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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
In June 1941 Operation Barbarosa was launched. In North Africa Rommel was driving the British back into Egypt. In the North Atlantic the German Submarines were sinking masses of ships. All of France was either directly ruled by Germany or under the nominal Vichy French. German troops had pushed almost a thousand miles into Russia and seemed unstoppable.

And in the JP Sauer factory this Model 38h was made.








The fit and finish is superb with smooth surfaces, no visible machining marks and deep blueing.

Fast forward about twelve months and in September of 1942 things in Russia were disastrous for Germany. In North Africa Rommel had been stopped and was being driven back. The US had entered the war and it was now the submarines that were being hunted. England was actively bombing German cities.

And in the JP Sauer factory this Model 38h was being made.








Fit and finish is suffering. To get guns out quickly there is almost no bluing and both frame and slide show heavy machining marks.

Both guns still work although the latter does have some mechanical issues that affect reliability and will need work. The holster that was captured with it in 1943 in Italy was originally for a CZ 27 and shows signs of field repairs that are definitely done by the soldier as field patches.





crudely hammered mushroom:




Replacement strap.



It's clear that in just a year both manufacturing as well as front line supply were severely degraded and that the weapons being issued to the front line troops as well as replacements for damaged gear like the holster reflected the changing state of the war. It is a clear sign that labor shortages as well as damage across the infrastructure of Nazi controlled territories was impacting production, transportation and materials availability.
 

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I cannot see the pictures.

Don
 

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Pics are not showing. Just Xs
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Should be MUCH better now!
 

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Nice WWII Wartime Sauer Model 38h you have there! :cool: At some time in it's history, it was captured, and the rest is history! :smile:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Nice WWII Wartime Sauer Model 38h you have there! :cool: At some time in it's history, it was captured, and the rest is history! :smile:
They are both WWII wartime period, the earlier likely late June or early July 1941 while the latter from September 1942. The latter was captured in 1943 likely in Italy or North Africa and was part of the estate of a gentleman who served in the 91st Infantry Division. The earlier one later was used post war by the East German VoPo and there are two examples of the VoPo Sun Burst acceptance marks.



If you look above the Sun Burst you can see an indication that something, most likely the Waffenamt was struck out.

The second VoPo acceptance mark:
 
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Now that is a fascinating post! Nice!

How do the triggers compare? If someone blindfolded you and you pulled both triggers, could you tell them apart?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Now that is a fascinating post! Nice!

How do the triggers compare? If someone blindfolded you and you pulled both triggers, could you tell them apart?
Maybe. Kinda. Sorta.

But if there is a difference it is no greater than between two other guns from the same manufacturer and same general period. I'd say it was about as much difference as between my flat latch Smith "J" frames.

What was sacrificed was the skilled hand labor in finishing. If you move another year or two ahead you find the safety disappears and then the cocking/decocking lever disappears. At this point the internals don't look much different and the small pieces still carry the same "acceptance" marks but the action of the newer one does have some issues that I need to get addressed sometime. What I don't know though is if those issues are due to shortcuts in production or simply age.

The older gun had a far longer service life and was a post war VoPo pistol and so likely had a real armorer doing maintenance.

The newer gun was made in September 1942 and captured during the North African or Italian campaigns in 1943 so was only in use for about a year. One of the issues though is that intermittently the trigger does not reset in the SA mode. Pulling the trigger again drops it into DA mode and so can be fired but that could be a matter of life & death during warfare. It's not a big issue at the range but certainly not something I'd trust for self defense.
 

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" England was actively bombing German cities."

Production of 8,8 shells was more important than the production of handguns in order to curb the bombing of cities and the killing of civilians. At night the school boys manned the 8,8 FLAKs as FLAK helpers and send up death, just to collect the fragments next morning on their way to school and clear coat them, so that they wouldn't rust.

 

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I have to chime back in and say that this, in my opinion, is one of the high points of a private firearms collection. Being able to illustrate a historical trend that had global reach by pulling a couple of items out of your safe is just so fascinating. Sig, I can tell you appreciate what you have there, and that's awesome.
 
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