Post WWII Walther History ??? - Pistolsmith

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Old 02-11-2003, 09:07 AM   #1
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Post WWII Walther History ???

Perhaps someone could provide some insight on Wather's post WWII history....especially about where guns were produced.

At the end of WWII Walther facilities were badly damaged.
1. Was the old factory in the russian-occupied sector?
2. Then, apparently PP's and PPK's were made in France for 10 or 20 years under contract for Walther? How long?
3. Were the P-38's of that era also made by Manhurin in France?
4. When did Walther rebuild a factory in west germany?
5. What guns were/are actually made by Walther in west germany?

Thanks for the insights.
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Old 02-11-2003, 12:02 PM   #2
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In order:
1. The Walther plant at Zella-Mellis was in the Soviet area. They stripped the plant of everything including the mice and shipped it to Russia. The tooling and equipment was used to make the Makorov pistol, which is very loosely based on the Walther PP series pistols. The Makorov ISN'T a PP, but did use the PP as the base idea.

2. After the war, Walther escaped to the West, bringing with him the production plans for the Walther pistols.
In the early 50's the new German government wanted to rearm the police and military with the P-38 and PP guns, but Walther had no plant.
Walther contracted with the French firm of Manuhrin to produce all Walther PP and P-38 guns.

Production of the P-38 was moved back to the new Walther plant at Ulm after a few years, but the PP's continued to be made in France until at least the early 90's. Walther moved production of the PPK/s to America in the 80's and Manuhrin began to offer the PPK/s for sale in America under their name.
Walther and Manuhrin began a gun magazine "war", each claiming to be "the original". After a year or so, Manuhrin stopped importing their guns.

The Walther and Manuhrin PP's were made in the same plant, on the same machines. The Manuhrin guns were produced, shipped a few miles over the German boarder to the Walther plant, where they were blued, stamped "Made in Germany" and sold as such.
To be fair, in Europe the country where a gun is proof-fired is considered the country of manufacture.

The Manuhrin marked guns imported were in the EXACT same box as Walther guns, and had the EXACT same manual (the pictures of Walther marked guns, had the Walther markings airbrushed off, and Manuhrin markings added). The guns are one and the same.

3. As above, P-38's were also made in France. They had Walther markings, and were stamped as "Made in France under Walther license, by Manhurin".

4. I'm uncertain, probably in the mid-50's.

5. Walther made the P-38/P-1, the P-4, the P-5, and the newer guns. Also a number of rifles.

Apparently, the P-38 and PP pistols are no longer in production.
Only the PPK and PPK/s are still produced here in the USA.
Old 02-11-2003, 12:06 PM   #3
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Good and interesting response dfariswheel. Are you a Walther fan/collector?
Old 02-11-2003, 02:43 PM   #4
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I've owned several P-38 and P-4's, and both Walther and Manuhrin PPK/s'.

They're nice guns.
Old 02-12-2003, 04:04 AM   #5
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Very Helpful

Thanks for the information. This clears up my questions.

I have a 1970's .22 PPK that is marked "Ulm,Germany" but was probably made (for the most part) in France.
Old 02-13-2003, 10:42 AM   #6
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walther plant

wheel pretty good

A majority of the machinary was moved to Russia, where it rusted, but some stayed behind at the request of the DDR, all machinary for firearm production was moved up the road to Suhl, Walther marked machinary has been observed in China
post war East german production of PP's was from armoury kits and spares found in the original factory, plus newly made parts, they rebuilt and made Luger, p-38's
I have heard of the Mak's being made on old walther machinary, but that was in Suhl capital of the finest firearms, Ak's were produced in the old Krieghoff plant in the vicinity

capt jack a long time collector of fine Walther products
Old 02-13-2003, 04:31 PM   #7
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Capt. Jack:
Thanks, I just knew the Walther machinery had been stripped from the plant, and had heard it was shipped to Russia.
This from Post-war American accounts of the occupation of Germany.

Question for you: I've heard references to a very late war P-38 hammer known as a "cog hammer". What precisely is this?
Old 02-14-2003, 06:17 AM   #8
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cog hammer

late in the war the hammer serration changed from 8 fine lines to 3 thick lines or serrations on the hammer, very distinctive found usually on Walther made P-38,
I remembered last night that the P-38 production facilities captured by the russian was the spreewerks facility in berlin , the spare parts and machinary went to czech, to rebuild and build East germany and Israel P-38's
the walther plant was captured by the americans and the mauser plant with free french forces

capt jack
Old 02-14-2003, 03:47 PM   #9
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