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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am poised to get my first Beretta to go with my seven other 7.65 pistols.

I have actually passed this one by for the past two years as the tag on the pistol said M34, but when I read the capture papers, it said "M39" and 7.65. I then realized I had a M35 in 7.65 made in 1939. Bore is good; the dealer cleaned out a little crud with the pass of a patch, and the rest should come out. Grips are perfect, finish less so; about 60% on the slide and better elsewhere. Slide and frame serial match. Comes with a green holster with the mag pouch cut off and one magazine. Capture paper states the pistol was taken in North Africa, the serial number matches the pistol, and the T/S taking it home was from an engineering battalion and dated April '45.

Price $550 cash. I was actually looking for a 4UT, but I think a pre-war with capture papers may be better choice for me.

Sorry no pics. Good price/worth pursuing? I'd get it next month for my birthday.

PM

P.S. The other seven:

 

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To me that seems high, even with capture papers. I think in that condition without pics maybe a $350-$400 gun, is the capture paper worth that much more to you, you have to decide....

I'm not an expert on these by any means, so not sure if these have started to go up a lot in the last year or so....There is a 4ut on gunbroker right now with no bids at $450...

Frank
 

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If it's a M35 made in 1939 then it might be for commercial sales, the navy or the airforce. Personally I'd prefer any of these variants to a 4UT marked pistol which is really common. For me, however ,60% condition is the deal killer at the price you mentioned.
 

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I agree with Len. My guess is either a commercial (officer's) pistol or perhaps a Royal Air Force marked. Either is good with the papers. This little piece of paper seems to nearly double the value so a $300-$350 becomes a $600. Your $550 is not so far out of line, unless you do not seek the history that accompanies this pistol. Too bad the mangled holster.
Do what I do...wait for the next one just around the corner. Bad joke. :sorry:
Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I'm willing to trade condition for 'this little piece of paper.' That little piece of paper is HISTORY. 60% was maybe a bit harsh; could be 70. The frame was fine, just the slide. Too bad there wasn't a second mag.

When I get a chance for a second look, what marks sould I look for? What are the differences between Italian commercial and military?

PM
 

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When I get a chance for a second look, what marks sould I look for? What are the differences between Italian commercial and military?

PM
Hi PM,
Here are the commercial, AF & Navy markings.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well, I got it. All matching; frame, slide, and barrel. Better finish than I thought; 80%? Bore was a little rough, but got most of the junk out of it with a brass brush and a bore snake - hopefully the bore will shoot out Sunday. I'm using my wife's computer as mine is being updated, so things are a little harder, i.e. no photo editing program. So, I'll just out it out and sort it out later with my own computer.

No proof on frame; blank. No commercial, air force, or Navy. 2 copies of Capture papers.
















How did I do? What do I have exactly?

PM
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Looks like the important information is the translation of "Gardone V.T. 1939-XVII".

PM

OK, Gardone factory, year 17 of Fascist reign, 1939. No help there. I assume no marks at all is a commercial sale.
 

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PM,

I'm going to assume that since you mention no markings on the barrel it has nothing other than the serial? If it was commercial it would have been proofed and received a P.S.F. stamp on barrel and frame. The fact you have none suggests to me this pistol either was issued and is missing marks from a government agency like the Navy or other. There is at least on other in the 436,000 serial range without marks. So I'd say a Navy pistol without marks, my money says. Nice one anyway.

Gardone V.T. is the town where Beretta pistols are born. The 1939 is the year of manufacture and XVII is the (17th anniversary) year of the fascist regime.

And a most unique feature of your pistol is the fact it has 16-serrations in the slide, instead of the usual 15-serrations. Someone was having fun before the Germans came for dinner.

Any chance to see another image of the holster?

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Tell me more, tell me more...

Capture papers say this piece was taken in North Africa, not much of a Navy presence there unless acquired on the coast?

The only other mark on the barrel is a small 'x' on the underside of the breech.

There are a few marks on the butt on either side of the mag release; 'A', '5', and '8'. No marks otherwise.

Was the 16 slide grooves a factory 'extra'?

Holster is unmarked, mag pouch cut off, two small holes at muzzle end; for lanyard?

Looks like rust in the bore now. Hope some of it shoots out tomorrow.













 

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Well, my Navy comment may not be so foolish. How did the Royal Army get to Africa in the first place? I think the Navy gave 'em a ride to the North African theater. I would, if my credibility remains, go out on a limb and say this was an Italian officers pistol attained through unusual means whether Army or Navy. By that I mean he did not show up at the door of Gardone but perhaps had other means to attain a pistol (like a PX) in the south of Italy, Sicily, or Northern Africa (Italian North Africa aka Libya) or perhaps Italian East Africa. Who knows for sure? But there were some pistols like yours with military history and no military or commercial markings. Nice history of Italy and their colonial times, as short and unsuccessful as they were.
 

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1st thing i'd do is get it out of that holster, then soak and scrub the barrel. i would'nt want to shoot it looking like that.
 

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It ain't uncommon for these 1935s to have a corroded bore like that. The ammunition was corrosive at that time. Several of my 1935s are corroded. As for the serration count of 16, not a factory extra but an factory error. They usually have 15-serrations on these pistols although at times there were 14-serrations. I got in the habit of counting them as I collected FN 1922 and 1910 pistols awhile ago so I dare say I've counted my share of serrations on some pistols. On the FN it can be an aid to determine the age.

The fun ones are Beretta Model 1935 that have 14-serrations on one side and 15-serrations on the other. At times these "errors" have swapped sides. No way to tell but the process of applying serrations must have been somewhat a manual process to explain the variations. The same can be said for the Model 1934 pistols as well. The 1937 dated Model 1935 pistols were mostly 14-serrations. After awhile you can see the differences in width from a distance. However interesting this feature is it is also quite trivial. I only mentioned it because in having counted perhaps 500 model 1935s yours is the first I've seen with 16-serrations. I doubt it increases the value. Certainly the bring-back papers do that for you.

Nice pistol. Dan
 

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...... By that I mean he did not show up at the door of Gardone but perhaps had other means to attain a pistol (like a PX) in the south of Italy, Sicily, or Northern Africa (Italian North Africa aka Libya) or perhaps Italian East Africa. Who knows for sure? ........
In Italy there was (and still there is) a strict controll of weapons,so a gun like this can't be sold at a PX.
To carry a non standard weapon also an officer had to obtain permission from higher ranks, then go to an armory or a factory and buy it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
In Italy there was (and still there is) a strict controll of weapons,so a gun like this can't be sold at a PX.
To carry a non standard weapon also an officer had to obtain permission from higher ranks, then go to an armory or a factory and buy it.
Ah, the plot thickens.

Berettamen, re. #11 no offense, I forgot at the time that 7.65 was Navy and Air Force.

That last bore pic was the result after scrubbing with a .45 brass brush and a .35 bore snake. I did soak it in PB blaster last night, and the surface now is just rough. I'll put a box through it today, and then it will mostly sit in the cabinet with the others.

PM
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Went to the range today and put 50 rounds of mixed Privi .71gr RN and Winchester .71gr WC. Pistol functioned flawlessly save for the first round of the second mag which failed to chamber. I was forced to shoot all the way back at 25M as the plinking range was full. Got about 10 in a 5" group, the rest trailed away at 5:00 in the size of a football. When I next get to shoot it at half that range, I'll expect better results.

The barrel shot fairly clean; there is still some pitting and discoloration, but not as bad as it was.

MORE: I sent an inquiry to Beretta to ask if they could help with this piece.

PM





 

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"MORE: I sent an inquiry to Beretta to ask if they could help with this piece."

Let us know if you receive a reply from Beretta, they haven't answered any of my letters in 4 or 5 years.
David
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Beretta replied in less than 24 hours...

Unfortunately sir, we do not have a factory historian and neither does Beretta Italy. I could do little more than to provide you with the ability to date the firearm via proofs, although you it would appear that yours is missing the standard proof markings, which indicates that it was refinished at some point in it's life.

Best regards,

Beretta Customer Support

So...someone took the marks off according to Beretta...

PM
 

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Yes, Beretta has not a factory historian: it's obvious.
They reply with the knowledge of today, but we are dealing with a story of seventy years ago that was wery different.
 
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