Walther .22 Single-Shot Nazi Rifle


August 31, 2007, 05:38 PM
A friend has a W.W. II (or earlier) .22 Walther rifle that was literally taken off a dead Nazi during the war by his grandfather (now deceased as well). It has a purely cylindrical receiver, a straight tapered barrel currently of about 25.25" in length with no sign of iron sights or any place to mount them. There is also no sign of any original method of mounting a scope, though it has since been drilled and tapped. The Walther logo and several original proof marks are clearly visible, but the original stock is lost.

It has a simple bedding block that consists of a piece or threaded round rod dovetailed into the bottom of the barrel. Original finish: blued.

Does anyone know anything about this rifle? I could not find anything in several Google searches I've done, though I found some 22 Walther rifles, all of them had more sophisticated receivers. We'd like to know the model, and possibly find an original stock, and to know more about how the thing was intended to be sighted and used.

If someone has any leads, we can provide quality photos.

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August 31, 2007, 08:16 PM
It could be a Volksrifle made by Walther. They were dirt-cheap last-ditch rifles made in the final months of the war, basically the simplest possible piece of steel and wood that could hit a target. HOWEVER, most were made to use the Mauser round, for supply reasons. And I don't know that Walther ever made any, given that they were busy cranking out all the pistols and rifles they could already.
It could also be a training rifle that was pressed into service for whatever reason, which is more likely. There were many different .22 trainers, and some were pretty darn basic designs.

August 31, 2007, 09:07 PM
Training rifle sounds more likely. Its definitely .22 rimfire, and had what appears to have been a nice blued finish, but is very plain otherwise. It sports the classic Walther banner logo running left-to-right on top of the receiver behind the loading/ejection port, and "Waffenfabrik something something" running lengthwise aft of the logo (can't read it all due to a later drilling of the receiver for scope mounts). It should be easy to recognise the printing for someone who knows what to look for. The trigger guard (assuming its original) attaches to the stock without touching the receiver.

The G.I. who brought it from Germany called a "sniper rifle" which seems odd to me.

Father Knows Best
August 31, 2007, 09:27 PM
I'm no expert on this stuff, but from what I do know, it is extremely unlikely that anything made for the German military would bear the "classic Walther banner logo." German military production used letter codes to identify the manufacturer, specifically because the Germans didn't want the Allies to know what factories were being used to produce the arms. It sounds like pre-war commercial to me.

Keep in mind that the Versailles Treaty severely limited military arms production in Germany between the end of WWI and the late 1930s. In that time frame, lots of 22 rifles were produced, ostensibly for "sporting" purposes but they also intended by the German government to be trainers, so when the Army was rebuilt and re-armed, the troops would already be proficient in the use of rifles.

Jim Watson
August 31, 2007, 09:37 PM
I have a Pre WW II Walther .22 of very simple construction but good quality and accuracy. Given the description of the gun and the circumstances of its use, I think you have a Walther target rifle in use by last ditch resistance. The only thing I get stuck on is a lack of sights. It was usual in those days to store the sights off the gun, but there ought to be a base or dovetail visible on the gun.

Pictures would be nice. Proof marks will at least roughly date its manufacture.

August 31, 2007, 09:46 PM
War stories get inflated sometimes although I have the utmost respect for all the WWII guys (each one is a hero in his own way). I have run into a couple including a guy who sold me some wood tipped turkish mauser ammo that he allegedly took off a German Sniper from the Afrika Corps. Also when things get passed down it's even worse--they are all sniper rifles. My bet is that it's a trainer a WWII vet I knew as a kid had the same type of .22 and said he traded for it and that it was a trainer although I think it may have been a Mauser. Obviously even the Hitler Youth got in last ditch in Berlin so who the Hell knows maybe some nette Deutscher Jungen ist Todd von der Amerikanerischer Garand. God my German is bad now sorry!

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
August 31, 2007, 11:11 PM
It almost sounds like a Walther Sportmodell V. Does the receiver look anything like this?

Walther Pre-War "Sport Model V" .22 caliber bolt action. "Waffenfabrik Walther, Zella-Mehlis Thuringen"

Currently for sale at Sarco, Inc. Granted, without the stock, yours isn't going to look like this if it is a Sportmodell.

Yes, I own one that looks like this, without the fugly swivels.


Sylvilagus Aquaticus
September 2, 2007, 10:15 PM
Bump, because I want to see your pictures of it.

September 3, 2007, 09:12 PM
The file names speak for themselves. The forward portion of the bolt, containing the firing pin (separate from the striker) the extractor, and guide slot can be rotated and removed from the bolt assembly with a simple twist-- a bit like removing a spade-type light bulb. The cocking indicator can be clearly seen in the cocked position in the "BarreldAction" image. The proof marks and cartouches are a matter of pure speculation for me. In the Right and Left side proof images, I was sure to leave in one of the tapped holes on top of the barrel for reference.

The trigger is adjustable for take-up and sear engagement. The front adjusting screw is missing, but the purpose of the threaded hole is unmistakable. The trigger is serrated.

Unless I'm blind, there is no sign of iron sights or a provision for mounting any sights (maybe on the original stock?) The tapped holes were done (poorly) stateside. There is no safety. I loaded the images on my web server, in case you don't want to spend bandwidth on all of them. They're large. Be sure to view them full sized if your browser auto-sizes them:









Jim Watson
September 3, 2007, 11:47 PM
My Walther single shot is exactly like yours. Same action, same skinny bolt head, no safety, same proof marks, same Walther banner, same trademark.

Except that mine is complete with stock and has sights; a tangent rear with windage adjustment and reversible leaf V to U notch and a long front ramp with dovetailed blade.

I have always thought it was a Mk V Meisterbusche but cannot be sure, they had more guns for the home market than they exported and I figure this one was war loot. The proof marks date it to before 1939 when the Nazis rewrote the proof law.

The rifle is 70+ years old and we bombed the factory, then the Soviets took over Thuringia and made it East Germany. Records and parts are surely gone.

I figure Bubba melted the solder and took off the iron sights when he scabbed on the scope bases.

Ron James
September 4, 2007, 11:08 AM
In reference to taking the rifle off a dead German soldier, You will find, as was stated, that bring backs were all taken of a high ranking SS officers. Most of the good stories center around sidearms that after the war where nickle or chrome plated. To jack up their prestige the story is that they were always " Special" presentation guns presented by to the German officer by Goring himself. But that's OK, what kind of story would it be for the grand kids to say you just picked it up out of a empty German house.:)

September 4, 2007, 03:25 PM
Jim Watson: Thank you very much. I had been looking for signs of unsoldering, or removal of iron sights, and could find none. That is, assuming the finish to be original. The barrel may have been cut slightly shorter, eliminating the front dovetail. That's partly why I gave the barrel length-- to see if there were others that maybe were slightly longer and had a front sight.

The G.I.'s son has more info, some of which we got over the weekend:

He has the scope and mounts that were on the rifle in Germany. We haven't seen them, but he's looking for them. I'm very curious.

The G.I. was a radio operator in a unit (we don't know yet which unit because I wasn't in on the conversation) that was taking sniper fire. Our radio man and some others were all trying to locate the sniper(s). Some others in his unit dispatched said sniper(s) and our radio man went and picked up the rifle in question. He then broke the rifle down and shipped it to the states in pieces. No claims of SS, or of a special officer's piece or any of that-- just some German harassing American troops with a pre war, scoped .22. I used the term "Nazi" in the thread title, but for all we know at the moment it was just some guy with a little target rifle.

I intend to speak directly with the son of our radio man and get some more detail. Should be able to nail it down to a verifiable unit, effort, time and place, etc..

Jim: Could you be bothered to take some photos of your rifle? I would consider it a huge favor, and it might allow us to recreate a stock for it. The bore and action are in very good condition. Though the exterior finish is atrocious, I think that can be addressed.

Walther's web site was of no help.

Jim Watson
September 4, 2007, 04:15 PM
I will see what I can do re pictures, but it won't be fast.
In the meanwhile, look at

That is the stock style and sight installation I have, but that is not the same as our action. It has a bolt sleeve like a Mauser and a full diameter bolt. Looks like we have, as I thought likely, a home market gun not much known or studied here.

My barrel is also about 25.25" (64 cm?) so yours was not likely cut off enough to remove the front sight.

September 4, 2007, 05:26 PM
Beautiful! After looking at the photo, I now know precisely what to look for, and indeed, though the whole surface of the receiver and barrel is corroded, there are two rectangular patches where there is no sign of original bluing, and I hadn't noticed them before-- the position of the rear sight in the photo and the position of the front sight in the photo-- only brown rust and white. There is also a very fine, very straight scribe line along the left side of each bare patch, which might have been used to locate the sight bases at the factory. Never would have noticed them before.

We often see the same scribe lines when disassembling musical instruments (brass and saxophones) where various parts are soldered on. They can be locators, or more often they are the result of scraping the solder afterwards during cleanup. In this case I'd say they were locators because they're only on the one side.

Jim Watson
September 4, 2007, 06:23 PM
I think that confirms yours was once just like mine.
You will not likely find original sights or stock for a pre WW II rifle. I'd just try to have the metal surfaces cleaned up by sand or bead blasting and maybe a coating type finish. Use Bubba's scope mounts or at least the attaching holes.
I fear a stock will have to be made, not cheap.

Visit my friend's 22 board and see if somebody there can help on that.

Sylvilagus Aquaticus
October 22, 2007, 01:38 AM
I know this is way overdue, but my Sportmodell V is the same rifle as the one you've posted in the photos, Jim. Mine, however does have a 3/8 inch dovetail for rings which was factory milled the length of the receiver.


December 30, 2007, 04:59 PM
New here. I have an old German .22, first gun I bought as a kid. The safety is broken and it has a hair trigger. I'm thinking of getting rid of it or fixing it, so in a quiet moment I did a search and came up here. I never looked at the markings, except for Walther. The pawn shop told me it was a cut down trainer, but now I know different. Obviously it's been neglected, thrown around, and kept in the back of closets and in a couple of basements, but not too bad for 50 years.

The safety was a very fragile little tab at the back of the bolt. It broke when the rifle fell over and hit something. I've lost the tab, but the shaft that carried it is in one of the pictures.

It's a Sportmodel, with no V after. Since there is a lot of talk about sights, I've made some closeups of them. Although the stock is butchered/replaced, I'd bet the metalwork is original. I bought it late 50s.

The old thing is unsightly and the trigger is deadly dangerous, but it's an excellent shooter. I'd love to find a bolt, or someone with parts to fix mine. Of course I'd be glad to answer questions about dimensions, etc.

Is there any chance these were fitted with full military stocks, which would lend weight to the "cut down" theory? BTW, I paid $10 fo it!


December 30, 2007, 05:01 PM
I didn't know about the five file limit until I was sending. Here are the last two. W

January 22, 2008, 10:30 PM
My wife's grandfather picked up a Walther Sportmodell when hs was in Germany during the end of the war. It is different then the pics in this thread. The wood stock extends almost the entire lenght of the rifle leaving only a few inches of barrel. It also has wood stock wrapping around the barrel between the front and rear sight. The stock has a manufactured "hole" in the stock for a sling and is branded with "SA-STA9". Anyone know anything about this?

January 22, 2008, 10:59 PM
I found an old brochure of the rifle in question.


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