post interarms, pre s&w ppk manufacturer question
the blued ppk/s .380 i own, has neither the interarms logo, or the s&w logo on the right side of the slide. instead it says "WALTHER USA L.L.C. and then below that...SPRINGFIELD, MA. in smaller script.
pistol also does not have the s&w extended tang.
serial number is 4 numbers followed by AAA, as in 1111AAA. the owners manual says "distributed by smith & wesson". walther usa customer service calls the gun transitional yet has no records of its manufacture.
so my question is...who was building the parts, who was stamping the numbers, and who was building the guns? what years was this happening and does this make the gun an Interarms, a Walther, or S&W, from a technical or converational viewpoint?
thanks in advance for any replies!
I don't know who made it, but it wasn't Interarms.
Interarms was strictly an importer. They never made anything themselves.
seems i got some homework to do.
Smith and Wesson ran the serial number thru an email i sent to customer service.
my reply from mark rossini there was:
"that gun was imported from Germany in 2001"
so...any ideas who was manufacturing these firearms in 2001 in Germany or were they only EXPORTED from Germany and manufactured somewhere else in europe?
If it was made in Germany, I would guess it was made by Walther then imported/distributed by Walther USA/Smith&Wesson.
that would be my thought, but i am only getting into this in the last week and am learning that i have no clue who makes what.
so im sorry to keep digging at this here, and elsewhere, i figure i might get one more good reply from Mr. Rossini before he tells me to go away, so i want to make sure my question is a good one.
will spend some time today hunting more info about 2001 manufacturing of PPK/S in europe.
thanks for any info guys!
The guys over at www.waltherforums.net might be a good place to look. Another good site for Walther info is the P38Forum (or so I've heard), havent' been there myself.
thanks mlb, i did join waltherforums.net and another forum. i really didnt get the kind of info i was looking for on line...but thru a few days emails and phone calls....i have pieced this together:
the Walther/S&W distribution & warranty agreement was made Aug 1 1999.
Interarms folded in 1998.
WALTHER USA L.L.C. was still getting guns made, pre and post the Walther USA/S&W distribution and warranty contract, post Interarm closure, pre-S&W manufacturing liscence.
from a manager at Houlton who really helped me out: "the gun was assembled by Black Creek Manufacturing in Gadston, Alabama. (interestingly the same town as Ranger, altho BCM no longer makes firearm parts...see Umarex) where the parts all originated he could not say. some here, some there, leftovers, new, etc. S&W was only the distributor/warranty for this firearm. per agreement with Walther USA the manufacturer, they warranty guns made during the interim period. this gun's paper began on January 2, 2001, at the Black Creek Manufacturing plant. S&W never produced any firearms with the AAA suffix. the completed gun was sent to S&W, and from there...distributed/sold to XXXXXXXXXX Shooting Supplies"
altho Smith will honor the warranty/support agreement, they dont consider it thier gun. it is a "transitional" gun(thier word).
i also received this email, which sums it up:
Walther USA was created as a 50/50 venture between S&W and Walther Germany. This pistol is the same as all American Walther pistols. They started with castings from Sturm Ruger in Newport, NH. (Pine Tree Castings) and then were sent to Gadston, AL. (Black Creek Manufacturing) and there they were put together and then sent to Smith in Springfield, MA. where they would be sold. All manufactures of weapons must put there name on either the slide, barrel of frame according to BATFE. What you have is exactly as shown.....an American made Walther PPK/S pistol sold by Smith under the newly formed LLC of Walther USA.
Walther USA no longer exists, and Smith is still making the same pistol but being assembled in Houlton, ME.
Hope this helps.
Earl J. Sheehan Jr.
Earl's Repair Service, Inc.
since its an earlier one, likely some or all Ranger/Interarms parts or at least style of parts...with maybe a few parts coming from here or there. S&W and Interarms would both disavow the pistol, except for S&W honoring the service agreement(probobly a contract stipulation to start the ball rolling on todays "strategic alliance"), and like Earl Sheehan said...who's on the slide is the manufacturer.
i guess anyone can make thier own interpretation, how thier gun fits into this, or a gun on a gun show table for sale. whether earlier WALTHER USA guns are even the same as later guns is anyones guess. did Ranger become Black Creek Manu. formed when WALTHER USA LLC was being formed? Pine Tree Casting also do castings for Ranger/Interarms...and so on. paperwork legality...
how much of this applies to any other firearm line beside blued PPK/S in .380, i dont know. i was only asking about one gun.
the actual years WALTHER USA LLC was on the slide and listed as manufacturer would be interesting, i assume it started in 1999...
these two articles seem to show the time frame Smith and Wesson was entering into actual manufacturing contracts.
evidently what i have is an american Walther USA L.L.C. firearm with 150 rounds thru it and a replacement spring and signal indicator pin on the way.. good or bad, time will tell.
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