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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This series of posts discusses WaA 613 marked Browning Hi-Powers that have the tangent sight and which are slotted for a shoulder stock. There were very few of these originally and, needless to say, very few are in collections today.

Some period holsters for these WaA 613 marked Hi-Powers are also shown.

Basically there are three major variations of the WaA 613 marked Hi-Powers.

The first type of WaA 613 Hi-Powers were the Belgian proofed Hi-Powers that were acquired by the Germans upon the surrender of the Belgians. These have all or part of the Belgian proofs and Belgian military markings. Also, they are marked with the WaA 613 marking on the trigger guard web. The serial number on these will be found on the frame and slide below the ejection port. The barrel serial number is on the reverse side of the barrel.

The second type of WaA 613 Hi-Powers were made from parts on hand at the surrender by the Belgians. No Belgian proofs or Belgian military markings will be found on these Hi-Powers. They are marked with the WaA 613 marking only on the trigger guard web and the German test marking on the barrel. The serial number on these will be found on the frame and slide below the ejection port. The barrel serial number is on the reverse side of the barrel (as in the Belgian manner).

The third type of WaA 613 Hi-Powers were made from parts on hand at the surrender by the Belgians. No Belgian proofs or Belgian military markings will be found on these Hi-Powers. They are marked with the German test proof and the WaA 613 marking on the left side of the frame and slide. The barrel is also marked. The serial number on these will be found on the frame and slide below the ejection port and on the barrel which can be seen through the ejection port. This method is the same method followed by the Germans in the marking of the Hi-Powers through the end of (German) production.

The WaA 613 marked Hi-Powers were made/marked in 1940.



As to holsters, the Germans needed holsters for all the Hi-Powers that they acquired from FN and the Belgian military plus those that they were assembling and manufacturing. Like any bureaucracy, there was a formal procedure to be followed for the design and acceptance of new equipment. Certainly, any and all existing holsters were put to immediate use. However, there was an urgent need for many more holsters to hold the Hi-Powers and most often French revolver holsters were procured and modified for this purpose. Each holster was converted individually, and the modifications may sometimes vary slightly, but as a part of the conversion process, a spare magazine pouch was added to the front of each holster. Examination of the quality of these modified holsters clearly shows that the conversions were made by leather professionals; by and under official direction and control of German Ordnance.

The first of the new (standard) Hi-Power holsters were manufactured some time in 1941; not at the beginning of 1941, but since few are known, it was probably after several months. The earliest examples were marked inside an oval with the date, name and address of the manufacturer, (i.e., E. G. Leuner GmbH, 1941, Bautzen) and also have the Eagle/”WaA159" acceptance mark.


Two converted (French) revolver holsters are shown. One is German marked, but the other is not. Both converted to fit the Hi-Power and the magazine pouch is designed for the Hi-Power magazine.

The third holster is an early 1941 dated holster in the standard German pattern.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
WaA marked Hi-Power - Serial No. 45749

This is the first type of WaA 613 marked Hi-Powers. They have the Belgian proofs and Belgian military markings. Also, they are marked with the WaA 613 marking on the trigger guard web. The serial number on these will be found on the frame and slide below the ejection port. The barrel serial number is on the reverse side of the barrel.

(This pistol was re-finished.)


Left side - Serial No. 45749

Download Attachment: 613-1-2a.jpg
95.9 KB


Right side - Serial No. 45749

Download Attachment: 613-1-1a.jpg
92.93 KB


Serial Number

Download Attachment: 613-1-3a.jpg
204.83 KB


Left side markings - WaA 613 & Belgian markings - Serial No. 45749

Download Attachment: 613-1-6a.jpg
109.79 KB

Download Attachment: 613-1-5a.jpg
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Download Attachment: 613-1-11a.jpg
203.08 KB


Barrel Serial No.

Download Attachment: 613-1-7a.jpg
100.86 KB


Tangent sight

Download Attachment: 613-1-9a.jpg
64.68 KB


Download Attachment: 613-1-8a.jpg
188.12 KB


Rear view - Serial No. 45749

Download Attachment: 613-1-10a.jpg
56.8 KB


Magazines - two magazines can be associated this this Hi-Power.

The first is the Belgian marked magazine. The following magazine is marked with the military marking of "C" in a square. (This marking is also on the pistol.)

Download Attachment: 613-1-13a.jpg
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Download Attachment: 613-1-16a.jpg
118.98 KB


The second is the WaA 613 marked magazine. The following magazine is marked with the German military marking of WaA 613. (This marking is also on the pistol.)


Download Attachment: 613-1-12a.jpg
81.22 KB



(The second variation will be in the next post.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
WaA 613 - Serial No. 51662


The second type of WaA 613 marked Hi-Powers were made from parts on hand at the time of surrender by the Belgians. This pistol has no Belgian proofs or Belgian military markings. It is marked with the WaA 613 marking only on the trigger guard web and the German test marking on the barrel. The serial number on this Hi-power will be found on the frame and slide below the ejection port. The barrel serial number is on the reverse side of the barrel (as in the Belgian manner).


Right side - Serial No. 51662

Download Attachment: 613-2-1a.jpg
83.28 KB


Left side - Serial No. 51662

Download Attachment: 613-2-2a.jpg
76.6 KB


Serial No.

Download Attachment: 613-2-3a.jpg
168.53 KB


German marking on barrel & Serial Number

Download Attachment: 613-2-12a.jpg
141.16 KB

Download Attachment: 613-2-8a.jpg
185.43 KB



Left side markings - Serial No. 51662 - notice there are no German markings on the frame or slide - except on the left trigger guard web.

Download Attachment: 613-2-13a.jpg
144.25 KB

Download Attachment: 613-2-4a.jpg
69.31 KB


Top view - Serial No. 51662

Download Attachment: 613-2-5a.jpg
59.35 KB

Download Attachment: 613-2-6a.jpg
191.62 KB

Rear view - Serial No. 51662

Download Attachment: 613-2-7a.jpg
41.49 KB

Magazine:
This is a WaA 613 marked magazine. (This marking is also on the pistol.)

Download Attachment: 613-2-10a.jpg
83.84 KB

(This image was lightened so as to show the detail)

Download Attachment: 613-2-11a.jpg
173.34 KB
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
WaA 613 marked Hi-power - Serial No. 51998

The third variation of WaA 613 Hi-Powers were made from parts on hand at the time of the surrender by the Belgians.

No Belgian proofs or Belgian military markings will be found on this Hi-Power. It is marked with the German test proof and the WaA 613 marking on the left side of the frame and slide. The barrel is also marked. The serial number on these will be found on the frame and slide below the ejection port and on the barrel which can be seen through the ejection port. This method is the same method followed by the Germans in the marking of the Hi-Powers through the end of (German) production.


Right side - Serial No. 51998

Download Attachment: 613-3-1a.jpg
109.66 KB


Left side - Serial No. 51998

Download Attachment: 613-3-2a.jpg
108.85 KB


Serial No.

Download Attachment: 613-3-3a.jpg
280.53 KB


Markings on left side - Serial No. 51998.
(Note all the markings as compared to Serial No. 51662 - a mere 336 numbers earlier.)

Download Attachment: 613-3-5a.jpg
216.67 KB


Top view - Serial No. 51998

Download Attachment: 613-3-6a.jpg
55.98 KB

Download Attachment: 613-3-7a.jpg
177.54 KB


Rear view - Serial No. 51998

Download Attachment: 613-3-8a.jpg
50.23 KB


Magazine:
This is a WaA 613 marked magazine and would be proper to this pistol. (This marking is also on the pistol.)

Download Attachment: 613-3-9a.jpg
27.08 KB

Download Attachment: 613-3-10a.jpg
124.12 KB


(The next post shows three holsters which were used with the WaA 613 marked slotted/tangent Hi-Powers.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
As to holsters, the Germans needed holsters for all the Hi-Powers that they acquired from FN and the Belgian military plus those that they were assembling and manufacturing. Like any bureaucracy, there was a formal procedure to be followed for the design and acceptance of new equipment. Certainly, any and all existing holsters were put to immediate use. However, there was an urgent need for many more holsters to hold the Hi-Powers and most often French revolver holsters were procured and modified for this purpose. Each holster was converted individually, and the modifications may sometimes vary slightly, but as a part of the conversion process, a spare magazine pouch was added to the front of each holster. Examination of the quality of these modified holsters clearly shows that the conversions were made by leather professionals; by and under official direction and control of German Ordnance.

The first of the new (standard) Hi-Power holsters were manufactured some time in 1941; not at the beginning of 1941, but since few are known, it was probably after several months. The earliest examples were marked inside an oval with the date, name and address of the manufacturer, (i.e., E. G. Leuner GmbH, 1941, Bautzen) and also have the Eagle/”WaA159" acceptance mark.


Two converted revolver holsters are shown. One is German marked, but the other is not. Both converted to fit the Hi-Power and the magazine pouch is designed for the Hi-Power magazine.

The third holster is an early 1941 dated holster in the standard German pattern.


First Converted Holster:

Front view:

Download Attachment: Rework 1aa.jpg
102.5 KB


Rear view:

Download Attachment: Rework 2aa.jpg
115.37 KB


Open view:

Download Attachment: Rework 3aa.jpg
97.68 KB


Side view:

Download Attachment: Rework 4aa.jpg
77.09 KB


View of German military markings:

Download Attachment: Rework 5aa.jpg
16.32 KB


View from bottom:

Download Attachment: Rework 6aa.jpg
69.05 KB


View of French markings:

Download Attachment: Rework 7a.JPG
43.83 KB



Second Converted Holster

Front view:

Download Attachment: rework-1a.jpg
44.58 KB


Rear view:

(No German markings on this holster. Either it was not marked or the markings were worn off.)

Download Attachment: rework-2a.jpg
37.57 KB


View of holster open:

Download Attachment: rework-3a.jpg
37.89 KB


Side view of holster:

Download Attachment: rework-4a.jpg
50.05 KB


View of French (prior owner) markings:

Download Attachment: rework-6a.jpg
39.69 KB


Either of the foregoing holsters would have been the type used with the (slotted/tangent) WaA 613 marked German Hi-Power. These Hi-Powers were manufactured in 1940. Until the standard parretn holster came out in 1941, the converted revolver holsters would have been tone of the few holster choices available.



Third holster. This is an early 1941 dated holster in the standard German pattern.


Front view:

Download Attachment: 1941-1.JPG
17.69 KB


Markings:
( E. G. Leuner GmbH, 1941, Bautzen and also have the Eagle/”WaA159" acceptance mark)

Download Attachment: 1941-2.JPG
46.04 KB
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I hope everyone enjoys the above Hi-Powers and holsters.

The converted revolver holsters are very rare. I was at the MVACA show on January 9/10, 2004 and a noted collector and dealer (whose name I will not mention) of German WWII weapons showed me a holster that he had acquired to go with a WaA 613 slotted/tangent Hi-Power that he has in his collection. It was a 1941 dated holster (in very good condition) in the standard pattern, with markings that are even later that the markings on the 1941 holster shown above. (The 1941 markings changed during 1941. I have seen three variations. The one shown above is the first variation.)

I said that his could be used, but that it was not actually the holster that would have been used at that point in time. I then went over to my display and showed him the French revolver holster with the German markings. He was appreciative, but did state that he had not seen that type of holster before. (There are not very many of these converted revolver holsters that have survived to the present day.)
 

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Charlie,
* Oh my goodness, yes, I enjoyed your detailed display of these rarely seen examples. I learned more in these last 15 minutes than I have in reading multiple volumes over the last 15 years.
* I've often wondered about the trigger guard WaA613 variation(s) & how they related to the German takeover progression. I now understand I have the later 3rd variation of the WaA613 slotted-tangent trio. My S/N is 52028; about 30 pistols latter than your 51998 above. These 2 pistols were probably rack mates back in 1940.
* Thanks for your informative and well illustrated thread with excellent photographic examples.
 

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Charlie, Outstanding1 I don't believe I have ever seen this converted French revolver holster before. Very nice writeup, I'm impressed. Jerry Burney
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
quote:Originally posted by jabbo

Charlie -
Here are a couple of pictures of '41 dated HP holsters I have...do they represent the other two variations you spoke of?

Download Attachment: bdt41.JPG
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Download Attachment: cgn41.JPG
78.24 KB

The letters represent the manufacturer. The holster I posted had the full name of the manufacturer. Then the Germans switched to codes for the manufacturers. Your holsters represent only one variation.

The variations are:
The full name and full date.
The code and the full date.
The code and a two digit date.

An example of the full date and code is:

Download Attachment: 1941-4a.jpg
72.98KB
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
quote:Originally posted by lugercollector

I just Acquired this Hi Power Rig ser #54534......at what ser # was the shoulder stock slot eliminated??....Thanks...

Download Attachment: MVC-913F.JPG
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Download Attachment: MVC-914F.JPG
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Download Attachment: MVC-908F.JPG
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====================================

You have asked an interesting question. A couple of reference works had stated that the slotted/tangent WWII German Hi-Powers were in the
50000 to 52500 serial number range.

Axis Pistols (by Still) gives the range as 50,000 to 53,000.

Obviously, #54534 is not within the ranges given in the reference works.

I have not seen any in the 53000 range. But very few were made and even fewer survived the war and ended up in collections.


One possibility is that the serial number range estimates are correct and the Germans used up all of the available frames (with slots) - or thought they did. Then one day as someone was digging thru the parts bin, another slotted frame was found and used.


I do know that some slotted frames (and fixed aights) were used in the "b" suffix series of the Hi-Powers. I am aware of three, all of which are marked with the Eagle/N markings for the commercial market. (They were not of pre-war or early war quality finishing.)

I am also aware that the early Post war Thai contract (of which I own one) had fixed sights and a stock slot.

Again I am aware that there are two (2) known "A" prefix 1944 Hi-Powers (of which I have one) that have tangent sights and slotted frames. (The barrels are WaA 140 marked.) Where these two frames came from I do not know. They could have been left over parts or new ones.
 

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Peter,
* These are indeed fine pieces of machinery with fit & finish comparable to the best European standards of that time. I've read anecdotal comments stating most of these 640(b)'s saw long & rough duty. Apparently, the high capacity mag feature was highly favored by the German troops. Some authors opine these were used by the German paratroops and/or Waffen SS for this reason; but, I've no knowledge where the documentation for these associations exist. A few pictures possibly.
* To amplify on Charlie's thought this is a "found frame": Is the slot in #54534 finished machined? I can't tell from the angle of your backstrap picture; but, you'll notice all 3 of CPW's examples have a machined cut which elongates the slot sideways at the top.
* Were #54534's frame to have already been rough cut; but, not final fitted and was completed as a pistol after the Germans abandoned any more work for a board stock compatible version, this would lend credence to the "found frame" thought.
* Parenthetically, I've seen an E/WaA103 marked examples in the eighty something thousand S/N range which had a slot. Wouldn't fit an original HP board stock. Heard of one more reported in AutoMag in about the same range which also wouldn't lock up to an original stock. The exact numbers are beyond me now as I was not keeping track of these then.
 

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Hi Bob....Thanks for the reply.....here is photo of the slot.....it is the same width all the way up...unlike the ones in the other photos....as an aside...I would like someone to award me "Bozo of the year" award....for not knowing how to disassemble a HP properly....I managed to put an ugly scratch on the LH side of the slide when the slide popped forward as I was pulling out the slide catch lever.....

Download Attachment: MVC-918F.JPG
54.61KBde release catch....
 

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quote:Originally posted by cpw
I have not seen any in the 53000 range. But very few were made and even fewer survived the war and ended up in collections.
Hello!
Greatings from Norway!
I own #53533. The gun has no stock-slot. 4 pictures can be seen at the links below.

http://www.blinkskudd.net/Album/images/gun/pistol/browning1.jpg

http://www.blinkskudd.net/Album/images/gun/pistol/browning2.jpg

http://www.blinkskudd.net/Album/images/gun/pistol/browning3.jpg

http://www.blinkskudd.net/Album/images/gun/pistol/browning4.jpg
 
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