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French Items

 

This Manurhin PP is a blowback operated, semiautomatic pistol that is chambered in 7.65mm(.32 ACP) caliber. The pistol has an exposed hammer and a double action trigger mechanism. It is fed using a detachable single column box magazine that holds 8 rounds. The PP incorporates a fixed barrel which also acts as the guide rod for the recoil spring. The pistol utilizes a blade front sight and a u-notch rear sight. The rear sight is drift adjustable for windage. There is a push button magazine release catch located on the left side of the frame behind the trigger. The pistol has a slide hold open feature to inform the operator that the last round has been fired and to facilitate reloading when a fresh magazine has been installed. This pistol employs a loaded  indicator pin so that when there is a cartridge in the chamber, the rear of the cartridge impinges on the pin where it protrudes from the back of the slide and informing the operator that there is a round in the chamber. The grip panels are a rusty red color and made of bakelite. These pistols are nearly identical to the pre-war Walter PP pistols that were made in Germany except for the markings.

The word Manurhin is an acronym of Manufacture de Machines du Haut-Rhin, an arms manufacturer in France. The original Walther factory was located in the town of Zella-Mehlis in Thuringia, Germany. After WWII this part of Germany was occupied by the Soviet Union and the Walther factory was forced to flee to West Germany. Once in West Germany they tried to established a new factory in the city of Ulm. This move did not solve the problems that Walter faced as the Allied forces after WWII did not permit the manufacture of weapons in Germany. Because of this, Walter decided to license the production of arms to Manurhin in the early 1950's. Manurhin continued to produce the PP series of pistols until 1986.

On some of the PP series of pistols that were manufactured up through 1986 in Europe, will have slide markings indicating that they were manufactured at the Walther factory in Ulm, Germany, but the fact is that they were actually manufactured by Manurhin in France instead. 

In the photograph on the right, this Manurhin is shown with the factory box, instruction manual and the test target which is dated 1983.. When these pistols were imported into the country a couple of years ago, the distributors offered the pistols with and with out the factory box. It was just a couple of dollars more for one with the box so I choose that option. Also at the time, the distributors offered a choice of either a blued model or one that had a 2 tone finish. I decided to purchase one of each. About a month later, all of the Manurhin PP's with boxes were sold out, then a couple of months after that the rest were gone as well. These pistols flew off the shelves of the distributors.

Interesting observation.

On the blued finish Manurhin PP , the full serial number of the pistol has been scribed on the inside of the slide, just opposite the ejection port. The two tone Manurhin PP featured on this page has no such markings.

 

  

The picture on the left shows the top and bottom of the pistol, while the photograph on the right is of the front and back of this Manurhin PP.  

The photograph on the left is a picture of the right side of the receiver with a stamp that no collector wants to see on a historic firearm that is in their collection. This is an importers stamp that is now required to be placed on firearms that have entered the U.S. after the late 1980's. On the plus side, every marking on a firearm will help to tell us its history and this importers mark is no different.

With this importers mark, we now know that this Manurhin PP came in to the U.S. some time after the late 1980's. This import stamp reads as follows, "C.D.I. Swan VT". This mark is what the law calls for except it would have been nice if the importer would have hidden this stamp under the grips rather then stamping it on the side of the receiver. This stamp identifies the importer as Classic Distributors incorporated, and tells us that they are located in Swanton, Vermont. The full name and address of the importer is Classic Distributors INC., Airport Rd Bldg 2, Swanton, VT 05488 and the telephone number was (802) 868-3715. The import law that is mentioned above can be referenced by viewing the gun control Act of 1968, Public Law 90-618 and under Subpart F-Conduct of Business sub-section 178.92 (a)(1) Firearms.

The picture on the right is of the slide inscription that is located on the left side of the slide. Starting at the left it is stamped, "MANUFACTURE DE MACHINES" and then underneath that is "DU HAUT-RHIN". Then in the center is a logo with the word "MANURHIN" in the middle of it, and underneath that is "Made in France". At the right it is stamped "LIC. EXCL. WALTER" and then under that is "MOD. PP Cal. 7.65mm".

The first part of this inscription, "Manufacture de Machines du Haut-Rhin", translates to Manufacturer of Machines, then the stamp "du" means "of" in French and the last part, "Haut-Rhin" indicates upper Rhine as on the Upper Rhine river. The next part of the slide inscription is the Manurhin logo and underneath that it tells us that this pistol was made in France. The last part, "LIC. EXCL. WALTER" indicates that the Walter firm holds the exclusive license for this pistol design. Underneath that the stamp "MOD. PP Cal. 7.65mm" indicates that the model of the pistol is PP and that it is chambered in 7.65mm(.32 ACP). The letters "PP" is short for "Polizei Pistole" or "Police Pistol".

 

  

The photograph on the left is a close up picture of one of the proof marks that is found on this Manurhin PP. There is one of these proof marks stamped on the barrel and another identical proof mark stamped on the frame just rear of the trigger guard as seen in the picture on the left. The photograph on the right is a close up picture of the Manurhin logo that is found at the top of both of the grip panels.

  

  

  

How to field strip the pistol.

FIRST MAKE SURE THE PISTOL IS NOT LOADED.

1. Pull down on the front of the trigger guard which doubles as a takedown lever and push it to the right. It will rest against the frame and remain         open.

2. With the trigger guard pulled down, pull back on the slide as if to put the pistol in battery.

3. With the slide at the end of its rearward travel, simply pull up to remove. Total disassembly time is about 15 seconds.

  

  

Resource:

Walter pistols by James Rankin

German Handguns by Ian Hogg

The standard directory of proof marks by Gerhard Wirnsberger

Official guide to gunmarks by Robert H. Balderson  

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