9x19 mm Parabellum
1 025 g
50 m (?)
Range of effective fire
~ 50 m
The VIS is a
Polish semi-automatic pistol. It is named after its designers -
Wilniewczyc i (and) Skrzypinski. The original name is WIS,
however it was changed to VIS. Also the name "Vis" means strength in
Latin. Development began in 1930. First prototype of this pistol was
completed in 1931. Soon it was trialed by the Polish armed forces.
The Polish Army adopted it in 1935 as the VIS wz.35. It became a
standard issue handgun in service with the Polish military. This
pistol was produced at weapon factory in Radom city. Some people
incorrectly refer it as "Radom", due to a marking on the slide.
In 1939 when
the factory was captured by Germans, production of this pistol
continued for the German armed forces. In the German military it was
known as a P-35. It was issued to the German navy, paratroopers,
police and SS units. The native Polish workers promptly began
smuggling parts of the pistol out of the factory to arm resistance
fighters. When the Germans found out about this practice, they
executed a dozen plant workers. To stop sabotage, the Germans
started making barrels for this pistol in Austria. At some point all
machinery was carried-over to Austria where these pistols were
assembled using original Polish made parts.
different versions of this pistol have been manufactured since its
introduction. The VIS is considered by many experts as one of the
best WWII era pistols.
production of this pistol was restarted. A limited number of exact
copies were produced for civilian customers and collectors.
The VIS is a
9 mm clone of an
pistol, developed by a legendary John Browning. At that time patents
for the M1911 were expiring. However the Polish pistol is chambered
for 9x19 mm ammunition. It also has some features of the
Hi-Power, that was also developed by the Browning. However both
the VIS and Hi-Power were developed during the same time frame and
were both adopted in 1935.
The VIS is a
short-recoil operated weapon. The barrel locking system is similar
to that of the Browning Hi-Power. The VIS has a single action
trigger. This pistol has no manual safeties. There is an M1911-style
grip safety. The lever on the frame is not a safety, but a slide
retaining latch, that aids disassembling. There is a decocker switch
on the slide.
is well-made and robust. However quality reduced when the factory
was taken over by Germans in 1939. As production progressed Germans
simplified its manufacturing process.
The VIS is
fed from a single-stack 8-round capacity magazines.
has simple iron sights. Effective range of fire is about 50 meters.
The VIS is more accurate than contemporary Soviet
but looses in terms of penetration.
pistols, produced between 1935 and 1939 had a grip mount for a