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The following is information I received from Germany ([email protected]) following a request I placed about a manufacture date for a MANURHIN PP 7.65 I recently acquired. I thought it might be helpful to others....

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"As this kind of investigation is very time-consuming and for that reason very expensive, we are unfortunately only able to provide these information to law enforcement agencies free of charge. For answering to inquiries of private individuals we have unfortunately to charge a service fee.

Please find hereafter some general information which will help you to identify your weapon in an easy way.

For all weapons produced prior to the end of WW II in ZELLA-MEHLIS, we do not have any records as the factory there was totally destroyed and all documents got lost in the chaos of war. In the case you own a PP or PPK with letters “P” or “K” at the end of serial number it is a pistol produced prior to 1945. Weapons produced after WW II were manufactured in ULM-DONAU.

Concerning pistols produced by MANURHIN in France and sold under the name MANURHIN we do not have any records, too, and cannot help you with the identification. The same situation we have with the US-made stainless pistols model PP, PPK or PPK/S.

Since 1958 all German weapons had been marked with the German proof marks and in addition with the last two numbers of the year of proof i.e. 67 = 1967. Since 1968 the year of proof is coded by two letters. This code can be translated in the following manner:

A=0, B=1, C=2, D=3, E=4, F=5, G=6, H=7, I=8, K=9. In order to avoid any confusion, there is only an “I” and not a “J”. Hence, a weapon marked with the code “HK” was proofed by a German proof house in 1979.

In the case the above information are not clear enough to determine the age of your Walther weapon, feel free to use the enclosed form. However, unfortunately we have then to charge you the aforementioned service fee. Please take into consideration that we are only allowed to provide the name of the first owner of your weapon to law enforcement agencies. "
 

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The clearly represents a change in policy at the Walther plant. At one time, and not all that long ago, this information was readily forthcoming, often within five business days.

Might as well Stick this for future reference. Thanks for sharing, JoeKC.
 

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It's surprising that the information provided by Walther Germany isn't very precise, a little bit incomplete, and even inapplicable. The attempt to define a PP or a PPK made in Zella-Mehlis by the suffix "P" or "K" could be misunderstood. One could think that they have a suffix in any case which isn't true. Also Walther Germany writes about the US-made stainless pistols PP, PPK and PPK/S. They don't take the blued guns into consideration and I think a PP pistol made of stainless steel would be quite rare... and they forget the TPH. Because of the fact that Manurhin used the same serial number schemata it isn't very complicated to identify the age of their weapons more or less. Also, it isn't true that all the German weapons show the proof mark and the year of proof after 1958. Another error is the statement that beginning in 1968 they switched to the letter coded year. It seems to be correct that in Germany after 1968 it was possible to code the year but on the Walther pistols this can't be seen in the first half of the seventies. So a Walther pistol from 1974 still shows "74" instead of "HE" as suggested. I wonder if the service fee that has to be paid for an enquiry as mentioned will match the given quality.
 

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Also find it odd, with the close association of Manurhin and Walther post war, especially-so since a lot of "Made in West Germany" Walthers were mostly done by Manurhin....AND... shared the same run on serial numbers...

....that Walther is distancing itself from Manurhin so much as to offer information......

EDIT....I have found Walther-Germany to be particularly surly in answering any kind of serial number questions ( for Manurhin, admittedly) in a polite manner. They were very cold, distant, and uncaring about "another" brand name that wasn't Walther...and sent me quickly on my way !!
 
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