Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record

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Maker/Manufacturer:WALTHER, CARL
Date of Manufacture:1939-1944
Eminent Figure:
Catalog Number:SPAR 1945
Measurements:OL: 17.1CM 6 3/4" BL: 9.5CM 3 3/4" 1.9 lbs. unloaded

Object Description:

Manufactured by Walther, Zella-Mehlis, Germany - Standard semi-automatic Walther PP with Nazi acceptance stamps. Blowback operated, double-action. Blued finish. Two-piece black checkered plastic grips. 6-groove rifling, right hand twist. Muzzle velocity 1000 fps. Weapon weighs approximately 1.9 lbs. unloaded. Weapon is complete 8-round detachable box magazine and in good condition. Cartridge: .32 ACP.

CAL. 7.65MM. MOD PP. Nazi eagle/WaA359. Right side: Eagle/N. 335667P.
Frame: Nazi eagle/WaA359. Right side: 335667P.
Grips: Walther banner.

Weapon transferred to the Museum on 30 March 1960.

Notes: "The Carl Walther Waffenfabrik (weapons factory) was established in 1886, but did not begin to make self-loading pistols until 1908. Its first nine models were numbered, but in 1929 it produced a tenth model designed specifically for police work, and this was designated the Polizei Pistole 'PP.' It was of a new and, to some extent, revolutionary design, and rapidly achieved popularity after its appearance in 1929. It was very soon adopted as a holster arm by several European police forces, and later also became the standard pistol of the German Luftwaffe. Its main feature was its double-action lock, which was basically of revolver type and which involved the use of an external hammer. A considerable risk was involved in carrying hammerless self-loaders - and even, to a lesser extent, many earlier hammer versions - with a round in the chamber. However, when a round had been loaded into the chamber of a Walther and the safety catch applied, the fall of the trigger could be disconcerting, but was completely safe, for the action of the safety placed a steel guard between the hammer and the firing pin. The pistol was easily stripped by pulling down the trigger-guard and pushing very slightly to the left, after which the slide was eased off." - Miller

"Walther's first major contribution came in 1929 when designer Fritz Walther brought out the world's first commercial double-action automatic pistol. The PP (Polizei Pistole) made in caliber .32 ACP was later offered in .380 ACP and in a .22 Long Rifle version intended for training purposes. A very few .25 ACP Model PP's were made.
The double-action feature caught on with many European law enforcement agencies. The PP was later to become the favorite side arm of the Brown Shirts (S.A.), Black Shirts (S.S.), the Gestapo, and Wehrmacht officers." - Smith

"This pistol, introduced in 1929, was a radical improvement on anything which had gone before. It was the first totally successful self-loading pistol which incorporated a double-action trigger mechanism, and it exhibited a clean and streamlined shape. It was originally produced as a police pistol - hence the initials PP (for Polizei Pistole) - for holster use by uniformed officers, and it was later employed by the German services in large numbers. Originally developed in 7.65mm Browning caliber, models were also made in .22 Long Rifle, 6.35mm ACP (rare) and 9mm Short chambering, all of which are almost identical in external appearance. An uncomplicated blowback weapon, an interesting innovation found in the centerfire innovation found in the centerfire models was the provision of a signal pin which floated in the slide and pressed on the rim of the chambered round so that the end of the pin protruded just above the hammer and gave a visual and tactile indication that the weapon was loaded. Another unusual feature was the safety catch on the slide which, when applied, moved the firing pin into a safe position and then dropped the hammer, so that all that was necessary to fire was a long pull on the trigger to raise and release the hammer.
After World War II, this pistol was copied, with or without permission, in several countries. It was manufactured commercially, under license, by Manurhin of France until 1954, when Walther once more entered the firearms business, and it haIn c. 1931-33, Walther produced an enlarged blowback version of the PP in 9mm Parabellum for possible military adoption, which they called the MP (Military Pistol); it was not successful, the army being reluctant to adopt a blowback weapon." - Hogg & Weeks

Hogg, Ian V. John S. Weeks. MILITARY SMALL ARMS OF THE 20TH CENTURY. 7th Ed. Krause Publications. Iola, Wi. 2000.
Hogg, Ian. SMALL ARMS: PISTOLS AND RIFLES. Stackpole Books. Mechanicsburg, Pa. 2001.
Smith, W.H.B. MAUSER, WALTHER & MANNLICHERS FIREARMS. Stackpole Books. Harrisburg, Pa. 1971.
Miller, David. THE ILLUSTRATED DIRECTORY OF 20TH CENTURY GUNS. Salamander Books, Ltd. London, England. 2001.
Walter, John. THE GREENHILL DICTIONARY OF GUNS AND GUN MAKERS. Stackpole. Mechanicsburg, Pa. 2001.

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