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Discussion Starter #1
I was hoping someone out there has one of the very early 9mmK Walther PPs or PPKs from Z-M that they might remove the slide to check the hold open design and compare it to the one on my 152xxx P range 9mmK. As you can see in these photos, the ejector design is totally different from a standard 7,65mm Walther ejector. I have been told the very early 9mmK Walther ejectors were of the same design as the 7,65mm. I want a photo and serial number to verify and establish a changeover range.

I have been told that the initial ejector/hold open design on the 9mmKs did not work well. The empty mag follower of the 9mmK mags didn't engage the hold-open. But a significant design change occurred with a protruding point being machined to the magazine well side of the hold-open that engaged the 9mmK mags. But the high mag lips on the early 9mmK mags would interfere with the magazine seating in the BMR. So the right hand side lip had to be machined down.

I was told the post war 9mmK guns fixed the problem by changing the mag follower.

Attached are images of the exterior and interior of a later 9mmK PP and a view of the changed magazine lip.
 

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Interesting. I wonder when the frame and mag was changed with regard to the channel the 9mmK has on the left side? And, was the purpose to allow the follower to reach further to the left? 1917
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Interesting. I wonder when the frame and mag was changed with regard to the channel the 9mmK has on the left side? And, was the purpose to allow the follower to reach further to the left? 1917

That is why I am asking for images and numbers of the earlier designed ejector on early production 9mmK PPs and PPKs. The change in the frame to accept the new ejector is quite different, as was the projection from the ejector into the magazine well. But I dont understand your question about the follower reaching further to the left. The magazine followers stayed the same. Only the left lip of the magazine was lowered to allow the projecting ejector point to impact the follower.
 

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Modern follower and all I was wondering is when did the left side of the frame/magazine/follower change to the above style? You are looking for something much, much earlier. I'm not familiar with pistols of the early years you are asking about. Old Walther pistols don't show up in my neck of the woods very often and unfortunately.

I've never seen the design you have pictured. Full depth ejector leg that required the left side of the frame to be cut to receive it.

I hope you get some replies. I know there are Members here who have some of the early pistols. I'd be interested in seeing the changes...mag lips, follower and ejector. 1917
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
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Discussion Starter #6
Zella-Mehlis Production Ejector/Holdopen Design CHange

Modern follower and all I was wondering is when did the left side of the frame/magazine/follower change to the above style? You are looking for something much, much earlier. I'm not familiar with pistols of the early years you are asking about. Old Walther pistols don't show up in my neck of the woods very often and unfortunately.

I've never seen the design you have pictured. Full depth ejector leg that required the left side of the frame to be cut to receive it.

I hope you get some replies. I know there are Members here who have some of the early pistols. I'd be interested in seeing the changes...mag lips, follower and ejector. 1917
Sorry 1917, I should have prefaced my thread title with Zella-Mehlis, as I am much the same as you but in a different direction. My interest in Z-M produced Walther, and I have little interest in the post war production.

Talking with another serious early Walther collector, he informed me that the magazine follower of his very early Z-M 9mmK PPK is grooved on both sides, allowing the follower to rise to the top edge of the magazine body sides. He explained that after the last round is fired, the slide is held open by the increased height of the center portion of the follower. The ejector/hold-open part has no impact on the holding open the slide. When the magazine is removed, the slide closes. These early 9mmK PPs and PPKs use a standard magazine release button, not the BMR. I used my 9mmK PPK magazine with grooved follower in a standard PPK and retracting the slide on the empty magazine and releasing it resulted in the magazine staying open.

I have a few of these grooved follower 9mmK magazines in PP and PPK. I never realized the purpose of the grooved follower. You can see the difference in the attached image which is a bit out of focus. Sorry. But Walther also made 9mmK magazines with standard flat lip followers. These are cut in the left forwrard side of the magazine body lip to allow the re-designed hold-open projection to impact the follower.

I would think Walther changed the design as the earlier design which caused the slide to close after magazine removal. Not very conducive to facilitating quick magazine exchange. So the design of the hold-open was changed. But in post war production, I think Walther realized it would be cheaper to use the same ejector/hold-open on both PPs and PPKs. So with the elimination of the BMR, they changed the design of the magazine, creating the projection on the follower. This necessitated a special magazine which was cheaper I guess as well as milling out the frame to accept the rib on the magazine.
 

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I'm following you I think. I've never seen any followers like the ones you have pictured. I suppose as the engineers worked on the pistol over the years they saw better solutions. So on those magazines there is a step down at the rear of the follower which simply pops up in front of the breech rail (empty mag) thus catching the slide and holding it open. It seems that might be a bit rough on the follower/magazine in addition to allowing the slide to close when the mag was released. Which makes me wonder, what was the point? I suppose it would let you quickly see the pistol was empty.

I'm assuming these early pistols had an ejector that is very similar to what we see in your earlier photo and in later pistols. If so it seems odd that they came so close with what is a fairly complex and expensive to manufacture ejector design and didn't make the connection between using the follower to engage it.

These pistols are so well designed I would have guessed the follower engaging the ejector was a day one concept. Interesting. 1917
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well 1917, the two followers above though a bit out of focus were standard on all pre-1945 Walther PP/PPKs, so it is understandable if your focus was on modern Walthers.

Sorry for the poor image. But as I described, the follower on the left was solid at the rear, with no step, but with grooves machined along the left of each side. This allowed the follower to extend completely up to the top of the magazine lips, presenting a small but solid stop to the slide, preventing it from completing battery. You wrote "It seems that might be a bit rough on the follower/magazine in addition to allowing the slide to close when the mag was released. Which makes me wonder, what was the point? I suppose it would let you quickly see the pistol was empty." Yes, as I described, that is what happened. The follower on the early 9mmK was identical to the 7,65mm follower. I don't understand the reason for the choice of hold-open by using the follower. But it was that.


Someone decided this was unsuitable, so the ejector/hold-open was redesigned to impact the follower. I don't know when this occurred, but it would seem that it was after the introduction of the bottom magazine release, as the grooved follower is found on BMR magazines without upper mag release button cuts to the mag body.


As to the design question of choosing to redesign the ejector and re-tool the frame, perhaps they figured the changes were easier with fewer models of this caliber ordered rather than re-design the common magazine used on all PPs that resulted in re-tooling the frame anyway that was necessary with the post war design.
 

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Hello all,
I do not know whether the very early PPs/PPKs in 9 kurz (still with the upper mag release!) had the same ejector design, i.e. with the extra edge at the bottom. Are there any examples out there?
Best wishes and a Happy Easter,
Dieter.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hello all,
I do not know whether the very early PPs/PPKs in 9 kurz (still with the upper mag release!) had the same ejector design, i.e. with the extra edge at the bottom. Are there any examples out there?
Best wishes and a Happy Easter,
Dieter.
Dieter, as I wrote above, I spoke with a West Coast collector over the weekend who has several early 9mmKs with upper mag release and he said they were equipped with the standard design ejector and used the milled followers to provide the hold-open of the slide. I asked him to provide some photos as well as check serial numbers. And as I described, the milled follower does provide a hold open with an empty magazine.
 

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I think this thread is proceeding from a mistaken supposition, namely that at one time the holdopen consisted of the magazine follower acting directly on the slide (which is the case in some other designs such as the Beretta M34 and Japanese Nambu). But it is clear to me, looking at the first photo in Poloberst's post #1, that the ejector is a spring-loaded pivoting part, its rearmost edge designed to rise in front of the breech face --no different from the current Walthers. The beveled follower in the particular magazine shown was not designed or intended to block the breech face; if it does, it's either malfunctioning or an incorrect magazine.

The basic problem, and the reason for the redesign, was that in .380 the follower in Zella-Mehlis guns (which was the same width as in .32) did not always reach leftward far enough to reliably lift the ejector. Minor variations in magazine body or looseness in the magazine well of the grip could lead to the follower scrubbing past the ejector and jamming the two together.

Walther decided to increase the effective width of the follower by adding a tab on the left side, but that necessitated a channel stamped out from the magazine body and a corresponding groove in the frame.

M
 

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From an earlier thread these photos were attached. It looks like the frame/ejector on the left side in the top photo is similar to the one Poloberst has pictured in this thread. I've never seen this style, early ejector.

Nor have I seen the follower as pictured above. These apparently are very earl Z-M pistols. Nor have I ever seen a follower that was designed to reach higher so that either a rear step down in the follower toward the rear or simply the rear of the follower caught the slide in the retracted position. Apparently these are really early designs. And I think Poloberst is wanting information on even earlier designs. Because the ones pictured above actually engaged the ejector to catch the slide. What came before these designs? I wasn't aware anything...in fact I wasn't aware of the above. So a real learning curve for me.

I looked at several hundred early Z-M photos yesterday. Unfortunately on most the mag is inserted and of course none of them show the slide off or details of the ejector. However....out of all the ones I saw with the mag out, and some of them were old Z-M BMR pistols and not one of them showed an ejector like pictured above. All were metal and similar to later follower designed. Had the originals been replaced? Could you even swap parts with the very early ejector design.

OK, I've never seen an ejector that was factory installed but where the follower caught the slide and not the ejector. Button release or bottom release. I'd be very interested to see if the follower pivots, has the same hold down spring, functions as an ejector only and was never designed to catch the slide. 1917
 

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Why don't we wait for this "serious early Walther collector" to produce a photo of the ejector that he's referring to?

M
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think this thread is proceeding from a mistaken supposition, namely that at one time the holdopen consisted of the magazine follower acting directly on the slide (which is the case in some other designs such as the Beretta M34 and Japanese Nambu). But it is clear to me, looking at the first photo in Poloberst's post #1, that the ejector is a spring-loaded pivoting part, its rearmost edge designed to rise in front of the breech face --no different from the current Walthers. The beveled follower in the particular magazine shown was not designed or intended to block the breech face; if it does, it's either malfunctioning or an incorrect magazine.

The basic problem, and the reason for the redesign, was that in .380 the follower in Zella-Mehlis guns (which was the same width as in .32) did not always reach leftward far enough to reliably lift the ejector. Minor variations in magazine body or looseness in the magazine well of the grip could lead to the follower scrubbing past the ejector and jamming the two together.

Walther decided to increase the effective width of the follower by adding a tab on the left side, but that necessitated a channel stamped out from the magazine body and a corresponding groove in the frame.

M
I lost you apparently. There is no apparent mistaken supposition. Although the image I provided in Post #6 is a bit out of focus, you can see the milled recesses on both sides of the follower that allow the follower to rise to the top of the magazine body. The follower of the magazine held by the top release device provides sufficient body to stop the slide. It worked on a PPK. If you have one of these 9mmK magazines with these types of followers, I suggest you try it. If not, you are entitled to your opinion as to the purpose of the early magazine follower that worked with the standard Walther PP/PPK ejector. It was not a satisfactory solution for Walther, as they redesigned the ejector/hold-open to the model in my first images posted.

Your second two paragraphs which described the problem deal with the post-war Walther 9mmK and really is not part of this discussion.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Why don't we wait for this "serious early Walther collector" to produce a photo of the ejector that he's referring to?

M
The image I provided in #5 was the follower he was discussing as I pulled it out and we discussed the gooves milled on both sides.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
From an earlier thread these photos were attached. It looks like the frame/ejector on the left side in the top photo is similar to the one Poloberst has pictured in this thread. I've never seen this style, early ejector.

Nor have I seen the follower as pictured above. These apparently are very earl Z-M pistols. Nor have I ever seen a follower that was designed to reach higher so that either a rear step down in the follower toward the rear or simply the rear of the follower caught the slide in the retracted position. Apparently these are really early designs. And I think Poloberst is wanting information on even earlier designs. Because the ones pictured above actually engaged the ejector to catch the slide. What came before these designs? I wasn't aware anything...in fact I wasn't aware of the above. So a real learning curve for me.

I looked at several hundred early Z-M photos yesterday. Unfortunately on most the mag is inserted and of course none of them show the slide off or details of the ejector. However....out of all the ones I saw with the mag out, and some of them were old Z-M BMR pistols and not one of them showed an ejector like pictured above. All were metal and similar to later follower designed. Had the originals been replaced? Could you even swap parts with the very early ejector design.

OK, I've never seen an ejector that was factory installed but where the follower caught the slide and not the ejector. Button release or bottom release. I'd be very interested to see if the follower pivots, has the same hold down spring, functions as an ejector only and was never designed to catch the slide. 1917

I don't know what is shown in the first image 1917, but you are showing a .22 magazine in the second.



It is apparent your familiarity with the early Walthers is lacking. After the change in ejector/hold-open design for the 9mmKs, all of them featured the same design.



The follower shown above with the grooved sides rides high enough in the magazine to stop the slide. Period. No movement of the follower. It does not serve as an ejector. With these early magazines, the standard ejector functioned.



As I mentioned, the first design ejector for the 9mmKs would fit in the frame of a later ejector designed Walther 9mmK, but not vice versa. The second designed ejector was larger in size as can be seen in the images in the first post.
 

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I think I've made it clear that I have never seen the details of what you are looking for in the history of very early PP ejectors/followers of the 9mmK pistols. At no time have I thought that the follower functioned in any manner as the ejector. The follower being recut/redesigned to allow the rear to rise high enough to block forward movement of the slide is new news to me. I think most understand change this very clearly, i certainly do now that you have brought it to my attention. There is no deep, dark mystery here as to what you are asking about. There is a lack of photos of such and a timeline of when these changes were made.

Bottom mag release...understood. Follower not engaging the ejector, understood. Standard ejector not functioning well in early 9mm/K pistols. Understood but not the exact details of why. Left mag lip hitting the ejector or perhaps the front of the mag not cut low enough to clear the bottom of the feed ramp. Not clearly understood until I see a picture of such or a better description of exactly what the problem is. But the overall concept of how the mag, follower, ejector works is not that complicated.

Thanks for starting this thread as your photos present some details of parts not routinely seen. I'm sure plenty of Members are interested in learning of these early changes. I do prefer much better lit and clearly focused photos myself and when they are my photos make an effort to provide such. Photos go a long way toward making small details clear.



Is this an image showing how the follower of a 9mm mag was grooved on each side to allow it to rise high enough to allow the rear to block forward movement of the slide? This from a thread where a person purchased an early Z-M pistol, received two mags with it. One locked in, one didn't. His assessment was that the follower was the problem. I wouldn't think so. I expect his problem was at the left forward lip hitting something (ejector) or nose of the mag hitting the feed ramp. I think it would take me less than one minute to lock the slide back, insert the mag and determine exactly why it wasn't locking in. If I coudn't lock the slide back while studying this....I'd remove the recoil spring so that I didn't have to fight against it.

Good luck with finding additional information regarding the timeline to changes of follower/ejector in early Z_M pistols. Actually, I would have guessed this information was already well documented. I'm sure several of us would like to learn more about these. I have a lot more questions regarding the other two calibers, their early ejector/magazine design vs the 9mm of the same era. But, will await more information being presented. 1917
 

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This thread set me to thinking about that old follower hold open function. Having some .380 mags laying around and some spare followers I took about five minutes and made a follower where I tapered in the sides a bit so the follower would ride a bit taller in the saddle when empty, tightened up fitment just a bit in the mag to prevent the follower from doing whatever it might want to with regard to going nose down. This did in fact let the follower ride up high enough to sit in front of the base of the breech. There were two problems....first this follower is a thin after the war steel one and it is pretty rounded at the rear. The second condition makes the face of the breech rail simply ride into the curve and press the follower down. That was easily cured by filing a small shelf with a face to catch the bottom of the breech face. Then it worked as advertised. Will I remove the ejector and shoot the pistol this way. Nope, not that interested and due to the thinness of the steel I don't consider the edge that catches the slide to be that robust. But it works every time and leaves the ejector in the down position. So the ejector is playing no part in holding the slide rearward.

If I were to take a thicker polymer follower of some kind then it would be very easy to modify the top with grooves on the side and a sharp edge at the rear (if not already present) to catch the slide.. But, none of this answers the OP's questions. And of course if I pull the mag out....the slide slams shut.

I also notice that if I were to modify the left side of the breech rail I might be able to actually make the follower eject spent cases. But I digress from the purpose of this thread. Yes I can take photos...perhaps for another thread. 1917
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well apparently I should have gone to the well. Dieter informed me that in his latest book he wrote:
""According to a design drawing dated 14th March 1938 the ejector of PPs/PPKs in caliber 9 mm kurz have an additional “spur” at the bottom – seen from the side." " So that gives us the time frame. I found 9mmK PP #977500 on Simpson's site and it has the first model standard ejector/hold-open. My 9mmK #154932P has the second model ejector mentioned by Dieter. So somewhere in between the change occurred. There were very few PPKs and a few PPs produced in this time frame until the first pistols of the Persian/Iranian contract at 115xxxP according to Dieter. So perhaps it was changed for that contract. Hopefully we can find an example to verify.
 

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I've looked at every old part on e-bay, asked on Rimfire Central for pictures for you, looked through many pages of discussion regarding PP pistols but mostly they are Axis pistol which are a little bit later than what you are looking for. So far, no luck. I notice Dieter has opened threads there from time to time seeking information from owners. I think this is going to be a hard search. I know people have these pistols but connecting with them and then getting them to take time to help with your search seems difficult. Dieter's questions were very specific as well and usually didn't get much response. Good luck with it. Anything I might run across I will pass on. 1917
 
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