Which Walther firearms are made in Germany and which in the U.S.A.?

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Ballbearing, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Ballbearing

    Ballbearing G&G Evangelist

    Feb 13, 2008
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    I was talking to a friend the other day and telling him about my new Walther, and he remarked that it "Wasn't really a Walther because it was made here in the U.S. by Smith&Wesson". I disagreed with him and told him that my pistol said it was made in Germany on the slide, but it did have a Smith&Wesson import mark. I thought only the older designs like the P-38,PP, PPK and PPK/S were made by Smith, but that the newer designs like the P99, P22, and PPS, were still made by Carl Walther Waffenfabrik in Germany. Is this right, or am I suffering under a delusion?
    Also, I noticed that the item number of my P22 differs from any of those on the Walther America website. Can anyone tell me why that is?

  2. duomatic

    duomatic G&G Newbie

    Feb 13, 2009
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    This is from the Walther FAQ:

    4. Are all Walther pistols manufactured in Germany?

    The PPS, SP22, P99, P22 and G22 are manufactured in Germany. The PPK and PPK/S-1 are manufactured by Smith & Wesson in their Houlton, Maine plant.

    Can't say why your item number is different though.
  3. TheJoker

    TheJoker G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Jun 30, 2005
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    I always thought that German Walthers were the best. I recently found out that most post war Walthers were made in France. Here is a quote from another board that shattered what I thought I knew about Walthers:

    All Walther PPK/S were produced in one of 2 places, France or the US.

    In 1968 the US law changed which required Walther to marry the larger PP frame with the shorter PPK slide and barrel, thus the PPK/S was born.

    Almost all US guns were either imported by Interarms (will say made in W Germany) but manufactured in France by Manhurin before being sent to Ulm, Germany for proof testing, or when in 1986 the France plant lost it's license to make the PP series and the manufacture was changed to the Interarms contracted plant in the USA (mfg in USA), under Walther supervision. Lastly when Interarms stopped manufacturing (owner died, went out of business), S&W began production in America (mfg. USA) again under Walther supervision. Some parts have always been made for these guns in Ulm, Germany, but final assembly and proofing determines country of manufacture, hence why the French guns will show a German manufacture, as that is where they were proofed and the US guns will show a USA manufacture..

    The side of your gun slide should say where it was manufactured, I'm guessing W. Germany, which means at the French factory. I found this info on the PPK/S

    (said by another poster) "I have owned both Manurhin and Walther produced PPK/S's and the Manurhin guns struck me as being every bit the equal of the German built guns."

    That's because they're AREN'T any "German made" PP series pistols, and haven't been any since 1945.

    When WWII ended, the Walther plant was completely bombed out. What was left ended up in Russian hands. The Walther family escaped to the West, bringing with them the critical production plans for the Walther firearms.

    When the new West German government wanted to adopt the P-38 pistol, Walther had the plans but no production plant. Rumor has it, that the French had removed the P-38 production tooling, jigs, and dies from the Mauser plant before finally destroying it.

    Walther contracted production of the P-38 and later the PP series guns with the French Manurhin company.

    After Walther built a new plant in Ulm, all P-38 production was moved back to Germany, but Walther decided to keep having Manurhin produce the PP series pistols in France under contract.

    The guns were manufactured in France, shipped a few miles over the border to Ulm, where they were blued, proof-fired, stamped "Made in Germany", and sold as German-made Walther pistols.

    To be fair, in Europe the country where the final proof is conducted is considered the country of manufacture.

    So, until Walther contracted with InterArms to have the PPK and PPK/s pistols produced in the US, ALL PP series pistols were actually made in France by Manurhin.

    Some of you may remember the Walther/Manurhin "Advertising War" of the mid 1980's.
    The license with Manurhin had expired after Walther had the guns produced here, and the Manurhin company decided to market their "own" PPK/s pistols.

    Walther's ads said that ONLY Walther-marked guns were "genuine". Manuhrin's ads said that since they had actually made ALL the guns since 1945, THEY were the "genuine" gun.

    Somehow Walther and Manurhin resolved the dispute after about a year, and no more Manurhin-marked guns were imported.

    A side-by-side comparison of contemporary Walther and Manurhin PPK/s pistols revealed that the guns were in fact produced on the same production machines. Machine marks were exactly the same on both guns, the plastic box was from the same mold, and the instruction manual for the Manurhin was exactly the same as the Walther manual, except the pictures had the Walther name air-brushed out, and replaced with Manurhin marks.

    All through the 50's, 60's and early 70's when the gun magazines had their annual "round-up" articles on pocket autos, they always described the Walther PP series guns as "Typically fine Teutonic quality" and "High quality German craftsmanship".

    After the guns started to be produced here in America, they blandly informed us that they'd always known the guns were produced in France.

    So, arguments over which is the better gun, a German PP series or a French Manhurin PP series gun is a moot point. They were produced on the same equipment, in the same French plant, by the same French workers.

    In short, There AIN'T no "German" PP series guns, and haven't been any since Adolph bit the Big One."
  4. soonerborn

    soonerborn G&G Newbie

    Dec 11, 2007
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    I think it gets even more confusing because some P-99 s are put together from S&W parts. I have seen some that have the german symbol on slide but S&W on alot of other parts on it and some P99 s with the walther symbol on all the parts and no S&W except the import markings. You can occasionally see them up for sale, advertised as 100% german walthers and etc.
  5. TheJoker

    TheJoker G&G Evangelist Forum Contributor

    Jun 30, 2005
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    You can find German made P99s. Mine is all German.
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