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I own two Walther PPK RZM's made in 1934 [822,300, 824,989]. Each has an "S" stamped into the tang well floor directly under the hammer (see attached). The font is a serif style with a somewhat compressed upper loop perhaps typical of German "Schwabacher" font originating in Franconia (upper Bavaria). It is reminiscent of the "S" used by Simson & Suhl in their logo on 1920's pocket pistols (see attached). In that same year 1934 a PP [807,748] is noted with the same mark on the slide, but on the outside right tang surface. I would appreciate any other evidence of this mark. Please provide the model and serial number, or better a photo. If anyone has an explanation of these marks please advance it. Thanks.
 

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Some (pre war) guns and/or gun parts were in-plant quality checked by an (quality) inpector. These guns were signed by the inspector using his personal marking (other letters or geom. figures are also known). If the whole gun was quality checked, you (often) find also a circle (civil) or circle with dot inside (military, agency) marking on the gun.
 

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"Inspector" Markings on Early Walther Pistols

Thanks. I am aware that there are various geometric, symbolic and alphanumeric marks on Walther pistol parts (including hardness punches). I also agree that their variety suggests these were chosen or created by the user. I suspect, therefore, that even if these marks were not agency derived these could still reflect the inclinations, perhaps political or regional affinities, of the user particularly in Weimar, or early “post-Weimar”, Germany. These marks seem more common the earlier the gun (pre-war) and appear in visible places (not entirely hidden from view).

I have heard four general theories as to the meaning of these marks. First is these are quality control marks applied by inspectors within the Walther plant. Second, these might have been made by inspectors employed by outside agencies who were assigned to the Walther plant. Third, these represent marks applied to guns returned to the factory under warranty for repair. Fourth, these marks identify gunsmiths outside of the Walther plant who may have made repairs. Not all guns exhibit these marks and those that do have no clear location(s) or size. I also do not see a relationship between these marks and some obvious modifications such as replacing 2-piece firing pin assemblies with 1-piece assemblies. Also remaining is the question of whether these represent marks of Walther inspectors related to subcontracted parts, or assemblies, to Walther, or represent inspection of key components during manufacture, or inspection of finished product. What is of interest is to know the working relationships between the quality function in the Walther plant and its various “customers” within and without the Walther organization. What actually took place will continue to bring to life the story behind the production of these products and how pistols might differ even within accepted variations. Anyone have knowledge of Walther plant operations?
 

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My theority is, that as later the time (into war time) as less the time and manpower to do a quality check.

Imo the first theority is the most believeable. But some things would remain untold, most people knowing the story behind are buried together with their knowledge.
 
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