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Pistole 640 (b) questions on refurbishment

Article about: I recently came into possession of a Pistole 640 b and have some questions on whether the pistol should be refurbished or left as is. As to the condition, the front site is gone, the finish

  1. #1
    Ozkerr
    ?

    Default Pistole 640 (b) questions on refurbishment

    I recently came into possession of a Pistole 640 b and have some questions on whether the pistol should be refurbished or left as is.

    As to the condition, the front site is gone, the finish is non-existent and the entire gun is dull grey in color. The grips are in good condition the bore is clean, the springs are strong and (for lack of proper terminology) the internal parts are in good condition and working order.

    My primary question is should a pistol in this condition be left as is or is there a way to properly restore it to its original condition?

    Any assistance or opinions on my dilemmia would be greatly appreciated. If photos would help I would be glad to try and upload some that would be helpful.

    Thanks,

    Oz

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Pistole 640 (b) questions on refurbishment

    Hi, Oz ! Welcome to the forum !

    If it is a war-time pistol, the finishes were very poor to begin with and diminished
    further as the war progressed. They were never the nice, shiney 'blue'
    that is seen on pre and post-war guns, except on very early pieces
    which were assembled from parts already in stock at FN,
    but rather, as you say, a dull grey with lots of
    visible milling and tooling marks.

    I'd leave it be, and not try any restoration of the surface finish...............!

    I would get a front sight installed though, even if it is post-war, modern,
    or a hand made replacement. The gun is supposed to have one and
    will not look great or perform properly without a front sight.

    Are the grips made of wood or 'plastic' ? I'd like to see this one
    and compare it with my own.
    Last edited by Walkwolf; 06-16-2010 at 08:17 PM.
    Regards,


    Steve.

  4. #3
    Ozkerr
    ?

    Default Re: Pistole 640 (b) questions on refurbishment

    Steve,
    Thanks for the input, it is a great help. From the serial number it is probably a late 1942 pistol. Was the finish for this period the dull gray or was it blued when it was finished? The grips are wood, it has the fixed rear site I will take and post a few photos tomorrow so you can compare it to yours.

    Thanks again,

    Oz

  5. #4

    Default Re: Pistole 640 (b) questions on refurbishment

    Quote by Ozkerr View Post
    Steve,
    Thanks for the input, it is a great help. From the serial number it is probably a late 1942 pistol. Was the finish for this period the dull gray or was it blued when it was finished? The grips are wood, it has the fixed rear site I will take and post a few photos tomorrow so you can compare it to yours.

    Thanks again,

    Oz
    I think they were rough and poorly finished for most of their production,
    except for very early pieces, which would be the first few hundred
    or so pistols. ( There are also tales of sabotage which would
    make some guns explode when they were fired. I have a
    reference book, but it is not with me at the moment.)

    I believe mine to be a 1943/44 model with 'plastic' grip panels.
    Last edited by Walkwolf; 06-16-2010 at 08:14 PM.
    Regards,


    Steve.

  6. #5
    Ozkerr
    ?

    Default Re: Pistole 640 (b) questions on refurbishment

    Yours appears in much better condition that mine. I am not sure if anything can be done to enhance the appearance w/o ruining the piece. I uploaded a photo, again thanks for your input and advice. The serial number is 192485

    Oz
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #6

    Default Re: Pistole 640 (b) questions on refurbishment

    Personally I would take Steves advice and leave it as is It might not be perfect, but it still looks nice

    Thanks

    Danny

  8. #7

    Default Re: Pistole 640 (b) questions on refurbishment

    Quote by Ozkerr View Post
    Yours appears in much better condition that mine. I am not sure if anything can be done to enhance the appearance w/o ruining the piece. I uploaded a photo, again thanks for your input and advice. The serial number is 192485

    Oz
    Oz, it does not look that bad to me !

    The only thing I would do, other than lightly wiping it down with gun oil, is have the front sight replaced.
    Oiling will remove any and all dirt, grease and residue, as well as protect it from rust,
    and will change it's appearance slightly too ! (Careful around the wood grips !)
    If you try to make it look any 'better' cosmetically, it will only destroy
    it's collector value. - Leave it be !

    There should be a lot of Waffenamt marks on it which may provide a time-line
    for when your gun was manufactured :

    Early to mid 1941 = WaA613, WaA103.
    Late 1941 to September 1944 = WaA140.

    I agree that your gun is earlier than mine from researching the serial number, probably 1941/42,
    as you have indicated. In 1943 a five digit code with a letter suffix was used - mine is a 'b',
    making it 1943/44.

    Technically, yours should actually have better fit and finish, but it really depends on the way
    it has been used, handled and stored during the war years up until now.
    Your piece has probably had more combat/service time than mine.

    ( During 1943/44 the John Inglis Co. was producing a similar 9mm Browning High Power pistol
    here in Toronto for the Chinese and Canadian armies.)
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Walkwolf; 06-16-2010 at 07:32 PM.
    Regards,


    Steve.

  9. #8
    Ozkerr
    ?

    Default Re: Pistole 640 (b) questions on refurbishment

    Thanks, I will heed good advice freely given and do nothing. Other than having a quqlified gunsmith replace the front site. I cannot tell, but is the finish on your peice black or a dull grey. As stated before mine is dull grey, what makes it rather odd to me is that it is a constant grey throughout the entire peice. One last question for you any way to determine any information on who was issued this peice.

    Once again massive thanks for all the information and advice I have received.

    Oz

  10. #9

    Default Re: Pistole 640 (b) questions on refurbishment

    I don't really know who received or were issued these pistols. I have seen a photo of a German
    combat soldier holding one. He may have been SS, but I can't remember offhand.

    These were (and still are) a truly great and reliable gun - at the cutting edge of firearm design
    and technology for their time - and it makes sense that Elite units would have had more
    access to them than any others, but I am really only guessing.
    I'll try and find some information about this......

    I also think that the 9mm Browning High Power is the best handgun in the world,
    then and now !
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Regards,


    Steve.

  11. #10

    Default Re: Pistole 640 (b) questions on refurbishment

    Update: It is suspected that Para and SS units were issued these pistols.........
    Regards,


    Steve.

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