Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
833 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had posted pictures of this rig on the old board so thought I would repost on the new board.

This is a late production Lahti (serial number 6515) just about 285 from the end of official military production. As a result, this model is a variation 3 (serial range aprox. 4700-6800). This one has the rounded loaded chamber indicator like on the first two variations. This example does not look like it was ever issued or used before importation. It is in like new condition with perfect VKT marked plastic grips and an absolutley pristine bore.

The holster is in excellent condition with just some minor wear and includes the SA marked cleaning rod and SA marked magazine loading tool. Came with two (2) extra magazines. The holster has loops across the back for a wood shoulder stock--but (unfortunately) one was not included.

This is a heavy robust side arm that looks like a Luger on growth hormones. The machining and quality of fit and finish is of the highest standards. Just holding this pistol gives one the impression of Finnish fortitude/strength and the ability to handle the harshest of conditions. Just what the Finns were looking for in a defensive sidearm for the kind of fighting they were use to!

Download Attachment: Lahti Left Side.jpg
63.34KB

Download Attachment: Lahti Right Side.jpg
63.26KB

Download Attachment: Lahti Slide Top.jpg
43.38KB

Download Attachment: Lahti Rig.jpg
89.02KB
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,405 Posts
Lloyd
Excellent presentation of a rare pistol. The Lahti is one of my favorite pistols.
Jan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
quote:Originally posted by Lloyd in Vegas

I had posted pictures of this rig on the old board so thought I would repost on the new board.

This is a late production Lahti (serial number 6515) just about 285 from the end of official military production. As a result, this model is a variation 3 (serial range aprox. 4700-6800). This one has the rounded loaded chamber indicator like on the first two variations. This example does not look like it was ever issued or used before importation. It is in like new condition with perfect VKT marked plastic grips and an absolutley pristine bore.

The holster is in excellent condition with just some minor wear and includes the SA marked cleaning rod and SA marked magazine loading tool. Came with two (2) extra magazines. The holster has loops across the back for a wood shoulder stock--but (unfortunately) one was not included.

This is a heavy robust side arm that looks like a Luger on growth hormones. The machining and quality of fit and finish is of the highest standards. Just holding this pistol gives one the impression of Finnish fortitude/strength and the ability to handle the harshest of conditions. Just what the Finns were looking for in a defensive sidearm for the kind of fighting they were use to!
Very interesting L-35 pistol indeed and it seems to be excellent shape. May I ask where you managed to find it? I find especially interesting that the serial number puts it inside series 3, but the charasteristics remind the ones more usually found in (early) series 4:

1. Valmet-marked L-35 slides are post-WW2 production. However it is also possible that this particular slide could be replacement slide used to replace broken original slide. As you probably know L-35 (and Swedish M40) had problems with their slides, especially using SMG-ammunition broke them a lot. In some cases the slide had to be replaced even twice during the pistols service career. The replacing process was for the Army and the replacement slide was marked with same serial number as rest of the pistol. So, in my oppinion having a replacement slide doesn't reduce value of these pistols.

2. From the pics you sent it looks to me that the pistol doesn't have attaching point for shoulder stock. Check this picture to see what it looks:

Download Attachment: L35_shoulder_stock_attachment.jpg
54.86KB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,479 Posts
I have just aquired a very late production Lahti pistol that is in just about 100% condition. It has some slight scratches on the slide from storage and a very high serial number. What appears to be rust in the photo is actually cosmoline, I haven't had a chance to give it an ultrasonic bath yet as I just received the gun.

Is there any documentation as to what the last serial number for the Finnish production is?



Download Attachment: DSCN0009.JPG
65.5KB
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
833 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
JTV,

Thanks for the input on this Lahti--very much appreciated. You have a keen eye!

You are right this Lahti does not have a stock attachment lug on the grip back strap. It is more like a early variation/series four non militay model (as you suggest). I have no idea about the slide replacement but who knows that could be the explanation. I will say that the slide and frame match very nicely (not just because of serial number match) but in terms of fit and finish and look like they have been together since being built. Maybe this is just a Lahti that was put together from remaining inventory parts after the military adopted the new service sidearm arm and was then "sold out of service" and exported.

It is curious that this Lahti L-35 would be within the serial range of the last military order but not have the stock attachment lug. This Lahti is a curious one. It looks brand new and does not appear to have been used--both frame and slide in like new condition. I got if from a dealer here in the US who couldn't tell me where he got it.

You have any more ideas? your help and insight are highly appreciated and regarded!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
quote:Originally posted by Mark

I have just aquired a very late production Lahti pistol that is in just about 100% condition. It has some slight scratches on the slide from storage and a very high serial number. What appears to be rust in the photo is actually cosmoline, I haven't had a chance to give it an ultrasonic bath yet as I just received the gun.

Is there any documentation as to what the last serial number for the Finnish production is?
I have to check my books and see if they have more information. What I remember "Sotilaskäsiaseet Suomessa 1918 - 1988" aka "Military Small in Finland 1918 - 1988" by Markku Palokangas gives only as "about 9300" as largest serial number used in series 4 (which was the last of the actual production series and manufactured in early 1950's) Lahti L-35. Anyway, I think one you have has the largest serial number of 4th series pistols I have seen this far.

On the other hand if we talk about absolutely the largest serial number of Finnish L-35 that would be 50100, which belonged to last pistol of the 50-year commemoration series of L-35 pistols manufactured at year 1985. That 50-year commemoration series was made by Valmet and contained 100 pistols with serial numbers 50001 - 50100.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
quote:Originally posted by Lloyd in Vegas

JTV,

Thanks for the input on this Lahti--very much appreciated. You have a keen eye!

You are right this Lahti does not have a stock attachment lug on the grip back strap. It is more like a early variation/series four non militay model (as you suggest). I have no idea about the slide replacement but who knows that could be the explanation. I will say that the slide and frame match very nicely (not just because of serial number match) but in terms of fit and finish and look like they have been together since being built. Maybe this is just a Lahti that was put together from remaining inventory parts after the military adopted the new service sidearm arm and was then "sold out of service" and exported.

It is curious that this Lahti L-35 would be within the serial range of the last military order but not have the stock attachment lug. This Lahti is a curious one. It looks brand new and does not appear to have been used--both frame and slide in like new condition. I got if from a dealer here in the US who couldn't tell me where he got it.

You have any more ideas? your help and insight are highly appreciated and regarded!
Well. The replacement slides can be divided to three batches:

1. First batch of Valmet manufactured (presumably at early 1950's) replacement slides. It seems that few hundered were made. At 1945 when the production of L-35 pistols had suddenly ended the blanks series 3 of L-35 pistol slides had been storaged to addic of the VKT/Valmet Tourula Factory. At 1951 the blanks were manufactured as replacement slides for the earlier made pistols. Slides of this batch have loaded chamber indicators and only characterisic seperating them from original series 3 slides are markings at top of the slide: "Valmet" and "L-35", also possibly "SA".

2. Batch of 500 replacement slides manufactured at Vammaskoski Factory in 1958 - 1959. These ones don't have loaded chamber indicator and otherwise remind the original slides used in late 4 series pistols. Markings at top of the slide (unusual feature: markings made with electric pencil) "L-35" and the usual "SA". Only manufacturers marking "VS" inside the slide. Because of high nickel content steel used these slides usually have "brownish" colour.

3. 2nd batch of Valmet manufactured replacement slides. 500 made at year 1979. These have beefier walls then any other L-35 slides and no loaded chamber indicator. Markings "Valmet" and "L-35", also possibly "SA".

Using of "Valmet" marking started around 1950 - 1951. If the one you have indeed has replacement slide, it would most likely be from the first batch of Valmet made replacement slides. The parts of L-35 were made according highest standards (Finnish military rejected any parts, which were not *exactly* according the measurements), so the fit can be expected to be very good indeed. The replacement slides were installed in Weapons Depots of Finnish Armed Forces and it is very likely that the pistol were also finished with new bluing at the same time when slide was replaced. Anyway, none of this would explain the missing stock attachment lug.

The "put together from remaining inventory parts" idea does have some merit, but it also has one weak point: The pistol seems to have matching serial numbers. The serial numbers were engraved to all three places and serial number of the frame and bolt were not altered. There are two shops in Finland putting together L-35 pistols from miscennious parts even today, but neither of them will mark the slide with serial number like rest of the pistol and I have not heard any earlier Finnish gun shop, which would have made it either. One possibility would also be that the pistol would have actually started as early series 4, but for some reason it was marked with series 3 serial number when manufactured or some previous owner would have replaced the original serial numbers with new ones for some reason (to make it look like wartime pistol?), but there doesn't seem to be any visible signs of tampering with serial numbers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
14,172 Posts
Any truth to the stories/rumors I keep hearing about this pistol's slide had a tendency to crack when fired and was eventually taken out-of-service for that reason ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,509 Posts
Pete, my understanding is that the pistol has an "accelerater" to improve reliability in the extreme cold that the pistol was likely to be used in. It was, if I understand it correctly, a moving piece that was propelled by gasses and "bumped" the action. As I understand it, the accelerater caused cracks in the slides and was removed from many of the guns to prevent the damage. Someone else may be able to describe the problem in more detail but that's what I've read.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
37 Posts
quote:Originally posted by Doubs

Pete, my understanding is that the pistol has an "accelerater" to improve reliability in the extreme cold that the pistol was likely to be used in. It was, if I understand it correctly, a moving piece that was propelled by gasses and "bumped" the action. As I understand it, the accelerater caused cracks in the slides and was removed from many of the guns to prevent the damage. Someone else may be able to describe the problem in more detail but that's what I've read.
The durability problems with slides of L-35 and the reasons for it are common matter of debate among Finns, who own L-35 pistols. What I have I heard (told by a friend who had tested it): If you remove the accelator the weapon will no longer work unless you rack the slide for each round by hand. Unfortunately the information about problem with slides of both Finnish L-35 (and Swedish M40) is somewhat correct. In these pistols the slide is structurally bit weak and is generally known as the part, which breaks first. However, the problem was greatly increased by the habit of Finnish military to use ammunition manufactured for SMG-use in these pistols. The Finnish SMG-ammunition has very hot load indeed (405 meters/second or so?) and using them in pistol is certain way of breaking just about any pistol - I have recently seen CZ-75 and Jericho 941F, which had been broken by using Finnish SMG-ammunition in them.

So, if you own L-35 (which is mechanically in good shape, especially recoil spring have to be in in good condition and slide must not have any cracks) you can shoot modest amounts of ammunitions quite safely if the ammunition you use is not too hot. Originally L-35 was intended to use 9 x 19 ammunition which had 123-gr FMJ-bullet and muzzle-velocity of only 290 meters/second. Unfortunately at least in Europe most 9 x 19 ammunition with 123-gr bullets nowadays have muzzle-velocity around 355 - 365 meters/second, so IMHO it would be wise to either look more mildly loaded ammunition then usual or handload such ammunition. I personally use Lapua 4319177 ammunition (123-gr R381 bullet with 320 m/second muzzle velocity) with my L-35.
 
G

·
What would be the value of a COMPLETE right, the pistol being about 99%, with two spare mags, holster, bore tool and cleaning rod..?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
485 Posts
Can you fellows recommend any Lahti books that would describe variations, serial number ranges, particularly pre-war and WW2 issue?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
95 Posts
quote:Originally posted by Pancho

Can you fellows recommend any Lahti books that would describe variations, serial number ranges, particularly pre-war and WW2 issue?
Handguns of the World by Ezell addresses this subject fairly well. I have an extra copy of the book currently for sale within Auto-Mag.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top