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WALTHER PP, WAFFEN IN 9MM KURZ
The German military procured the Walther PP from 1940 to April 1945 (In April1945 the American Army overran the plant). Approximately 84,000 Walther PP’s were manufactured for the military. These were procured by the Army, Luftwaffe and Waffen-SS. Of these approximately 1,500 were in caliber 9mm kurz. Those in 9mm kurz have a high polish finish, bottom magazine release, and a E/WaA359 stamp. They are reported in the 198359P-199812P, and 202005P-202472P serial ranges.


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Figure 1. Left side, Walther PP, serial number 198456P, E/WaA359 stamped and in caliber 9mm Kurz. These have a bottom magazine release.


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Figure 2. Right side, Walther PP, serial number 198456P. The E/N proof is visible on the right side of the slide and on the right side of the chamber.


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Figure 3. Details, left side markings Walther PP, serial number 198456P. The inscription bears “Cal 9m/m”. Note: the slide E/WaA359 is flat and the frame E/WaA359 is curved.


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Figure 4. Details of proper magazine. It is not matched, but it is in the 9mm Waffen serial range, 198957.
 

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Jan, I have a question regarding these military-procured Walther PP pistols in 9mm Kurz. Most references quote the same two serial number ranges. My pistol is 202005 P, which is the first one quoted in the second range. It is eagle/N proofed. I have seen another pistol which falls within the first range. However, now I have come across a third one which is considerably earlier than both ranges: 156399 P. Can you offer any explanation?
 

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Hi Stephen,

You've appended your question to a thread that is 14 years old.

It would probably be more productive to open a separate new thread addressed to the entire membership here, and also to post the question to one of the Walther forums:

http://p38forum.com/forums/index.php

As a historian, you know the value of original sources. I'm not sure, but I don't think that the original contract documentation from either the German government or from Walther is extant. If it's available, I'd like to know more details. Perhaps a member here knows?

In this timeframe, demand for handguns from Walther would have been high from both commercial and military marketplaces within Germany. There were officers seeking private purchase of a sidearm as well as organizations that needed to arm employees.

The early pistol serial number that you mention is about 43,000 units prior to Jan's first serial range analysis. Consider the rate that they were producing PP pistols in that period. The Tague chart would indicate the earlier gun was produced at the end of 1939, and the first that Jan identified was produced toward the fall of 1940.

Firearms with the E/N firing acceptance proof indicate that they were subjected to standard commercial Nitro proof high pressure rounds, and were ready for commercial sale.

Many of those handguns could have been diverted to fulfill an urgent military contract requiring the E/359 WaffenAmt military inspector at Walther Suhl to also inspect the firearm. It's possible that these commercially proofed guns were diverted in small batches to the military as priorities affected Walther's shipping plans.

In the end, Walther was happy to have both groups of customers, and would have tried to keep everyone happy.

All this is, of course, speculation without the documents that communicated the order, negotiation and fulfillment.
 
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