Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 1517: Walther KPK Pistol 7.65 mm auto

Auction Date: December 2, 2011

Extremely Rare Prototype Walther Model KPK Semi Automatic Pistol Pictured in Rankin's Walther Volume III

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $50,000 - $90,000

Extremely Rare Prototype Walther Model KPK Semi Automatic Pistol Pictured in Rankin's Walther Volume III

Manufacturer: Walther
Model: KPK
Type: Pistol
Gauge: 7.65 mm auto
Barrel: 3 1/4 inch round
Finish: blue
Grip: walnut
Item Views: 4315
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 12
Class: Curio & Relic Handgun

Little is known about the Model KPK pistols. According to James Rankin in his " Walther Volume III 1908-1980" (see page 130, this exact pistol is photographed on the bottom of page 131), it is not known exactly when the KPK was manufactured. However based on the finish, it can be ventured that was made in the period of later 1941 to early 1942 (based on the finish quality on other Walther pistols from that period). In Volume II, Rankin discusses a Model KPK pistol with Party Leader Grips which has many of the same features of the PPK pistol and brought back from the Walther factory by one of the ordnance officers. However, others believe that this pistol was most likely put together from KPK parts and a PPK frame. Another interesting pistol is illustrated in Rankins Vol III (pag. 132 #150) and though it has no markings, it can be ventured that this PPK was a forerunner of what became the KPK. It also has a bottom magazine release and a frame safety lever. The KPK being offered for auction differs from the Volume II KPK in that it features a rear grip strap and two piece checkered wooden grips. This KPK has a safety lever located on the left side of the frame behind the trigger. This pistol has a heavy duty stamped P-38 like magazine release on the heel of the frame and uses a standard PPK magazine. The slide is rounded at the rear and exposes about 3/4 of the shrouded heavily serrated ring hammer (the easier to cock). This pistol, unlike the others, is single action only and has two retaining pins over the trigger (unlike the others). The only markings on this KPK are the Walther banner and "KPK" on the left side of the slide, and the "WALTHER" banner on the left side of the blued magazine. Having stated all of the aforementioned details, vendor believes this example to be the only completely original example of a KPK Walther and further believes that this model was meant to be in this form as a durable military issue pistol. The vendor, who has made a 40 year study of Walthers, believes that Walther was either asked, or proactively decided, to design a small caliber combat weapon. It certainly was a problem for personnel in confined spaces, such as pilots and tank commanders to have a reliable compact pistol that would perform. A shrouded hammer and a trigger with only single action would prevent an accidental firing when struggling in a confined space. This would also make the side safety a must in that was not in highly exposed position on the slide. The PP like frame would be durable, unlike a PPK wrap around plastic grip that would be susceptible to breaking. The heavy duty bottom release would also prevent an accidental release of the magazine in a confined space. The heavy duty stamped bottom magazine release is a dead give away that the pistol was designed for military purposes. As the leading maker of small caliber pistols, it would make sense that Walther would have taken the lead on such an innovation. It is likely that the "K" could have meant "Krieg" or "Kampf" based on the obviously intended military service use. The rarest original/complete German small caliber pistol in existence.

Rating Definition:

Excellent. The pistol retains 98% original blue finish with some mild edge wear and some minor thinning on the back strap. The grips are also excellent with a couple of minor dings in the otherwise sharp checkering. The markings are sharp. Mechanically excellent. The rarest variation of Walther's pistols that would be an extraordinary addition to any German military automatic pistol collection. The collector that ends up with this example, certainly will have much deserved "bragging rights".

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