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GUNS Magazine December 2010 - Page 38
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS • jEFFjOHN • Q: A WWII vet gave me a .380 ACP Femaru Fegyvar and warned me not to shoot it. He said the metal “cube” was silver soldered to the barrel (the part fits a similarly shaped socket in the slide). What are their functions? Since I would be hard pressed to afford the $145 Jimenez JA9 you mentioned in Q&A last July, I would like to carry the Femaru if I could find a replacement barrel for $40 or less or some other way to make it safe to fire. What do you suggest? Roy Mariner Shawnee on Delaware, Penn. theRugerlCpwouldbeamuchbetteroption forself-defensethanaWWii-issueHungarian FemaruMod37.380ifonlybecausetheFemaru isasingle-actionsemi-autowithnomanual safety.photo:Chuckpittman Femaru Safe? The Femaru Model 37, which I believe is the pistol you’re describing, is a simple, blowback-operated pistol based on a John Browning design. The lug on the front of the barrel serves only to prevent the barrel from rotating in the slide, since the barrel is held to the frame by the four small lugs underneath the barrel which mate to similar grooves in the frame. Hungarian M1937 pistols were very well made, so if you’ve been warned not to shoot it, could it have been poorly repaired? Since the Model 37 was discontinued soon after WWII, any barrel you find will be used. Barrels are usually numbered to the gun, so changing it would decrease its collector’s value. The M37 is collectible to WWII enthusiasts and I would consider selling or trading it for a more modern pistol. Personally, while I enjoy shooting old guns—if they are safe to shoot—I would only bet my life on one if circumstances were dire. I would eliminate the Model 37 as a carry gun because it has no manual safety (although the .32 ACP Femaru pistols made for the German Luftwaffe in WWII do have manual safeties). The only safe way to carry the M37 is with the hammer down on an empty chamber and the only way to render it safe after firing is by dropping the magazine and emptying the chamber—not something you want to fool with in a self-defense scenario. Since you have a budget of $40 for a barrel, and the value of a M37 with 38 A: 60-percent original finish is about $175 retail (according the 31st Edition of the Blue Book of Gun Values by S.P. Fjestad), you only have to sell your Femaru for $100 to be in the ballpark of a Jimenez JA380 or Hi-Point CF-380, both of which are less expensive than the JA9. If your Femaru is in better condition, you may be able to trade up to an even nicer gun like a Kel-Tec or a Ruger LCP. Hi-POiNT (mkS SUPPlY) 8611-A N. dixiE dR. dAYTON, OH 45414 (937) 454-0363 WWW.Hi-POiNTFiREARmS.COm jimENEz ARmS iNC 5550 REFERENCE ST. lAS VEGAS, NV 89122 (702) 566-5937 WWW.jimENEzARmSiNC.COm kEl-TEC iNd. 1475 COx Rd. COCOA, Fl 32926 (321) 631-0068, WWW.kEl-TEC-CNC.COm STURm, RUGER & CO. 411 SUNAPEE ST. NEWPORT, NH 03773 (603) 865-2442, WWW.RUGER.COm Due to the volume of mail received, GUNS cannot offer a personal reply. Please e-mail your question to ed@ gunsmagazine.com or snail mail to: GUNS Q&A, 12345 World Trade Drive, San Diego, CA 92128 WWW.GUNSMAGAZINE.COM • DECEMBER 2010