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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Below is a link to a curiosity that I was watching on Gunbroker, and I actually bid on it until it evolved into a bidding war. The seller listed it as Manurhin, but the slide roll mark is Walther. The seller called it stainless, or perhaps nickle, but we know that no French or German PP-series pistols were made in those. If it is an original finish, then I suspect that it is Manurhin’s hard chrome (“Durgarde”), which does resemble a satin stainless. The problem then is that this is the only Durgarde PPK/S that I have seen chambered in something other than .380. The proof marks are typical of the French proof house used by Manurhin, and we occasionally do see those on Walther PP-series pistols. There is no photo of the butt plate to see if it is marked “Made in France”, which is common for this era Manurhin. I am too lazy to look up the serial number, so I will accept the seller’s claim that it fits Manurhin. The grips and white pinky-rest magazine base plate are not original to the pistol. So, there you go; a bit of a mystery, at least to me. Thoughts?

 

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The photos weren't the best but that slide looked like it was buffed to me. I would have liked to have examined it in person. If original, then I don't think that $1,300 was an unreasonable winning bid.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A NOS Walther PPK/S in .22 from the same seller sold for only two-thirds that price, so I was guessing that these guys bidding it up to $1,3000 knew something that I didn’t. I agree that the photo of the Walther roll mark looked like it might have been buffed.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Interesting, thanks for that, Balogh. It is obviously the same pistol, with some info that fills the gaps that I noted. If it is Durgarde as listed, then it sure looks like the finish was buffed, considerably in some locations such as the muzzle end of the Walther roll mark (or an unusually poor mark). It is also interesting that Manurhin used Durgarde on something other than a .380. Those pistols are not common, although I have owned a pair of these In .380; it is a nice and durable finish.
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The grips are nicer than the OEM plastic, and the Durgarde finish will generally command a premium. I agree that the latest $1,300 price is high, but the $700 price that Balogh tracked down would interest me (and is about where I bid it). YMMV
 
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Below is a link to a curiosity that I was watching on Gunbroker, and I actually bid on it until it evolved into a bidding war. The seller listed it as Manurhin, but the slide roll mark is Walther. The seller called it stainless, or perhaps nickle, but we know that no French or German PP-series pistols were made in those. If it is an original finish, then I suspect that it is Manurhin’s hard chrome (“Durgarde”), which does resemble a satin stainless. The problem then is that this is the only Durgarde PPK/S that I have seen chambered in something other than .380. The proof marks are typical of the French proof house used by Manurhin, and we occasionally do see those on Walther PP-series pistols. There is no photo of the butt plate to see if it is marked “Made in France”, which is common for this era Manurhin. I am too lazy to look up the serial number, so I will accept the seller’s claim that it fits Manurhin. The grips and white pinky-rest magazine base plate are not original to the pistol. So, there you go; a bit of a mystery, at least to me. Thoughts?

Based on the serial number it is about 1982 which is the time period Interarms direct imported 9000 guns from Manurhin and payed a royalty to Walther for the name use, as Ranger was still coming up to speed on US production. Interarms set a bunch to Accuracy Plating for NiVel coating as Ranger did not get the Stainless production out until 1983.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Based on the serial number it is about 1982 which is the time period Interarms direct imported 9000 guns from Manurhin and payed a royalty to Walther for the name use, as Ranger was still coming up to speed on US production. Interarms set a bunch to Accuracy Plating for NiVel coating as Ranger did not get the Stainless production out until 1983.
Well, mystery solved. This seems to explain everything that I found odd about this pistol. Much appreciated!
 

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Hello! I was one of the two people bidding it up to $1300. The auction winner and I were the only ones bidding past about $700.

In case there's still a question of why the bidding ended where it did, I'll readily confess that my bids weren't motivated by any substantial knowledge of PP series pistols or some especially desirable quality of this particular item. In short, I am a common fool off the street. I only thought it seemed to be a good-condition and good-looking example of a model I was interested in. My limited research did make me question if the finish was original.

Near the end, the price was getting rich for my blood and I was more still in it because I wanted to see what the other person would do, not because I truly wanted to pay $1300 for it. They outbid me almost immediately up till about $1200, then hesitated more. My final bid sat for a while until they finally outbid it. Absolutely none of this was wise on my part!

Now that I've seen the original auction photo, what I thought was lighting glare does seem to be a dulled/polished part of the Walther mark. I also was watching the other PPK/S from the same seller, which looked more "mint" than this one despite the title and which came with two seemingly original mags and the box and paperwork; that seems like a better buy at the final bid of $818.
 

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Don't the white finger rest magazines sell for a very high premium by themselves?
Depends when it was made. Walther used white grips and finger rests on both the ZM and post war guns. But even the post war parts in white are hard to find now.

If this pistol has a factory nickel finish then that's probably the original magazine and the white grips were replaced with Nills.
 

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If this pistol has a factory nickel finish then that's probably the original magazine and the white grips were replaced with Nills.
This gun doesn't feature a factory nickel finish, it's a NiVel coating. The gun should look like the gun shown here:
Manurhin 22lr PPK/S in nickel ...how rare?

The linked thread also contains some useful information by MGMike and Milspec about the difference between the NiVel and Durgarde treatments. There, MGMike explained how those NiVel coated models were made and how they can be identified: "The "Nivel" finish was applied [...] by Interarms after the guns (originally blue) were received in the USA. 'Nivel' (a name constructed from 'nickel' and 'velvet') produced a thin but extremely surface-hard and slick matte finish that was wear-resistant and very attractive. [...] These c.1982-4 guns are distinguishable from Ulm-origin pistols only by their markings: 1) French proofs; 2) the small "UNDER LICENSE OF" on the left side of the slide, and 3) a small Manurhin waterwheel logo and "Made in France" on the bottom of the butt."

The gun in question meets these criteria and its serial number is also within the correct range. Its shabby appearance is disappointing of course.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Thanks, Balogh, it looks like I read these posts back in 2014 but obviously forgot. MGMike and Milspec were valuable members that are missed on the WF. If I see another of these I might give it a close look - I am a sucker for Manurhin.
 
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