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The Polish 'VIS' WWII pistol

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by jski, Nov 19, 2017.

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  1. jski

    jski Member

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    I've read many an article of late about the 'VIS' being possibly the finest compat pistol of WWII. Then I read that Radom (Łucznik Arms Factory) was going to make a limited run of these historic pieces.

    Anyone know anything about this?
     
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  2. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    OH, that'd be cool! But, I've herd nothing about it.

    The P35 Radom is indeed a fine pistol.
     
  3. Panzerschwein

    Panzerschwein member

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    By who? Great gun, sure, but better than the Browning Hi-Power with its excellent feautures and 13 round magazine??

    No way hozay.
     
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  4. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    My BHP is my favorite, but the Radom has a better trigger. And at least before the German occupation, they were very finely built.
     
  5. jski

    jski Member

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    The Hi-Power is without question an historic piece in its own right and I'll not engage in a tit-for-tat: VIS v. Hi-Power. Unproductive.

    I will say, based on what I've read, the VIS was the preferred sidearm of the German soldiers in WWII. So much so, the Nazis kept production going throughout the war.

    BTW, in many ways the VIS is a tribute to both the 1911 and Hi-Power. Much was barrowed from both of them.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  6. lysanderxiii

    lysanderxiii Member

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    The Germans kept just about everything in production . . .

    The Polish developed the VIS (AKA Radom) because they wanted Browning's design, but past dealings with FN had left a bad taste in their mouth....
     
  7. jski

    jski Member

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    From all I've read, John Moses would be pleased with what the Poles accomplished. A tribute to his genius.
     
  8. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    He basically did design it... It's a hybrid 1911/hi power. 1911 trigger, single stack. Hi power pretty much everything else. Except that odd slide mounted safety. I imagine it's a pretty good gun.

    I guess I could say that on that thought that Browning designed most of the world's pistols... Not much truly new stuff out there.

    Is it a linkless design? I'll have to check... I think their basic premise for this pistol was not having to buy them from a foreign entity or something like that.

    Edit... Ah, post six already mentioned...
     
  9. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    jski

    Not to take anything away from the VIS but I would have to agree with Cooldill that the Hi-Power was one of the best pistol designs of WWII. Have seen a few VIS pistols at the various gun shows I have been to over the years and found them to be a very ergonomic design though most of them were in somewhat poor condition due to their late wartime production. Would be interested in one if they ever make them again.
     
  10. jski

    jski Member

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  11. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    Yes... Better in some respects for sure... But you also gotta realize it is ten years newer.

    I like the rotating bolt, sights, and en block system on the Garand. There is a reason (or a few) that rotating bolts have taken over from the tilting bolts.

    Non-reciprocating bolt handles... I'm a little iffy on. I don't mind either way.

    It looks just a mite heavy, but I really don't know for sure compared to the Garand. Disassembly for sure looks really simple!

    Thing is... Garand got his rifle into production. If Poland had been able to start ten years earlier, they might have been able to get it into mass production. But.... they didn't. Didn't have anything to do with the gun, just location next to a militaristic nation (or two) ruled by madmen! There are really quite a few really neat designs out there that kinda got squelched by Nazi takeover. I think the Czechs had something somewhat similar before they got overrun too.
     
  12. jski

    jski Member

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    As an engineer I know one thing with certainty: simplicity is synonymous with reliability and complexity is the root of all evil. Based on that alone, the Polish rifle is superior to the Garand.
     
  13. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    To a point! Do you carry a single shot break action? When was your car manufactured? If reliability is the ONLY issue, that might be the case. But it isn't. Odds are, that rifle is probably less practically accurate than the Garand. Every mechanical design is a compromise. Also, simply because it is easier to disassemble does not mean that it is easier to produce. I've never shot this wz, and just because a design looks fantastic does not mean it really works as well as it looks.

    It looks like a great rifle. I'm just not sure it is immensely superior to a Garand. It is also impressive that Poland was "this close" to making an autoloader standard issue.
     
  14. 444

    444 Member

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    I am not a fanboy here, but I think simple is good. But how simple does it need to be ?
    The M1 rifle proved itself to be reliable and accurate through WWII and the Korean conflict. It may be more complicated than other designs but it was proven without question to work under very adverse conditions. So I conclude that it wasn't complicated/intricate enough to cause a problem.
     
  15. Blkhrt13

    Blkhrt13 Member

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    Looks like all the classic ones are about 2-2.5k. Wonder how much a reboot would run.
     
  16. jski

    jski Member

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    From what I gather, that puppy fetched a little over $9,000.00 at auction.
     
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  17. JONWILL

    JONWILL Member

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    I had one in the early 1980's. Came with the holster and extra magazine. Nice gun, it is a single stack 9mm.

    I didn't find anything special about it. It is rare and I want to throw up knowing what they go for now and what I sold it for. :(
     
  18. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    The Radom Vis (aka Radom P35) was one of the finest pistol of the pre-war period. It was never manufactured after the war as Poland became part of the Soviet bloc. Until Radom tooled up to make a new version in 1997. It was geared to the collector market and sold for about $3,000 at that time. It was a short run.

    I haven't heard of any plans to re-introduce the pistol, but who knows?

    Here's a few pics to look at. Sorry for the darker colors. Note what's different from the Hi-Power and the 1911.

    radom1-1.jpg

    Linkless barrel. Two piece, spring in spring, guide rod. This was replaced as a single unit. The original design featured a captive spring on a one piece solid rod. But the bosses wanted more drop safety so this design was hastily come up with and was more complicated.

    radom4-1.jpg

    radom11-1.jpg

    radom12-1.jpg

    The chief designer detested external safeties on handguns, so where the thumb safety is on the BHP and the 1911 a take down latch was set. That's the purpose of what looks like a Browning thumb safety. The slide is locked in place allowing for the removal of the slide stop for the field strip.

    The lever above, on the slide is a de-cocker. The cavalry wanted this feature, it was a solution to a problem. The problem being on how to safely re-holster the weapon after firing while the single action hammer was still cocked. Browning added a thumb safety to solve the issue. The Vis solved it with a de-cocker.

    radom2-1.jpg

    The disconnector slot and disconnector. Note the strong ejector.

    radom9.jpg

    radom6-1.jpg

    radom8-1.jpg

    Slot for the buttstock.

    radom15.jpg

    tipoc
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2017
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  19. tipoc

    tipoc Member

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    A couple more pics.

    The top of the slide. Note the serrations to reduce glare and draw the eye. The serrated hammer is slick and allows both easy access to the hammer for cocking and allows for a non grabbing draw. No spur hammer to hang up on clothing or gear. The rear sights are as good as any offered on a service sidearm of the time...maybe a little better than most. In a hurry that checkered raised line drew the eye.

    radom8.jpg

    radom15-1.jpg

    radom17.jpg

    Some old 9mm ammo sitting in front of the gun.

    radom14-1.jpg
     
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  20. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    tipoc

    Excellent tutorial and photos of the Radom VIS Model 35! Thanks for sharing!
     
  21. jski

    jski Member

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    Tipoc, thanks for the picture guide to the VIS. Great job!
     
  22. grampajack

    grampajack AR Junkie

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    I can see why the Germans liked it so much, as their sidearms left a lot to be desired. 9mm 1911s weren't exactly falling from the sky back then, so it's a no brainer that this thing was a big hit. 1911 reliability that eats the ammunition they already have on hand. Were I a German soldier in WWII this would have been number two on my acquire list, right after a Hipower.
     
  23. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

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    I've never shot or handled either Luger or P38, what particularly did they lack?
     
  24. jski

    jski Member

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  25. Ron James

    Ron James Member

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    Radom did make a small " special edition of the vis P-35, but that was a number of years ago ( 20 years or more ago ) plus they cost a king's ransom..
     
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