Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Bought this Belgian Army FN HP years ago from a German vet.
There is nothing special, but both mags are WaA 613 and the Belgian Army Holster is WaA 866 ?? stamped.
The pistol shows one of the typical Belgian Army acceptance stamps C/PH.
Note the early type of tangent rear sight.

Is there any idea on this particular holster and rig ?

Fritz

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500 meter sight on the 1000m scaling
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Shoulder-stock slot
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Note the prewar nickeled brass rivets
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Holster without !! rain protective flap
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Fritz,

I am looking forward to any replies you have to your post, as I have "exactly" the same Hi-Power Rig as you - including the proofs in exactly the same formation/format/placment areas. Mine is serial number 24060 but the holster does not have the WaA proof - but it does include the cleaning tool in the front pocket. I will try to take some pictures of mine as well and post in a new thread in the next few days so as to not detract from your post.

My thanks for terrific photos! It was like "looking in the mirror" when comparing your FN HP to my FN HP!

John D.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
John,

many thanks for your kind answer.
To the time I'm a bit disappointed about the not given expert answers.
We all have to learn so much and every answer will educate us.

In my opinion my FN-HP rig is very uncommon with the stamped mags and this particular holster.
The WaA 866 stamp is not yet identified by me.

Fritz
 

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Helo Fritz,

I apologize for the delayed reply! Also - I still haven't had the chance to take pictures of my similiar RIG as yours, perhaps this Sunday, when my schedule quiets down a bit. Anyway - while I'm not an HP specialized collector by any means - your RIG and mine are the only two I have seen of this type posted here and throughout the Internet that I have noticed. While I have to buy Mr. Still's "Axis Pistols" (I wil Jan - PROMISE!! ;) ) I've also not seen our variations documented elsewhere. For that, I have seen some holsters on rare occassions come up for sale on the Internet, but not a complete RIG as yours.

Finally - I hope this helps with some of your missing information, but I believe the WaA 866 is as follows, but certainly stand to be corrected: Ernst Melzig (also "clg") - 1944 - FN HP holsters.

So, based on my very limited knowledge of HPs and your proof and the look of the belt loop condition compared to the overall condition of the holster, perhaps that is who did the loop rework? Further, by contrast - my Belgian Army holster as is exactly yours - does not have any WaA proof. However, on the inside of the cover (flap), it does have some very feint ink stamps I'm unable to deciper.

Fritz, my best regards - and my thanks again!

John
 

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Hi Fritz,

Here are three quick pictures of my RIG. Again, I will try to take better and more through pictures this weekend, but until then, as you can see - my proofs are exactly like yours...

The RIG with 2 correct mags:
Download Attachment: hp_1.jpg
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The left side proofs:
Download Attachment: hp_2.jpg
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And the serial # and proofs on the barrel:
Download Attachment: hp_3.jpg
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My Best Regards,

John
 

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Fritz and John D
Excellent presentation and photographs.
Re Belgium military Browning Hi Powers.sn 24600 and 34725. These are Belgium military issue Browning High Powers. This pistol was adopted in 1935 by the Belgium military.
At Belgium’s surrender in May 1940, King Leopold issued instructions that equipment was not to be destroyed but collected and handed over to the Germans. Many of these Belgium military issue Browning High Powers were captured and reissued to the German military. (See Axis Pistols page 83-89)

I have serial number 20191(shown page 84-85, Axis Pistols) that came with a Belgium holster similar to those shown but not German marked. The pistol and mags are not German marked. It is identical to serial numbers 24600 and 34725.

Fritz, I would suggest that at some point the waffen stamped mags and holster were added to your gun to form the rig that you show above. In my experience waffen accepted mags are not often found on the Belgium military issue HP's

These are beautiful examples of Belgium military issue (and German reissue) Browning High Powers.
Thanks for posting
Jan
 

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An excellent reference on the Belgium military, captured and occupation Browning High Powers is: "The Belgium Browning Pistols 1889-1949" by Anthony Vanderlinden, page 172-174, 186-193.
Jan
 

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Hi Jan,

My THANKS!!! Simply excellent information and references. Yes - I do need to complete my set of your books with your "Axis Pistols" Volume! These Hi-Powers are somewhat "addicting", but it's an entirely new area for me, as you can guess. For that, when I saw Fritz's wonderful pictures and write-up on his RIG, it was indeed like looking at my exact piece. My thanks, Fritz!

For that, mine appears more similiar to yours with the absence of any WaA proofs on either the holster or mags - and like Fritz's, is in excellent contition. Again, later this week, I'll try to do a some photos on all the proofs both external and internal for you, Fritz and others who may be interested.

Jan and Fritz - again - my sincerest thanks on providing the background, reference and history on this HP variation!

John
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
John, Jan,

Thank you very much for your pictures and hints. These are the answers I like.
To the loop of the holster. John this loop is original due to the stichings. There are no rework traces at all. But you are right, the loop appears quite different to the holster.

May be, that this rig was put together, but I bought it from the former owner an WWII vet. Unfortunately he is gone years ago, but he told me, that he received this rig so as it still is.

Fritz
 

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Fritz
I said
"Fritz, I would suggest that at some point the waffen stamped mags and holster were added to your gun to form the rig that you show above."
To be clear: most likley(in my opinion) the rig was put together by the Germans prior to the end of WWII.
Jan
 

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Three items are presented.

1. The Hi-Power
2. The magazines
3. The holster


1. The Hi-Power is a standard pre-war Hi-Power which was accepted by the Belgian Military. It has the normal Belgian commercial proofs - which all pre-war Hi-Powers have. It also has the Belgian military acceptance markings. As you are probably aware these markings changed over the years (1935 - 1940). The location of the markings was always the same - so I thought until recently when I acquired an early one and found that some of the location for the markings were different. Probably before the location for the markings was standardized.

2. The Hi-Power (Belgian military accepted) would have been issued with magazines with Belgian military markings - either a "C" in a square or a "H" in a circle - depending on the time involved.

Afterwards the magazines could have been changed. I have seen a number of them with all types of magazines - Belgian commercial, Belgian military, WaA 613, WaA 103, WaA 140 and unmarked (and even with post war magazines). Whether this was during the war or afterwards is unknown. Actually it would be of little import since so many people, myself included, try to have magazines that match the pistol.

3. The holster is a different question. First, I do not believe that the WaA 866 marking was put on during WWII. Possible, but not probable. The WaA 866 marking was used by Ernst Melzig, Lederwaren, Liegnitz, whose manufacturers code was clg 44 and clg 4. From data obtained, this WaA marking was used only in 1944. Certainly the holster was not made by Ernst Melzig, Lederwaren, Liegnitz. But it could have been stamped with that WaA marking for reasons presently unknown. Possible, but not probable.

Now to the holster itself. There is a disagreement of opinion whether that type of holster was used before WWII by the Belgians. There are two people who take entirely opposite views. The argument for it is that there are pre-war photos showing the holster and/or old oral accounts, etc. of that type of holster was being used before May, 1940. I believe that this is correct.

The argument against it is that Tom Nelson imported a very large number of such holster about 25/30 years ago — which were “post” war holsters and which are now being mistaken for pre-war holsters. I believe that this is correct also.


Personally, I have seen two different types of this holster.

The first type is the ones that have the silver looking rivets on the flap. (I have seen many of these.)

The other type is the ones that have “brass” looking rivets on the flap “and” at the bottom of the belt loop and actually better made. (I have only seen a couple of these.)

My opinion is that the holsters with the silver color rivets (like yours) are “post” war and the holsters with the "brass" rivets are ]pre-war.
 

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Here are a couple of pictures om my captured Belgian High Power:


Download Attachment: HP1.jpg
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Download Attachment: HP2.jpg
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The gun came with one belgium army magazine and one WaA613 magazine.

How many High-Power pistols did the belgium army get before WW2?
And in what serial-ranges are they?
 

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Nice pistol.

As to how many Hi-Powers the Belgian army received, this may not be determinable today. I have seen Hi-Powers as high as # 45749 with at least partial Belgian military markings. They probably go higher. I do recall seeing two in the 47000 range that had only commercial proofs.

From the foreging, various contracts have to be excepted, such as those for Finland (est 2400), China (est 5/10 k), Parguary (est 250), commercial market (est ?), etc. Lithuanian and Estonian Hi-Powers had their own serial number range.

As to serial ranges, that may be difficult. The contracts seem to have come out of the lower serial number ranges (lower half), while those in the higher serial number ranges seem to be all military.

Also, you have to remember that the Hi-Power did not originate from 1935 as many believe. 1935 was when the Belgian military accepted and ordered the Hi-Power - not when the Hi-Power first went into regular production - which could have been as early as 1933, but more likely 1934. At least 1300 Hi-Powers were made "before" the Belgian acceptance in 1935 and many of these will be found with Belgian military markings.
 

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Gentlemen,

regarding the WaA/866 acceptance marking, it might be helpful (or not?) to take a look on an internet site, which lists a huge number of WaA/number and the relating items where the marking was observed:

http://users.swing.be/sw017995/waffenamt.htm

There, three makers are listed in connection with WaA/866:

-Colla, Tiggemann & Co., Schlossfabrik, Velbert, Rheinland (hey) : (Y riemen : 1941)
-Stahlwerke Brüninghaus A.G., Werk Vorhalle, Hagen-Vorhalle (jgh) : (Spatenleder : 1942)
-Ernst Melzig, Lederwaren, Breslauer Str. Liegnitz (Legnica), Polen (clg) : (FN-HP holster : 1944)

Thought, you would like to know.

Martin
 

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quote:Originally posted by cpw

Three items are presented.

1. The Hi-Power
2. The magazines
3. The holster


1. The Hi-Power is a standard pre-war Hi-Power which was accepted by the Belgian Military. It has the normal Belgian commercial proofs - which all pre-war Hi-Powers have. It also has the Belgian military acceptance markings. As you are probably aware these markings changed over the years (1935 - 1940). The location of the markings was always the same - so I thought until recently when I acquired an early one and found that some of the location for the markings were different. Probably before the location for the markings was standardized.

2. The Hi-Power (Belgian military accepted) would have been issued with magazines with Belgian military markings - either a "C" in a square or a "H" in a circle - depending on the time involved.

Afterwards the magazines could have been changed. I have seen a number of them with all types of magazines - Belgian commercial, Belgian military, WaA 613, WaA 103, WaA 140 and unmarked (and even with post war magazines). Whether this was during the war or afterwards is unknown. Actually it would be of little import since so many people, myself included, try to have magazines that match the pistol.

3. The holster is a different question. First, I do not believe that the WaA 866 marking was put on during WWII. Possible, but not probable. The WaA 866 marking was used by Ernst Melzig, Lederwaren, Liegnitz, whose manufacturers code was clg 44 and clg 4. From data obtained, this WaA marking was used only in 1944. Certainly the holster was not made by Ernst Melzig, Lederwaren, Liegnitz. But it could have been stamped with that WaA marking for reasons presently unknown. Possible, but not probable.

Now to the holster itself. There is a disagreement of opinion whether that type of holster was used before WWII by the Belgians. There are two people who take entirely opposite views. The argument for it is that there are pre-war photos showing the holster and/or old oral accounts, etc. of that type of holster was being used before May, 1940. I believe that this is correct.

The argument against it is that Tom Nelson imported a very large number of such holster about 25/30 years ago — which were “post” war holsters and which are now being mistaken for pre-war holsters. I believe that this is correct also.


Personally, I have seen two different types of this holster.

The first type is the ones that have the silver looking rivets on the flap. (I have seen many of these.)

The other type is the ones that have “brass” looking rivets on the flap “and” at the bottom of the belt loop and actually better made. (I have only seen a couple of these.)

My opinion is that the holsters with the silver color rivets (like yours) are “post” war and the holsters with the "brass" rivets are ]pre-war.
Since this post, I have acquired another one of the Belgian black holsters. This one has some interesting markings. I will have to take some pictures, and hopefully get some of the markings on it.
 
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