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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,



I just started to consider getting a PP 7.65, and am trying to get educated about the options. From a pure quality and functionality perspective (and I realize it might be objective), is there a difference between the pre and post war PP? If so, which would be better, and how so? With my limited understanding, I gather Thun was the manufacturing location for pre-war, and Ulm post-war (with some mfg also happening in France).


I realize there is the historical aspect of things, but it would be useful to frame that with an understanding of functionality and quality as well. If they are the same, then I guess the investment aspect comes into play (although I would plan to use it). If pre-war is both better and a better investment, then pricing is also a consideration. Much for me to learn and understand, but I REALLY am impressed with the PP!!


regards -- Roger
 

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If you just want a shooter, the Manhurin/German guns are very good. I owned several “French” guns, marked as such, that were issue Polizei guns.

Early German, great quality, great collector value.

WWII, great guns, great historical value. I’ve got a late war police PPK. The quality is, marginal, at best. Though it does work.

French made, German marked, perfectly good guns. Pretty much the equal of the original German guns.

French marked, not as valued, mechanically and aesthetically about the same as German guns.

My opinions only.
 

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When it comes to getting a properly functioning PP, it may not be so important where it was made, but how it has been treated over the years. When it comes to an exemplar I want to shoot with, I prefer a Franco-German made PP. In this case I don't care whether it is marked Walther or Manurhin.

Talking about the art of gunsmithing, my order differs as follows:
1. German pre-war production (Zella-Mehlis)
2. Franco-German production (Mulhouse or Ulm)
3. German post-war production (Ulm)
4. German war production (Zella-Mehlis)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you VERY MUCH for the input.



Sounds like my optimal choice would be post war Ulm, pre '66 (or whatever the transition year was).



Was there any difference between the commercial and police variants with regards to quality or inspections?



Now I have to figure out the best way to get one to California before I embark on a search.....


Thanks again -- Roger
 

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I’ve owned both German marked and French marked Polizei issue PP’s. Fit, finish, function...seemed about the same. Just the markings are different. I gave a very good friend of mine my Manurihn PP. he carries it every day. It had Police acceptance stamps on it. Around 1960 as I recall.

I also have a German marked 1967 Police PPK. It’s a beautiful little gun. Probably the equal to early German guns.

But, as mentioned, I’ve got a late War PPK Police gun that would charitably be described as rough. (From the factory...you can actually see forging marks and just a crappy light blue)
 

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.....
Sounds like my optimal choice would be post war Ulm, pre '66 (or whatever the transition year was).

Was there any difference between the commercial and police variants with regards to quality or inspections?
In regard to your question, no, although with police guns condition usually needs a bit closer examination. But European shooting use in service was slight, and many have been refinished, so they tend to be in good shape, no comparison to how a US police revolver would look after the same 20-plus years in service.

In terms of value for your money, an ex-police gun from Balogh’s No. 2 category above will be your best bet, and also easiest to find at a decent price. From 1952 to about 1958, they were all Manurhin-finished, after that the German police guns were Ulm-finished (but the parts still Manurhin-made) while the Austrian and some Scandinavian guns continued to be completely Manurhin. Most of these police pistols are dated up to the mid-1970s; there is no difference in inherent quality in this group regardless of country or marking.
 

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...whatever the transition year was
The transition from the Franco-German to the German only production took place in 1986. The models can easily be identified by the serial number range from 700001 to 710000. I assume that not many exemplars have arrived in the United States.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks. I am likely limited to 50+ years old, because California seems to make all aside from C&R very difficult (and I have not yet figured out how complex that will be).



That is not a problem, and from your suggestions the Walther Ulm seems an excellent choice for my interest, and the earlier versions easily fall into the 50 year range. For some reason, the Walther Ulm variant seems more compelling to me (arbitrary).


This is deviating a bit off topic, but are there any obvious visible wear characteristics that I should be aware of? Common wear patterns that give away significant or excessive use? Most offerings seem out of state, and I likely will have to buy based on seller info and a couple of photos. If you have a common question list for sellers, I would be interested in seeing it.



regards -- Roger
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for letting me know that - very good news. Most of the PPs I have seen so far do look quite good, with the only real visible wear likely holster wear. This makes looking for a good gun pretty simple and less worrisome.

I have seen a PP where the bluing was quite worn around the trigger, which is either a lot of use or poor build quality (out of alignment). Those types of issues are pretty easy to spot, and I would avoid those.
 

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I didn't see anyone mention sights. Pre-war and earlier post-war PP Walthers had tiny sights, ok for a defensive pistol but not so great for a range gun. Later pistols had higher visibility sights; I'm not sure when they upgraded but my 1969 PPK/s has the better sights.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Would you be willing to post a picture of the pistol sight line - I would be interested in seeing what the newer version looks like.


regards -- Roger
 

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The early Manurhin PP have a nice polish and a beautiful deep bluing that was unmatched by Ulm, and they routinely come at a 15-20% discount to those roll marked Walther. Mechanically, PP-series pistols of this era are indistinguishable, IMO. The OP didn’t talk caliber, but the .32 are sweet shooters, and the .22 are loads of fun in a high-quality package.

As a bonus, all Manurhin PP are C&R eligible, regardless of age.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I am definitely looking for a .32. Sounds like I have to add the Manurhin as another good option. To some degree I view the older the better as far as quality of manufacture is concerned.

I can hardly wait to hear back from the California Bureau of Firearms regarding the C&R eligibility of the Walther PP .32 in California (not obvious, as I gather there may be arbitrary concealed carry restrictions). Then I can start looking!!


regards -- Roger
 

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sights

Would you be willing to post a picture of the pistol sight line - I would be interested in seeing what the newer version looks like.


regards -- Roger
Not able to post pics, but earlier sights had a tiny front post, very narrow and shallow rear. If you look at PP Walthers on Gunbroker pistols with the newer sights are more common: larger front sight with a white dot, squared rear sight with a white post. The photos are there.
 

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Sounds like my optimal choice would be post war Ulm, pre '66 (or whatever the transition year was).

I have a 1967-proofed PP in 22LR and a Manuhrin in 7.65mm that was made in the 50s. They're both manufactured in France, but the French-marked one has the better finish. Both are accurate and reliable. Assuming you can navigate the laws of the state of California, don't rule out a Manuhrin PP. Simpsons LTD in Galesburg, IL, usually has a good selection to choose from. In my view, these Walthers, however they're rollmarked, are among the most elegant of handguns.
 

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According to Dieter’s book, the sight change on the PP/PPK occurred around 1968.

So fixating on the new style might make it harder to find a C&R eligible gun.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thanks for the pictures of the sight differences. I agree that searching for the more modern sights will make finding a C&R much more complicated. Also, I rather like the older vintage sights, as I am more used to vintage pistols.


It sounds like my best option is to look for a really nice post-war PP, and concentrate more on the condition rather than whether it was made in France, or finished in Germany.



As I continue to get familiar with the PP offerings, I will say that I am somewhat put off by the import markings on some of the pistols.



regards -- Roger
 

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Hey Roger, good for you on your decision. The police turn-in Manurhin's from the 50's are quite nice and for C&R for Calif. I have a '58 made, ByP X-ed out stamp with a nicely hidden import stamp. Pristine with beautiful rich blue finish. Carried more than shot.
The sights aren't that bad. Mine has an .080" wide front (2mm), while the newer block is .125" (3mm) and I have no problem sighting. I do agree the rear notch is narrow and a shallow rounded depth, but I opened mine up in width by a hair on each side and made the depth a little deeper and made it more square. I get a great picture now. A very fine file and a little cold blue touch up.
Mine looked like the picture above, but now it looks more like this one.
 

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