Sunday, August 20, 2017

"One-Of-A-Kind" --- the Walther 9mm Ultra pistol, developed on an experimental basis by Walther, for the Luftwaffe, in 1939/1940.

The intent of this design was to manufacture a pistol that retained the compact aspects of the PPK/PP design but employed a far more powerful cartridge than the 9mm Kurz round but less powerful than the standard 9mm Parabellum cartridge.

The design of this pistol was based somewhat on the proven Walther PPK/PP. However it employed some “all of its own” features only found on this pistol. Due to the higher velocity and pressure of the 9mm Ultra round, it required actual locking lugs on the sides of barrel. These locking lugs mated with a corresponding internal raceway/locking recesses inside the slide. 

These internal slide raceways necessitated a shortened slide, as shown, which also resulted in a different barrel configuration which resembles a P38 design.

Another unique feature is that there is a spring loaded, slide accelerator mounted on the left side of the frame under the grip panel. This was required since the slide was shortened, that reduced the mass of the slide which requires the accelerator to drive the slide forward, rotating the barrel into the forward position and locking it in place, very innovative for a late 1939/40 designed pistol.

The pistol still ejects to the right, however the takedown procedure is different than the PPK/PP as there is a cross-pin through the frame which holds the trigger guard in place. These mechanical features were revolutionary and set it apart from any previous Walther design even today. The pistol has no visible markings, including no serial number.

This is the only one known example of this unique and historically innovative Walther pistol.

Sources and references from; "Walther Volume III" by James L. Rankin, "The P.38 Pistol, Volume III" by Warren Buxton, "Walther The Deutsche Legend" by Manfred Kersten and others.


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