Near the end of World War II Walther pressed its wood grips with the Walther Banner. On some of the late PP models there will be an AC proof on the right side of the slide in conjunction with the serial number. Some of the late Waffenamt Model PPs will have no legends or inscriptions on the left side of the slide. These models have flat frames with no step at the trigger guard hinge, and some have no indicator pin. On the Model PPK, the pistol will have the standard brown, one piece wraparound Walther grips and will be found with grayish grips as well as black ones.
The Model PP and PPK in 9mm Kurz are both fairly rare pistols. With Waffenamt proofs they are even rarer. These pistols usually have bottom magazine releases. Their magazines will have the Walther Banner and Cal. 9mm on the left side of the magazine. Many of the 9mm Kurz models had the magazines numbered to the serial number on the pistol. These 9mm Kurz models all had a high polished finish.
There were earlier manufactured Walthers that were used by the military. Walther began to manufacture pistols in 1908 with their production of the Model 1. The Model 4, produced in 1910, was their first really successful pistol. This semiautomatic was the approximate size of the Model PPK that saw use in World War I although there are no records showing that the German military placed a contract with the Walther Company. Most were carried as sidearms by officers of the German Imperial Army. The Model 6 was basically a large Model 4 in caliber 9mm Parabellum.
It was designed for the German Imperial Army in 1915. It was the first pistol that Walther designed and produced for the military and the first Walther in 9mm parabellum. It was produced for a period of two years and there were probably less than 1500 manufactured. After the war, some Model 6s remained at the factory. They were proofed “Made in Germany” and exported, some to the United States. In the United States the Model 6 is quite rare and commands a high price.
The Model 7 was a small version of the Model 6 in 6.35mm. Walther produced these pistols for the military for about six months. They were carried by many German officers. Although in 6.35mm it was the largest 6.35mm pistol produced by Walther at the time.
In 1920 and 1921 Walther produced both the Models 8 and 9 for commercial sales. They were the first of the modern Walthers with many features seen later in the Models PP and PPK. Both these pistols were favorites of German officers in World War II as hide-out pistols. However, the Model 8 was carried by many officers in a holster on their belt.
The military Model PPK is more difficult to find than the Model PP. The high polished pistols in both models are both fairly rare. It will take some time for a collector to put a collection of Waffenamt Models PP and PPK together, but with perseverance one should be quite pleased with his or her collection. One should remember in the collecting of firearms, Walthers or any other maker, condition is everything.
This article appeared in the Standard Catalog of Military Firearms, 6th Edition. Click here to get your copy.
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