Nazi marked Belgian Browning Hi-Power
The FN P35 “Hi-Power” had been in production since 1935. Designed by John Moses Browning, and completed by Dieudonne Saive, the pistol was chambered in 9mm and had a 13 round capacity, and was a desirable military firearm. For comparison, the German issued P.08 Luger and P.38 held 8 rounds of 9mm each. When the German forces invaded and occupied Belgium in 1940, they also took over the FN (Fabrique Nationale, in Herstal Belgium) plant.
The Hi-Power was immediately liked by the Germans, and reassigned the designation Pistole 640(b)
The pre-war inventories of parts at the FN were used to produce more of the Pistole 640(b), all bearing Nazi Waffenamts and the typical swastika-eagle stamps.
When in early ’42 the pre-war inventories ran out, the German led war-production was started up, and most Hi-Powers after that had wooden grips, unlike the synthetic grips used on prior production guns.
My friend Jason owns one of these war-production Hi-Powers. His pistol has a WaA140 waffenamt in it, which indicates it was produced in Belgium between 1942 and 1944 and inspected by the Wehrmacht inspectors in Luttich, Belgium.
His grandfather brought the pistol with him when he returned home from fighting WWII, along with a holster and loaded magazine.
Jason was kind enough to let me photograph this interesting pistol. Unfortunately I forgot to photograph the headstamps on the ammunition it came with. Perhaps another time.