Polish Radom and "77"

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by Jim K, Feb 1, 2011.

  1. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Maybe this is not the place, but I think there are several experts on this site and I'll see what response I get.

    The Polish Radom Model 35 was developed and first produced at Radom in Poland but was made in large quantities for the Germans after they conquered Poland in 1939. That much is well known. But there is some question about exactly WHERE those latter guns were made.

    The common story is that as the Soviet army approached Radom, the tooling was moved to Steyr in Austria, where production continued until almost the end of the war.

    But, there is a problem, and it is "77". The German Heereswaffenamt inspector number 77 (his real name is unknown) was undoubtedly in Steyr as early as 1941, when that number began appearing on Steyr-made K.98k rifles. The same number appears on Radom pistols of the same or earlier estimated date (unlike K.98k rifles, the pistols are not dated). The number continues on both rifles and pistols throughout the war, up to 1945 when some Steyr rifles used another code.

    Now those codes were assigned to individual HWaA officers, the heads of inspection teams at the factories. An officer received his set of stamps after completing a course of study in the field. They were held in personal custody, and issued only to sub-inspectors as necessary. More to the point, where the inspector went, the stamps went and vice versa.

    Since it is not realistic to think that all those Steyr K.98k's were produced elsewhere, I can only conclude that "77" worked at Steyr. It is possible that Radom-made pistols were taken to Steyr for inspection and acceptance, but shipping badly-needed pistols 400 miles across Europe for inspection seems absurd.

    Further, Poland was not a "safe" country; it had an active underground and weapons being made there might well "leak" into unfriendly hands.

    My conclusion is that the Radom machinery was shipped to Steyr almost immediately after the conquest of Poland and that virtually all post-1939 Radom pistols were made in Austria.

    I would like to hear comments from others who have studied those guns and their production.

    Jim
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