Manurhin PPK/S .380 / German Police Pistols

I´ve always considered the “bastard” PPK/S (invented to bypass US importation rules against “Saturday Night Specials”) to be the most sensible Walther blowback pistol ever made. It gives you a solid steel backstrap and a little more to hang onto than Bond´s PPK while keeping the package short (not “kurz”, the “K” seems to stand for “Kriminal”-Polizei, i.e. plainclothes police in German).

Manurhin made most of these guns for Walther anyway in the post WW2 period, so I would be very glad to own one of these. They were most finely finished. Just take a look at their great revolvers from Strasbourg before you insist on an “original” Ulm gun. In this American Handgunner ad from 1984 they even said so. There are more reliable and effective pocket pistols available today, but the PPs remain a thing of beauty and will always be remembered as the first pistols with a double action trigger. And when the hammer dropping safety was on (and only then), they were even drop safe to a degree.

“Walther” PPs and PPKs (sometimes in funny full flap military style holsters) in .32 ACP were in general police service in Germany up until the late 70s when they had to be replaced due to the heightened threat level generated by the “RAF” terrorists, but I saw them on the streets up until the 90s in some veteran holsters. The new guns were the P5 (Walther), P6 (SIG-Sauer), P7 (Heckler&Koch), with some modernized Walther P38s and HK P9S strewn in.

In Germany, police weapon selection is done on a state level, it´s not a different gun in every city like in the US. Plainclothes and uniformed officers usually just get the same gun, I guess exceptions can be made for deep undercover operatives. Lately, another generation of guns has been selected in many states, consisting of the P2000, P99 and others. Bavaria still clings to the squeeze cocking P7 as I write this. SWAT (“SEK” and “MEK”) and GSG9 units seem to favor the Glock 17.



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