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German Items


This J.P. Sauer & Sohn Model 1913 is a self loading pocket pistol of the blowback design. These pistols were chambered for either the 6.35mm(.25 ACP) or 7.65mm Browning(.32 ACP) cartridges. The pistol featured on this page is chambered for the 7.65mm Browning cartridge. The pistol features a front blade sight and a rear notch sight. The barrel length is 2.9 inches with six grooves and a right hand twist. This Model 1913 utilizes a 7 round removable box magazine and the entire pistol weighs in at 21 ounces while unloaded.

In 1751, Johann Paul Sauer took over the family business and started to produce firearms from his small shop in Suhl, Germany. The company produced not only quality hunting rifles, but they were also contracted by the German government to produce military rifles and in 1811 they were actually the first company in the town of Suhl to have been awarded such a contract. In 1838 the company opened a new factory in Suhl and merged with the Strum and Spangenberg companies. By 1858, a touch over 100 years after Johann Paul Sauer had taken over the family business, the company had grown to employ some two hundred and sixty people. After the end of the Franco-Prussian war, the demand for military arms had declined so steeply that in 1882 Rudolf and Franz Sauer decided to concentrate solely on the sporting arms market which dissolved the Spangenberg, Sauer, & Sturm corporation. This resulted in the J.P. Sauer & Sohn or Johann Paul Sauer & Son company that we know today. The top design engineer at the J.P. Sauer & Sohn company was a gentleman by the name of Fritz Zehner who designed firearms such as the Roth-Sauer, Model 1913, Model 1930, Behorden, and 38-H.

The striker fired single action pocket pistol was the dominant form of self loading pistol in the early 20th century. These small firearms were often pressed into service as substitute standard sidearms during WWI. The Model 1913 was being produced just prior to the start of WWI and as such it was a popular sidearm with both officers and NCO's of the German Army. A number of the firearms were even purchased privately by the enlisted troops. After the end of WWI, production of the Model 1913 ceased but was resumed in 1922 where it continued until 1935. On June 1st of 1948, the East German government under the authority of the Soviet Military Administration took over all rights to the J.P. Sauer & Sohn firm and the Sauer family no longer had any rights of ownership.

The Model 1913, like all of the early Sauers, was manufactured to extremely high standard. The pistols will show little or no slide to frame lateral play and have rather surprisingly crisp triggers for striker fired pistols. The striker firing mechanism works in the following fashion; applying pressure to the trigger in a rearward motion causes the trigger bar to move to the rear and downward, it then disengages from the striker's nose which frees it to go forward under spring pressure and strike the cartridge. The model 1913 was finished with a beautiful high polish rust blue. Some of the parts such as the barrel, breech block, and striker were left unfinished and in the white. The grips are hard rubber with the S&S(Sauer & Sohn) logo at the top. 

The Model 1913 served with the German military in both world wars and the police agencies of not only the Weimar Republic, but police agencies all around Europe following the end of the Second World War. The pistol was exported to countries all around the word and the new owners could choose from a variety of options to include barrels made from a Krupp Lauf Stahl(steel), a nickel or blued finish, and grips ranging from hard rubber to antlers as well as bone or ivory.     

The photograph on the left is of the top and bottom of the pistol. The picture on the right is of the heel or butt of the Model 1913 with the 7 round box magazine in place. The marking on the magazine is as follows, S&S. Cal. 7.65. This marking indicates Sauer & Sohn, Caliber 7.65. On many of the firearms that incorporate a magazine release on the heel of the pistol, the user is instructed to push the release in an outward motion to release the magazine from the pistol. On the Model 1913, the opposite holds true and the operator will need to push the magazine release in an inward motion to release the magazine.  

The photograph on the left is of the rear of the Model 1913 pistol. The picture on the right is a close up of the back of the take down cap which has the crown over N marking. This German commercial stamp indicates Nitro or smokeless powder proof and was in use in Germany between April 1, 1893 and April of 1940. This stamp is also found on the receiver just rear of the trigger.  

These next two photographs are of the top of the pistol. The picture on the left is a close up of the manufacturer, J.P. Sauer & Sohn, Suhl identification marking. The picture on the right is of the J.P. Sauer & Sohn logo that is found next to the manufacturers identification marking.


Collecting firearms is an art form in itself. There are many different factors that decide on the direction of a certain collection to the individual pieces of a collection. The one thing that is sure to increase the value of any firearm and make it more desirable to collect is to have that firearm have all matching numbers. This is usually the serial number of the receiver which should match all of the other parts that are normally stamped with it. For example, the receiver serial number should match that of the number that is stamped on the barrel, the magazine, trigger and any other parts that a certain manufacturer normally would have stamped with the serial number. An interesting note about some of the pistols from this era and including the Model 1913 is that they were stamped with both a serial number and a set of internal assembly numbers. In other words, the pistols will have two different sets of numbers on its parts. The receiver and barrel will have the serial number, while the hammer or trigger will have a completely different number. For the new collector, this can be confusing as it will appear that the pistol is mis-matched, when they are in fact, doubly matching. These internal different numbers were used by the manufacturer to keep control of contracts, size(7.65 & 6.35), modifications, design updates and so forth.




J.P. Saur & Sohn by Cate & Krause            

German Handguns by Ian Hogg                

German small arms markings by Joachim Gortz & Don Bryans                                

The standard directory of proof marks by Gerhard Wirnsberger               

Official guide to gunmarks by Robert Balderson                  

Mauser military rifle markings by Terence Lapin               

Handbook of military rifle marks 1866-1950 by Richard Hoffman & Noel Schott

History Writ in Steel by Donald Maus  

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