First manufactured and introduced as a police weapon (PP=Polizei Pistole),
the Walther PP was adopted by many police forces during the 1930s. It was
a light and handy weapon with a clean outline, albeit it was designed for
holster carriage. Plain clothes officers used the Walther PPK (K=kurz,
German for short), which was a downscaled PP so that it could be hidden
under a jacket or in a pocket.
Both the PP and PPK were chosen to be used by military police after 1939 even though they were civilian police weapons. Production continued for service use, and each model was often used by Luftwaffe personnel, many German police forces, and staff officers as a handy personal weapon. The two types had caliers including the 9mm short and 7.65mm, but versions in 5.56mm (0.22 LR) and 6.35mm were also commom. All the versions worked by a straightforward, simple blowback principle, and more than enough safety features were installed. One of these features involced inserting a block in the path of the firing pin when it moved forward. The block was only removed by a definite pull on the trigger. This safety design was copied widely later. Another feature was the installation of a signal pin above the hammer which stuck out to show a round was in the chamber. This innovation was done away with during wartime production, making the general standard of finish lower. Soon after 1945 many countries like France, Turkey and Hungary started producing the pistol, but it is now produced once again by the Walther firm in Ulm. The main consumers are still police forces but individual pistol shooters could also purchase the fine pistol.
One interesting aspect of the PP is the fact that it is now used by the British armed forces as the XL47E1. The PP is ideal for covert operations in which civilian clothing has to be worn. It is also allotted to soldiers of the Ulster Defense Regiment for off duty personal protection.
|Click on one of the thumbnails below to view the full picture.|
|Technical data and/or diagram of Walther PP and PPK.|
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