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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just purchased Walther PP 754,355 (1930) with features indicative of early PP's including a 2-piece covered firing pin, flat heavy hammer without a groove, fat safety lever, short slide/"long" barrel, and X (cruciform)-grips. Perfectly electro-penciled into the right front flat surface of the slide is: P.V.E.2 [6mm high]. The "2" is slightly less deep and very slightly uneven with the bottom line of the letters suggesting this numbering was done separately from the P.V.E. Don Maus in History Writ in Steel identifies P.V. markings as unknown police markings including one found on an earlier Dreyse 1907 with a P.V.E.No.84. He suggests the P.V. stands for Polizei Verwaltung which seems a reasonable assumption and the "E" for an administrative district. The "2" is certainly an inventory number. Although Erfurt in Saxony (Thuringia) is a possible explanation for the "E" so is Elberfeld, a town with a Police Headquarters of some size that was incorporated with Barmen, and finally Wuppertal in 1930. In fact, P.V.E. is identified in Michael Kellogg's book on The Russian Roots of Nazism as "Polizei Verwaltung Elberfeld", and Elberfeld in 1929 had stationed there senior police officers who later ascended to General rank in the Army. We tend to forget that the first 3 years of PP production occurred in Weimar Germany. Thus the Imperial/Weimar-like police marking style, while highly unusual on a PP during the Reich, is not inconsistent with the period. Maus in fact identifies another Walther PP in the same serial range (752,358) with a similar "P.V.Gö.Nr.63" on the front gripstrap. Any further information on these markings appreciated.
 

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Walther PP SN 753041 is front grip strap marked P.V.GO.Nr.115. Rankin Book III shows unidentified one on pages 140 & 143.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks, Ron. That makes 3 early PP's with the P.V.Gö markings (752,358, 753,041, 753,127) and 1 P.V.E. (754,355). All the Gö markings are on the front grip strap. Could stand for Görlitz which used the Polizeiverwaltung Görlitz attribution.
Any one else with similar markings?
 

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Elberfeld-Barmen was under Prussian police control and at that time the Prussian police favored Sauer and Mauser products as well as older Dreyse pistols.

Don't know what was the source of Kellogg's information about P.V.E. in "The Russian Roots of Nazism", but I believe HWIS shows different markings for Elberfeld-Barmen. And what does the fact that senior police officials were there who became generals in the Army have to do with the marking? There were senior police officials in many Prussian cities that were promoted and transferred to the Landespolizei in 1933/34. And many of these eventually became generals when the Landespolizei was incorporated into the Heer in 1935/36.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Excellent points, well taken. From your knowledge is it likely that the "E" represents Erfurt? Since this mark appears on the front right of the slide and not the grip strap do you think it was likely applied in 1930-ish, or later on, and if so by whom?
 

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Erfurt was also in the Prussian police administration, so Erfurt should not be considered.

I for one would like to see an image of the electro-pencil marking you describe. I am trying to think of similarly created markings. The Hamburg police markings on M1914 Mausers come to mind. Are you sure the markings are not roto-engraved?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I bow to your expertise. Here are two pictures of the right side of PP 754,355. Please correct any facts. I assume these markings were done post-factory.

Walther 754355.jpg Walther 754355 2.jpg
 

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The markings look roto-engraved to me. Not electro-pencil IMO. All identification of these markings is subjective opinion based on some historical facts. IMO this could be a commercial company marking as well as a local police force marking. But given the production date and the cost of a Walther PP, I would think it quite an expensive purchase by a local police force when cheaper alternatives were available in 7,65mm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks. What is IMO? This was a commercial gun in its first year of production with much sales interest generated by its double action in police use. Perhaps a senior police official bought the gun to have the best and had the property marking inscribed as a matter of record. This might explain why similar guns from other departments in this serial range have similar markings on the grip strap while this one was roto-engraved on the slide. It may not have been a contract gun.
 

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IMO simply means in my opinion. If a "senior" police official bought their own weapon, they would not have marked it as property of their employer. The pistols cost quite a bit in comparison to the older and more simple designs of Sauer or Mauser. I am just saying the it could have been a contract for a company. The Reichsbank bought many early Walthers, as did the Commerz-Privat Bank.After all, the conjecture that P.V.Gö. indicates the police of Görlitz faces the reality that Görlitz was in the Prussian Province of Niederschlesien.
 

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Don, numerous large companies had their own security force. There are known company logos on PPK pistols also. Other types of pistols only have abbreviations (letters) similar to yours. I have a ersatz holster with the Carl Zeiss - Jena optical company logo embossed positively (protruding outwardly). It is for a Sauer pistol. I am not saying that is what the logo on your early PP might represent, but it is certainly possible. Jim Cate
 

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The police headquarters for Elberfeld-Barmen/Wuppertal, Elbing, Essen and Erfut were Präsidia from before 1929 (HWIS Table 4-1), so I doubt that the term Polizeiverwaltung would have been used for any of these locations. Also, the policing of Elberfeld was combined with that of Barmen, so I expect that location abbreviation would have been E-B (HWIS pp. 75-6).

I have recently seen evidence that P.V.D. may have been Detmold but have little information on the other P.V.X. markings.

I do not assign much significance to the format and location of this marking. The Polizeiverwaltungen were locally controlled and not subject to the Prussian marking instructions of either 1922 or 1932.
 
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