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Old September 13, 2008, 10:43 AM   #1
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German .25 Auto?

I'm looking fir any information about a German made .25 auto that a friend has. It is somewhat unusual to me. When he gets me a picture, I'll post it.

The gun is marked "Fritz Mann Suhl". There is a mark he describes as a "crown" over the letter "N", which I assume is a proof mark. The gun is ver small, the grips appear to be homemade replacements. It is rather odd in that the barrel is much lower in the slide than the usual types, and has some knurling on the end.

I'm guessing that it is a pre-WWII gun, made in Suhl, Germany. Any info would be a help. Thanks.
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Old September 13, 2008, 11:34 AM   #2
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"crown" over the letter "N" norrmally odpcayes a po;ice weapon.
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Old September 13, 2008, 11:56 AM   #3
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Could it be a Mann .25 ?



Mann .25
---------------------------------------------------------------------
History:

The construction of this pistol was done by Fritz Mann in 1919.
In spite of many other designers of that time Mann went his own way and by that created a pistol with lots of interesting small details. And for sure one of the most "ugly" ones, still being of reliable function. It was one of the smallest and lightest vestpocket-pistols on the market of that time too.
Among these interesting construction-details you find a removable barrel without stripping the pistol, a load indicator at the side, which is working as detent plunger for the safety-lever, and a groove around inside the chamber, where Mann came in for patent and always stated in the referring manuals, that this would work like a locked breech.
Besides his testes of a stronger .25 cartridge considering this background it also is told, that Mann intented to produce a .32 type of same design. Anyway he dropped these intentions with the production of a normal an more simple .32 construction later on.
The pistol was produced just during a short period of time from 1920 to about end of 1923. Since 1924 it was no longer mentioned in the according gun-catalougues of that time. It seems that not even 20.000 pcs have been produced.
Appearently this pistols did not sell good, being of rather strange design compared to the competitors among vestpocket-pistols of that era.
Therefore this pistol is already kind of scarce today.

Technical Datas:

SYSTEM: self-cocking pistol with mass system and firing pin
CARTRIDGES : 5
CALIBRE : .25 ACP
BARREL LENGTH : 45 mm , 6 grooves right hand twisting
WEIGHT EMPTY : 330 g
TOTAL LENGTH : 104 mm
TOTAL HEIGHT : 70 mm
TOTAL WIDTH : 18.6 mm
TRIGGER : Single Action
SIGHT : groove
SAFETY : safety-lever
FINISH : blued
GRIPS : hard rubber


Reference - http://www.vestpockets.bauli.at/archiv/mann1e.htm

Steve Mace
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Old September 13, 2008, 12:04 PM   #4
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Thanks

That appear to be it exactly. Thank you.
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Old September 13, 2008, 10:18 PM   #5
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FWIW, Crown over N was the German commercial Nitro proof mark from 1891 to 1939, when the crown was replaced by the Nazi eagle. Postwar marks keep the N but use the symbol of the proof house in place of the eagle.

The proof mark will appear on police weapons, but does not specifically indicate police use.

Jim
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Old September 15, 2008, 06:47 PM   #6
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44 AMP, if you can still obtain photos of this firearm from your friend, I would very much like to see them. I have never seen one of these guns in person, and the only photo of one that I've run across is the one that Steven Mace linked to from the Vest Pocket Pistol collector's site. It would be really nice to see pictures of another specimen.

Could you possibly ask the gun's owner how and when he acquired the Mann, and, if he is willing to divulge the information, how much he paid for it? I have no good idea of the real value of something like this (which I'd like to know in the highly unlikely event I encounter one for sale). I have found that my Blue Book 29th Edition, much to my dismay, doesn't concern itself too much with the more obscure old pocket pistols .

By the way, has your friend fired the pistol?

Any info/anecdotes about this fascinating little gun would be great!
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Old September 15, 2008, 11:58 PM   #7
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I may be able to get pics...

But it may take a few days. I have only seen his picture of this gun, and I think I can get the file from him to post, but it may take a while.

The gun apparently belonged to his wife's uncle, and her father kept it for a couple decades after the uncle was killed in a car wreck, and only recently gave it to my friend's wife. The gun has apparently home made wooden grips, not the original ones. He has not (yet) fired it.

Along with posting here, I was doing a bit of google searching about the gun, and did find one site which listed approximate values, although sadly, I cannot remember which one that was. Sorry. It listed the Mann .25 auto with values ranging from $100 to $395 (I think) for a perfect specimen.

The problem with the "blue books" and other listings is that they are, like the pirates say "Arrr, not rules, but more lioke guidelines, ya might say".

A dealer will look in the book, and offer no more than he has to, but may be able to sell a gun for much more, IF it is demand locally, and thanks to the Internet, local now covers a lot more area than it used to. Pocket pistols are collected by a few people, but not near as many as collect other guns. If you know a collector, they might be very willing to pay a premium over "book" price to get a rare specimen, while on the other side of the coin, someone just looking for a gun might not be willing to pay "book price" for an old .25 auto, and it might sit unsold in a dealers case for a long time at book price.

Back in the mid 70s, a S&W M29 .44mag would sell, and sell fast for $400 when the MSRP was $283.50, because the factory was two years behind on orders, and demand was high. Look at the jump in Winchesters (even newer ones) when the New Haven plant closed, and it looked like there would never be any more made. The market is ....funny sometimes.

A lot (not all, but a lot) of the pre WWII European pocket pistols have exquisite machine work, some of them being fully polished internally even. But they do not usually bring a lot of money on the market.

I will try to get a picture. The owner has no desire to sell, as it has sentimental value to the family.
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Old September 16, 2008, 07:35 PM   #8
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44 AMP said:

Quote:
But it may take a few days. I have only seen his picture of this gun, and I think I can get the file from him to post, but it may take a while.

The gun apparently belonged to his wife's uncle, and her father kept it for a couple decades after the uncle was killed in a car wreck, and only recently gave it to my friend's wife. The gun has apparently home made wooden grips, not the original ones. He has not (yet) fired it.
Thanks for your continued efforts on the picture. No rush, and no problem if it doesn't work out somehow.

Quote:
The owner has no desire to sell, as it has sentimental value to the family.
I'm sorry to hear about his death, and I can see why your friend wouldn't want to part with the gun.

Quote:
If you know a collector, they might be very willing to pay a premium over "book" price to get a rare specimen, while on the other side of the coin, someone just looking for a gun might not be willing to pay "book price" for an old .25 auto, and it might sit unsold in a dealers case for a long time at book price.
Quote:
A lot (not all, but a lot) of the pre WWII European pocket pistols have exquisite machine work, some of them being fully polished internally even. But they do not usually bring a lot of money on the market.
Quite so, and the limited appreciation for these little guns among the gun-buying public is occasionally responsible for some very gratifying surprises in dealers' showcases. Not long ago, I got a very reasonable deal on a Mauser WTP I that was in good shape save for a missing magazine heel catch. It had been sitting in the corner of a part-time dealer's case for a long time, he told me (it was the first time I had stopped in to his store).
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Old September 28, 2008, 09:20 PM   #9
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Look what popped up on Gunbroker!

I just ran across this Mann .25 that is missing parts on Gunbroker.com:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=111026270

What a shame that it is not complete. Darn.
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Old October 21, 2008, 09:32 PM   #10
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Sorry, have to put my pointless opinion in. Cool but man that thing is ugly.
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Old October 22, 2008, 01:49 AM   #11
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Update in the pictures

I am sorry to say there won't be any pics of the gun available to me in the forseeable future. The fellow that has the gun was relocated recently, and no longer works with me. I did give him my email and ask him to send me some pics, so I could post them, but unless/until he does, sorry.
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Old October 24, 2008, 08:48 PM   #12
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No problem, 44 AMP, thanks for trying.
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Old October 28, 2008, 07:35 PM   #13
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"a groove around inside the chamber, where Mann came in for patent and always stated in the referring manuals, that this would work like a locked breech."

So that's where Seecamp got the idea!
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Old October 29, 2008, 10:41 PM   #14
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attn j-framer!

My friend came through, with un-needed apologies for it taking so long. Note the size of the gun! The hands are average size (160lb male).




The grips are home made, probably 50 years ago.

That is one tiny gun!

Hope you enjoy these j-framer!
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Old October 31, 2008, 08:13 PM   #15
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Many thanks to you and your friend!

I much enjoy seeing old, unusual firearms like this one. Not to mention that I have a particular affinity for tiny handguns.
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Old March 30, 2009, 07:40 AM   #16
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Fritz Mann 25cal auto

Good Day, and hello
I am looking for a manual for the Fritiz Mann 25cal pocket pistol. Mine was made in 1921, complete and intact but I don't want to disassemble without a manual.
thanks for any help in this regard.

Semper Fi

Bob Morrison
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Old March 30, 2009, 07:50 AM   #17
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I once read a test and review of the little gun with history, in a paperback gun book, that I still have. Made me want one, but I have only seen like two for sale over the years. The nicer one was of course priced way too high for me. Here it is. Handguns '95 7th. Edition. Big paperback book. Field strip, says to pull back the bolt, turn the knurled muzzle, and withdraw the barrel. This is after removing the mag and clearing the gun, of course. Exploded view, I no got.
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Old April 19, 2009, 06:13 PM   #18
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Mann 6.35

Hello I own a gun Fritz Mann 6.35 you can see in the pictures, my intention is to sell it, is in excellent condition and works, if you know someone who might interest me confirm. Greetings.
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Old April 19, 2009, 10:58 PM   #19
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Mann .25

mjrlobos, I'm seriously interested in buying your Mann .25. How do we get in touch to discuss price, etc?
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Old May 23, 2009, 09:02 AM   #20
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I have also one of these guns, i think mine is in a very good condition compared to the ones i've seen, i have the original box also. Think im going to sell it because i cant find ammo here in Sweden, and i dont know if i am able to buy from USA. If none of you can sell me a box of .25ACP ammo so i can testfire the Mann pistol
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Old May 23, 2009, 02:14 PM   #21
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Hi soxxor,

I am very interested in Mann pistols - since this thread was started, I have been gathering all the information about them that I can.

For my own research purposes, could you possibly provide the serial number of your gun? And if you possibly can, I would LOVE to see photos of the pistol and its original box! It would be a big help to me as I compile data about the Mann pistols.

If you cannot take pictures, could you at least describe your Mann pistol in detail? As you may be aware, there were several variations - some of the early models had cast aluminum grips instead of plastic ones, and I hear that some of the very first guns may have been produced in an odd proprietary caliber different from the standard 6.35mm.

I'd appreciate any info (and particularly photos!!!). The original box is a real "bragging rights" piece to a collector! Congratulations on owning such a desirable combo!
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Old August 18, 2009, 03:24 PM   #22
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Fritz Mann pistol

I've got one. Apparently some were manufactured for export. I've got the original user manual in English as well as a manual in German. Cautions about firing: be careful about hand placement or it will take a little nip out of the web of your hand. Also, the original Mann grips will crack easily and are impossible to find so use those handmade replacements. Unfortunately I've got only the box bottom, not top. Anyone interested in PDF copies of manuals (not production quality) can email me directly.
[EMAIL="lawbartels@aol.com"]
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Old August 23, 2009, 01:28 PM   #23
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Hi lawbartels,

As I asked soxxor above, could you share the serial number of your gun for research purposes? Also, given that you reference fragile grips, I'm assuming your gun has plastic grip panels, not the early aluminum ones?
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Old August 24, 2009, 04:22 PM   #24
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Fritz Mann

Serial # 142XX-12. Plastic grip panels. Any return info re. manufacture date, export etc. will be appreciated.
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Old August 27, 2009, 07:51 PM   #25
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Thanks lawbartels - always good to hear when one of these little guns turns up, particularly when it's in the hands of someone who appreciates it.

By the way, I assume you accidentally transposed the digits of the date suffix - given the serial number, the year of manufacture should be "21".
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