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#642105 02/08/24 02:52 PM
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Sidelock
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Is there any information regarding Simson serial numbers anywhere. I am speaking of Simson when the Simson family still owned and operated the company so pre the 1935 takeover by the Nazis and the later subsequent takeover by the commies.

Edit: I'm expanding my question to include.....what's everyone's take on Simson. Meaning from when the family owned and ran it. Apparently the largest facility in Suhl. Clearly made some lovely guns. Yet I never hear them discussed here. What's up with that?

Last edited by canvasback; 02/08/24 03:41 PM.

The world cries out for such: he is needed & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia
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canvasback,
I can't answer your question about the serial numbers, but I wholeheartedly agree with you concerning the quality of their work. They were allowed by the Allies after The Great War to continue working after the war and do the post war re-work of the weapons for the small army they were allowed keep. In addition to the owners being Jewish, this permission contributed to the hard feelings that resulted in the loss of the company. If you go to German hunting guns.com you will find additional information.
Mike

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I'll look into this. On some thread, or threads, I have quite a bit of info on Simson. Dietrich Apel & I discussed Simson from time to time.


>>.....If you can find one(O/U or SxS) close to your dimensions, you will be well pleased. For a field gun, sling swivels are very functional but some of the Iver Johnson's by Simson I've handled either didn't have the front eye or it was ground off, which is an atrocity. Simson was large making bicycles and cars and apparently very good at contracts after WWI and the Treaty of Versailles.

But it didn't end very well for the original owners:

"The Nazis made an example of the Simson Company. ‘ ...Wilhelm Gustloff ... was an ardent Swiss Nazi shot dead in Bern by a Jewish student named David Frankfurter on 4 February 1936. To honor Gustloff, the Nazis had given his name to one of the first “Aryanized” companies of the Reich, in this case a firm formerly owned by the Jews Arthur and Julius Simson. The Simsons’ company, the Suhler Weapons and Vehicle Works, had received the dubious privilege of being the only Jewish firm to receive contracts from the German army after the Treaty of Versailles. That Jews should be entrusted with defense contracts, of course, enraged the Nazis. The national press had pilloried the Simsons since the 1920s, accusing them of embezzlement and demonizing them as the spearhead of a world Jewish consipracy to emasculate the German armed forces.’ --The Business of Genocide, p. 191.

During the war, Gustloff opened a factory at the Buchenwald concentration camp to manufacture carbines, and later machine guns, using slave labor. The Nazis considered this particularly appropriate for a company previously owned by Jews."

Arthur, after signing a document pleading guilty to being the source of depression for the German gun trade, which began with a letter for a group of manufactures from Zella-Mehlis headed by Fritz Walther to Hitler, escaped to Switzerland and immigrated to the US. He died sometime in 1969 in L.A., California......<<<


http://www.christophfunk.dk/files/2415/1812/0456/SimsonCo-Suhlkomplet_incl._fotos.pdf

But for any of the DGS threads, you can search >>Rubber Baby Buggy Bumpers<< as it is always associated with Simson....

And do not forget Autohändler Otto Reif. Dietrich never did paint him in an honourable light, but there seems to be 3 or 4 different tales for him.

Serbus,

Raimey
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Sorry I have nothing useful to add here, but just a quick note to say I have a fondness for Simsons. My first double was a Simson. While not a real Simson with respect to ownership, it was important to my becoming interested in doubles. The other was a 1898 gewehr 98 made by Simson in 1915, and somehow nearly all matching after being in the trenches through the worst of it.

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I have a lovely family era Simson 16. It came to me in a group of 3 guns from a friend that had to stop hunting due to age related problems. The other 2 guns were an 1894 12 ga. Purdey Game gun and a 1929 VLD 20 ga. Francotte sidelock fully engraved by Corombelle.

The man I got them from inherited all 3 from his uncle, obviously a man of good taste...



Simson Pics


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Originally Posted by Recoil Rob
I have a lovely family era Simson 16. It came to me in a group of 3 guns from a friend that had to stop hunting due to age related problems. The other 2 guns were an 1894 12 ga. Purdey Game gun and a 1929 VLD 20 ga. Francotte sidelock fully engraved by Corombelle.

The man I got them from inherited all 3 from his uncle, obviously a man of good taste...



Simson Pics

Hmmmm, I have a 12 gauge Purdey, just picked up a 16 ga Simson and have a VLD Francotte, although it's a 28 gauge. It's almost like i should tell you to go check your safe! Hahahaha!


The world cries out for such: he is needed & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia
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I have a small sample recorded of Simson serials, that I use to cross check against proof dates. Their commercial production is far less than that of say, JP Sauer, so the numbers are roughly 200k lower than Sauer in the 1930’s. I’ve had a handful of Simson/Bsw and Gustloff commercials over the years, they are very well made and underrated. They kept the same basic models in production as the war went on, and you find a mix of markings as parts with old names were kept in stock. Simson-Bsw-Waffa-Gustloff serial numbers are all a continuum from what I can tell for commercial guns. Did you have a more specific question on serials?

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I guess my real question is are there any authoratative reference books that have been written about Simson, the way others have researched and written about Sauer or Francotte or any number of other Continental makers. I was under the impression from a couple items I had run across that, between the wars and before the Nazis got involved, Simson was in fact a rather significant concern, perhaps not on par with Sauer but sizable nevertheless.


The world cries out for such: he is needed & needed badly- the man who can carry a message to Garcia
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Oh no, you are quite correct, I just mean their commercial production by the numbers was significantly lower. I can’t think of any books with a dedicated focus on Simson, off the top of my head the K98k book set Vol 1 is probably the most comprehensive in the US. There is probably a German language counterpart but I am not aware of it, please let me know if you come across any.

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>>Training Rifles of the Third Reich Germany<< by our own Steve Whitley has a lot of Great Info including timeline & serialization on Simson/Waffa/BSW but all on rifles. Lots & Lots of Great adverts & cards.

Serbus,

Raimey
rse

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