View Full Version : Tracing history of Browning .32 model 1922, WWII

February 5, 2009, 12:21 PM
I have a late WWII model Browning .32, with the wood grips, manufactured in Belgium during the occupation. I inherited it from my father who served overseas for three years, but he never talked about where he acquired it.

The gun has a serial number on the side of the barrel, as well as a serial number stamped on the holster. I am curious as to whether any records existed after the war, that would be able to trace the gun and/or holster at all, i.e. "shipped to XXXX unit, Germany", etc.

This is one of the proofed or inspected guns that has WaA140 stamped on the side twice, at staggered levels, as well as on the side of the main grip, right at the corner of the wooden grip panel. It also has a single Third Reich eagle and swastika in its claws, under the "Fabrique Nationale ...." which is also where the two staggered WaA140s are stamped. This is all on the left side of the gun.

On the right side, the serial number is stamped on the barrel near the end, farther back on the barrel, and also in the metal right above the trigger.

On the bottom of the grip, I am guessing right on the edge of the clip, there is another number that does not match either the gun or holster.

The gun itself has been disabled as it is a restricted weapon here in Canada, and while backome, when I inherited it, I had to have it disabled in order to keep it in my home.

February 5, 2009, 10:14 PM
To the best of my knowledge no records exist that would enable you to trace its history. Sorry about that, It's also a shame about your Canadian laws. I'm very much afraid we here to the south of you are headed the same direction.

February 5, 2009, 10:34 PM
Thanks Ray. I have joined a German war history forum and have asked the question there. I figured if there were numbers, there had to be records. The only question is: did they survive.

February 6, 2009, 09:33 PM
Fire arm records are kept at the local level, once the individual to whom the firearm is issued to is gone, for what ever reason, the old records are destroyed and a new issue form is started. Very few records of this type survived the war. They didn't have to use paper shredders, we helped them with carpet bombing.

Jim Watson
February 7, 2009, 05:44 AM
We won the war and it is almost impossible to trace the history of a specific USGI smallarm. The records just aren't there.