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Old September 15, 2011, 02:49 PM   #1
Luigipepper
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Sauer 38H with no markings - rare

I have a pristine Sauer 38H that was taken from the Sauer factory in Germany during the WW2 US Army raid in early 1945 by a friend of my father, Capt. Robert Oler who is now desist.

This gun was given to my dad who kept it in a safe and has now passed it on to me. All we know is that this was a gun in a special case at the factory in Germany and believed to be one of the first 38H guns approved before mass production started for the SS per Mr. Oler. It has no serial number or markings other than a few (H) markings inside the gun .

I would like to get this gun authenticated and learn as much about the value as possible. I have had one gun expert look it over and tell me it is extremely rare and in the best condition of any WW2 38H he has ever seen.

Can someone please tell me what this is worth or who might know?

Thanks,
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Last edited by Luigipepper; September 15, 2011 at 04:10 PM. Reason: Improve description
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Old September 15, 2011, 04:27 PM   #2
mkk41
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Well , I'm having a hard time with the story of it's origin. Without documentation , and capture papers issued by the Army , it's all hear-say. An un-numbered handgun without any Army issued capture/war trophy papers would seriously run afoul of ATF regs.
The gun looks like it might have been a late war production , maybe even a parts gun , as they had the least markings. The finish is nothing like a pre-war Sauer , or even a late war rough machine finish. It looks like a refinish , and a poorly done one at that.

Here's a bit of info on the 38H.
http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg/de/sauer-38h-e.html

If I were you , I would delete this thread and pics lest ATF sees an un-numbered handgun on a public forum.
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Old September 15, 2011, 04:41 PM   #3
muddinman_04
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It looks to me to be nothing more than a GI assembled Sauer 38 pistol. The GI's assembled many of these that were left over at the plant after occupation and sold them or shipped them back home.

mkk41 is right without paperwork the story is all here say. Capture papers won't tell you anything other than who brought the pistol back and when.

A pistol made before 1968 is not required to have a serial number so there is nothing wrong with owning this pistol.
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Old September 15, 2011, 07:39 PM   #4
Dfariswheel
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The fact is, that only a genuine expert can tell you exactly what you have and what it's worth.
Finding a real expert is difficult.

If you're an NRA member, (shame on you if you aren't) you can write to the American Rifleman Dope Bag and the Tech Staff should be able to recommend an expert you can contact.
Send a SASE to the American Rifleman along with your NRA member number.
If you aren't a member, either join or ask a friend who is to send in the request.

Be sure to make clear that you're trying to find an expert who will take a look at the gun and give you his opinion on it.
You'll probably wasting your time posting on the gun forums hoping for a valid opinion, since you usually have no way of knowing if the person posting knows what he's talking about.
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Old September 15, 2011, 07:40 PM   #5
RJay
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1968 was when they were required on all firearms, if it never had a serial number prior to 1968 then it is legal, you run into trouble if the a firearm had a serial number and it was removed, regardless of the year, so your firearm is OK. I'm also of the opinion that you have a firearm assembled from parts left over. But that may not be all bad, I'm not a Sauer expert but yours looks to be a Type 5, second variation. At the very end 300 hundred pistols were assembled from rejected parts with no markings ( and probably traded to the victors for C Rations or a couple packs of cigarettes ). These are very rare pistols and worth a premium ( but not enough to quit your day job ) . You still might have a rare pistol just not super rare or super valuable. After the Americans handed the sector over to the Russians, they in turn made or assembled a few pistols but they were proof marked. Sorry about that.
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Old September 15, 2011, 09:25 PM   #6
James K
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IIRC, the pre-production and the first 3600 of the production model did not have the thumb safety, since Sauer considered it unnecessary with their cock/decock lever. It was added at the request of the German military; its "add on" nature is indicated by the fact that it works backward from similar German pistols of the era.

So I think it is doubtful that the gun shown was a pre-production model, though it might well have been taken from the Sauer factory; many incomplete pistols and parts were found in the factory and many unmarked and un-numbered guns were assembled for American troops before the area was turned over to the Russians and the East German puppet state.

There is a Sauer 38 expert who turns up from time to time on these sites; he is a rude and (IMHO) rather nasty person, but he does know those guns. Perhaps his ears will burn and he will show up to correct us all.

Jim
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Old September 15, 2011, 11:39 PM   #7
Winchester_73
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There's an old gun collecting adage that many of us know, often learning the hard way:

Quote:
Buy the gun, not the story.
The characteristics of the gun vs the story are not congruent. The other thing that I noticed is that the trigger appears to be a zinc alloy, when the early models had a steel trigger.

As James K said, it does not have pre war features.

The gun, IMO was assembled after the allied take over of the factory.

And the "expert" who looked at it and said it was the nicest condition he'd ever seen? What a joke. Some 38Hs were presentation guns and thus not fired or rarely fired. Take a look at one of those sometime. If this gun even vaguely looked like a pre production prototype, it would be pretty neat, but its not.

If that guy is an "expert" then so am I.

Post your story here...

http://luger.gunboards.com/forumdisp...s-amp-Holsters

...and the people who love these will post their opinion. There is a guy there known as "Sauerfan" who seems to know all Sauers quite well. I would take his word to the bank on these. He's actually a native of Germany but speaks English well.

PS - these are also not historically tied to the SS.
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Old September 16, 2011, 07:38 AM   #8
mkk41
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Whether the gun never had a serial number(OK), or it was removed during refinish(not OK) , it's not a point I'd like to have to prove to law enforcement.

The late war guns shown in the link I posted above look like they have no markings either.

Still , if someone came into my shop with it , they would leave with it.
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Old September 16, 2011, 10:37 AM   #9
Luigipepper
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Thanks for all the input!

Hey guys, I knew the gentleman quite well that gave this gun to my Dad. He was a very well respected man and a very highly decorated WW2 Vet. I do believe his story of taking it from the factory as is. He also never shot the gun and neither did my Dad. Maybe my pictures do not do justice to this gun.

I will take some more pictures and post them. I do know that this gun is in the original condition it was in when taken from the Sauer factory. I really want to take this gun to the range and shoot it but will not until I find out the value. I do not want to fire it if it is as rare as I have been told.

Here is some of the info one gun expert gave me:

On top of all the rarity that you have told me and having no markings, the mag. release button that is held by the screw makes it even more rare. It was supposed to be stamped "SA der NSDAP Gruppe Thuringgen", with C/N proofs.

The 2011 Standard Catalog of Firearms call it VERY RARE. I can only give you the values they give me on this gun because I don't want to speculate when I'm giving info. It has the highest values of all the Model 38-H models and variations.

I would strongly suggest that you find a "certified" firearms appraiser and get a written appraisal if you ever plan on selling it. I would tell the insurance to cover $10,000 on it just because it has no markings. I'm not sure how much more it is worth, but it is one of very few (if not the only) one like this that is unmarked. I don't show any listings on unmarked variations. The appraiser can only give you his opinion of worth, but at least it will be written and certified. One other thing you can do is contact the Sauer factory. I will give you the info for that.
SAUER, J. P. & SON
403 East Ramsey, Ste. 301
San Antonio, Tx. 78216
There is one other possibility. The type Five Model 38 H model pistol - Started with ser.# 1; made from mostly relected parts, generally have notched trigger guards, may or may not be blued, no Nitro proofs, slides may or may not have factory legends, etc. Approx. 300 assembled. Definitely rare Sauer pistols! I don't this one is it, because there are no ser. # stamps on yours.

Thanks again for everyone's help, I hope to hear from the Sauer expert!
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Old September 16, 2011, 12:43 PM   #10
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I don't quite understand how a gun expert (or anyone else today) could possibly know what "it was supposed to be marked..." especially down to the SA group. (The SA was not the SS, BTW.) The absence of proof marks indicates that the gun was never proven, but that is all it indicates.

As to the mag catch held by a screw, maybe I am the ignorant one, but I have never seen any other kind. The condition does not appear especially good. It looks to me like it was buffed at some time and cold blued. I wonder if the gun was taken "in the white" with no finish and then blued later. The wood grips are interesting, as only the very late guns were made that way, after the plastics suppliers suffered an "economic downturn" (i.e., bombings) and went out of business.

This will be my last contribution on this thread. I have to sort of wonder why the OP posted at all. His gun expert has already told him not only what the gun is, how rare it is, and what was supposed to be marked on it, and his family story has provided all the other possible information. He has accepted it all without question and refuses to believe anything else. So what more could I or anyone here possibly contribute?

Jim
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Old September 16, 2011, 01:08 PM   #11
Luigipepper
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Very Rare Sauer 38H

Thanks Jim,

I am only trying to find out if this is really a collector gun or one I should just take to the range and fire and enjoy!
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Old September 16, 2011, 04:28 PM   #12
Winchester_73
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Quote:
I am only trying to find out if this is really a collector gun or one I should just take to the range and fire and enjoy!
You don't have anything special and your expert seems to be more of an amateur.

So go shoot it!!!!

Does that answer your questions?
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Old September 16, 2011, 08:02 PM   #13
Dfariswheel
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Again, get a REAL expert to look at it.
Remember, this is the internet....EVERYONE'S an expert.

A lot of money has been lost by shooting a rare gun that someone THOUGHT wasn't rare.
Also, take the advice about posting on the Luger forum in hopes some real experts can give you better info.
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Old September 16, 2011, 09:54 PM   #14
Winchester_73
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He already did, which is why I said what I said. here is the link on the luger forum:

http://luger.gunboards.com/showthrea...Rare-Sauer-38H
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