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MP40 without WaA-markings, only serial number on heel of receiver


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Hi

 

A long-time collector friend of mine told me had bought a MP40, but it was lacking all WaA-markings and only serialized on the heel of the receiver. In his opinion there were no signs of them ever being present, and the gun was not polished nor re-finished in his opinion. He is by no means new or clueless to the MP40, he has at least a dozen of them. Could this be some kind of presentation or gift gun? One explanation could be that the gun was pulled from production too early to get the WaAs (esp if not heading to front use). I have not seen it myself so these are just theories so far.

 

Opinions, anyone seen anything like this? :)

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Good story, but amusing at best without really good pics. Plenty of anomalies to keep us all entertained with every type of MG, but without pics there's nothing there.

Absolutely agreed. I will try to get more details, and pictures once he receives the gun. But for me this is the most interesting part of collecting, trying to find more info from seasoned collectors like the members of this forum.

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WaA stemples were added when individual parts were inspected after manufacture. The stemples were already on the parts when the gun was assembled. It isn't like a single inspector sat there with an assembled gun bashing away with a WaA die.

 

Some of the stamps are so small and so light that they might be mistaken for a fleck of corrosion at first look. Any gun that's had its finish buffed as part of refinishing is going to lack many of original these stamps.

 

I'd like to see pics too. Right off hand, I'd say it's almost impossible to have an original MP40 that lacks all WaA and proof stamps. On the all-matching bnz 41 example that I have before me, the stamps are almost beyond counting. There's at least one on almost every part.

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  • 1 month later...

TSMG, totally agree. You and I were working together on the SN's in another post. But my bnz41 has Waffenmarks everywhere, and some, like on the recoil tube parts and stock attachment points are so small that they actually look like rust flakes. I have to use my iphone magnifier to see them clearly! Wonder how they did that......

 

However, knowing the history of the Germans, there is no way a gun would make it out of production into circulation without all the correct (at that time) stamps and SN's. I recently watched a documentary of the German civil service and they actually ran the country, detailed down to the T. Nothing made is past those people without correct paperwork, stamps and whatnot. 

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Sorry for keeping you waiting, I only saw this MP40 today and have some corrections to the initial post:

The gun has no original serial, anywhere on the gun (one was added by authorities under the grip panels in the 1940ies likely). WaA:s are present where they should on a BNZ 42 gun. Interestingly it has the early hook-type charging handle but with safety indent for the push-type handle. Ribbed magwell, bakelite barrel resting bar, all original MP38u40 marked sling. Included was 2 very nice original mag pouches from a vehicle (see last pic) with total 6 mags (kur42) and a mag loader. The provenance was also provided, this was a gift from a certain A.H in Germany to the field marshall in Finland for his 75 year birthday during the war. The MP40 was in one of 3 Steyr 1500 commandeurwagens (see pic). A pretty neat piece of Finnish/WW2 history in my opinion. Sorry for the sub-par pics, could not set up a proper shoot. 

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Thanks for posting! Very interesting indeed, especially the lack of serial numbers. These are conspicuous for their absence. Also apparently missing are eagle firing proofs on barrel and bolt. Even armorer's spare parts had these. Are the three barrel WaAs present under the resting bar?

The receiver was modified to accept the sliding safety. I can only speculate that someone later on preferred a hook type bolt handle and dropped in such a bolt, or never modified the original bolt. I have a bnz 41 MP40, identical except for the serial numbers located in about 18 places that I've found.

The gun appears otherwise to be all correct. I believe it was produced by Steyer and not seral numbered, for whatever reason. If this was a pistol, I'd suspect it of being a "lunch box special", but I never heard or saw a SMG that fell into that category. 

Edited by TSMGguy
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I was not able to check under the resting bar, but you are indeed correct: I could not find any markings whatsoever on either bolt nor firing pin assembly. But I write that off due to the "special" background of the gun, as I guess it's anyone's guess on the actual process of acquiring this gun from production . I am, personally, 100% sure this was never modified (except for addition of the serialnr under the panels) as the provenance is very clear on this and came from a collector who was well aware of the significance of the gun from the beginning (the gun was first owned by a "technicians captain", born in 1926, in the army, not sure of the proper rank in English). Interestingly enough the gun was purchased (I assume, maybe gifted to) from him by no other than Aimo Lahti, which I assume is a familiar name due to his designs like the L-39 rifle, L-35 pistol and especially the Suomi M-31 SMG. All this is documented in the provenance.  

 

Again, very interesting piece and I am a tad bit jealous as it would have been nice to have in my own small collection. 

 

Adding a few more pics; resting bar marked 2205-2, stock and FP assembly is lacking all markings that I could see. There should be a (WaA)623 on the rear sight somewhere but cannot see in pic. Also pic of the pouches; I know nothing about these but the seemed to be specifically for vehicle use as the flap seemed quite flimsy for soldier use. 

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Agree, the gun is otherwise absolutely correct in all aspects. It shows little use, just honest age.

The rear sight base will not normally be serial numbered as it is part of the receiver. The rear sight leaf generally is as it is a seperate part. 

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I can comment on the magazine pouches as I own two sets of original WW2 Luftwaffe pouches and spent tons of time researching them, and talking to European sources to learn. The ones you show look original in every respect, including the wear patterns, stitching  and material. It's an oddity of the hobby (collecting) that original pouches are so rare and hard to find. Prices for them are unbelievable, and my matching set, in nice condition cost $2200.

Some had waffenmarks on the back, many did not. Some were dated, many were not. But most were destroyed, lost or thrown away. 

The key to a full "rig" if you will, that is the gun, accessories and spare parts is the magazine pouches. Almost never offered for sale....

Very nice set. 

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On 11/30/2022 at 2:41 PM, Rekraps said:

I can comment on the magazine pouches as I own two sets of original WW2 Luftwaffe pouches and spent tons of time researching them, and talking to European sources to learn. The ones you show look original in every respect, including the wear patterns, stitching  and material. It's an oddity of the hobby (collecting) that original pouches are so rare and hard to find. Prices for them are unbelievable, and my matching set, in nice condition cost $2200.

Some had waffenmarks on the back, many did not. Some were dated, many were not. But most were destroyed, lost or thrown away. 

The key to a full "rig" if you will, that is the gun, accessories and spare parts is the magazine pouches. Almost never offered for sale....

Very nice set. 

Thanks for the input! I tried my best to find any marking on the pouches but could find none. 5 of the 6 magazines were kur42 marked, one "missmatch". The magazine loader in the side-pocket looked literally brand new with not a scratch nor wear mark on it; I would not be surprised if it was completely unused. Overall a lovely set together with the gun, sling and with the addition of the provenance a centerpiece for any collection in my opinion

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On 12/2/2022 at 12:33 PM, Beginner said:

Thanks for the input! I tried my best to find any marking on the pouches but could find none. 5 of the 6 magazines were kur42 marked, one "missmatch". The magazine loader in the side-pocket looked literally brand new with not a scratch nor wear mark on it; I would not be surprised if it was completely unused. Overall a lovely set together with the gun, sling and with the addition of the provenance a centerpiece for any collection in my opinion

Would enjoy seeing a picture of the magazine loader. I have never seen a period one that did not look used in some way.

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I am very curious about the provenance for this MP40. It has had some good pictorial exposure on this site, except for a pic of the added serial number imprinted on it under the grip panel, so a pic would be appreciated to be shown.
The claims made of it's provenance raise multiple questions.
The gun speaks for itself and it presents a rare and interesting anomaly. However, no serial number or closeup pic of the gun has been provided to confirm it's association with the provanance that you claim. What confirms that it is the specific gun given as a gift to the particular recipient? How is it identified in the documentation? I have some examples of my own.
Many claims of provenance actually are not able to be corroborated for lack of any way to positively identify a weapon in the pics or documentation as actually the one in hand.
There are reasonable explanations for the lack of the usual serial number and matching or mismatching numbered parts. The notion that the marking of MP38/40s is absolutely without errors, omissions, mis-strikes, different fonts of letters and numbers and any other anomalies is without merit. This one is another unique and interesting exmaple of oddities in actual production as well as post-production units.

Whatever you can provide will be very welcome. TIA

 

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