SOLD FOR: $1,283.99
Make: Fabryka Broni (Arms Factory), in Radom, Poland
Model: VIS 35 (Vis is Latin for “force”) Grade I (http://www.tague.at/pistolen/en_index.htm?/pistolen/pages/en_cz27.htm)
Serial Number: D0025
Year of Manufacture: 1939-1940
Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto Pistol with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “F. B. RADOM VIS MOD.35. Pat. Nr.15567 / “P.35(p.)””, an Eagle holding a globe with Swastika, “Eagle / WaA77” (Waffenamt Used in Poland at Radom) and “Eagle / 623” (Waffenamt for Final Acceptance at Steyr). The left side of the frame is also marked with an “Eagle / WaA77”. The right side of the frame is marked “D0025”. The right side of the trigger is marked “S”. There are inspection marks on the left rear and right front of the trigger guard. The shoulder stock slot in the mainspring housing is marked “3”.
Barrel Length: 4 11/16”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a short narrow blade fixed to the rib on the slide. The rear sight is a “V” notch dovetailed into the slide. There is a thin narrow rib running down the center of the entire length of the slide with a finely checkered finish.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips have been removed but the grip screws are still in place.
Type of Finish: The pistol has a blued finish.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is gray with sharp pronounced rifling. There are tiny spots of erosion sprinkled throughout the bore.
Overall Condition: This handgun retains about 70% of its metal finish. There are scabs of solid erosion and spots of pinprick surface erosion scattered over the slide, the underside of the frame, front strap and the left side of the grip frame. There are spots of surface loss at the front of the slide and on its right side, with spots of surface loss on the sides of the frame where the grips would normally be located and at the rear of the slide under the decocker. There is thinning on the front strap, magazine housing and the edges of the slide and frame. The slide serrations and the knurling on the small parts are sharp, but the slide serrations show tiny spots of erosion. The screw heads are sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this handgun rates in about Good condition and would rate higher with grips.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The trigger is crisp and the slide is tight to the frame. There is a de-cocker on the slide and a grip safety. The Grade I variant included a dismounting lever on the frame, a lanyard ring on the bottom of the mainspring housing and a groove in the back of the mainspring housing for attachment of a shoulder stock. To disassemble the gun, the slide is pulled back and the dismounting lever is raised into a notch on the bottom edge of the slide. This allows the slide release to be pushed out from the right side and the gun disassembled much like a Browning High Power. We did not fire this handgun.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol does not come with a magazine. However, it does include a dark green cotton lanyard, a black leather top-flap holster and paperwork. The lanyard is about 51” in length, is tied in a knot through the lanyard ring, and is in about Very Good condition. The holster is made from a single piece of leather that is folded over at the front and sewn along the rear edge, and folded over at the top to form the top flap. The top flap has a steel stud on it for securing to a strap sewn to the outside of the holster. There is a single wide belt loop sewn and riveted to the back of the holster. The holster shows a cut through the leather where the front sight of the pistol is located, thinning in its finish, two sharp scratches in its front edge, and multiple handling marks in the top flap and on the rear of the holster. The leather is still supple. The holster is in about Good condition. The bringback paperwork consists of copies of a War Trophy Certificate, an Owner’s Inventory and Customs Declaration and a letter from the niece of Technical Sergeant Martin Roback who brought the pistol back with him from WWII. The paperwork shows that T. Sgt. Roback served in the 275th Infantry Regiment and that he came back to the states in Sept. 1945. Also included is a copy of T. Sgt. Roback’s Honorable Discharge, a copy of a listing of his awards and citations, and a copy of a picture of him in full uniform. The niece’s letter shows T. Sgt. Roback brought 3 pistols back with him, and that this was one of them. The Army papers do not refer to this particular pistol, but there is a tag attached to the lanyard with the serial number of this pistol and T. Sgt. Roback’s name printed on it.
Our Assessment: This is a Radom VIS Model 35 Grade I pistol made at the beginning of WWII under German occupation. It has Waffenamts from Poland and from Suhl where it underwent final inspection. The design is roughly based on John Browning’s M1911 with a slide release, de-cocker and grip safety and a dismounting lever. This pistol is in about Good condition with about 70% of its original finish remaining. The finish shows pinprick surface erosion and scabs of solid erosion scattered over the finish with spots of surface loss on the slide and on the sides of the grip frame where the grips would normally be located. There is also thinning on the front strap, magazine housing and the edges of the slide and frame. The bore is gray with sharp pronounced rifling and erosion sprinkled throughout the bore. The pistol comes with bringback paperwork and a black leather top flap holster, but the grips and magazine are missing. The missing magazine and grips are certainly going to dampen collector enthusiasm to the point where the shooters might get a chance at a nice pistol for home defense and informal target practice. The gun is in great mechanical condition for its age and the bore should easily last for several more decades of shooting enjoyment. Triplek.com sells replacement grips for $15 and replacement magazines for $42.