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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The inscriptions of the rhs. of the slide on Walther M4 pistols changed from
1. Carl Walther Waffenfabrik Zella- St. Blasii ( early )
to
2. Carl Walther Waffenfabrik Zella-St. Bl.
3. Carl Walther Waffenfabrik Zella-Mehlis I
4. Waffenfabrik Walther Zella Mehlis
and
5. Waffenfabrik Walther Zella Mehlis ( Thür.) ( very late ).

Now there are several M4s without any inscription on the rhs. of the slide.
They all are showing on the lhs. slide the typical inscription:
Selbstlade-Pistole Cal. 7,65 Walther’s Patent with the Walther trademark.

But these particular pistols are showing usually on the left ( sometimes on the right ) side of the triggerguard additional stampings like :

AS, IM, GM, M, GR, S&H, G or an anchor.

Though these are no armsdealers signs as often estimated, these are subcontractor signs of the Meffert company.

By the high need of pistols in WWI the Walther plant already was not able to produce enough M4s in 1915 and concluded a license agreement with the Meffert, Suhl company.
But this company was also swamped with this order and had manufactured with further subcontractors.
The serial numbers of these license pistols are between 60.000 to 100.000, and 130.000 to approx. 150.000.
Among others one find the following subcontractor stampings.

“Anchor” = Heinrich Krieghoff, Suhl
AS = August Schüler, Suhl
S&H = Schmidt und Habermann, Suhl
GR = Gebrüder Rempt, Suhl Rempt brothers
GM = Gebrüder Merkel, Suhl Merkel brothers
G = H.M. Gering, Heidersbach

M or IM = Immanuel Meffert, Suhl.

A very complicated supply system between these companies was installed ( so only Krieghhoff produced frames,…).
So it doesn’t astonish particulary, that the not available dimensional accuracy was to rebuke soon by the army.
Among other things it came repeated to loading disturbances by differently long mags and different firing chambers.
Even if pistols aren’t war decisive at all, so it is surprising anyway that the Imperial Army has send soldiers with badly operating pistols in the fight.

Collecting these variations is all in all a very interesting thing.

Fritz

The Schmidt und Habermann,Suhl variation
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Download Attachment: PICT0020 II.jpg
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The Gebrüder Rempt, Suhl variation
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Note the different Walther trademark


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Download Attachment: Abnahme.jpg
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Please not the sight variations
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Download Attachment: Stempelungen.jpg
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Download Attachment: Stempelungen II.jpg
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Thank You Fritz-

Your explanation of the subcontractor codes is just
what I was hoping to finally see posted here, and
should help many collectors better understand the
complicated history of these little pistols.

Rich

P.S. Mine is an 'IM' stamped version. Which of
these markings seem to be the hardest to find?
 

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Fritz
Outstanding information, photographs, and presentation.

I have two Model 4 Walther's.
sn 66794 is marked G on the left triggerguard = H.M. Gering, Heidersbach
sn 64112 bears an anchor on the left triggerguard = Heinrich Krieghoff, Suhl
Thanks greatly for the interesting new information.
Jan
 

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Has there been any information gathered on serial number ranges for these Model Four pistols, which would show us which # Blocks the various contractor's marks fell into?
(I would imagine they were numbered in batches, anyway.)

If none has been assembled yet, a serial number survey among our forum members would be an interesting future project, and would give a clearer picture of their production.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rich,

Serial number ranges on this subcontractor pistols are unknown to me but I think, it will be a challenge for a research.

Meantimes I registered a further subcontractor:

FWK = F.W. Kessler Suhl # 137353

A contract between Immanuel Meffert and the subcontractors dated 20.11.1916 layed down, that all subcontractors together have to produce 480 Walther M4s weekly:

113 by Meffert
60 by F.W.Kessler
60 by Schmidt&Habermann
60 by Bebr. Rempt
60 by Gebr. Merkel
32 by H.M.Gering
30 by Krieghoff
25 by August Schüler

So the AS pistols are the hardest to find.

Found most of these and the first posted very interesting things in DWJ vol.10/2003,from D.H.Marschall

Fritz
 
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