You have certainly led a sheltered collector's life.Hello,
I recently purchased a copy of Mr. Stepan's gold edition at my last visit to Tom Whiteman's shop.
I have since read it cover to cover.
I started collecting german axis pistols in the 90's.
I changed directions in collecting, went to USMC firearms, and recently returned to axis pistols.
Mr. Stepan's work is the newest research to come out on axis pistols in decades.
I was not even aware of the "documentation" in existence on SS pistols
It's been a long time since I've gotten excited about collecting as there
has been nothing "new" until I came across this work.
It is worth buying and reading because you never know what you may stumble onto.
I am excited about obtaining a genuine documented PPK supported by an archive record. Now that is worth getting excited about.
While I do not mean lessen Mr. Stepan's accomplishments, the original archival research on this topic was completed and published several years prior to the publishing of his book by the noted German collectors and researchers Dieter Marschall and Joachim Görtz. These men located, cited and published the RSHA arsenal inventory documentation from German archives. In turn, this information was soon elaborated upon by members of the National Automatic Pistol Collectors Association who first connected the archival information with the actual physical characteristics of the RSHA pistols in members' collections. These physical characteristics as described in Stepan's book had never been associated with the guns listed in the Marschall/Görtz book until their work.
It remained for Mr. Stepan to re-publish the Marschall/Gortz book but with the ultimate benefit of including all the documentation discovered and identified by Görtz and Marschall that was also available in the US National Archives. And Mr. Stepan has included his voluminous RSHA pistol data base information for the benefit of collectors.
Others of us have contributed in other small ways by providing information/articles on the aspects of the RSHA weapon documentation.