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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is another pistol I acquired at SOS last month that I just got around to photographing. This is a late war Grade III subvariation 1 Radom (serial range Z2000 to H8900 except B2000 to B6000). Has most all the features associated with a Grade III Radom which includes; Grooved brown wood grips, large grip screws, riveted trigger assembly, hollow head pins, hammer modified with a notch to hold open slide, rough fit and machining and phosphate finish. It has the slide legend on the left frame which reads "F.B. RADOM VIS Mod. 35 Pat. Nr. 15567". It is E/77 acceptance stamped and is in the B Block of serial numbers, serial 7263. This pistol is in very good condition on the exterior but somone has partially removed the E/77 waffenamt acceptance stamp on the left frame. The condition of the internal parts is like new with a pefect condition barrel bore. The magazine that came with the pistol has a E/189 acceptance stamp on the bottom of the magazine base plate right near the front edge.

What really got my attention on this pistol was the holster that came with it. It is a almost perfect brand new condition black holster with white stitching--not a blemish on it. The Holster flap has the inked stamped maker mark gaq with a 4 and then on the right side P 35 (p)". It is a beautiful holster in pristine condition. What is odd is it is missing or I should say it never had a "pull up" installed. I would assume then that this was a very late war production "expedient" holster where time and labor were saved by not adding this feature. I have a couple other earlier war Radom holster and they each have the pull up feature.

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Lloyd,
That's one nice pistol.
I'd seen some around, and passed on them because I was looking for other pieces for my collection, and I got the impression that this coarse grooved grip variation was relativley common. A couple of years ago, I started looking for one to buy, and, it seems to me, they have become as rare as hens teeth.

A question: Have these always been a rare piece, or am I just having some recent bad luck finding one?

It's been on my "want, must have it" list for too long. I hope that I don't foolishly end up selling the farm in order to get one.
Again, nice pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pancho,

Thanks for your nice words. I saw a couple back at SOS/NGD last month. The other one I saw which was in much nicer condition than the one I acquired was as I recall about $1,300. I have not seen many of them but I don't think that they are that rare either. You will have to make it a point to come to the SOS and NGD next year in Louisville. I will also keep "an eye out" for you and let you know if I see one that would be worthy of adding to your fine collection. Best, Lloyd in Vegas
 

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Lloyd, Very nice rig and a good looking holster. I have received quite a few Radom holsters into my shop for small repairs and I recently got one in exactly like yours without the pull-up strap. The stitching and leather was so new looking I suspected it to be a repro. The client involved did not ask my opinion so I did not discuss this with him but compared to all of the other Radom holsters that I know to be genuine, this one was high on my suspect list. There were other pecularities as well as to the methods of construction that did not sit well with me.

I am not saying anything about your holster, just passing along what I have observed from the many holsters that cross my path. From the photo's yours certainly looks authentic.

There have been some rumors that high quality holsters are coming out of Europe.Hard to tell about any one holster untill you can get a close up inspection. Don't mean to rain on your excellent post, just an interesting topic. Thanks, Jerry Burney
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Jerry,

Thanks for the input on the holster. I certainly have considered the possibility that the holster is a reproduction. When you see one this nice (unissued condition) it makes you wonder to say the least. My other Radom holsters show the normal wear and tear you would expect from a military issued holster. So, although it is nice to think this is a genuine WWII military issued holster how does one ever really know? Everything looks right but some reproductions are very good copies of the genuine article. I wish you could examine the holster personally and render your expert opinion. Thanks again for your interest and comments! Regards, Lloyd in Vegas
 

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Lloyd,
* FWIW.
* Don't know how active the holster elves have been since WWII; but, I have a black Radom holster identical to your. Not in as pristine shape, mind you; but it is gaq4 & P.35(p) marked in exactly the same position as shown on your example. It too has the black "dot" inside on the stud retainer hardware to reduce wear to the pistol. It does not have a pull up strap, never was slotted for one, and does not show evidence of thread holes where normally found by the upper belt loop stitching on an example having the pull up.
* Bought this w/ a 2 Lever, Grade III, S/Var. 1, S/N F1220 back in 1993 from an AutoMag member who had it in his collection for 8 years. A vet purchase I was advised. All blue with e/77 acceptance marks in the customary places & a ...e/WaA623... acceptance on the slide after the standard legend. Brown plastic grips.
* Still, Whittington, & Walter all have "gaq" as the letter code assigned to Otto Stephan, Leder-u Lederwarenfabrik, Muehlhaussen in Thuringen.
* One more interesting thing....the holster is die impression stamped neatly under the gaq4 mark with the numeric digits "1220" of the pistol. Whether this S/Numbering of the holster is wartime or Post War is a point of conjecture. Al Hoffmeyer likes to call these "Laundry Marks" indicating, as the pistol rig was inventoried(by whom unknown), the holster was marked to keep it linked w/ its pistol.
* As these examples do not bear Army Inspector's marks, the unsubtantiated story goes these pistol/rigs were allocated to the occupation Police or Waffen SS. Nice story...who knows??
* I have heard the same rumor as Jerry about current Eastern block countries making some high quality holsters employing the exact same methods/tooling as the originals. Unfortunately (maybe) for Radom owners, Poland is one of the countries mentioned. I've no conclusions on your holster as a live & in person exam would be the way to go. However, one mighty fine example of a difficult to find pistol. Congrats!!
* One thing for sure, never a dull moment with Radom's. With the advent of inexpensive reproduction FB/VIS marked plastic grips, I'm afraid more of the original grooved wood panels are in shoe boxes than on their issued pistol. Anyone have an original e/623 marked wood pair available?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Bob,

Thanks for the input on this holster. Very interesting. The more you learn about these Radoms and in this case the holster in question the more you realize how little you know. Oh well, it does make the collecting of these vintage WWII Axis pistols and holsters a real challenge but a never ending source of interesting possibilities and yet to be discovered facts in some cases. Thanks all you gentlemen for your valuable and much appreciated insight!
 

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Lloyd,
Nice Radom! You have to love the late war stuff. Its very interesting to put a late war pistol next to its early brothers...wow what a difference.
I saw a holster like yours at a show this weekend. It ws black with no pull strap. I really didn't look closer. It did have a 4 on the inside of the flap. Nowhere as nice as yours.
Here is my late war Radom. Serial number K8821. Only has the E/623 proofs. I have read the last one made was Serial number K9150.



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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dean,

That is one REAL late war Radom you have--Very Nice!. Yes, the difference in the workmanship on a late one versus the earlier ones is quite a contrast to say the least. The late war pressure and expedient production methods really say a lot about the soon to be capitulation of the Nazi war machine. How was the gun show--Costa Mesa?
 

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Lloyd,
Costa Mesa was Ok for me. Not really a lot of good stuff but I did find one treasure for my collection. In the corner of one table I saw a Enfield NO.2 revolver and slipped over to take a closer look.
All matching, original factory blue, no release marks, no British export law marks, no import marks......no holster wear, nice grips. Tight action and mint bore......Whats the catch you say.....None!!
And he was asking less than what a decent dinner with the wife would cost. SO.....I....GRABBED IT!! Lots of these are dogs.
Thats my gunshow story.....Reno is next.
Dean
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Jim,

Nice to hear from you. Were you able to add anything to your collection from SOS? It seems to me the last couple of years the quantity of collectible pistols for sale has diminished somewhat at SOS. What do you think? I acquired some very nice pistols but it just seems to me the number of choices and the overall representation of collectible vintage military pistols for sale has decreased. Maybe I am just getting more specific/particular as I try to find certain pistols to fill holes in my collection that everybody else is after also.
 

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Thought I would throw my late war Radom in the mix- it is K3281 and is blued. I personally love late war weapons, and that is all I collect. It has a phosphate bottome E623 mag. I wasn't aware that the grips were waffenamt marked though- nice info!:

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Lloyd,
Without a doubt, the good stuff is just getting harder/more expensive to get. I've noticed this everywhere, including the SOS. Some neat stuff goes down to the SOS, most of it is just so highly priced, I think it goes right back where it came from. Fakery is always another concern at a show like that. I did purchase a matching 147 1940 98k at the SOS. Picked up a few misc. odds and ends. I was close to buying your Radom. Its nice to see it here again on the forum. Ya just got to love the internet.

Jim
 
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