sig p210 trigger function

The SIG S.P.47/8 was developed to compete for succession of Georg Luger’s Parabellum pistol that had been adopted by the Swiss Army in 1900 as the first automatic pistol to be issued in military service. Although the Luger has been simplified, and arguably perfected in its 1929 embodiment by the Waffenfabrik Bern (W+F), it was deemed too expensive for continued production. Its successor was to cut down on the costs while maintaining its stellar accuracy. The legacy of the Luger is clearly seen in one of the modifications of the Charles Petter design that SIG licensed for that purpose in 1937. While Petter’s Modèle 1935A pistol imitated the M1911 in its slide rails riding on tracks in the frame, SIG replicated the Parabellum arrangement that made the upper assembly reciprocate inside the frame tracks. Sig also designed a two-stage trigger that imitated the trigger pull of the Luger, while decreasing its trigger weight, as witness the following test results.
    On the Lyman electronic trigger gauge, the trigger of a heavy frame SIG P210-6, serial number P79608, yields a weight of 1.2kg, averaged over 10 pulls. Its immediate heavy frame successor, P79609, fitted with a National Match hammer, releases the sear at an average of 1.23kg. Likewise the heavy frame P210-6, serial number P79103 in 7.65 Para, at 1.24kg. That’s about as good as you can get in a tuned service grade self-loading pistol, and much lighter than Swiss pistol target shooting competitions allow, by requiring a trigger weight above 1500 grams. More typical are the measurements of the heavy frame SIG P210-6, serial number P79136, which yields a weight of 1.82kg, averaged over 10 pulls, the Borchardt C93, serial number 1774, releasing the striker at 2.59kg, and the Krieghoff P08, serial number 3249, weighing in at a hefty 3.48kg.
    More Swiss service pistol trigger pull weight measurements follow:

  • P06/1929 SN 71644: 3.80kg;
  • P06/1929 SN 77493: 2.57kg;
  • P06/1929 National Match SN 59951: 2.64kg;
  • P06/1929 National Match SN 65721: 2.15kg;
  • P210-6 SN P86618: 1.78kg;
  • P210-2 SN P79980: 1.67kg;
  • P210-1 SN P77209: 1.94kg;
  • P210-2 SN P74064: 1.86kg;
  • P49 SN A204931: 2.88kg;
  • P49 SN A156213: 2.90kg;
  • P49 SN A107159: 2.75kg;
  • P49 SN A105553: 2.56kg.

All are two stage, with a very crisp stage transition (Druckpunkt). It is obvious which pistols have been resprung. As witness P06/1929 National Match SN 59951 and 65721, W+F was either unwilling or unable to equal, let alone best the measurements of a factory tuned P210, in preparing for the 1949 ISSF competition in Buenos Aires.
    The double pull lever is the part responsible for regulating the transition between the two stages of the trigger pull of the P210. After the trigger, part #28, takes up the slack to engage the sear, part #23, by way of the trigger rod, part #26, the first stage of the trigger pull is determined mainly by the weight of the trigger spring, part #31, with additional resistance provided by the sear spring, part #24. As the sear rotates around its pin, part #22, it brings all the way back the hammer, part #14, and contacts the double pull lever, part #21. At that point, the double pull lever connects the sear with the mainspring, part #20, providing considerable additional resistance in the second and final stage of the trigger pull, just before the release of the hammer by the sear.


    Double pull lever adjustment method
click on the picture for higher resolution

    The double pull lever is individually hand-fitted to the sear and the hammer to regulate the pressure point (Druckpunkt) of the two-stage trigger pull system. If the pressure point is too soft, i.e. if the second stage of the trigger pull has to be strengthened, the top surfaces of two support arms furthest away from the pivot pin of the double pull lever, part #22, must be evenly worked down with an oilstone at the point of their contact with the hammer action housing, part #13. This operation brings the body of the double pull lever closer to the sear. In performing this operation, both sides of the double pull lever must remain perfectly square at the points of their contact with the hammer action housing. The hammer action housing itself should not be modified. If the pressure point is too hard, i.e. if the second stage of the trigger pull has to be weakened, the two projections in the middle of the double pull lever located on either side of the stirrup, part #16, must be evenly worked down with an oilstone at the point of their engagement by the sear, part #23, in the course of the trigger pull. This operation postpones the engagement of the double pull lever by the sear. In performing this operation, both projections on the double pull lever must remain perfectly square at the points of their contact with the sear. The sear itself should not be modified. Never attempt any modification of these parts, unless you are certain of your gunsmithing competence.
    In late production, forged and deep hardened milspec sears and double pull levers were gradually replaced by metal injection molded (MIM) parts of slightly modified profiles. This image is taken from Armbruster, p. 193:


    Double pull levers used during the SIG P210 production runs. Nos. 1-4 are milled and hardened. From No. 2 the area between the anterior and posterior pressure ridges was reinforced by adding material. No. 5 is the latest version, produced by metal injection molding.
click on the picture for higher resolution

As with all MIM components, these parts are superficially case hardened. They are therefore unsuitable for hand fitting that is liable to cut through the hardening and expose soft core metal in the working surfaces.

exit pp41; enter pp14

SIG P210 barrels are designed to shoot standard Swiss Army pistol ammunition, the Pistolen Patrone 41, made by RUAG in Thun. This 124gr. NATO-spec FMJ 9x19mm round originally came in 24-round boxes, which sufficed to load three magazines. Like the RUAG rifle ammunition, it has replaced its original nickel alloy bullet jacket with a jacket made of copper. Its headstamps are the same as for the RUAG GP90 rifle round, comprising a T for the factory location in Thun, placed above the last two digits of the year of manufacture. The Pistolen Patrone 41 was originally produced for the P49, loaded with WIMMIS, a slow burning pistol powder. According to the KTA Reglement 53.103 d, it develops 2600 bar chamber pressure. (The published maximum chamber pressure for 9mm Para per CIP is 2350 bar.) Available for purchase at pistol ranges throughout Switzerland, and distributed to Swiss citizens during Schützenfesten, unlike other RUAG ammunition, it is restricted from export, but may be found in small quantities on the collector market. It is a high-pressure combat round, accurate albeit not optimized for target shooting.
The PP41 was originally meant to be used with the then newly introduced, toggle-operated W+F MP Model 41 (Furrer Model 1941) and the Solothurn MP 41 (Suomi Model 1931) submachine guns, at the time when the standard issue KTA pistol round was 7.65mm Para. The idea to adopt the Pist Pat 41 as the new standard issue came up at the pistol trials held in 1942, in connection with the ill-fated W+F 9mm Pistol 29 prototype. The Furrer 41/44 SMG was gradually decommissioned after WWII, but the Suomi lingered until at least  the late Eighties. It's likely that the pressure of the Pist Pat 41 was kept well above the CIP and NATO standard for SMG compatibility, which probably also accounts for KTA proving 9mm Para arms at 50% overpressure instead of following the CIP practice of 30% overpressure proof loads.
pp 41 14

Earlier in this year, RUAG introduced the PP14 under the brand Geco Sintox as the cartridge meant to succeed the PP41. It is currently manufactured in Switzerland and copied under license by MSF in Hungary. Accordingly, the current 50-round boxes are labeled EU or Switzerland.

shot 2012

I went to the SHOT Show. Here are my impressions.

Sauer’s Legendary P210 is back in three variants. The standard fixed sight model is complemented by two adjustable sight variants, the Target with its standard 120mm-barrel and the 150mm-barreled Super Target. This lineup suggests that the original Swiss micrometer sight fitted into the standard milspec dovetail is no longer cost-effective. Since Dobler’s dovetail-mounted compact adjustable rear sight can be had for around half the cost of the traditional unit, Sauer’s new adjustable sight shared by the Targets and the Super Targets, with its housing milled en bloc with the slide, is also an instance of deliberate branding. The new integral rear sight is a less dedicated target shooting setup, moderately compromised in its sight picture, stability, and adjustment in comparison with its dovetail-mounted predecessor.

The safety lever of the Super Target has been made more familiar to M1911 shooters by relocating its pivot behind the hammer action retained by a Torx T15 screw, from its traditional forward position in the foregoing P210 variants. As explained in my Legend review, this arrangement appears to have been derived from an Ergosign design exercise long touted by Karl Nill. In addition to this modification, the Super Target’s frame also differs from the standard frame employed by SAN in its 2003 longslide version of the P210, in its newly extended dustcover, presumably adding a little extra precision to its alignment with the slide. The retail pricing of the new Super Target model, at $3,626.00, is set on par with similar going rates for previous P210-5 variants, cutting in half the current collector value of the original P210-5LS long slide pistol. Its street price in Germany is around 2,300.00 €, including the 19% excise tax, which may be refunded for export shipments.

While Sauer may have the capacity to improve on the Swiss originals in the long run, its initial efforts to do so failed in several ways. Five shot test targets fired at 25m have shown a spread comparable to that of SIG’s original ten shot test targets fired at twice that range. Initial changes in the control levers of the Legend left them poorly secured, while the lateral magazine release caused the omission of the trigger stop. Newer Legends appear to correct these shortcomings with their reconfigured slide stop spring, augmented safety detent, and abbreviated trigger stop free of interference with the lateral magazine catch. In this connection, I recommend consulting Barhin Bhatt’s excellent review of his fixed sight Legend variant, briefly available on the SIGforum.

All Sauer P210 variants are built on heavy frames, descended from P210-5 SN P54980 designed by the Swiss marksman Reiny Ruess and his friends at SIG. A special series from SN P79101 to 79150 has a heavy frame. Around three hundred of P210-6 pistols with forged heavy frames, for example those numbered between P76521 and 76620, or between P79621 and 79720. They can readily be found in Europe, at around twice the prices of comparable standard forged frame specimens. According to Vetter and Armbruster, CNC guns with heavy frames are found numbered P309600, P309650, P309660, P312382, P316550, P321108, etc. All P210-8 variants made by SIG, and all P210-6S and P210-5LS variants made by its Swiss Arms Neuhausen (SAN) successors with a lateral magazine catch, also had the heavy frame. If the newly reconfigured spring can secure the slide stop in the frame of the P210 Legend, the Sauer heavy frame design will represent an improvement over the Swiss standard and heavy frames, in virtue of deleting the slide stop spring retaining pin, originally press fitted into a hole drilled in the frame at a location subject to stress during the firing cycle. Nevertheless, reports of fractured Swiss heavy frames are conspicuous by their absence in hundreds of thousands of recorded individual round counts, so the structural benefits of this arrangement are likely to be moot. Besides, stainless steels used by Sauer in the construction of their pistols, are unlikely to exhibit the same wear characteristics as carbon steels formerly used by SIG and SAN, in particular appearing to be considerably softer than their predecessors. Along similar lines, it bears notice that unlike the traditional Swiss oxide finish, Sauer’s Nitron, a vacuum furnace heat treatment of physical vapor deposition, creates a surface buildup that results in tolerance stacking and complicates the assurance of proper clearances, consistently with anecdotal reports of various malfunctions observed in the Legend by European and American shooters.

A NIB P210-6 might fetch between 900 and 1400 € on eGun.de, more for special variants. I don’t know of a comparable online resource in Switzerland, but Kessler’s prices for vintage SIG P49 and P210 pistols are running high. The SIG P 210-S, “Versuch Schweden” SN P59699, which the auctioneers had estimated at Sfr. 7,000/14,000, sold for Sfr. 19,000 plus the auctioneer’s premium. Its approximate counterpart among Swiss Lugers, the W+F P29, “Versuch” SN 100000, of questionable authenticity according to Bobba’s study of its kind, and estimated at Sfr. 18,000/36,000, sold for Sfr. 43,000 plus the premium. These prices are likely to represent world records for a SIG P210 and a W+F 06/29 Luger. As ever, the ongoing economic crisis is continuing to inflate the values of high-end collector items. Notably, these values suggest the ongoing emergence of the P210 as an object of serious collector interest.

I have been assembling published materials and tracking U.S. online sales on the P210 Facebook page. I invite my readers to contribute to this resource, as well as similar pages for Korth, Korriphila, and Manurhin MR73. Among notable trends, sporadic availability of newly manufactured P210 Legend magazines does not appear to have affected the $150-200 going rate for used originals. California shooters will be heartened to learn that IGB Austria now lists 120mm and 153mm P210 barrels for 245.83 €, with P210-5 front sight threads and slots and CIP proofs costing 45.84 and 12.08 € extra. (Ready availability of unthreaded 6" barrels make the P210 eligible for circumventing the CA DOJ drop test via the “single shot exemption”.) In Germany, Waffen Verwertung, a.k.a. Schäfer & Schäfer, continues to offer 120mm polygonally-rifled P210 barrels at 198.00 €, while Harald Berty lists like items at nearly three times the price, along with complete 6" top ends, at 1,995.00 €. Note that all claims on behalf of barrels stabilizing lead projectiles should be evaluated against the twist rate specification.

In related news, Fabryka Broni Łucznik-Radom returned with its elegant 2010-rollmarked Wz.35 VIS Semiautomatic Pistol, once again projected to retail for $450.00, less than one tenth of the current value of a decent Polish Eagle specimen. Regrettably, my inquiries about a wholesale import order in response to the 2011 appearance of the Radom VIS have gone unanswered by its makers. I would welcome the return of this classic M1911 derivative, second among them only to the SIG P210 in intrinsic accuracy, ruggedness, and durability. If I may be allowed to daydream, the revival of the long-lost 1937 Argentine test .45 ACP prototypes, would stand a good chance of rendering M1911 variants obsolete in the U.S. civilian gun market. The VIS Radom now benefits from a handsome Study and Photographic Album of Poland’s Finest Pistol, compiled by William J. York, more than sufficient to alert a new generation of shooters and collectors to the virtues of these remarkable handguns, documented among the official Swiss 1941 inspirations for the SIG P49 replacing the W+F P06/29 Lugers and M1882/29 revolvers in military service.

The sole Swiss gunmaker in attendance was KRISS Arms Group, with its subsidiary Sphinx, claimed to be the last remaining swiss handgun maker. Previously imported by ill-fated Sabre Defense Industries, Sphinx handguns, designed by the late Martin Tuma, have been absent from the U.S. market since 2005. It remains to be seen whether their customizable target handgun can succeed where Tuma’s previous design for ASAI failed, offered at less than one-fourth of the price projected by Sphinx for its deluxe CZ-75 derivatives. Likewise, I am not holding my breath for the XXIst century revival of the Tommy gun, touted by KRISS since 2008.

Italian gunmakers were well represented in both the traditional formats of double-barreled shotguns and black powder and cartridge historical replicas, and novel designs exemplified by the Chiappa Rhino revolver firing from the bottom chamber in the manner of its Mateba Unica and Stechkin OTs-38 predecessors. I was not surprised, though sorely disappointed, to see French firearms industry missing in their entirety. I would have loved to see such classics as sliding breech Darne shotguns, traditional doubles and up to date self-loaders made by the venerable Verney-Carron, or the constabulary wheelgun counterpart to the P210 service pistol that is Manurhin MR73, still produced in small batches by Chapuis. But that was not to be, as yonder cheese-eating surrender monkeys made themselves scarcer than accordions at a deer hunt, at the world’s most important gun show.

By contrast, the Germans invaded Nevada in force. I was pleasantly surprised by the presence of Korth, though their handguns, custom-made at the annual rate of around 300 units, are still not officially imported into the U.S. The most exotic piece on display was the Niebelungen Magnum revolver made out of Damascus steel pattern welded by Markus Balbach, and pre-sold for $32,500.00. Korth’s “classic revolver” with its externally adjustable trigger and cylinder yoke retained in the frame by a quick-release latch, starts at 5,000.00 €. Its current version is mechanically similar to the final iteration of Willi Korth’s design, and should be likewise capable of delivering the same accuracy even after firing 50,000 rounds of full-powered .357 Magnum ammo. I would not expect the same performance from revolvers made out of pattern-welded steel, but Korth’s top of the line products are clearly not made for such shooting duty. Zombified presence of Mauser’s latest incarnation was once again distinguished by the outrageously priced, traditional controlled round feed M98 rifles punctuating the banal lineup of their switch-barrel, push-feed M03 would-be successors. Among the real players descended from their Oberndorf am Neckar original, HK showed its piston-operated Stoner rifle derivative, which struck me as unremarkable despite its commercial success.

Surefire showed its innovative, 200 Lumen hard-anodized aluminum-bodied 2211 wristlight powered by a lithium-ion battery recharged through a mini-USB port. Like many of its other impending offerings ranging up to the 2,000 lumen UDR Dominator, it features an LED fuel gauge reminding the operator to recharge his light long before it begins to dim. If all goes as it did with its Invictus, we can look forward to Surefire delivering these lights before 2015. In the meantime, I invite my faithful readers to visit the web pages dedicated to my favorite service and sporting handguns:

http://larvatus.livejournal.com/tag/p210
http://larvatus.livejournal.com/tag/mr73
http://larvatus.livejournal.com/tag/korth

Shooters and collectors seeking advice or assistance in this regard are very welcome to address me with all their questions and requests. Lastly, I have a small assortment of Swiss, French, and German handguns available for adoption in good homes. Please look below for addressing your inquiries.

Michael@massmeans.com | Zeleny@post.harvard.edu | 7576 Willow Glen Road, Los Angeles, CA 90046 | 323.363.1860 | http://www.subrah.com |
http://larvatus.livejournal.com | “All of old. Nothing else ever. Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” — Samuel Beckett

p210 legend

The following is a draft version of my review of Sauer’s new P210 Legend pistol. It will be updated in this space with photos and text as my study continues.

0.

“You William Blake?” yells U.S. Marshal Marvin Throneberry at the rapidly approaching outlaw, while cycling and shouldering his Winchester Model 1873. “Yes, I am. Do you know my poetry?” responds the killer as he raises his 4¾" Colt .45 Single Action Army revolver and shoots Marvin in the heart.


Guns and poetry. None better illuminated their interplay than Jim Jarmusch in his 1995 movie Dead Man. To talk guns is to talk poetry. What follows is a riff on the latest incarnation of my favorite poem. Continue reading p210 legend

bossette détente p210

Je rencontre un problème sur mon P210.
Lors de l’action sur la détente il m’arrive de plus en plus souvent que le coup parte sans avoir senti la bossette (départ filant).
Après des essais de tirs à sec, je m’aperçois que lorsque j’arrive a prendre contact avec la bossette et que je relâche la détente, le bec de gâchette reste en position sur le chien te ne revient pas dans sa position initiale.
Tous les ressorts sont à leur place et ont l’air en bon état.
Des avis ou expériences sur la question ?

J’ai expliqué le fonctionnement du levier du point d’arrêt (Druckpunkthebel) ici. Ceci dit, je te conseille de le laisser en paix. Ce dont tu te plains arrive bien souvent aux pistolets Neuhausen faits pour le tir de précision et dotés des ressorts allégés. Il serait plus prudent de tenter une substitution des Druckpunktplatten d’ordonnance, s’il t’arrive de trouver des pièces détachées pour ton P210. En aucun cas, il ne faut jamais limer les pièces de la fabrication tardive, “im MIM-Verfahren”.

Le levier du point d’arrêt, pièce n° 21, est responsable pour la réglementation de la transition entre les deux étapes de la détente de la P210. Après la détente, pièce n° 28, engage la gâchette, pièce n° 23, par le moyen de l’étrier de la détente, pièce n° 26, la première étape de la détente est déterminé principalement par le ressort de la détente, pièce n° 31, avec une résistance supplémentaire fourni par le ressort de gachette, pièce n° 24. Pendant sa rotation autour de la goupille, pièce n° 22, la gachette apporte en arrière le chien, pièce n° 14, et touche le levier du point d’arrêt, pièce n° 21. À ce moment, le levier du point d’arrêt relie la gâchette avec le ressort de percussion, pièce n° 20, procurant une résistance supplémentaire considérable dans la deuxième et dernière étape de la détente, juste avant le relâchement du chien par la gâchette.

La méthode d’ajustement du levier du point d’arrêt.
(Cliquez ici pour une meilleure résolution.)
Le levier du point d’arrêt est installé individuellement à la main par rapport à la gâchette et le chien, afin de régler le point de pression (Druckpunkt) de la détente. Si le point de pression est trop mou, c’est à dire si la seconde étape de la détente doit être renforcée, les surfaces supérieures des deux bras de soutien les plus éloignés de l’axe de pivotement du levier du point d’arrêt, pièce n° 22 ci-dessus, doivent être également travaillé avec une pierre à l’huile au point de leur contact avec le corps de la platine, pièce n° 13. Cette opération rapproche le levier du point d’arrêt à la gâchette. Pendant cet rapprochement, les deux côtés du levier du point d’arrêt doivent faire leur contact avec le corps de la platine au même temps. Le corps de la platine lui-même ne devrait pas être modifié. Si le point de pression est trop dur, c’est à dire si la seconde étape de la détente doit être affaiblie, les deux projections en plein milieu du levier du point d’arrêt situés de chaque côté de la tige du ressort de percussion, pièce n° 16, doivent être également travaillé avec une pierre à l’huile au point de leur engagement par la gâchette, pièce n° 23, pendant le pression sur la détente. Cette opération retarde l’engagement du levier du point d’arrêt avec la gâchette. Dans l’accomplissement de cette opération, les projections sur le levier du point d’arrêt doivent faire leur contact avec le corps de la platine au même temps. La gâchette ne devrait pas être modifiée. Ne tentez jamais aucune modification de ces pièces, sinon vous n’êtes pas certain de votre compétence armurière.

Dans la production tardive, les pièces forgées et durcies profondement ont été remplacées par les pièces de formation par l’injection de métal moulé (MIM), avec leurs profils légèrement modifiées. Cette image est tirée d’Armbruster, p. 193:


Leviers du point d’arrêt utilisés dans la production SIG P210.
(Cliquez ici pour une meilleure résolution.)
Les leviers n° 1-4 sont forgés et durcis profondement. À partir de n° 2, la zone située entre les pointes de la pression antérieures et postérieures a été renforcée par l’addition de matériaux. Le levier n° 5 est la dernière version, réalisée par injection de métal moulé. Comme toutes les pièces de formation MIM, ces leviers sont durcis superficiellement. Ils sont donc impropres à l’ajustement avec une pierre à l’huile, qui coupe à travers de leur durcissement et expose le métal mou dans des surfaces de travail.

importing guns

 I have imported guns from Switzerland and am about to import from Germany. Here is a current summary of my experience, linked to relevant online resources:

  • Research comparable values. Study all relevant web pages in the foreign top level domain of your concern. In my case, an interest in the SIG P210 calls for all Kessler catalogs and price listsHere is a search query composed in accordance with my interests. Bear in mind that all long-distance purchases involve a risk. With market prices abroad on items of my interest running between a quarter and a half of market prices for comparable items stateside, my risks are well justified. Likewise in cases when such items cannot be had locally for love or money.
  • Find an export agent. Your best bet for finding an agent willing and able to handle your firearms lot for export from the foreign country is online auctions. For example, the Swiss dealers selling on Gunbroker include AfA and swissdagger. Make sure that your export agent understands the legal requirements for shipping firearms to the U.S. Also make sure that he has the right connections to do so. For example, Swiss law no longer allows shipping firearms by mail. Many common carriers follow suit, refusing to accept firearm shipments, unless the sender cultivates a "special relationship" with them.
  • Choose wisely. Generally you will have to pay for your firearms before you can apply for export and import licenses. The firearms you import must be deemed suitable for "sporting use" and attested as having remained in the country from which you are exporting them for the past five years. Only civilian firearms and foreign military firearms that qualify as curios and relics can be imported. U.S. military firearms cannot be re-imported.
  • Select a U.S.-based importer. I am paying through the nose for import licenses and international courier services, but Andrew Zink (AfA) and Stefan Mahrer (swissdagger) have access to common carriers and less costly importers. Make sure that the importer that your export agents recommend will mark your gun discreetly, e.g. inside the magazine well or under the stocks.
  • Stay legal. ATF requires licensure of both the importer and the import itself via the ATF form 6 application. Of special importance on this application are items 19 through 24, which discuss release of the firearms shipment from Customs custody. Also of importance is the form 6A, which must be presented to Customs at the time of its entry. ATF Form 6 s only good for occasional private imports via an FFL holder, for your personal use, but no one will stop you from reselling some of your personally imported guns after a while.
  • Understand the tariff classification and duty rate of firearms. See the Harmonized Tariff Schedule of the United States (2009)SECTION XIX: Chapter 93: Arms and ammunition; parts and accessories thereof. Special classification and duty treatment are afforded to firearms meeting the collector’s interest and/or antique provisions of SECTION XXI: Chapter 97: Works of art, collectors’ pieces and antiques. In addition to duty and applicable taxes, Customs collect user fees such as MPF (Merchandise Process Fee) equal to 0.21% of the entered value, with a $25 minimum, and a $485 maximum, and HMF (Harbor Maintenance Fee) equal to 0.125% of the entered value, with no minimum or maximum, and only applied on importations via seafreight.
  • Consider using a broker. A licensed customs broker located at the port of entry will be able to submit the license and release documents locally. National Customs Brokers Association lists local associations of individual brokers. Port of entry information is available from U.S. Customs. Import brokers charge a fee for a Customs entry, plus charges for messenger services where applicable. Brokers may also charge a fee for government agency submissions, its amount depending on the complexity of the agency requirements. Additionally, a customs bond will be required, either as a continuous bond for ongoing imports over a calendar year or as single entry bonds per each instance of importation.

Good luck. Please feel free to pose further questions and requests via email or phone 323-363-1860.

to a european gun collector

I am more of an accumulator than a collector, and either have long since ceased being a European, or never was one in the first place, depending on the truth of Metternich’s quip that “Asien beginnt auf der Landstraße”. But I buy guns in Europe now and then, most of them being Swiss and French pistols. So here are my recommendations.
    The U.S. Constitution recognizes the fundamental right of the people to keep and bear arms. That right is even more important to Europeans, whose countries suffered from tyranny and genocide in ways unknown to Americans. A hypothetical postulation by Alexander Solzhenitsyn illustrates the best reasons for civilian arms ownership in this footnote to The GULAG Archipelago:

Как потом в лагерях жгло: а что, если бы каждый оперативник, идя ночью арестовывать, не был бы уверен, вернётся ли он живым, и прощался бы со своей семьёй? Если бы во времена массовых п о с а д о к, например в Ленинграде, когда сажали четверть города, люди бы не сидели по своим норкам, млея от ужаса при каждом хлопке парадной двери и шагах на лестнице,—а поняли бы, что терять им уже дальше нечего, и в своих передних бодро бы делали засады по несколько человек с топорами, молотками, кочергами, с чем придется? Ведь заранее известно, что эти ночные картузы не с добрыми намерениями идут—так не ошибёшься, хрястнув по душегубцу. Или тот воронок с одиноким шофёром, оставшийся на улице—угнать его либо скаты проколоть. Органы быстро бы не досчитались сотрудников и подвижного состава, и несмотря на всю жажду Сталина—остановилась бы проклятая машина!
    Если бы… если бы… Не хватало нам свободолюбия. А еще прежде того—осознания истинного положения. Мы истратились в одной безудержной вспышке семнадцатого года, а потом СПЕШИЛИ покориться, С УДОВОЛЬСТВИЕМ покорялись. […] Мы просто ЗАСЛУЖИЛИ всё дальнейшее.
And how we burned in the camps later, wondering: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive, and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during the periods of sweeps, as for example in Leningrad, when they imprisoned a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their burrows, swooning with terror at every slam of the front door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up ambush in the hallway, of several people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? After all, you knew ahead of time that those bluecaps were up to no good going out at night—and you would do no wrong cracking the skull of a cutthroat. Or what about the Black Maria sitting out in the street with one lonely chauffeur—what if it had been driven off or its tires spiked? The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of manpower and transport and, despite all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt!
    If only… if only… We didn’t love freedom enough. And above all—we had no awareness of the real situation. We spent ourselves in one unrestrained outburst in 1917, and then we hurried to submit, submitting with pleasure! […] We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterwards.

In our country, Judge Alex Kozinski, a Jewish refugee from Eastern Europe, epitomized this argument in his dissent in Silveira v. Lockyer:

The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed—where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.

A personally owned military firearm is the most potent token of freedom available to the citizen of a constitutional republic. As such, it is eminently suitable for turning into a centerpiece of a collection. Every good collection tells a story. The best way to get the idea of this storytelling is to pick up the book by Krzysztof Pomian, Collectionneurs, amateurs, et curieux: Paris, Venise: XVIe–XVIIIe siècle, Paris: Gallimard, 1987, translated as Collectors and Curiosities: Paris and Venice, 1500-1800, Polity Press, 1991. (The French edition is still available, but the translation is out of print.) There are three gun brands that tell a great story: Winchester, Colt, and Luger. Everything else is, at best, second-rate.
    Winchesters and Colts tell the familiar story of winning the West along with two World Wars. The Luger story is more complicated. Some people balk at its Nazi connection. But its original maker, Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken (German Weapons and Munitions Works), known as DWM, was a successor in interest to Ludwig Loewe & Company, an arms maker founded in 1872. In addition to the Luger, Loewe owned the production rights to some of the finest contemporary firearms such as Mauser turnbolt rifles and Smith & Wesson break-open revolvers. This provenance makes the Luger a Jewish gun par excellence. My 1918 DWM P08 and 1917 DWM LP08 put me in touch with my inner Ernst Kantorowicz, who, but for an accident of Semitic birth, might have made an excellent Nazi.
    Swiss Lugers come with their own tales of peaceful exploits, of which this one is my favorite. But collecting Lugers and Colts is a prohibitive pursuit for plebeians, with the finest specimens running into seven figures. The solution is to focus in the historically second rate, which need not be deficient from any other standpoint. My favorite autopistol is the SIG P210. For its close wheelgun counterpart, I recommend the Manurhin MR73, the last and best revolver to be designed and adopted for constabulary service. Apart from the gloomy Olivier Marchand polar, my favorite MR73 story unfolded on the day after Christmas of 1994, when Captain Thierry P. of GIGN entered the hijacked Air France Flight 8969 plane, grounded at the Marseille airport. He served as the point shooter, armed with a 5¼” .357 Magnum Manurhin MR73 and backed by his partner Eric carrying a 9mm HK05 submachine gun. Thierry killed two Islamist terrorists and wounded a third with his revolver, before taking seven bullets from an AK47 fired by the fourth hijacker. In spite of then absorbing a full complement of grenade shrapnel in his lower body, Thierry P. survived the assault, as also did 171 hostages. Not so the four terrorists, who had been planning to deploy the plane as an incendiary missile against the Eiffel Tower. Thierry could have armed himself with any firearm. He chose an MR73. I have mine at my side right now.
    Unlike the 1873 and 1911 Colts or various Lugers, the P210 and the MR73 remain largely unresearched and ill-documented. This factor represents an advantage to the beginning collector, enabling him to build a world-class collection at the cost well below that commanded by the finest specimens of more historic brand. French and Swiss firearm traditions are as storied as the American one, distinguishing themselves by the invention of smokeless powder and the first adoption of an autopistol into military service. Dedicating yourself to their study and commemoration is an immensely rewarding project.