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Old 06-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Balogh View Post
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Looking back, I'd say that "Ulm/Donau" on the slide appeared in 1957 when Walther took over the fitting of the PP and PPK pistols. The antler proof and the year of production on the barrel can be ssen about 4 years later. ...
Balogh, I don't think this is probable. I think the only conclusions that can safely be drawn is that there exists a wide variety of slide inscriptions on these pistols made in the 1950s.

You have pictured two 1957 examples that include the "Ulm/Do" address. Also one 1961 example with Ulm proofs that has no English-language country-of-origin marking --which would not have been necessary unless it was intended for export. US (and British) law has for 100 years required country-of-origin marking on foreign goods.

What I have not seen so far is a PP or PPK made BEFORE 1961 with NO French St. Etienne proof but WITH the Ulm antler instead. I will not go so far as to declare that such an animal does not exist, but none of your photos show one.

If Walther took over the assembly of PP and PPK pistols as early as 1957, where were they proof-tested???? Certainly they were not sent back to France, and it would have been unlawful for Walther to sell them in Germany without proof-firing.

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Old 06-20-2011, 02:06 AM   #42
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Balogh .22
MGMike, many thanks for your remarks. Indeed there were many different slide inscriptions which gives us the possibility to expand the own collection without having duplicates. West-Germany had six proof houses around 1960 (Berlin, Hanover, Kiel, Cologne, Munich and Ulm) and today it is a must that the location sign ("Ortszeichen") is added to the eagle proof: Kleines Lexikon der Beschusszeichen

If I have a close look at my 1959 or 1960 made PPK then I see three identical proof marks on the slide, on the frame and also on the barrel. It's the German eagle over N ("Normaler Beschuss") as shown on the link above. But there isn't a location sign. I can only assume that 1960 and before it wasn't required and this hasn't to do anything with the special relationship between Walther and Manurhin. It isn't probable that the French would have proofed it but then applied the german eagle instead of their own proof mark. So I have to believe that at least some of the German PP/PPK from 1957 until 1960 were really proofed in Germany.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:44 AM   #43
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153 .22
It would appear that the information on the slide legends isn't quite so "cut and dried".

Thanks for the continuing information ...... I think this is valuable data - even though the early Walthers are very scarce - in the USA at least.
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Old 06-20-2011, 09:50 AM   #44
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Balogh: For simplicity the point I am trying to make can be reduced to this:

The French St. Etienne "castle" proof is a final proof applied only to finished guns. Since we know that all postwar PP-series pistols made before 1985 were "pre-produced" by Manurhin, any such gun that bears a St. Etienne proof was finished in France, not in Germany -- regardless of its markings or whatever additional proofs it might have.

So far I have not seen an original pre-1961 pistol without the St. Etienne castle. Maybe they exist, but I have never examined one.

The addition of German proofs, in particular the military acceptance BWB eagles, is not really conclusive, nor are provisional nitro proofs sometimes found on spare parts. For example I have an Argentine Ballester Molina .45 pistol with German proofs; most assuredly it was not manufactured or assembled in Germany.

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Old 06-20-2011, 02:49 PM   #45
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Balogh .22
I just sent a mail to the proof house in Ulm and asked them several questions. If I get an answer then I'll post it here.
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Old 06-22-2011, 03:55 PM   #46
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Today I got the answer from the proof house in Ulm. The original German text is attached below -- the following text is a translation by me:

"During the first years of the proof house at Ulm, indeed there were no location signs applied to the weapons. Unfortunately we can't state precisely today from which year on those location signs were applied to.

Walther started manufacturing pistols again in Ulm since 1955, but we can't determine without time-consuming investigation when the production of the PPK pistols started though. You could surely find out about it by contacting Walther directly."

A local gunsmith provided me the picture from a test target of the PPK S/N 134454 (also from 1958 or 1959). This might be an evidence of a German assembling too. The pistol itself looks like mine: "Ulm/Donau" on the slide, no St. Etienne proof but German eagle over N (Normalbeschuss), no location sign, and no two-digit year indication. The box is the same as used during the sixties: http://i1080.photobucket.com/albums/...ussscheibe.jpg

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Original mail text from the proof house in Ulm:

In den Anfangsjahren des Beschussamtes Ulm wurde tatsächlich noch kein Ortszeichen auf die Waffen aufgebracht, leider können wir heute nicht mehr genau sagen, ab welchem Jahr das Amtszeichen auf die Waffen aufgebracht wurde.

Ab 1955 wurden von der Firma Walther in Ulm auch wieder Pistolen gebaut, wann mit der Produktion von Pistolen Mod. PPK begonnen wurde können wir ohne aufwändige Recherche allerdings auch nicht sagen. Dies können Sie aber mit Sicherheit bei der Firma Walther selbst in Erfahrung bringen.

Mit freundlichen Grüßen
Heribert Kuhn

Regierungspräsidium Tübingen
Beschussamt Ulm
Albstraße 74
89081 Ulm
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
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