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Walk into Walther’s History

Unlike their countryman Heckler & Koch, Walther has concentrated on creating great civilian firearms since their beginnings in the late 19th century. If you are a sportsman, conceal carrier, or hunter than Walther guns deserve your attention. They are especially known for their pistol offerings.

Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen (usually shortened to Walther) is a German firearms manufacturer. The company began in 1886 by Carl Walther in his parent’s house. That small company soon made a name for itself because of Walter’s entrepreneur’s ingenuity. He started off with only hand tools, a vise, a small forge, and a foot-powered lathe.[1] With these simple tools Walther began designing rifles that used a Martini falling-block trigger.

In these early years Walther concentrated on making rifles. It was not until his oldest son Fritz Walther joined the company that pistols began appearing. By 1903 Walther had become so successful that Carl Walther was able to move it a new factory with diesel powered machinery. Even at that point the company had come quite far from the original small workshop and hand tools to a fancy new three-story factory with high-tech machinery.

Walther changed from being a rifle maker to a pistol provider when Fritz took over the company after his father’s death in 1915. Instead of the hunting and sporting rifles that made Walther famous, under Fritz’s direction, Walther produced pistols. He focused on the Model 1 series that had been patented by the company in 1911. He produced nine models of this original pistol design.

 

 

 

 

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As with the rest of Germany, the devastation caused by World War I took its toll on Walther. However, the company managed to stay in business during the 1920s by making calculators instead of firearms.[2] The destruction of World War II was much worse. The Soviets destroyed Walther’s original factory in Zella-Melis and confiscated all of the company’s historic guns.[3]

Fritz had to begin Walther again in a city near Ulm.[1] Even so, he did not have to begin from scratch as he escaped the Soviets with the patents for over eighty models of firearms.[2]

 

Since the company’s second start, they have continued to innovate in rifle and pistol production. Walther fell out of the family’s control with the death of Carl Walther’s grandson Karl-Heinz Walther in 1983. The company was quickly sold to the German corporation Steyr-Mannlicher. Most people connected to Walther were happy about this new arrangement, since it meant that the company remained in German, not foreign, hands.[3]

 

The new owners concentrated on making Walther pistols. This narrowing of product offerings has helped the company succeed in the 21st century. They first entered the U.S. market in 1999 when they partnered with Smith & Wessen. Their owners announced in early 2012 that Walther would be creating its own American subsidiary, Walther Arms, Inc. This branch is headquartered in Fort Smith, AR.

 

The partnership with Smith & Wessen lives on even though Walther has permanently established itself in the American market. Smith & Wessen currently manufactures the PPK, and Walther will manufacture the M&P22 for Smith & Wesson.[4]

 

Visit Walther’s website to learn more about Walther’s long and interesting history.

 

Walther Models

Walther is another large firearm maker that provides a lot of different types of guns. They make pistols and rifles primarily, but also have some LTS (laser training) products. In order to keep things simple, today we will discuss only their pistol offerings for the United States—as offered by Walter Arms, Inc.

 

Like some of the other firearm manufacturers we have profiled, Walther has different families of guns. However, here, we will provide a brief summary of each pistol individually so that you do not get them confused with each other.

 

            PK380 Black

The PK380 is small, compact and shoots .380 ACP.  The size and light-weight pistol make it an extremely good conceal carry weapon (CCW). This pistol also comes with a Nickel or Angel Blue grip.

 

Walter duplicates the popular PK380 Black frame with the PK380 Black with Laser Set model. But, they add a laser set to make the gun infinitely more accurate. The only color available with this variety is black.

 

The small size and light trigger on the entire PK380 Black line makes it an ideal choice for women or those with small hands.

Walther pk380

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PPQ M2

Walther’s PPQ M2 pistols update the ergonomics of their self-defense CCW polymer handguns. These guns all fit any sized hand well despite their small stature. Also, for the updated 2013 release, Walther provided a reversible magazine release button.

 

You can purchase the PPQ M2 in 9mm, Navy 9mm, 5 in. 9mm, 5 in. 9mm standard, .40 S&W, and 5 in. S&W editions. The only changes between these models are the caliber of ammunition and size of the barrel. One important point, the Navy 9mm PPQ M2 has a modified firing mechanism that allows it to be fired in or around water. Walther definitely provides something for everyone with the PPQ M2.

 

PPQ Q4 TAC

This pistol is built on Walther’s famous PPQ frame. It shoots 9mm and includes an optics-ready slide that can be used with Trijcon RMR, Leupold Delta Pont, and Docter optic sights. The tactical model also contains a threaded barrel and quick defense trigger and is suppressor ready.

 

            PPQ M2 45

All PPQ model pistols come from Walther’s leading line. PPQ standards for Police Pistol Quick Defense Trigger and is used by German Police departments. The PPQ 45 shoots .45 ACP. It combines the expected Quick trigger pull with customizability and a larger caliber ammunition to create the ultimate self-defense weapon.

 

Also available in .45 ACP is the PPQ M2 45 SD. This pistol includes all of the features of the PPQ M2 45, but with the addition of a threaded muzzle that can mount a suppressor.

 

            PPS M2

Walther’s compact pistol, the PPS M2 series has a slim profile, easy trigger and magazine release, and the company’s signature ergonomics. It is available in a couple of different models.

 

You can buy the base PPS M2, or the PPS M2 LE, both chambered in 9mm. The only difference between these two pistols are the phosphoric sights and 3 magazines that come standard with the PPS M2 LE.

             

Another variety of the PPS M2 comes with a crimson trace laser and as such is called the PPS M2 Laser. This model is also only available in 9mm.

 

The final PPS M2 model presently available is the PPS M2 RMSC. This gun also shoots 9mm and includes a Shield RMSC red dot sight in addition to the features standard on the PPS M2.

 

            CCP

This is Walther’s newest conceal carry pistol. It uses 9mm Luger and has the good ergonomic grip expected from a Walther pistol. The CCP also comes with Walther’s Softcoil Gas Technology, which claims to use gas pressure from “the ignited cartridge by directing it through a small port in the barrel in front of the chamber to slow down and delay the motion of the slide.”[5] The upshot of this technology is that it softens the recoil of the gun, making it easier and more comfortable to shoot.

 

            P99C AS 9MM

Walther designed the P99C AS as a duty pistol for police departments in North America, Europe, and Asia. It has the comfortable grip associated with all Walther pistols, as well as a reputation for durability. These 9mm pistols are now available in the civilian market.

 

            P99C AS .40 S&W

The P99C AS .40 S&W is the same gun as the P99C AS 9MM except that this gun shoots .40 S&W.

 

            PPK .380 Stainless

The one American built pistol on this list, the PPK .380 Stainless was designed for the U.S. market. In it Walter combines functionality with elegance. The stainless-steel slide screams class, and contrasts well with the black grip. The lines are long and provide an easily concealable profile. The PPK .380 Stainless is built in Walther’s Fort Smith, AR factory.          

 

Reliability

Walter firearms are known for their reliability. Some critics think that they are not as reliable as a HK or Sig Sauer gun. But, these problems have larger been found with their older models. The newer and updated pistols described here all have worked out the kinks that set back the reliability of the older firearms. In general, when you buy a Walther gun, you will receive a lot for your money. And, if anything every does go wrong, then you will be covered by Walther’s wonderful warranty.

 

 

 

Warranty

Walther believes in their firearms and also in customer service. They care so much about taking care of their customers that they offer an extremely good limited lifetime warranty. This warranty covers the lifetime of the gun, not the owner. So, even if you are not the original owner of a Walther firearm, you are still covered under their warranty.

 

Here’s how the company describes their warranty: “With Walther, you can rely on the precision of German engineering and the dependability of an American guarantee. Our warranty provides unwavering support for your new firearm and continues for the life cycle of the product as long as the company manufactures and supports it. If you purchase a Walther firearm, it carries its Legendary Warranty regardless of whether or not you are the original purchaser.  This warranty covers Walther centerfire and rimfire firearms, produced after 1993 only and does not apply to antique, limited edition, or custom firearms.”[6]

 

Additionally, Walther promises to have a 48-hour service turnaround. This is unique among gun manufacturers. No other company promises to return you gun to you within a specific time window—especially one so short. To take advantage of this excellent program contact Walther customer support at 479-242-8500 Ext 507, or email [email protected] You can also use their address:

 

Attn: Service Dept

Walter Arms, Inc

7700 Chad Colley Blvd

Fort Smith, AR 72916

 

Conclusion

The Walther name has been a big one in Germany since the company’s founding at the end of the 19th century. Adolf Hitler is even said to have committed suicide with a Walther PPK.[7] As do many older firearms manufacturers, Walther has had to adapt to keep up with a changing market. Their introduction of pistols at the turn of the 20th century represents an early instance of their adaptation skills. Also, their move to producing polymer framed pistols in the 1990s illustrates their willingness to change.

 

So many international firearms manufacturers have descended on the U. S. market in the last twenty years that it can be hard to keep track of each of them. If you are like us, then you might be wondering, what sets Walther apart?

 

One thing that distinguishes Walther are their ergonomic grips. Their grips fit most hands comfortably, an enormous feat in the small-arms industry. Also, Walther puts a quick trigger mechanism on their guns. The trigger pulls for a low weight and resets quickly. Some argue that this makes Walther guns inappropriate for conceal carrying. However, for people who do not like a heavy trigger pull, this highly recommends Walther.

 

What gun maker you decide to purchase your next gun from is ultimately up to you. Always try out the firearm before you buy. Even so, we recommend taking a hard look at Walther’s pistols.

[1] “The First Century,” Carl-Walther, http://www.carl-walther.com/company/the-first-century.html (accessed 3/13/18).

 

[2] Jake Smith, “Guide to Walther Firearms,” Alien Gear Holsters (April 26, 2017), http://aliengearholsters.com/blog/walther-firearms-guide/ (accessed 3/13/18).

[3] “The Second Century,” Carl-Walther, http://www.carl-walther.com/company/the-second-century.html (accessed 3/13/18).

 

[4] Jake Smith, “Guide to Walther Firearms,” Alien Gear Holsters (April 26, 2017), http://aliengearholsters.com/blog/walther-firearms-guide/ (accessed 3/13/18).

[5] “CCP,” Walter Arms, http://www.waltherarms.com/handguns/ccp/ (accessed 3/13/18).

[6] “Legendary Limited Lifetime Warranty,” Walther Arms, http://www.waltherarms.com/legendary-lifetime-warranty/ (accessed 3/13/18).

 

[7] Jake Smith, “Guide to Walther Firearms,” Alien Gear Holsters (April 26, 2017), http://aliengearholsters.com/blog/walther-firearms-guide/ (accessed 3/13/18).

[1,2,3] Evan Brune, “2016: Celebrating 130 Years of Walther,” Guns & Ammo (October 30, 2015), http://www.gunsandammo.com/historical/130-years-of-walther-arms/ (accessed 3/13/18).

 

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