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.

WaA140 waffenamt and swastika eagles visible on both slide and frame

This pistol has a matching serial number in the barrel, frame and slide.

Wooden war production grips.

With its holster and loaded magazine.

15 responses

  1. Charles Barber

    How much would this exact gun be worth, holster extra clip and all?

    March 9, 2013 at 20:34

  2. Michael

    Given the buyer around 1300.00 1400.00

    March 10, 2013 at 18:56

  3. Blue book calls for $1200 in 100% and $400 in 60%
    Most I’ve seen have been in 60%~80%.

    I think the $800 range is a good price for a decent example.

    March 10, 2013 at 20:37

  4. Ed

    I own this weapon is interesting enough who needs the $500 I think I’ll keep it It was used primarily by the SS only

    June 5, 2013 at 21:24

  5. joseph muthler

    I have one of these that my dad took off a German officer. It is the lowest serial number I have seen on any site @ 208**. I have 2 magazines and a holster with a little blueing issues but not enough for me to do anything with. And no it is not for sale. I am just trying to find info on it.

    July 2, 2013 at 09:26

  6. Ed

    I also own this gun plastic handles a little bluing wear

    November 5, 2013 at 19:56

  7. J. T.

    Jason’s Hi-Power in the photo above, was made in the latter part of 1943, based on the serial number. It is in great condition.
    I also own one that was produced early in 1943. It’s in the same condition as the example above. Mine came with 2 mags. and the pre-war Belgium black leather army holster, which has a large flap covering the entire rig, with a spare mag. pouch & brass closure. It was a souvenir brought home by a US Army vet.

    The Nazis provided their Hi-Power to both the SS and Paratrooper units, since each branch was promised by Hitler, to be equipped with the very best equipment, including weapons. As a military historian, I love the Hi-Power. I’m partial first & foremost to our beloved 1911, but the Hi-Power is a close second place. As a collector, all of us who own one of the Nazi produced models can take satisfaction, in that the Nazi stamped
    Hi-Power will always demand a premium. Keep in mind that over 2 Million Lugers were produced for WW1 & 2, and over 1 Million Walther P-38s were made in WW2. Yet, the Nazis were only able to manufacture roughly 320,000 of the Hi-Power model. Therefore, based strictly on production output, their Hi-Power will always be in high demand. I also own one of the Nazi marked Polish Radom 9mm pistols. It’s in good condition as well & still another example of a weapon the Nazi’s took advantage of, in supplying pistols to their troops in the field of battle.

    November 27, 2013 at 10:38

    • Craig Beachnaw

      Hey JT…Would you call me as I am a HI power collector want a be and counsel some advise. Thanks..

      April 25, 2014 at 01:03

    • kbaze816

      I ran across a Belgium 9mm recently for my collection serial #60330 it also has the brown leather holster with clip as JT described. I have the certificate of captured enemy equipment from the Headquarters United States Forces European Theater identifying the handgun by serial number with the official seal dated 17, Feb. 1946. I am not sure if that increases value, but it makes for an interesting conversation piece. It is also in great condition. JT would you know what the year of manufacture is? Great information in this forum. I also own a later model hi power with the black grips.

      November 26, 2014 at 20:30

  8. Mark

    I to have a Browning P-35 9MM with the Eagle/Swastika. I have a matching holster which it to has the Eagle/Swastika. The serial number on mine is 55,000@ and It is in great shape but however, some of the bluing has been rubbed off where it was taken in and out of the holster. I picked it up at a auction and don’t collect these but be willing to sell. About what am I looking at far as value? Thanks,

    November 6, 2014 at 14:01

    • Are you still interested in selling your P-35 9MM pistol?

      December 28, 2014 at 11:54

  9. To Mark: Are you still interested in selling your P-35 9mm pistol?

    December 28, 2014 at 11:53

  10. Leon

    I know this is sort of an old forum post but I’ve been trying a lot to match my HP’s serial number with the fallen officer, the gun itself was taken roughly in 44′ around Senj (Croatian city close to Slovenia) during Germany’s retreat.
    I can’t seem to find a database with serial numbers matching my pistol; tried German history mouseum archives, verbal history…but nothing worth noting.

    June 8, 2015 at 10:24

    • steve M

      In 1940, the Germans seized the Fabrique Nationale factory and continued to produce High Power pistols for the Wehrmacht. Collectors recognize 3 variations of High Power pistols manufactured under German occupation.

      First variation models are the most valuable, they have serial numbers under 53000, and were manufactured from pre-occupation parts that were in stock at the FN factory at the time of takeover. These pistols have walnut grips, a high polish commercial grade finish, a tangent 500 meter rear sight (this is the sliding sight that you mention) and slot for a holster/shoulder stock attachment.

      Second variation pistol serial numbers are in the 53000 to 145000 range. These pistols are just about the same as first variation pistols with walnut grips, a high polish commercial grade finish, a tangent 500 meter rear sight but they are not slotted for a holster/shoulder stock.

      Third variation pistols were manufactured towards the end of the war, they have serial numbers over 145000 or serial numbers with letter suffix. Finish on third variation pistols is a poor quality military grade, sights are non-adjustable 50 meters and grips are either wooden or brown plastic.

      The High Power pistol was designed by John Moses Browning and manufactured by Fabrique Nationale (FN) in Herstal, Belgium. The Belgians were first armed forces to adopt the High Power as an official sidearm, they did this in 1935. Between 1935 and the German capture of the FN factory on May 29, 1940 contracts were filled for the armed forces of several countries including Belgium, China, Peru, Lithuania, Estonia, Finland, Sweden and France.

      From the plant’s seizure by the Germans in May of 1940 to its liberation in September of 1944, over 319,000 High Powers pistols were manufactured for the German Wehrmacht. The first several thousand pistols were made up from captured parts and had a high polish finish, a shoulder stock slot cut into the rear grip strap and tangent rear sight. To speed production, the Germans eliminated the shoulder stock slot and then the tangent sight at about serial number 145000. As production continued, the quality of finish was reduced to dull blue over a progressively less polished metal. The Germans used three Waffenenamt stamps on High Power pistols:

      Eagle over WaA613
      Eagle over WaA103
      Eagle over WaA140.

      Your pistol is the third variation, these were stamped with eagle over WaA140, had fixed 50-meter sights, wood or brown plastic grips and dull military-blue finish over rough machine marks. The approximate serial range for this variation is 145000 to 210000, then 01a to 100000a and finally 01b to 63000b.

      June 18, 2015 at 00:42

      • Katie McDonald

        Hi Steve, you seem to have a lot of information so I’m hoping you can help me too. I have what I believe is a first variation high power P35 with a serial number in the low 14000s with a 6 or a G on both the clip and the butt of the pistol, What I’m wondering is where did the serial numbers start at and if possible what year would it have been made? What does the 6 or G represent? I’ve been searching the internet and there is just more information than I can sort through.

        July 3, 2015 at 10:50

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