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Old March 16, 2010, 02:47 PM   #1
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Join Date: March 16, 2010
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Saur 38H ? - A forum full of information!

I have recently been given a pistol and holster by a family friend who is an older gentleman and is moving away to be cared for by his son. This forum/website has been invaluable to me in finding out more information about the pistol and I wanted to thank everyone involved.

The pistol is chrome (nickel?) with what appears to be cream color bakelite or plastic grips (I seriously doubt they are ivory, but I am unsure how to tell). The only markings are “CAL 7.65” on the left side of the barrel and the serial number (509577) on the rear left. There are no N, eagle, or other acceptance stamps on the right side of the pistol (or anywhere else, for that matter). From the information I have read here, I believe that I have a souvenir weapon from WWII that was made after the Suhl, Germany plant was occupied.

Saurfan said in one thread that “production of the model 38/H stopped at with 506910 being the highest known having German acceptance markings.” My question is this: should this pistol (SN 509577) be referred to as a 38H or is there another official name that is better suited for SNs after 506xxx? I am not being snarky, I would really like to know!

Based on the serial number and knowing what stage of the war this was manufactured, do any of you think firing the gun would be a bad idea? I plan on taking this to a gun dealer for cleaning and inspection first, but your knowledge and input would be appreciated.

I have sent a couple of pictures to whatever website that is referenced here for photos. I will post links to those photos as soon as they are available.
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Old March 16, 2010, 04:18 PM   #2
James K
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I think I can be pretty positive in saying the factory never made a chrome plated 38H; nickel is not impossible, but very unlikely, as is any non standard grips. Many souvenir pistols were chrome or nickel plated in this country after WWII, and American companies made fake pearl and ivory grips. (You might look in the inside of the grips; you might find the word "Franzite".)

FWIW, the WaA stamp on the 38H (left front of trigger guard) is often faint and may have been wiped away when the gun was polished for plating. Generally late war German guns are rough, but not unsafe; I would see no reason not to fire it.

For far more information than I can possibly provide here, Google "Sauer 38H serial numbers" and you will find a whole wealth of info on the subject.

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Old March 16, 2010, 04:34 PM   #3
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I have a JP Sauer 38H, sn 462xxx, that was manufactured early enough to be blued although the exterior metal work is not beautiful. It is also early enough to have all the controls(safety, cocker/decocker) installed. As I understand it, late in the war some went out with no finish and may not have had the safety and decocking levers. Also there may have been some production after the plant was captured by the allies, and those went to the troops and home to the US. Mine is a fine shooter and reliable.
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38h , saur , souvenir , wwii

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