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Picked Up Late-War Sauer 38h

1683 Views 9 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  sauer
I was up in Palm Beach County attended a Tax Deed auction and decided to pick up the Sauer 38h I had put money down on a few weeks back. The pistol has been fired very recently and not cleaned. It does not show any effects of corrosive ammo use and I suspect the only shots fired from it post proofing were the ones that fouled the bore. I suspect the shop I bought this from funtion fired it. The pistol looks a little better than I recall. Although very thin the blue appears intact. I observe very little field use in this pistol. The serial number, 500292 appears on the left frame. The serial number 291 appears in the bottom of the slide under the muzzle ring. The serial number 291 also appears on the breech block rear.Is that a factory mistake made in haste at the end of the war? I reckon so. There are nitro proof marks on the slide, frame and barrel. There is a police eagle/F marking on the left trigger web. The left grip panel has a hairline crack. The magazine is the unmarked "thumbnail" type. There are no other markings on this pistol as to caliber or maker, as well there is no safety lever. The trigger appears to be some form of pot metal that I have observed on other Sauer pistols. It is dull gray in color with a small inset in the rear of the trigger blade. I expect that a brief history of this pistol would be that it was produced at Sauer, sent to the Police inspection facility were it was inspected and perhaps sat until capture? The police marking appears to be blued but I do see some glint of fresh steel if I turn the pistol in the light so it appears the marking was applied after bluing. Thanks for any input on this piece. I paid $350 and WAS able to convince them to accept my C&R on this item.

This Sauer 38h came with a brown leather German holster from WWI. The pistol fit the holster well and appears to have been together for a long time. The strap is attached to the flap and there is a metal rivet on the left side of the holster body at the end of the stiching. I am interested in a marking on this holster. From what I can see the holster appears to be a brown leather WWI holster that ended up being used to house a Sauer 38h very late in the war. There are two sets of markings on the holster. First is the deep stamped manufacturer marking:


Slightly above this in a box that is not stamped deeply at all is:

L.Z. St.
H. Dr.

My questions are about the second, lightly struck stamping. What is the meaning and era of the second stamping. The Sauer has been in this holster a long time. It does not appear to have been modified for the pistol in any way and does not have any other National Socialist era markings in it.
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Michael, It sounds like you have a late war police accepted type 4 Sauer. These were the last Sauers produced for Germany before the Americans arrived in Suhl. The 291 on the bottom of the slide and the breech block are assembly numbers, and should match the last three digets of the serial number, but at this late point in the war, who knows? The only marking on the slide should be "CAL 7.65". The "thumbnail" type magazine is correct, and the zinc trigger is also. The finish on these guns was very thin, so the Eagle/F was probably done before finishing. I'd like to see a photo of your holster and its markings. It doesn't sound like a 38-H holster, and since production of the Model 38 didn't begin until late 1938, I doubt it is original to the gun. In any case, you got a good deal. A late model Sauer like yours, in very good condition, sells for $400 to $425 these days.
Michael, I think the holster is probably a GI pick up that happened to fit. You seem to be describing a police type holster. This holster would have the makers name, a date and the Eagle/B on the holster body just above the stud. If yours doesnt have this, it is something else. 500292 is within the block of E/F Sauers assembled just prior to April 1945 when the American Army arrived in Suhl. It's possible in the rush that the slide didn't get marked. That would make it VERY unusual. You might want to contact Jim Cate at [email protected] and ask his opinion. He's the expert on Sauers, and always happy to answer a fellow collector.
Michael, My dad was stationed at Homested AFB during WWII. He and mom lived in Winter Park during the war. Nice to meet you!
Michael, I'm so sorry to hear how the Homestead area has declined. Dad was a Classification Officer at the Field, and both Mom and Dad always spoke of the area as being a beautiful place, full of friendly locals. I guess times change, no matter how much we would like them to remain the same. Best of luck in your collecting, and everything else
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