Canadian Airgun Forum

The Walther LP52 - Holy grail, or myth?
Page 1 of 1

Author:  Suprmatic [ Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:44 pm ]
Post subject:  The Walther LP52 - Holy grail, or myth?

An interesting discussion started on the "Mods and Repair" section as a sideline to one of my posts there, and I thought that it may be more beneficial and appropriate to bring it over here, as it is more in the way of general airgun information and history.

The Walther LP52 pistol has, for decades now, been hailed in numerous published works as being the "limited" predecessor to the renowned Walther LP53 pistol. Fact is, the LP52 is a long standing, self perpetuating myth, nothing more. The reality of it is quite apparent in this statement from D. Brumbach - Walther Factory historian - "There does not exist a model LP52. The first air pistol produced by Walther was the model LP53. This model was made from 1953 to 1976. In total approx. 125'000 pieces were made."

The following are quotes from the original post to add a little background info.

Krazy Mike:Image

Suprmatic wrote:
As to the quote that you posted - that is from the book by George C. Nonte, and the Model 52 is pure fiction, as is some of the info on the LP2. Nonte had published a number of books, but there are many glaring errors in all of them. Very poorly researched. As to the LP52, it is as Keyrigger said - erronious info, repeated and quoted, and somehow became fact. it went something like this:
- John Walters publishes an article on the LP53 in a prominant UK airgun magazine, and alludes to the existance of the LP52, but with no substantive evidence.
- Dennis Hiller, in his first book of airpistols, proceeds to quote John Walters information on the LP52.
- John Walters, in his first book of airguns, then quotes Dennis Hiller's book as reference to the existance of the LP52.
- this same nonsense carries on for decades, by various authors, and Robert Beeman quotes both Walters and Hiller, as the foundation for the inclusion of the LP52 in the BBOA.
- I persisted in contacting the Walther Factory Museum historian, and received the information that was quoted by Keyrigger - there is no such thing as an LP52 - period, and straight from the Walther records.
I have all the dates, articles, books, and authors - and of the dozens of quotes, not a single reference to the information source. Also, not a single photograph has ever surfaced, and not one premier collector anywhere in the world, is known to have one.

Suprmatic wrote:
I seriously doubt that you have researched these old Walthers to the degree I have. I have received correspondence from people in many different countries, over the course of many years, regarding serial numbers, frame markings, export markings, casting variances, etc. I have enough info to write a sizeable book, just on the LP53 alone. A very little known fact - Walther utilized the exact same frame as the LP53 to build a single shot .22 rimfire pistol - the "Sport Pistole 53" or SP53. Very rare, but well documented.

pabirdman wrote:
Thats funny.I just checked and even Beeman gives a price for LP-52.

Keyrigger wrote:
Yes, he certainly does, but as has been pointed out, the model is a figment of the imagination that became legend, then fact. When Walther started to put model numbers to their airguns, they used the year of introduction as the basis for that number. Since they started with rifles before the pistols, the LG 51, somebody took it that there was a previous pistol to the LP-53 and so the legend was born. Right on Walther's site, they specifically state that the first air pistol they manufactured was the LP-53. Also, they have responded to direct written questioning about its existance and they have again stated they never produce any air pistol prior to the LP-53. Because so many badly researched chapters of books, lists of guns made, and plain poor inspections of guns has gone on, it will take years to clear up the problem, and with constant mis-quoting in books, articles, and on the internet, it may never be cleared. Reading the posts by Suprmatic and myself should have already cleared this up.

The same thing has gone on with the Schimel (or was it Carbo-Jet) AP-22. It was a planed spring air pistol, based on the Co2 pistol that was in production (the company changed ownership at least once) and the only portion of the gun that was ever produced, was the advertising for the new model pistol. Every so often, someone says they have an AP-22 for sale, and that gets every collector salivating for the chance to buy it. Once someone has a first hand look at it, they discover it is only the regular Co2 pistol, and not the spring air pistol. Most collectors already know why the pistol never made production status, and that was because the original pistol was very prone to breakage, as the castings are pot metal and the technology to produce high quality aluminum alloy castings was far beyond what those companies could have afforded and if they could have, would have put the cost of their airguns in line with the firearms of the day. Hope this helps.

Suprmatic wrote:
I have corresponded directly with Robert Beeman in regards to this obvious glaring error in the BBOA. In spite of the information from the Walther Factory Museum historian that I presented to him, Mr Beeman told me that at best, in view of this "new" information, he will only add a small note in future BBOA editions to the effect "many collectors do not beleive that this model exists". Mr Beeman prefers to base the BBOA information on historically inaccurate misinformation, rather than accept info taken from the Walther Factory records. Go figure, huh?

In my research on the mythical "LP52", it is interesting to note that in over five decades, not a single piece of Walther literature on the LP52 has ever surfaced, let alone an actual photograph, or an actual specimen of the gun. Not a single collector, anywhere in the world is known to have one - despite some collections numbering in the thousands of guns - including Robert Beeman himself. All we have is an obscure speculation published in a '60s airgun magazine. Dr Bob should be ashamed for propagating this rumour, but then again, look at his Lewis and Clark rifle nonsense.

As regards the Schimel AP-22 - minor correction to what Keyrigger stated - it was advertised as a multi-pump pneumatic. I have an advertisement for this likewise mythical airgun from a '40s Stoeger catalogue. It was advertised, but never went to market. This is why you will on occasion see a Schimel (CO2) pistol marked as "P-22" instead of the usual "GP-22" - the "A" or the "G" were to be stamped into the frame on assembly. Incidentally, the "A" designated air operated, the "G" denoted gas operation.

Author:  Suprmatic [ Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:00 pm ]
Post subject: 

As a further note, a German author, Manfred Kirsten, has published a book on the history of Walther, from humble beginnings, to pretty much current day. Unlike previous books by many authors, Mr Kirsten includes the Walther airguns rather prominently in his book. His access to the Walther factory, museum, and records, brings to light many previously unheard of prototype airguns, and firearms. It also confirms the fact that "the very first air pistol produced by Walther was the LP53".

If you are at all interested in Walther firearms and airguns, this book is an absolute must have. The finest publication on this manufacturer I have ever seen.

Author:  Krazy Mike [ Sun Feb 11, 2007 12:29 am ]
Post subject: 

This is information I knew nothing about, and I am glad to know the truth about it now. It may have well been called the Model LP-53 because it was first started in 1953...

Krazy Mike... :o

Author:  Danagguy [ Tue Oct 24, 2017 12:05 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: The Walther LP52 - Holy grail, or myth?

I know I am late to the party, This guy purchased a pistol marked Walther LP 52 in 2014 and posted many pics,
I got the pic link from here

Page 1 of 1 All times are UTC - 5 hours
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group