales gun . There are a number of eagle N proofed FN HP's known that are , in fact, a commercial sales weapon but a weapon with military test proofs is not one of them . This pistol represents a military weapon that has under gone production and testing under German controlled facilities and authorities BUT not paid for with German funds which a waffenamt stamp would represent, but because it has the test proof only and not the waffenamt , this is still a military weapon but paid for by other than German funds . It simply did not go to a proofhouse for testing but instead accepted military standards. This pistol represents a sales purchase by a outside element whose's need and access to weapons of this nature would be over and above the best interest of Germany herself. What other pressing objective would there be but to armed your allies sufficiently to counter the same enemies. If this example is not a Bulgarian pistol, then I have to ask, what did they use ?
 

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I have one of the holsters. Like you, if the holster exists, then they must have had the pistol to use with it.

As to markings, I always believed (and do so now) that the marking on the left rear of the slide was a commercial marking. I have seen this marking on Eagle/N marked Hi-Powers.

I have another idea and have to go & research it. (I have to find out where I put the Hi-Powers in question). Then I will be back.

Found my Hi-Powers, but scratch the other idea.
 

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I have one of the holsters. Like you, if the holster exists, then they must have had the pistol to use with it.

As to markings, I always believed (and do so now) that the marking on the left rear of the slide was a commercial marking. I have seen this marking on Eagle/N marked Hi-Powers.

I have another idea and have to go & research it. (I have to find out where I put the Hi-Powers in question). Then I will be back.

Found my Hi-Powers, but scratch the other idea.
 

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I am posting images on two Hi-Powers that I have. The first is 38333a which is similar to yours. The other is 41533b, which is Eagle/N marked but has a similar feature with yours.


Right side: serial No. 38333a

Download Attachment: 38333a-5a.jpg
45.12 KB


Right side: serial No. 38333a

Download Attachment: 38333a-7a.jpg
43.38 KB


View of barrel and serial No. 38333a

Download Attachment: 38333a-4a.jpg
87.98 KB


View of test proof - serial No. 38333a

Download Attachment: 38333a-8a.jpg
82.23 KB


View of marking on left side of slide at the rear - serial No. 38333a

Download Attachment: 38333a-9a.jpg
66.8 KB



It is interesting to note that there is a spread of approximately 60,000 numbers between your example and my example. If it was a military contract, then it would seem to have been filed over a long period of time.

==============


Right side: serial No. 41533b

Download Attachment: 41533b-7a.jpg
49.28 KB


Left side: serial No. 41533b

Download Attachment: 41533b-6a.jpg
40.99 KB


View of barrel and serial no. 41533b

Download Attachment: 41533b-8a.jpg
49.04 KB


View of markings on left side of slide - (middle of slide)
(Only Eagle/N markings)

Download Attachment: 41533b-5a.jpg
94.72 KB


Closeup of Eagle/N marking:

Download Attachment: 41533b-2.JPG
12.1 KB


View of marking on left side of slide at the rear - serial No. 41533a

Download Attachment: 41533b-1.JPG
19.99 KB

Note: This is the same marking that is on the two Hi-Powers Serial nos. 38333a and 98994a) with the test proof.

The only Hi-Powers that i have seen this marking on have been the Eagle/N marked Hi-Powers and the ones that have the test proof but no WaA marking.

I have proceeded on the premise that the marking on the left side of the slide, at the rear, indicated a commercial piece, since the marking was found on the Eagle/N piece. If the Hi-Power was divvereted to the commercial market, this fact could have been indicated by the marking at the rear of the slide. I could see a situation where the Hi-Powers were diverted because of a shortage of weapons for the home folk. I had based the fact of this diversion on the common maekings found at the rear of the slide.



But I can understand your premise that the Hi-Power, once a test proof had been applied, would not have went into the commercial market. This is very logical. Barring other explanations, it is logical that Hi-Powers such as 38333a and 98004 could have been part of a contract for Bulgaria. But there are a few questions why raises doubt (as to either theory).


Would any Hi-Power going to Bulgaria heve been military test proofed?

If there was a Hi-Power contract was for Bulgaria, wouldn't the serial numbers be in a block range instead of being spread out (one here and one there) over 60000/70000 pistols?

Why does the Eagle/N Hi-Power (considering that there is no question that it is commercial production) have the same marking as the Hi-Powers with the test proof? (yet I have not seen this marking on Hi-Powers that have a WaA marking.)



It seems that you are looking at it from one aspect and I am looking at it from a different one. Now all we have to do is to merge.
 

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I am posting images on two Hi-Powers that I have. The first is 38333a which is similar to yours. The other is 41533b, which is Eagle/N marked but has a similar feature with yours.


Right side: serial No. 38333a

Download Attachment: 38333a-5a.jpg
45.12 KB


Right side: serial No. 38333a

Download Attachment: 38333a-7a.jpg
43.38 KB


View of barrel and serial No. 38333a

Download Attachment: 38333a-4a.jpg
87.98 KB


View of test proof - serial No. 38333a

Download Attachment: 38333a-8a.jpg
82.23 KB


View of marking on left side of slide at the rear - serial No. 38333a

Download Attachment: 38333a-9a.jpg
66.8 KB



It is interesting to note that there is a spread of approximately 60,000 numbers between your example and my example. If it was a military contract, then it would seem to have been filed over a long period of time.

==============


Right side: serial No. 41533b

Download Attachment: 41533b-7a.jpg
49.28 KB


Left side: serial No. 41533b

Download Attachment: 41533b-6a.jpg
40.99 KB


View of barrel and serial no. 41533b

Download Attachment: 41533b-8a.jpg
49.04 KB


View of markings on left side of slide - (middle of slide)
(Only Eagle/N markings)

Download Attachment: 41533b-5a.jpg
94.72 KB


Closeup of Eagle/N marking:

Download Attachment: 41533b-2.JPG
12.1 KB


View of marking on left side of slide at the rear - serial No. 41533a

Download Attachment: 41533b-1.JPG
19.99 KB

Note: This is the same marking that is on the two Hi-Powers Serial nos. 38333a and 98994a) with the test proof.

The only Hi-Powers that i have seen this marking on have been the Eagle/N marked Hi-Powers and the ones that have the test proof but no WaA marking.

I have proceeded on the premise that the marking on the left side of the slide, at the rear, indicated a commercial piece, since the marking was found on the Eagle/N piece. If the Hi-Power was divvereted to the commercial market, this fact could have been indicated by the marking at the rear of the slide. I could see a situation where the Hi-Powers were diverted because of a shortage of weapons for the home folk. I had based the fact of this diversion on the common maekings found at the rear of the slide.



But I can understand your premise that the Hi-Power, once a test proof had been applied, would not have went into the commercial market. This is very logical. Barring other explanations, it is logical that Hi-Powers such as 38333a and 98004 could have been part of a contract for Bulgaria. But there are a few questions why raises doubt (as to either theory).


Would any Hi-Power going to Bulgaria heve been military test proofed?

If there was a Hi-Power contract was for Bulgaria, wouldn't the serial numbers be in a block range instead of being spread out (one here and one there) over 60000/70000 pistols?

Why does the Eagle/N Hi-Power (considering that there is no question that it is commercial production) have the same marking as the Hi-Powers with the test proof? (yet I have not seen this marking on Hi-Powers that have a WaA marking.)



It seems that you are looking at it from one aspect and I am looking at it from a different one. Now all we have to do is to merge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
My real bottom line basis that I would have a tendency to agree with you that a "contract" would be of little sense is the seperation of serial numbers from one example to the other. I could understand a few thousand but 60,000 is another matter, mainly because we see so little of these Bulgarian FN holsters. Even in Bulgaria , they are scarse. So , what did they use ? Waffenamt pieces ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
My real bottom line basis that I would have a tendency to agree with you that a "contract" would be of little sense is the seperation of serial numbers from one example to the other. I could understand a few thousand but 60,000 is another matter, mainly because we see so little of these Bulgarian FN holsters. Even in Bulgaria , they are scarse. So , what did they use ? Waffenamt pieces ?
 

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Like you, I had problems with a weapon with test proofs going to the commercial market. The only reason I was considering that it went to the commercial market was the marking on the left rear of the slide. Since I have seen or heard about the Eagle/N and the ones with the test proof (but no WaA) has having this mark.

It is possible that the mark has some other significance, for example (for the sake of discussion only) designating a Hi-Power that was not going to the military. But then why would only the slide be marked. One possibility is that the test proof marked Hi-Powers were originally intended for the commercial market and diverted to the military.


Considering the size of the Bulgarian army, I wold not think that a contract for them would be multi thousands, when coupled with the need of the German military. I could see a contract of a couple of thousand or so, but not multi thousands.


You have 98004A. I have 38333a. I have been told of 38676a. (Note that the latter two are less than 350 numbers apart.)

Bill D. sold one in the 77xxxa range. (I took the number from his sales list so I do not have the other three numbers.) I have heard of a few other numbers, which I recall to being spread out.

None seem very close so as to establish a contract unless the contract consisted of a few small blocks of pistols at different times.

Funny thing is that my experience has been that I have seen or heard about more of the Hi-Powers marked with the test proof (and no WaA) than I have heard of the Eagle/N marked Hi-Powers. So if the test proofed (only) Hi-Powers went to Bulgaria which was close to the Soviet sphere, how did they get into the Allied sphere.

There are a lot of possibilities, but no one seems really probable.

Then there is the question of what went into the Bulgarian FN Hi-Power style holsters. It would not surprise me to learn that they were given Waffenamt marked Hi-Powers. Not normal, but to shore up an ally, it might happen.
 

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Like you, I had problems with a weapon with test proofs going to the commercial market. The only reason I was considering that it went to the commercial market was the marking on the left rear of the slide. Since I have seen or heard about the Eagle/N and the ones with the test proof (but no WaA) has having this mark.

It is possible that the mark has some other significance, for example (for the sake of discussion only) designating a Hi-Power that was not going to the military. But then why would only the slide be marked. One possibility is that the test proof marked Hi-Powers were originally intended for the commercial market and diverted to the military.


Considering the size of the Bulgarian army, I wold not think that a contract for them would be multi thousands, when coupled with the need of the German military. I could see a contract of a couple of thousand or so, but not multi thousands.


You have 98004A. I have 38333a. I have been told of 38676a. (Note that the latter two are less than 350 numbers apart.)

Bill D. sold one in the 77xxxa range. (I took the number from his sales list so I do not have the other three numbers.) I have heard of a few other numbers, which I recall to being spread out.

None seem very close so as to establish a contract unless the contract consisted of a few small blocks of pistols at different times.

Funny thing is that my experience has been that I have seen or heard about more of the Hi-Powers marked with the test proof (and no WaA) than I have heard of the Eagle/N marked Hi-Powers. So if the test proofed (only) Hi-Powers went to Bulgaria which was close to the Soviet sphere, how did they get into the Allied sphere.

There are a lot of possibilities, but no one seems really probable.

Then there is the question of what went into the Bulgarian FN Hi-Power style holsters. It would not surprise me to learn that they were given Waffenamt marked Hi-Powers. Not normal, but to shore up an ally, it might happen.
 
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