Demonstration Video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sZ5nT72bCmo&list=TLeJ0e5HnDAl4HuLTnSUIcAJE1UAcq9eMa
The Walther company in Ulm, Germany came out with the Walther PP model in 1929 with an emphasis on civilian law enforcement. After World War I, Germany was made to disarm a good bit of its army and production of new military weapons was very limited but Walther survived with an emphasis on small caliber pistols for civilian self defense and came to the bigger market of police use with the PP. The gun was all steel, had a 3 3/4 inch barrel with fixed sights, and the gun held a detachable magazine that held eight rounds of 7.65 Browning/ 32 ACP ammunition.
But that is not what is new. What was new was it was the first handgun to be a DA/SA type in which the gun may be carried with a round in the chamber with the hammer down and the gun may be fired with the long double action trigger and each subsequent shot is single action as the exposed hammer would be automatically cocked by the slide. Another innovation is the safety decocker on the left side of the gun where the right shooting thumb rides allowing the hammer to be lowered without touching the trigger or setting off the round. To continue firing, pushing the safety back up engages the double action trigger once again. Walther’s success with this new, safer design was followed by a more concealable version called the PPK in 1931.
These models were introduced just prior to Adolf Hitler coming to power. The PP series of pistols proved popular with Nazi party officials for self protection as well as military officers with the same goal in mind despite that the pistols were never standard issue and the 32 ACP cartridge was lower in power compared to the standard 9mm Luger cartridge. Nazi Germany came to an end but the PP did not. Production started over again and would prove popular with post war police, intelligence agencies, civilians, and lastly as a movie icon with the Walther PPK being the gun of choice for the fictional character James Bond. While both PP models were eventually chambered for 22lr, 25 ACP, 32 ACP, 380 ACP, and the rare 9×18 Ultra, the gun as originally designed was chambered in 32 ACP.
Shooting the Walther PP Police Pistol
The gun reviewed was a West German PP in 32 ACP that was in decent shape. The gun had a broken safety lever and unfortunately the safety levers on these Walthers are sometimes known to break. However, a new safety lever was installed and the pistol performed as expected and making the gun safe after loading or firing was easy. I found that lowering the hammer down with the thumb while decocking is a smart idea to save the gun from potential wear and tear.
The PP model has largely been discontinued by Walther but the PPK continues to live on in new manufacture. Like all Walther PP models, it features a fixed barrel and dis-assembly is easy by simply removing the magazine, depressing the trigger-guard down, bringing the slide back, and then up and off the fixed barrel. Unlike most European guns the Walther has a button release on the side of the frame to release the magazine instead of the slower heel type normally encountered making it easy to eject magazines to reload rapidly.
Ammunition used was Herters 71 grain Full Metal Jacket ammunition. European made ammunition are loaded to higher pressures than those made by American manufacturers as the 32 has always been taken more seriously in Europe and has only recently caught on in America.
With the magazine pushed into the butt of the gun firmly the gun is charged by pulling the slide back and letting it fall forward, chambering a cartridge. The gun may be charged with the safety in the down position so the hammer falls and is safe until the safety is not engaged but the safety is not needed as you may lower the hammer later after chambering. When the magazine empty of bullets the slide comes back and locks to the rear on the magazine. The magazine can then be dropped and another with rounds inserted and the gun may be chambered by pulling back on the slide and letting it fly forward. There is no slide release button.
Shooting the gun was pleasant. The double action trigger to fire the first shot from safe mode was heavy but is understandable for the sake of safety. The single action trigger was very light to the point where I fired shots only to let some shots discharge early while on target. The 32 ACP round does not generate much recoil for the shooter and an all steel gun like the Walther handles it like a champion. Just during the initial review I went through over one hundred rounds of ammunition without fail. Accuracy at a distance of twenty five and seven yard distances were more than acceptable for self protection and government work with offhand groups coming at less than 4 inches.
Overall I recommend the Walther PP for any collection. With classic lines, function, and accuracy that is hard to beat.