Make: Fabrique Nationale
Model: P35 High Power Fixed Sight – Late
Serial Number: 52148b
Year of Manufacture: 1944. Hi-Powers were made under German occupation from 1940-1944, and the fixed sight versions with a military finish were the last to be made. In 1943, a change was made from a 6 digit serial number to a 5 digit number with suffix, and in the spring of 1944 the frame and barrel began to be marked with only 3 digits plus the suffix with five digits and suffix still used on the slide. “The Browning Automatic High Power Pistol” by Stevens.
Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Action Type: Single Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “FABRIQUE NATIONALE D’ARMES DE GUERRE / HERSTAL BELGIQUE”, “BROWNING’S PATENT DEPOSE”, with an Eagle holding a globe with swastika and a “E / WaA140” Waffenamt. The left side of the frame is also marked with an Eagle holding a globe with swastika and “E / WaA140”. The right side of the frame and barrel at the port are marked “148b” and the right side of the slide is marked “52148b”. The right front of the trigger guard is marked “R”. The right side of the barrel at the port is also marked with an Eagle holding a globe with swastika. The bottom of the mainspring housing is marked “F”, “P8”, “1”, “0” and with what looks like a Swastika. There are two “E / WaA140” marks on the left side of the barrel at the chamber and a “MR” marked on the underside in front of the lug. The underside of the barrel in front of its lug is marked “MR” and the right side of the lug is marked “I11”.
Barrel Length: 4 5/8”
Sights / Optics: This pistol is mounted with a flat topped “V” notched rear sight dovetailed into the slide. The front sight is a rounded blade fixed to the top of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are checkered reddish-brown plastic, Bakelite (correct for a late war pistol). The smooth areas of the grips show several light scratches at the bottom of the right grip and a few tiny dings at the edge of the checkering in the bottoms rear corners of the both grips. The checkering is sharp and without mars. The grips rate in about Excellent overall condition.
Type of Finish: The finish is blued with a typical wartime finish that shows light scratches and wire wheel marks under the finish.
Finish Originality: The finish is original.
Bore Condition: The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling. There are a few spots of extremely light erosion near the muzzle that look more like dull spots in the bright surface than they do erosion.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 80-85% of its metal finish. There is thinning in all surfaces, tool marks around the slide release on the right side of the frame and a few light handling marks on the top of the slide, the front strap and right side of the frame. There are wire wheel marks under the finish in most areas with deep tool marks under the finish in the lower surfaces of the frame above the trigger. The slide serrations are sharp, as-is the grip screw. The markings are clear, and most have raised edges. Overall, this pistol rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The pistol does not have a magazine disconnect, allowing the pistol to be fired with the magazine removed, as found in late war production Hi Power pistols. The pistol has a frame mounted manual safety. The slide is tight to the frame and the trigger is crisp. We have not fired this pistol.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with two 13 round magazines with aluminum followers and a brown faux leather pouch. Both magazines show wire wheel marks under their finish. The magazine in the pistol is marked with a boxed “19” near the bottom of its spine. The magazine shows minimal wear with a few spots of thinning in its body. The floorplate shows thinning on its edges and is lightly sprinkled with pinprick surface erosion. The magazine is in about Fine condition. The spare magazine is unmarked and shows spots of surface loss on its body and on the edges of its floorplate. The magazine is in about Very Good condition. The pouch is marked “38X” on the outside and has a yellow faux fleece lining. The pouch shows no marks and is in about Excellent condition. The high capacity magazines will not be provided to a California resident or to a resident of any state with magazine capacity restrictions.
Our Assessment: The Browning High Power pistol s based on a design by American firearms inventor John Browning, and completed by Dieudonné Saive at Fabrique Nationale. Browning died in 1926, several years before the design was finalized. The Hi-Power is one of the most widely used military pistols in history, having been used by the armed forces of over 50 countries. The Hi Power name didn’t refer to the cartridge, but to its 13 round magazine, holding five more than the Luger and six more than the Colt 1911. Its high magazine capacity and ergonomic grip frame have made it a favorite amongst civilian shooters as a carry pistol and for home defense. The High Power was adopted by the Belgian military and the early pistols were equipped with a tangent rear sight and a grip that was slotted for a wooden stock. When Germany invaded Belgium, they took over the FN plant and continued making the High Power, but soon dropped the tangent rear sight and the grooved grip after stocks of pre-invasion parts were used-up. In addition to guns made with and without tangent sights as well as with and without slotted grip frames, the Germans also used at least three different Waffenamt codes for the pistol creating several different variants for later collectors. This pistol was made in 1944 a few months before Belgium was liberated from the Germans. It is in about Fine condition with 80-85% of its original finish remaining. It has a typical wartime finish with wire wheel marks and tool marks under the finish, but the markings are sharp with raised edges. The pistol shows thinning on all surfaces with light handling marks on the top of the slide, the front strap and the right side of the frame. There are also tool marks in the right side of the frame around the slide release. The grips are reddish-brown checkered plastic that are correct for this late war pistol. The grips show a few tiny dings in their lower rear corners and a few light scratches at the bottom of the right grip. The bore is mostly bright with sharp rifling and shows a few dull spots in the barrel that reveal themselves under a magnifying glass to be extremely light erosion. The pistol comes with two vintage magazines with aluminum followers and a faux leather pouch. The serial numbers all match and the markings are correct for a late war pistol. Except that its finish is a little rough from being a late war pistol, this pistol is in remarkable condition with very few handling marks. This pistol will certainly be of interest to the Browning or FN collector, as well as those interested in WWII German weapons.