|Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (GmbH)|
Founded 1886; Factory destroyed in World War II|
New corporation founded in 1953
|Headquarters||Ulm and Arnsberg, Germany|
|Alexander Lenert (Managing Director)|
Number of employees
Carl Walther GmbH Sportwaffen German pronunciation: [kaʁl ˈvaltɐ ˈgeˈɛmˈbeˈha ˈʃpɔʁtvafn̩], or simply Walther, is a German arms manufacturer. For more than 100 years, Walther has made major breakthroughs in the development of pistols. Some are iconic, like the PPK, the P99 – both pistols carried by the fictional character James Bond – and the P38, the standard-issue sidearm of the German military in World War II.
Pronunciation of the name Walther
The correct pronunciation of Walther is [ˈvaltɐ] like the English word vaulter. In German, w sounds like /v/, th sounds like /t/, and a is an open front vowel similar to the u in ugly. However, it is common for English speakers not familiar with German phonology to pronounce the name as //.
The firm was founded in 1886 by Carl Walther in Zella-Mehlis, in what was then Hesse but is today Thuringia. The company originally manufactured hunting and target rifles. It was not until 1908 that, under the initiative of Fritz Walther, the oldest son of Carl Walther, they began to make pistols. Models 1 through 5 and 7 through 9 were in calibers 6.35 and 7.65. The Model 6 was Walther's first attempt at a 9mm Luger pistol. It used blowback rather than a locked breech and proved unsuccessful, with only around 1,000 made. Its rarity has made it highly sought after on the collectors market. In 1929 they began to make the popular Polizeipistole (police pistols) or PP models. This was followed in 1931 by the first of the PPKs (Polizeipistole Kriminalmodell, or Police Pistol Detective Model). Both PP and PPKs were manufactured in .22 Long Rifle, .32 ACP (the most common caliber), .380 ACP and a very small number in .25 ACP. The PP models were the first mass-produced pistols with stamped parts, but the overall increase in dependability and high quality of production with lower relative manufacturing costs made them the best option to replace the P-08 Luger. In 1938 the German Reich awarded the contract for that replacement to Walther for the 9mm P38 with a weight of 960 g.
From 1942 until 1945, the company used slave labour at the Neuengamme concentration camp, and operated its own factory at the camp.
With his factory destroyed by World War II and Zella-Mehlis in Soviet-occupied East Germany, Walther was reduced to just a collection of designs and patents. But Fritz Walther started anew and began manufacturing in Ulm, West Germany in 1953. The company resumed production of the P38 (renamed the P1) in 1957 in order to equip the new West German Army, the Bundeswehr, with sidearms. When Fritz Walther died in December 1966, his son, Karl-Heinz, took over the company, which then concentrated on the sports sector and the introduction of new technologies. In 1993 the Walther firm was acquired by Umarex of Arnsberg, who continued to manufacture under the Walther name in Ulm and Arnsberg.
- Walther OSP
- Walther GSP
- Walther SSP
- Walther Olympia
- Walther SP22
- Walther Model 9
- Walther PP
- Walther PPK
- Walther P38
- Walther TPH
- Walther P1
- Walther P4
- Walther P5
- Walther P88/Compact
- Walther P99
- Walther P22
- Walther PPS
- Walther PK380
- Walther PPQ
- Walther PPX
- Walther CCP
- Walther Creed
- Walther FP60
- Walther MPK/MPL
- Walther MPSD
- Air Rifles
- Walther LGV
- Walther LGR
- Walther LG90
- Walther LGM
- Walther LG200
- Walther LG210
- Walther LG300
- Walther LG400
- Walther CG90
- Walther CGM
- Ballistic Rifles
Walther makes a long line of tactical knives.
- Keefe, Mark A., IV "Walther. Carl Walther." American Rifleman October 2013 pp.64-68&110-114
- "Innovationsregion Ulm: Carl Walther". Innovationsregion Ulm. Ulm Innovation Region. Retrieved 20 February 2016.
- (in German), KZ Gedenkstätte Neuengamme http://www.kz-gedenkstaette-neuengamme.de/ausstellungen/neuengamme/walther-werke/, retrieved 2009-10-13,
Seit diesem Zeitpunkt stellten Häftlinge [...] Pistolen und Karabiner (Metallwerke Neuengamme, Zweigbetrieb des thüringischen Waffenherstellers Carl Walther. [Transl.: Since this the prisoners built pistols and rifles (Metal Works Neuengamme, a branch of the Thuringian arms manufacturer Carl Walther.]Missing or empty
- Walther PPX
- Walther tactical knives
- Carl Walther Waffenfabrik (1986). 100 Jahre Walther: 1886-1986 (booklet) (in German). Ulm, Germany: Carl Walther Waffenfabrik. OCLC 312091364.
- Carl Walther, official German brand website (German).
- Carl Walther, official German brand website (English).
- Walther Arms, Inc., official U.S. brand website.