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If you are a firearms collector or entertain the idea of becoming one, the collecting of Walther manufactured firearms is a very exciting and rewarding venture. With Walthers you have a wide range of firearms that the Walther Company manufactured — or is manufacturing — from which to choose. There are rifles, shotguns, pistols and flare and air guns. All have different models, variations of the models, calibers and gauges. Second, if you become knowledgeable in the field your purchases should increase in value not only allowing you to have the excitement of collecting, but the accumulation of equity in your collection.
The Walther Company, led by its family members, have been manufacturing firearms since 1886 when Carl Walther founded a gun shop in the town of Zella, which was later incorporated into the town of Zella-Mehlis, Germany. At first, Walther produced shotguns and rifles. Later, Fritz Walther, Carl’s oldest son, joined the firm and brought his genius for design to the company and it expanded its production into pistols.
Although the Walther Company has produced many types of pistols from the early 1900s, the Models PP and PPK were latecomers on the automatic pistol scene when compared to such pistol manufacturers such as Mauser, Luger and Colt as they did not make their appearance until 1929. However, shortly thereafter they were being sold in all parts of the world. These beautifully-made guns were the first of the original double-action blowback semi-automatic pistols. They had a successful commercial design with a high polished blue finish that was second to none.
A few years after the Models PP and PPK appearance on the world’s firearm market, Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers Party took over the reigns of the German government, the military and the police. It was then that a majority of the Walther production was contracted for by the NSDAP, German army and the national police.
With the emergence of the NSDAP as the power in Germany, the increase in military power was ordered, and the Army High Command-OKH-Heereswaffenamt began placing contracts with the Walther Company for both the Walther Models PP and PPK. Most of the models were contracted in caliber 7.65mm.
There were contracts for a smaller amount of Model PP in caliber 9mm Kurz and even less in the Model PPK in the same caliber. Depending on their serial number range, these pistols showed Crown over N. or Eagle over N. nitro proofing on the right side of the pistol’s slide, barrel and chamber. The military acceptance proofs, Eagle over 359 and Eagle over WaA359 were placed on the left side of the pistol’s slide and frame to the rear of the model designation and to the rear of the trigger on the frame.
The Models PP and PPK with the Waffenamt proofs began with a high polished blue finish on each pistol. But as the years progressed toward the end of World War II and the labor diminished these models showed a milled finish. The following is a short description of the Models PP and PPK bearing the Waffenamt proofs.
The first of the Models PP and PPK with the high polished blue finish had the Eagle over 359 proof on the left side of the slide and frame with an occasional proof on the left rear of the slide at the tang. Grips were black on the Model PP and brown on the Model PPK.
The second series of proofs was the Eagle over WaA359. These too were found on high polished Models PP and PPK except there was no proof on the rear of the slide at the tang. Grips were black and brown respectively.
The third series was the Eagle over WaA359 found on the milled finish models till the end of World War II. On these later pistols the proofs remained in the same location on the pistols with some changes in the pistols themselves. On the Model PP you will find the standard two-piece black grips as well as reddish colored grips.