Tag Archives: Walther Zella-Mehlis factory

My first 5th Variation Walther PP

So this one came through the GDC warehouse a few weeks ago and I saw it once it hit the site.

After it was on there for a few days, I pulled the trigger (metaphorically) and bought it. The back story was that a guy had it as a truck gun for years (!) and wasn’t feeling it any more so he passed it on to GDC.

Well, it just came in at my local FFL and I have cleaned it up a bit and checked it out.

Walther PP .32ACP 5th Wartime variation, circa very late 1944. Rough “last ditch” frame preparation. Correct dull finish—turning plum– with no slide legend rather than the company’s traditional deep blue finish and scrollwork.

Three Eagle N marked commercial Nitro proofs on slide and barrel.

Early war pinky rest mag with “W” and “m/m” marks rather than the post-war “mm.”

Early war weighted grips along with a fire-blued early war hammer, decocker, and extractor.

No import marks anywhere so this is a bring-back for sure.

Only some 4,000 of these 5th variation PPs were believed made and you saw a lot of mismatch on these as they were “clean-ups” from old parts bins and returned guns, hence the early war weighted grips, blued small parts, and pinky mag on a late war frame, barrel, and slide.

The pistol has no Waffanampts so this one may have been left in the factory waiting for inspection when the GIs came in ‘45 and got quickly snatched up as a souvenir.

The 11th Armored and 90th Infantry Division came into Zella-Mehlis and put the Walther factory under lock and key. Inside, they found something like 1,600 P-38s and 4,600 PPs and PPKs in various stages of manufacture.

Walther’s historic Zella-Mehlis factory was captured first by the U.S. Army who then fell back after a few weeks as the city was in the Soviet occupation zone. By all accounts, the GIs left few pistols behind for Stalin’s Frontoviks.

These guns lead such strange lives. From a Joe’s duffle bag coming back from fighting the Nassis to a dude’s glovebox and now in a safe in Florida.

Super happy to get it. My first 5th V.