Your pistol was originally designed for the Polish Army before the second World War. The Poles adopted it in 1935, and began manufacturing it at their arsenal in the city of Radom. For this reason, it is usually just called the Radom.
The design resembles both the Colt-Browning Model 1911 (that is, the US Army .45 automatic) and the FN-Browning High Power, and also has some original features, most notably the de-cocking lever on the slide. It is smaller than a 45 automatic, but a bit large for a 9mm, so it is rugged and strong.
It uses ammuntion called 9mm Luger or 9mm Parabellum, aka 9mm NATO or 9 x 19mm. That ammunition is still in use by all NATO armies, including the US, today. It is one of the most popular and readily available cartridges in the world. "Hollow point" bullets for pistols did not exist when the Radom was designed, so it might only work well with round-nosed, full-metal-jacket ammunition. (9mm FMJ is commonly found with either 115 grain or 124 grain bullets; this small difference should not matter to your gun.)
Because the wartime German Army also used this ammunition, when they conquered Poland in the fall of 1939, they forced the Poles to continue making this pistol for them. The Germans called it the "P-35(p)". The 35 stood for 1935, and the (p) for Polish. About 270,000 were made for the Germans, compared to 90,000 or so for the pre-war Polish Army. It was regarded as a good weapon, and was used by front-line units. It is sometimes associated with the SS, but that is a matter of some debate.
Your pistol is one of those made for the Germans. The quality of the pistols made for them dropped steadily throughout the war, but yours seems to have been made before things got bad. Late guns lack the take-down catch on the frame (the thing that looks like a safety catch, but isn't), and have a very rough finish.
The smooth wooden grips on your gun are not original. Most Radoms had plastic grips with a VIS emblem; very late ones had rather crude wooden grips, with odd curved grooves. Yours look good and seem well made, but a collector would prefer originals. I believe reproductions of the originals are available. Reproduction magazines, ranging in quality from mediocre to dismal, are available too.
I don't know much about what guns sell for these days, so I can't help if you are looking for a value. There are people here who can tell you fairly specifically when your gun was made, so check back. They may also know if your holster is correct for the pistol - it looks right to me, but I know little about WWII German holsters.
Also, did you need to know how to take it apart for cleaning?
PS - Welcome to the Forum, and thanks for providing photos!
Last edited by Lanrezac; 03-02-2012 at 07:53 PM..
Reason: PS, typos
That gun is in the first letter series and would originally have had black plastic grips; as Lanrezac says, good repros are available and originals can sometimes be found.
The device on the right rear of the frame, that looks like a M1911 manual safety, is the takedown lever. It's (only) purpose is to hold the slide back in the right position for takedown. With the slide locked back, the recoil spring guide can be pulled forward and turned left or right to hold it forward. Then, if the magazine is removed and the gun turned on its left side, the slide stop will just fall out.
Those wartime guns were made at Radom, but because the Germans didn't trust the Poles (I can't imagine why!), they had the barrels made at Steyr in what had been Austria but was by then part of Germany. The pistol "kits", less barrels, were shipped to Steyr and the pistols assembled there. Very late in the war, Radom was closed and complete pistols were made in Austria and (what had been) Czechoslovakia.
Radoms in reasonable condition and in that general category will sell for $300-600 depending on condition. The non-original grips and the apparently lack of finish on the slide take yours down toward the lower end.
Thanks so much for your reply. I am kinda curious about value but as I inherited it from my grandfather about 15 years ago I have no intention of selling it so it's not really that important. I do wonder if it might be more valuable considering I have a rifle and an SA dagger and the paperwork from my grandfather allowing him to bring them all back from Germany after the war.
Anyway, I have broken it down in the past so that is not really an issue, but I am curious if you know where I could purchase a magazine for it. I haven't been able to find one.