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Old 03-10-2013, 04:20 AM   #1
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Volkspistole

I found a write-up something too obscure for even TANFOGLIO's collection (or I could be wrong, I suppose)

Apparently there was a push for a cheap mass-produced gun in late WW2 that never made it to real production.

The Walther Volkspistole

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Just an interesting bit of history I wanted to share, forgottenweapons is a treasure trove of oddball guns like this, some of which are downright fascinating. Check out the M1 Carbine development section as well.



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Old 03-10-2013, 07:13 AM   #2
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Thanks, Dave. Interesting article. Difficult times drove the engineers to do some amazing things with sheet steel and presses.

Necessity is still the true mother of invention.


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Old 03-10-2013, 08:32 AM   #3
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If you look at the ejection port, you can see that the slide is two layers of sheet metal.

Necessity is the mother of invention
Desperation is the baby-daddy of improvisation and poor materials



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Old 03-10-2013, 11:25 AM   #4
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The USA had its own version of this, called the Liberator, and not nearly as well made as the Walther model appears to be:



IIRC, GM had a had in this one, a sheet-metal product. The pistols were supposed to be destroyed after the war, but a few of them are still kicking around and generally command a hefty price when they come on the market.
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Old 03-10-2013, 12:29 PM   #5
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The pistol in the photograph is know as a beer can/ sheet pistol. They were produced towards the end of WW II. It is a scarce pistol to locate. There is a Walther video that has a segment on these pistols.
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Old 03-10-2013, 03:55 PM   #6
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The FP45 Liberator is a wonderful concept, we should air-drop them by the thousands over Chicago, NYC, L.A., SanFran, etc etc

But I wouldn't compare it to the Volkspistole, exactly, the FP45 was intended to make the occupied European territories a bit more dangerous for the occupiers, while the Volkspistole was for homeland security and whatnot, not arming rebels.



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Old 03-10-2013, 06:11 PM   #7
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The Germans were masters at sheet metal pressing. They developed particularly ductile steel alloys that would allow fine detail and close tollerances for mass production as opposed to labor intensive machined parts. These alloys were then heat treated for hardness after they were formed.

The P.38 is a good example of extensive use of sheet steel pressing technology.

I had an early Sig P220 that had a pressed steel slide, and the HK P9 series went one better with steel pressings and molded plastic.

The G3 rifle uses steel pressing and robotic welding very effectively, with a minimum of precision machined parts.

The allies dismissed German metal pressing technology as cheap junk, but the Germans have proved the process to be as good or better than steel forged parts.
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