On 21 August 2010, Werner Kessler’s 10th Special Weapon Auction achieved a high bid of Sfr. 15,000 for Lot 10567:
Pistole, SIG P 210-4, Kal. 9mm Para. Sandgestrahlt und brüniert, schwarze Syntogengriffschalen, Ladeanzeiger. 1966 an die Basler Polizei geliefert, in schwarzem Lederfutteral mit Reservemagazin. S/N 6452 Anm.: Aus einer Kleinserie von 59 Waffen wurden 23 Stück an das Polizeikorps Basel geliefert.
Sfr. 3000/6000.- siehe Abb. Zustand: neuwertig
Early Neuhausen pistols suffered from inadequate heat treatment of the slides. The Danish army shot many kinds of 9mm ammo, including the Bofors M39B. This caused the slides to crack between the opening for the loaded chamber indicator and the ejection port. In early Sixties, SIG delivered unmarked replacement slides, but since they were already hardened, the numbers engraved by the armorers were not as deep as the original roll marks on the frame. Armbruster’s book shows on p. 137 one of the m/49 pistols, SN 35763, retrofitted with an upgraded slide for delivery to Denmark.
The external finish on this “Kuba Pistole” shows lots of tool marks typical for the P210-4. Mechanically, the fit is as good as always. On this version of the P210-4, three dimples evidence Rockwell test for hardness on the polished lower surface of the breechblock inside the slide. As is normally the case with early production guns, the hammer action is numbered on the casing en suite with the frame, slide, and barrel.
“Kuba Pistolen” command high prices, owing to only 59 pieces ever having been made. As Vetter notes in his account, their serial numbers duplicate those used in the earlier production run of commercial SP47/8 pistols. This situation highlights the general difficulty of establishing delivery dates for P210 pistols. Most commercial P210 deliveries came with a test target. In most cases, that target noted its ammunition lot date. Many earlier targets also included the test date. For example, the test target for the SIG P210-6 numbered P 64930 lists “Munition” as 23.5.60 and “Datum” as 7. April 1970. These delivery dates are of critical interest under U.S. law, which exempts older firearms from many regulations under the designation of Curios & Relics. C&R handguns are exempt from the CA DOJ Certified Handgun Roster. As defined in Title 27, Code of Federal Regulations, § 478.11, C&R firearms include all “[f]irearms which were manufactured at least 50 years prior to the current date, but not including replicas thereof”. The same Title 27 C.F.R. § 479.102, identifies the firearm with its frame or receiver. Thus all pistols built on frames delivered by their makers at least 50 years ago, qualify as C&R under U.S. law. This pistol was assembled in 1951, but delivered in 1966, with its slide specially hardened in the interim. Depending on the interpretation of the cited statutes, it may or may not qualify as a C&R firearm as of 2008. Yet there is no doubt that it represents the original SIG P210 design in its last embodiment to date.
—The author thanks Paul Kümin for his kind contributions of information incorporated in this article. If you own a SIG P210 with a test target that indicates the date of its shooting, please send its copy to the author as an email attachment, for incorporation into this list.