Around the same time that the US was choosing a new semi-auto pistol, the Kingdom of Norway was also looking to standardize on a new pistol. They actually ended up selecting Colt’s 1903 Model. However, before they could go into full production of the 1903, the US selected the 1911, which caused Norway to reconsider.
Norway ended up selecting the 1911 with a minor change in the design of the slide stop lever. This was designated as the Norwegian Model of 1914, also known as the Kongsberg Colt (as it was made under license in the Kongsberg factory in Norway).
At the start of WW2, Germany invaded and occupied Norway. Production of the Kongsberg Colt continued while under Nazi occupation. It was designated as the Pistole 657(n). Approximately 8000 were made during the period 1940-1945.
However, only in the last year of production did the Germans add the Waffenamt stamp indicating it was a german weapon. This is one of approximately 920 pistols to receive the German Waffenamt, marking it as a Nazi 1911. Notice the Norwegian modified slide stop lever. Makes it easier to operate with one hand.
As posted by member “Beetle” on Calguns.net, who owns this beautiful and very rare peace of history.
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.