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Old February 11, 2014, 02:45 PM   #1
MoGas1341
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Need Help from Walther enthusiasts!

I am trying to help a friend identify what type of pistol his grandfather brought home from WW2 in August of 1945. The problem is, he does NOT have the pistol, only the certificate from Army command authorizing him to bring it back to the U.S.

The only information on the certificate is as follows;

"Waffenfabrik Walther Zella-Mehlis, 510044," with his Grandfathers signature

It does not state P-38, PPK, PP, etc anywhere on the certificate. Also, it is handwritten, and I know many of those certs were typed when filled out. The handwriting is very legible though.

Though I am not well versed in Walthers, I do know that many Walthers were produced in 10,000 serial blocks with a suffix added to the end. The highest serial number that I was able to obtain from production is 502,000 for the P38K.

As stated earlier, he does not have the pistol, he is just trying to use this (unfortunately limited) information to identify what model of firearm it was that his Grandfather brought back. Thank you in advance!
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Old February 11, 2014, 04:07 PM   #2
gyvel
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Most likely candidates are going to be a Model 4, 5, 8 or 9.

4 is a .32 ACP; The others are .25 ACPs.

All potentially could have that serial number and that slide roll mark.
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Old February 11, 2014, 06:12 PM   #3
Chris_B
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can you show him some photos of various models?
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Old February 11, 2014, 07:55 PM   #4
James K
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For various reasons, and assuming the information is correct, the gun would have to have been a Model 8 or Model 9.

Jim
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Old February 11, 2014, 07:57 PM   #5
gyvel
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Jim, it could have been a 4 or 5 also. That particular roll mark was also used on those models and serial numbers also seem to be "up there."
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Old February 11, 2014, 08:13 PM   #6
RJay
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As Jim posted, the only serial number ranges that seems to fit fit are the Model 8 and Model 9, with no suffix, made before 1939. After 1939 the Model 8 had a an A suffix and the Model 9 had a N suffix. { A for Acht ' 8 ? ' and N for Neun ' 9 ? ' } But with so little information every thing is by guess and by golly. If you google Walther Model 8, and do the same for the Model 9 you will rewarded with a multitude of fishes , oops, I mean photos.
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Old February 11, 2014, 10:49 PM   #7
gyvel
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You are correct about the 5. The photo caption I was looking at stated the serial number was 835539. The actual gun itself displayed a serial of 83539.

So the 5 is withdrawn from consideration.

However, the photo of the "late model" 4 I was looking at is 480999. I really don't know how many more 4s were produced beyond that number, but that is getting fairly close to 510,000. So the 4 becomes "iffy."

None of the photos in my ref. books show any letter suffices on the 8 or 9, however, except one 8 with Nazi commercial proofs with a serial of 94844A that is listed as a "third variation," and was apparently produced well after previous "second variation" serials had exceeded 712,000.

My books are from the 80s and maybe more info has surfaced siince then.
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Old February 12, 2014, 10:35 AM   #8
James K
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Since Walther put the whole 1-9 production in the same serial number range, it is pretty hard to tell anything from a serial number. Plus the guys who did those "capture papers" were not always accurate in their descriptions of the weapons.

Jim
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Old February 12, 2014, 04:43 PM   #9
MoGas1341
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Found it! Model 9 indeed...

Jim was correct in that it was a Model 9... I found the information here- http://unblinkingeye.com/Guns/WM9V/wm9v.html

I would like to thank everyone on here for giving me a shove in the right direction. The "Waffenfabrik Walther Zella-Mehlis" rollmark was shown on the right side of the slide ver batum, and the serial number recorded on the cert lines up to a 1924 approximate production date.

I let my friend know about it today and he was absolutely thrilled and is now on Gunbroker trying to find one. Once again thanks everyone!
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Old February 12, 2014, 04:48 PM   #10
gyvel
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Quote:
Since Walther put the whole 1-9 production in the same serial number range, it is pretty hard to tell anything from a serial number. Plus the guys who did those "capture papers" were not always accurate in their descriptions of the weapons.
That's good to know. So, essentially, guns were produced in running "blocks" of serial numbers?
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Old February 12, 2014, 09:17 PM   #11
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I am not sure how they did it, but all the number info I see makes it look like that, or that they just numbered guns as they were made regardless of model, much as S&W does today. The alternative would have been to start each model at 1 (or some other arbitrary number) and that does not appear to have been done.

Serial number info is always tricky. A common practice in Europe was to start numbering at, say, 6,000, to give the buyer of a new gun the feeling that it was a tried and proven model with many in circulation. For many years, Colt had a separate number series for each basic model; S&W did the same based on frame size (all K frames in the same series). In this country, under GCA 68, ATTD (predecessor to ATF) mandated that the serial number be unique to a manufacturer. That caused Ruger to adopt its prefix, and S&W to adopt various prefix letters. Later, the llight went on at S&W and they realized that as long as the gun had a traceable number, the model was unimportant, so they now number all revolvers in the same series, and all auto pistols in the same series.

Jim
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