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Walther PP bring back

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by 444, Sep 29, 2003.

  1. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    A friend at work recently aquired a Walther PP that has been in his family since WWII. The story goes that this pistol was captured during the Battle of the Bulge by his uncle who was a paratrooper. He asked me if I could find out any information on the pistol. I did a little looking around on the internet and couldn't find much. I am guess about the only thing I could find out is the date of manufacture. Of course he is interested in what this is all worth.
    The gun is in excellent condition and he had the holster, magazine, and a cleaning kit (chain, brushes etc. contained in a metal case). The gun itself has almost no markings. The grips are black plastic and are marked Walther. The gun itself contains no markings such as found on my commercial PP. The metal on the gun is not marked Walther. It has stamps on the left of the frame just behind the trigger guard, the left side of the slide just above the mag release, the barrel, and the right side of the slide just below the ejection port which is also right below the stamp on the barrel. The stamp on the left side of the frame and slide appear to be the eagle with something under it that appears to my naked eye to be something like Wa_389 or 359. The stamps on the right side appear to be just the eagle. On the right side of the slide is the serial number: 3796**P and below that are the lowercase letters: ac. Another matching serial number appears on the right side of the frame behind the trigger guard. No other markings appear on the gun. It isn't even marked as to caliber. Of course there are no import marks. The metal doesn't appear to have been finished to the standard of a commercial gun, you can see light machine marks throughout. The finish is, I guess, matte.
    The holster is a standard black flap holster with a place for a spare mag. Inside the flap the leather is printed with "Walther PP" in blue ink. Under the Leather fastener the leather is stamped with "DRGM" Under that a symbol which has been obscured by wear and then under that symbol is "Akah"
    The cleaning kit has the eagle holding a swastika on one end and also the letters "cmr 41"

    Any thoughts or ideas would be appreciated.
  2. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    The only reference book I have along these lines is German Pistols and Revolvers 1871-1945 by Ian Hogg.
    The only things I have gotten from that book is that the "ac" under the serial number is a manufacturer's code indicating Carl Walther GmbH, Zella-Mehlis. I see now after consulting the book that the mark on the barrel is an eagle with an "N" under the claws indicating that it has been nitro proofed, possibly this is the same symbol that appears on the right side of the slide but I can't make it out with the unaided eye. Appearently the eagle with "WaA359" is an Army Ordnance Inspector's stamp.
    This book doesn't have a whole lot in it. No serial number ranges or the details of the exact meaning of the various stamps.
  3. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Late in the war, Walther stopped putting on its normal commercial marks and just used the "ac" code. This was strictly to speed production, not for any concealment as everyone knew who "ac" was by that time.

    You have a late war (late 1944-early 1945) pistol. They are serviceable but, as you say, not up to commercial standards. The WaA 359 is the Waffenamt (Weapons Office) inspector at Walther.

    The holster was sold by AKAH (Albrecht Kind, GMBH), then and now a large sporting goods company in Germany. DRGM means Deutsches Reichs Gebrauchmeister, a form of patent.


  4. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Jim

    Does anyone have any insight into what type of personel were issued Walther PP pistols ?
    It has often been said that a military handgun was more a badge of rank than a practical battle implement. I don't agree with that, but I wonder in this case if this isn't true. It would seem that anyone that actually might be in combat would be armed with a P38, a Luger, or a Hi-Power. It would seem to me that a small pistol like the PP might be issued to staff officers ?? Similar to our military issuing the Colt 1903, also in .32 ACP to General Officers instead of the Model of 1911 that was issued to line troops and lessor ranking officers ??????
  5. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    Sometimes I think every adult "Aryan" male in Nazi Germany wore some kind of uniform and carried a gun. That is an exaggeration, of course, but there were an awful lot of police, SS, SD, GESTAPO, etc., etc., as well as customs officers, treasury agents, post office police, again etc. They were an "awful lot" in any meaning you care to put into those words, and most of them carried small pistols.

    In the army and Waffen-SS, the regular military pistols (P.08, P.38) were normally carried by NCOs and by soldiers whose duties involved serving other weapons, like machinegun and artillery crews, and by company grade officers. The smaller pistols were carried by higher ranking officers, as you say, more as badges of office than as serious weapons, and I expect yours was in that category.

    One comment on high ranking officers and symbolic arms comes from the American side. Omar Bradley was once asked by a reporter why he didn't carry pistols like his flashy subordinate, George Patton. Bradley gave the questioner an icy look and replied, "Son, the last morning report showed 1,300,000 men under my command. If they can't protect me, I don't think a lousy pistol is going to do any good."

  6. 444

    444 Well-Known Member

    "Sometimes I think every adult "Aryan" male in Nazi Germany wore some kind of uniform and carried a gun."

    Thanks again Jim.
    I was at a gunshow about a year ago and a guy had a fabulous collection of German belt buckles. Most of course were military, but in the mix I spotted what was obviously a firefighter's belt and buckle. I asked him about it and he told me it was of WWII vintage. He assured me that it had no connection with the Nazi party, so I bought it and began wearing it to work (I am a firefighter). A little research on TFL brought some additional information. A few months later a German firefighter on vacation stopped by our station and confirmed that they still wear the same buckle. Anyway, I am getting way off track here. Among all these belt buckles was one that was very elaborate. Really stunning. I asked him who wore that buckle and he told me it was an elevator operator belt buckle !!! :uhoh:
  7. mete

    mete Well-Known Member

    The same was true of knives. To boost the then sagging knife industry in Solingen the nazi party issued knives to many different groups......As far as the guns, as the war progressed quality of guns decreased. If you get a M98 to sporterize, if it is made during the war first have it checked for cracks and proper case hardening.

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