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Walther PP
300px
Original Walther PP pistol.
Type Semi-automatic pistol
Place of origin Weimar Republic
Service history
In service 1935-present
Used by See Users
Wars World War II
Production history
Designer Carl Walther Waffenfabrik
Designed 1929
Manufacturer Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen
Produced 1929–present
Number built Over 5 millionScript errorScript error[citation needed]
Variants PPK, PPK-L, PPKS, PP-Super and PPK/E
Specifications
Weight Script error (PP 9x17mm Short/.380 ACP)
Script error (PP 7.65x17mm Browning SR/.32 ACP)
Script error (PP .22 LR)
Script error (PPK 9x17mm Short/.380 ACP)
Script error (PPK 7.65x17mm Browning SR/.32 ACP)
Script error (PPK .22 LR)
Script error (PPK/S 9x17mm Short/.380 ACP)
Script error (PPK/S 7.65x17mm Browning SR/.32 ACP)
Script error (PPK/S .22 LR)
Script error (PPK-L 7.65x17mm Browning SR/.32 ACP)
Script error (PPK-L .22 LR)
Script error (PP-Super)
Length Script error (PP)
Script error (PPK)
Script error (PPK/S)
Script error (PPK-L)
Script error (PP-Super)
Barrel length Script error (PP)
Script error (PPK, PPK/S, PPK-L))
Script error (PP-Super)
Width Script error (PP, PPK/S, PPK-E)
Script error (PPK)
Script error (PP-Super)
Height Script error (PP)
Script error (PPK)
Script error (PPK/S)
Script error (PPK-E)
Script error (PP-Super)

Cartridge 7.65x17mm Browning SR (.32 ACP)
9x17mm Short (.380 ACP)
.22 Long Rifle
6.35x15mm Browning SR (.25 ACP)
9x18mm Ultra (PP-Super)
Action Straight blowback
Muzzle velocity Script error (PP 9x17mm Short/.380 ACP)
Script error (PP 7.65x17mm Browning SR/.32 ACP)
Script error (PP .22 LR)
Script error (PPK/PPK/S 9x17mm Short/.380 ACP)
Script error (PPK/PPK/S/PPK-L 7.65x17mm Browning SR/.32 ACP)
Script error (PPK/PPK/S/PPK-L .22 LR)
Script error (PP-Super)
Feed system Magazine capacity:
PP: 10+1 (.22LR), 8+1 (.32 ACP)
7+1 (.380)
PPK: 8+1 (.22 LR), 7+1 (.32 ACP)
6+1 (.380).
Sights Fixed iron sights, rear notch and front blade

The Walther PP (police pistol) series pistols are blowback-operated semi-automatic pistols.

They feature an exposed hammer, a traditional double-action trigger mechanism, a single-column magazine, and a fixed barrel which also acts as the guide rod for the recoil spring. The series includes the Walther PP, PPK, PPK/S, and PPK/E.

The various PP series are manufactured in either Germany or the United States.[1] Since 2002, the PPK variant is solely manufactured by Smith & Wesson in Houlton, Maine, United States, under license from Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen. In the past, this particular model has been manufactured by Carl Walther in its own factory in Germany, as well as under licenses by Manurhin in Alsace, France, and by Interarms in Alexandria, Virginia.

Originally built in 1929, the Walther PPK remains a popular pistol used today for concealed carry, V.I.P. protection, MI5, European and American police.

OverviewEdit

The PP was released in 1929 and the PPK in 1931; both were popular with European police and civilians, for being reliable and concealable. During World War II they were issued to the German military and police, the Schutzstaffel, the Luftwaffe, and Nazi Party officials; Adolf Hitler shot and killed himself with his PPK (a 7.65mm/.32 ACP) in the Führerbunker in Berlin.[2] Moreover, the Walther PPK (also a 7.65mm/.32 ACP) pistol is famous as fictional secret agent James Bond's signature gun in many of the films and novels: Ian Fleming's choice of the Walther PPK directly influenced its popularity and its notoriety.[3][4]

The most common variant is the Walther PPK, the Polizeipistole Kriminalmodell (Police Pistol Detective Model), indicating it was more concealable than the original PP and hence better suited to plainclothes or undercover work. Kriminal refers to the police detective (criminal) division.[5] Sometimes, the name Polizeipistole Kurz (Short Police Pistol) is used; however, the accuracy of that interpretation is unclear. The PPK is a smaller version of the PP (Polizeipistole) with a shorter grip and barrel and reduced magazine capacity.

File:Astra constable.3.jpg

The PP and the PPK were among the world's first successful double action semi-automatic pistols that were widely copied, but still made by Walther. The design inspired other pistols, among them the Soviet Makarov, the Hungarian FEG PA-63, the Argentinian Bersa Thunder 380, the Spanish Astra Constable, and the Czech CZ50.

Postwar manufactureEdit

EuropeEdit

Walther's original factory was located in Zella-Mehlis in the state (Land) of Thuringia. As that part of Germany was occupied by the Soviet Union following World War II, Walther was forced to flee to West Germany, where they established a new factory in Ulm. However, for several years following the war, the Allied powers forbade any manufacture of weapons in Germany. As a result, in 1952, Walther licensed production of the PP series pistols to a French company, Manufacture de Machines du Haut-Rhin, also known as Manurhin. The French company continued to manufacture the PP series until 1986. In fact, all postwar European-made PP series pistols manufactured until 1986 were manufactured by Manurhin, even though the pistol slide may bear the markings of the Walther factory in Ulm. Script errorScript error[citation needed]

File:Walther PPK 1848.jpg

United StatesEdit

In 1978, Ranger Manufacturing of Gadsden, Alabama was licensed to manufacture the PPK and PPK/S; this version was distributed by Interarms of Alexandria, Virginia. This license was eventually canceled. Starting in 2002, Smith & Wesson (S&W) began manufacturing the PPK and PPK/S under license. In February 2009, S&W issued a recall for PPKs it manufactured for a defect in the hammer block safety.[6]

Walther has indicated that, with the exception of the PP and the new PPK/E model, S&W is the current sole source for new PPK-type pistols.[7]

PPK versus PPK/SEdit

File:ATF Form 4590 - Factoring Criteria for Weapons.jpg

The PPK/S was developed following the enactment of the Gun Control Act of 1968 (GCA68) in the United States, the pistol's largest market (Hogg 1979:164). One of the provisions of GCA68 banned the importation of pistols and revolvers not meeting certain requirements of length, weight, and other "sporting" features into the United States. The PPK failed the "Import Points" test of the GCA68 by a single point. (See image of ATF Form 4590 for the complete list of qualifying points.) Walther addressed this situation by combining the PP's frame with the PPK's barrel and slide to create a pistol that weighed slightly more than the PPK. The additional ounce or two of weight of the PPK/S compared to the PPK was sufficient to provide the extra needed import points.

Because United States law allowed domestic production (as opposed to importation) of the PPK, manufacture began under license in the U.S. in 1978; this version was distributed by Interarms. The version currently manufactured by Smith & Wesson has been modified by incorporating a longer grip tang (S&W calls it "extended beaver tail"),[8] better protecting the shooter from slide bite, i.e. the rearward-traveling slide's pinching the web between the index finger and thumb of the firing hand, which could be a problem with the original design for people with larger hands or an improper grip, especially when using "hotter" cartridge loads.


The PPK/S differs from the PPK as follows:

  • Overall height: Script error
  • Weight: the PPK/S weighs Script error more than the PPK
  • The PPK/S magazine holds one additional round, in both calibers.

As of 2007, the PPK/S and the PPK are offered in the following calibers: .32 ACP (with capacities of 8+1 for PPK/S and 7+1 for PPK); or .380 ACP (PPK/S: 7+1, PPK: 6+1).

PPK-LEdit

File:Walther PPK-L.jpg

In the 1950s, Walther produced the PPK-L which was a light-weight variant of the PPK. The PPK-L differed from the standard, all steel PPK in that it had an aluminium alloy frame. These were only chambered in 7.65mm Browning (.32 ACP) and .22 LR because of the increase in felt recoil from the lighter weight of the gun. All other features of the postwar production PPK/S (brown plastic grips with Walther banner, high polished blue finish, lanyard loop, loaded chamber indicator, 7+1 magazine capacity and overall length) were the same on the PPK-L. In the 1960s, Walther began stamping "Made in West Germany" on the frame of the pistol right below the magazine release button. The 1950s production pistols had the date of manufacture, designated as 'month/year', stamped on the right side of the slide. Starting in the 1960s, the production date, designated by the last two digits of the year, was stamped on the exposed part of the barrel which could be seen in the ejection port.

PP SuperEdit

First marketed in 1972, this was an all-steel variant of the PP chambered for the 9x18mm Ultra cartridge. Designed as a Police service pistol, it was a blowback operated, double-action pistol with an external slide-stop lever and a firing-pin safety. A manual decocker lever was on the left side of the slide; when pushed down, it locked the firing pin and released the hammer. When the 9mm Parabellum was chosen as the standard service round by most of the German police forces, the experimental 9mm Ultra round fell into disuse. Only about 2,000 PP super pistols were sold to German police forces in the 1970s, and lack of sales caused the PP Super to be withdrawn from the Walther catalogue in 1979.[9]

PPK/EEdit

File:WaltherPPK-E.png

At the 2000 Internationale Waffen-Ausstellung (IWA - International Weapons Exhibition) in Nuremberg, Walther announced a new PPK variant designated as the PPK/E.[10][11] The PPK/E resembles the PPK/S and has a blue steel finish; it is manufactured under license by FEG in Hungary. Despite the resemblance between the two, certain PP-PPK-PPK/S parts, such as magazines, will not interchange with the PPK/E. The official factory photographs do not refer to the pistol's Hungarian origins; instead, the traditional Walther legend ("Carl Walther Waffenfabrik Ulm/Do.") is stamped on the left side of the slide. The factory announcement mentions that the PPK/E is made with "new manufacturing technologies", presumably in an effort to reduce costs.

As of May 2008, the PPK/E bore a suggested retail price in Germany of 441 euros, almost 200 euros cheaper than the PPK and PPK/S models imported from the U.S.[12] The PPK/E is offered in .22 LR, .32 ACP, and .380 ACP calibers.

UsersEdit

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. Script error
  2. Fischer (2008) p. 47 "...Günsche stated he entered the study to inspect the bodies, and observed Hitler ...sat...sunken over, with blood dripping out of his right temple. He had shot himself with his own pistol, a PPK 7.65."
  3. A.E. Hartink, The Complete Encyclopedia of Pistols and Revolvers, page 368
  4. [1]Script error[dead link]
  5. http://www.genitron.com/Handgun/Walther/Pistol/PPK/32-Auto/Variant-2
  6. Script error
  7. Script errorScript error[dead link]
  8. http://www.smith-wesson.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductDisplay?catalogId=13152&storeId=10002&productId=58946&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=43802&isFirearm=Y
  9. Script error
  10. Script error
  11. Script error
  12. Script errorScript error[dead link]
  13. Script errorScript error[dead link]
  14. 14.00 14.01 14.02 14.03 14.04 14.05 14.06 14.07 14.08 14.09 14.10 14.11 Jones, Richard D. Jane's Infantry Weapons 2009/2010. Jane's Information Group; 35 edition (January 27, 2009). ISBN 978-0-7106-2869-5.
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Script error
  16. Script error
  17. Script error
  18. Script error
  19. Script error
  20. Marchington, James (2004). The Encyclopedia of Handheld Weapons. Lewis International, Inc. ISBN 1-930983-14-X.

ReferencesEdit

  • Fischer, Thomas (2008). Soldiers Of the Leibstandarte. J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing, Inc. ISBN 978-0-921991-91-5.
  • Script error
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External linksEdit

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