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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Given my Polish heritage, I am unfortunately drawn to the desire to collect Polish firearms, particularly those of the Polish 2nd Republic, which is by no means an easy to find nor inexpensive area of milsurp collecting. While I do have a number of Polish crested Mausers in my collection, I cannot justify the asking price of a gorgeous Polish crested VIS 35, so I am content with picking up German Occupation models.

My first acquisition back in 2016 was a 1st letter block (T-Block) mid-war variant (Type II). This one still retains the takedown lever, but obviously omits the shoulder stock cutout. As you can tell, the finish on these mid-war pistols is starting to suffer, as the bluing isn't too great, machining marks are still present, and some of the nicer/finer trim cuts have been omitted to simplify production.

Trigger Air gun Wood Grey Gun barrel
Air gun Trigger Wood Gun barrel Everyday carry


This one came with two magazines (one with a waffenamt, and one without) and a black German holster (I can see the faint P35(p) stamp with what I think is a BNZ stamp as well). It has some USGI capture modifications to it, as it has a non-original rivet and it looks like some additional holes for mounting to a GI belt. It is marked "Bernal S Bender" with a serial number. I was able to look up the soldiers information and obituary, which was an interesting research opportunity.

Sleeve Sportswear Personal protective equipment Electric blue Fashion accessory
Sleeve Grey Bicycle part Electric blue Denim
Helmet Motor vehicle Personal protective equipment Snout Wood




My second acquisition was a bit of a gamble. I took a chance on an auction for a poorly photographed and not very well described late war FB Radom VIS (2nd Letter F-Block, Type III). This particular one came with the original gun shop showroom floor sticker price of $1,499.99! No wonder no one was biting on it when it was on display, so the seller decided to take it to auction.

It looked a LOT better in person and in the daylight, is fully functional, and is all matching. It came with a rather beat up holster.

Wood Trigger Gun barrel Hunting knife Gun accessory
Air gun Trigger Wood Gun barrel Gun accessory
Wood Grey Material property Tints and shades Font
Wood Artifact Tints and shades Rectangle Font
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Upon a closer inspection, I did see that the magazine is electropencilled to match the serial number of the frame and slide, and the barrel (which is matching) has a different number code electropencilled near the muzzle.

Wood Household hardware Hardwood Metal Wood stain
Wood Door Gas Lock Wood stain



I took a look through York's book and didn't see any examples of this specific electropencilling. The book has some "Russian Capture" examples, but they are marked/stamped in a different fashion. On another forum, someone suggested that this may have been serialized by the police in an evidence locker, but nothing certain. Maybe the fine folks here may know?

My last acquisition was another Type II mid-war variant (P-letter block). Again this one was a bit rough around the edges with worn finish (and a somewhat loose/floppy takedown lever), but I couldn't complain about the price. It came with a spare magazine and a neat custom made holster.

Wood Trigger Gun barrel Gun accessory Gas
Wood Rectangle Twig Font Wood stain
Sleeve Wood Font Pattern Metal


Now a question that I have for the Radom VIS experts here that I haven't found in any literature (and nothing concrete on other milsurp forums):
All of the 3 Radom VIS35's I have exhibit a somewhat "ragged" looking V-notch relief cut in the slide around where the recoil spring is housed. I am wondering if this cut is more "neatly" machined in earlier examples, like the no letter prefix VIS35's (Polish and early German occupation production). I am wondering if someone would be able to provide examples/photos.
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Now, that notch has me curious… will have to check mine out as well!
Hopefully, more member expertise will chime in!
When I noticed it at first when disassembling my first VIS, I was alarmed and thought that I had a damaged slide. I asked around on other forums and frankly no one else seemed to notice it on theirs or knew why.

My fears were calmed when I picked up #2 and #3 and they had the similar ragged notch.

My theory is that under occupation, production was focused on quantity over quality especially in the first mid-letter prefix, so no one bothered making an elegant relief cut for a feature that isn't externally visible normally.
 

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Reviewing “VIS Radom A Study and Photographic Album of Poland’s Finest Pistol”, by William J. York; I do not see where an intentional notch might have been created. That’s not to say it isn’t intentional, but just need to look further.

Referencing the above publication, the authors cites there was a change from steel alloy to carbon steel frames after the first 3,000, early in 1936 production. There is no additional clarity offered with respect to the slide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Reviewing “VIS Radom A Study and Photographic Album of Poland’s Finest Pistol”, by William J. York; I do not see where an intentional notch might have been created. That’s not to say it isn’t intentional, but just need to look further.
A wonderful reference. I picked up the first edition a week before a color 2nd edition was announced to be published (which I promptly ordered as well)!

I believe that a couple years back, on GunBoards or some other forum, someone else chimed in that the Browning Hi-Power (which the VIS35 took inspiration from) also has the same cut. I could not verify, as I don't have one nor am interested in collecting them.
 

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As promised, I’ve taken down two of my pieces. The first is a 1936 eagle, serial number 1336. Please note the very nice V cut in the slide. The second is pre-alpha serial number 4969 (English capture actually) and it also has a very nice cut, although it is a bit squared at the tip. (note picture).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
As promised, I’ve taken down two of my pieces. The first is a 1936 eagle, serial number 1336. Please note the very nice V cut in the slide. The second is pre-alpha serial number 4969 (English capture actually) and it also has a very nice cut, although it is a bit squared at the tip. (note picture).
Thank you for providing these reference photos Northyuma. I am sure this isn't something most would be paying attention to. Nice 1936 eagle too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
@Northyuma did you have any thoughts on the odd serialization of the barrel tip and magazine of the Type III photographed above in this thread? Have you seen anything like that in your collecting experience? I haven’t seen anything similar in the York book.
 
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