Hungarian Weapons - Fémáru/Frommer Handguns

Frommer Fémáru Model Pistole 37 (u) 'jhv'

85,000 manufactured by Fémáru Fegyver és Gépgyár Rt, Budapest, 1941-44
Type: blowback operated automatic pistol
Chambering: 7.65mm Auto [.32acp]
Length overall: 182mm [7.17"]
Barrel: 110mm [4.33"]
Weight unloaded: 770g [27.2oz]
Magazine: 7-round detachable box with a finger-rest. The bottom of the magazine marked: 'P. Mod. 37.'

The German government negotiated a contract for 50,000 7.65mm Auto Frommer 37M pistols with pro-Axis Hungary in 1941. These were destined largely for the Luftwaffe.
- 1st Variant. Except for the change of caliber to 7.65, the first consignments were identical to the 37M. Legend: 'FÉMÁRU FEGYVER ÉS GÉPGYÁR RT 37M'. Est. 1000 made.
- 2nd Variant. The Luftwaffe demanded a manual thumb safety catch, which was added to the left rear of the frame. New legend: 'Pistole M.37, Cal. 7,65mm', manufacturing code 'jhv 41' and German WaffenAmt 'WaA56' acceptance stamps were added. Est. 1000 made.
- 3rd Variant. New legend: 'Pistole M.37, Kal. 7,65mm'. The spelling 'Cal' was changed to 'Kal'. The 'jhv 41' and 'WaA56' markings are present. Est. 3000 made.
- 4th Variant. New legend: 'P. Mod.37 Kal. 7,65.' The 'jhv 41' and 'WaA56' markings are present. Est. 45000 made to complete the 1st contract of 50,000 pistols.
- 5th Variant. Second contract, 1943. Same legend: 'P. Mod.37 Kal. 7,65.' The new code was 'jhv 43' and the WaffenAmt was 'WaA173'. Est. 35,000 made to complete the 2nd contract.
- 6th Variant. Second contract, 1944. Same legend: 'P. Mod.37 Kal. 7,65.' New code 'jhv 44' and the WaffenAmt 'WaA173'. Unknown number were made, only 1 example reported.

Based on unconfirmed information Germany also purchased the license to manufacture the pistol, however there is no evidence that any German manufacuring was performed.
P37 Assembly Drawing and Parts List
P37 Large Detailed Assembly Drawing
P37 Disassembly Instructions
P37 Magazine Details

The 2nd contract for an additional 35,000 Pistole 37(u) was started in 1943. These pistols were marked 'jhv 43' and 'WaA173'. Production ended in March 1944 after a total of 85,000 or so had been produced under contract. Contrary to popular belief (or dealers' false claims), this gun was NOT produced under German occupation. The well-made 7.65mm caliber guns were extremely accurate and pleasant to shoot, being rather heavier than the general run of pistols in this caliber.
Serial numbered parts: Receiver, slide, barrel, magazine.
WaA stamped: Receiver, slide, barrel.

Serial number / Date correspondence reported:

jhv 1941:   2004 - 4822 (3rd variant)
jhv 1941:   5604  - 48705  WaA56
jhv 1943:  50073 - 77555  WaA173
jhv 1944:  72829  WaA173  (only one example reported)

Believed to be an original Hungarian supplied holster

German made holster for the P37, made by Gustav Reinhardt, Berlin, 1941 and marked so in the inside flap. Also has a Luftwaffe Eagle over 7
Photos courtesy of Al Gerth

A 1942 German made holster with 'cdc' code for Kern Klager & Co. Lederwaren, Berlin.

Another 1942 German holster maker with 'jsd' code for Gustav Reinhardt Lederwarenfabrik, Berlin.

The Germans used similar holsters for the P37 and the Browning M1922:

This P37 pistol was marketed as a presentation piece with the legend: 'Brig. General Charles Baron US Army 0363316'. Unfortunately this is false. Charles Baron was a Brig. General of the Illinois National Gard, not the US Army. He was an organized crime figure in Chicago. For more info see Charles Baron
Always do your research before you pay extra for such markings.

Rare C-Prefix Frommer Fémáru Model Pistole 37

These are rare unusual C-prefix serial numbered pistols. Two serial ranges have been reported with the 'C-' prefix: 3-digits (121-524) and 6-digits (110092-115677).
The 3-digit serial pistols display standard 37M markings, and chamber the 9mm, so they are considered a variant of the 37M and discussed there.
The 6-digit serial pistols chamber the 7.65mm, have the thumb-safeties installed, utilize German Contract leftover P37 parts and P37 slide legend with the addition of "BUDAPEST" and the 'FFG' (for Fémáru Fegyver és Gépgyár) in a shield logo on the slide. There are no German codes, WaffenAmts etc on these pistols. The 'FFG' shield logo was used from 1938 until 1946, when FFG was nationalized and renamed to Lámpagyár (or Lampart).
One of these C-prefix P37's comes with US Military capture papers, which narrows down the possibility of manufacture/assembly to between April 1944 (completion of German contract) and December 1944 (encircling of Budapest by the Red Army). So this particular pistol was taken by its Hungarian owner out of Hungary, escaping Russian capture, and the pistol was surrendered to the US Army after May 1945 in Austria.
Please e-mail any info you know about these C-prefix P37's.