Tag Archives: walther pp

The Walther that isn’t a Walther while at the same time it was more Walther than others

I love Walther PP, PPK, and PPK/s models and have several. For example, I give you my favorite circa 1974 PPK/s with period Zebrawood grips by Malibu’s Jean St. Henri.

However, despite the Ulm, West Germany rollmarks, the gun above was made in France by Manurhin. Whomp, whomp.

With that being said, check out this gun from mid-1950s East Germany:

The above is a Zella-Mehlis P1001-0, with “fake” ac-code stamps. It was essentially a Walther PP that was made by Germans in Germany on Walther’s old machinery and often included left-over WWII-era parts.

But it’s not a Walther…

More in my column at Guns.com.

Is that a 9mm in your pocket? 1986 edition

While there is a number of very handy and downright pocketable little 9mm pistols today, back in the mid-1980s, Detonics was the main name in the game.

Super compact semi-auto pistols at the time were far from a radical concept, as guns like the assorted Browning Baby and Colt Vest Pocket had been on the market since the 1900s. However, they were more on the pipsqueak level, chambered in .25 ACP. Larger format pistols like the Walther PP/PPK brought .32 ACP and .380 ACP to the table, but if you wanted something with a bit more ballistic performance, you had to cash in your savings bonds and go for a Semmerling or an ASP, both of which were in extremely limited, almost underground, production.

Enter the Detonics Pocket 9.

More in my column at Guns.com.

Circa 1974 Walther PPK/s, You Say?

Drink in this PPK/S that was brought into the country by Interarms while Jerry Ford was in office. A Manurhin-produced gun with Walther of West Germany rollmarks and the antler/stag stamp of the Ulm proof house, it is marked “9mm kurz,” which of course is .380ACP over here.

For reference, the blade is a German Puma Medici swing guard from the same era. I’m a sucker for pairing guns and knives. 

Today, tested with a good defense load and a modern holster, this gun could still clock in for EDC as needed.

One thing for sure, when visiting the range, the PPK continues to turn heads and sparks interest. Although it has very small sights, they are workable, and the gun is almost surprisingly accurate– surely due to its fixed barrel design.

Guns like these are not only collectible, shootable, and useable, but are a great device for bringing new people into the shooting community. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard, “I always wanted to shoot one of those,” when the old Walther comes out of the safe for a breath of fresh air.

Visiting with Boothroyd

As I’ve covered in the past, Sean Connery’s on-screen main piece while holding down the Bond gig across seven installments was a Walther PP/PPK.

One of the most famous of these was the “origin gun” used in 1962’s Dr. No, where M, assisted by Major Boothroyd (in a nod by Fleming to a real British firearms guru), pulls Bond’s pipsqueak Beretta 418 in .25AC (“nice and light, for a lad’s handbag”) for the much more powerful .32ACP Walther (insert modern ballistic snobs having a heart attack right about here).

Of course, the movie kinda screwed it up and used a Beretta M1934 in 9mm Corto and a Walther in .380ACP to recreate the scene from the novel, but still…

Said pistola, SN19174A as confirmed by Bapty prop house– who provided weaponry for every Bond film from Dr. No through To Die Another Day— is up for auction at Julien’s next month.

The bid is already up to $37K.

The briefly rebooted Walther Taschen Pistole

Walther, originally located in Zella-Mehlis, Germany, was founded in 1886– back when Kaiser Willy was on the throne. After spending the first quarter-century of their existence crafting highly accurate schuetzen competition rifles, Fritz Walther returned to the company from an apprenticeship at DWM, home of the Luger pistol, and, seeing the industry was rapidly moving to produce then-novel semi-auto pistols, urged the older Walther to move in that direction as well.

This led to a flurry of new patents for small, blowback-action semi-autos handguns with fixed barrels and the steady production of little popguns from the Walther Model 1 in 1908 through the Model 9 in 1940. Thus:

Fast forward to the 1960s and Walther, after losing their Zella-Mehlis factory to the Soviets– who transported it to the East to make Walther PPs, err Makarov PMs– set up a new plant in West Germany. Their first German-made product after the move (as the PP/PPK and P-38 were being cranked out in France) was a throwback to Fritz’s little pocket pistols, or taschen pistole.

The Walther TP:

Only produced for about a decade, the Walther TP was “retro” even when it was introduced in the 1960s.

More in my column at Guns.com.