Walther Arms designs .45-caliber ACP gun

The German arms manufacturer Walther is famous for producing the pistols of the British secret agent James Bond and is launching its PPQ pistol in the American 45-caliber ACP cartridge.

Photo by Andy Shupe
Walther Arms of Fort Smith launches a PPQ pistol housed in the American 45-caliber ACP cartridge. This is the first production of a semi-automatic model of this caliber.

Walther Arms from Fort Smith, the US division of Carl Walther GmbH, said the pistol was the 130-year-old company’s first semi-automatic production model in .45 caliber. The new pistol, named PPQ 45, is designed for personal defense and recreational shooting.

At the end of 2012, Walther Arms Inc. relocated its headquarters to Fort Smith. Walther Arms Inc. and Umarex USA are private companies of the PW Group based in Arnsberg, Germany. Both companies share the space in the development of Chaffee Crossing, where together they employ around 80 people.

Everett Deger, Walther Arms’ director of marketing, said selling the PPQ in the 45-caliber ACP cartridge, also commonly known as the .45 Auto, was part of the gunmaker’s continued efforts to attract American consumers. He described the company’s decision to consider a 45 caliber pistol monumental as one of the most important steps it has taken to attract customers in the important U.S. arms market.

The Walther PPQ is a striker fired pistol with a polymer frame. Earlier models have also been configured to better suit the tastes of American shooters, e.g. B. by replacing the publication of a paddle magazine, which is popular with European shooters, with the button release typical of US pistols.

The PPQ 45 has the characteristic Walther rapid defense release, controls that can be operated with both hands and an accessory rail for mounting a light or laser vision system. It has a 4.25 inch barrel and a magazine capacity of 12 cartridges. The pistol is expected to be available in stores, including big box outlets such as Cabelas and Bass Pro Shops, through October 1, at a suggested retail price of $ 699.

“The PPQ 45 offers the features that American customers demand,” said Deger.

He noted that the size, weight, and ballistics of the 45-caliber ACP cartridge make it a popular round of self-defense in the United States

In 2012, .45 ACP caliber pistols entered the second largest pistol category in the United States, with fewer than 982,000 total. The category was behind the 9mm pistols – more than 1.2 million produced – but ahead of the .22 caliber pistols, which according to the annual report on the manufacture and export of Firearms were in third place with nearly 676,000. Firearms and explosives. The report was published in 2014.

A survey commissioned by the National Shooting Sports Foundation – the trade association for the firearms industry – found that among first-time gun buyers, the most important reason for buying a firearm was central defense with 38.6 percent and self-defense rose in second place at 19.5 percent. The type of weapon most frequently bought by first-time buyers were semi-automatic pistols with 34 percent, followed by shotguns with 24.7 percent and revolvers with 19.5 percent.

Research firm InfoManiacs, Inc.’s survey examined responses from 663 interviews with respondents between the ages of 22 and 65 who bought their first weapon in 2012.

The 45-caliber ACP cartridge was developed in the early 1900s when the U.S. Army Ordnance Board was looking for a replacement for the lackluster 38-caliber Long Colt cartridge. Moro guerrillas with swords who wanted to kill US officers during the Filipino-American War were sometimes not deterred by the round, according to field reports.

The board determined that a semi-automatic pistol was required that would fire a heavy 45-caliber bullet that could stop an attacker at close range. The eventual contract winner was John M. Browning, who developed the Colt M1911 semi-automatic pistol and the cartridge it fired, the Colt 45-caliber automatic pistol, or ACP.

Ashley Hlebinsky, curator of the Cody Firearms Museum in Wyoming, named Browning the greatest weapons designer in history with more than 100 patents.

“He was an American designer whose work appealed to the whole world,” she said.

She said American and European arms manufacturers have been trying to enter foreign markets for over 100 years with varying degrees of success. She said that in movies and in popular culture, the 45-caliber ACP cartridge has an American pedigree, so it would not be far-fetched for a European arms manufacturer to cling to its mystique and popularity to appeal to the American arms buyer.

In films, Ian Fleming’s Superspy James Bond traded a Beretta pistol for his signature Walther PPK in Dr. No, which came out in theaters in 1962. In films, Bond carried the PPK and other Walther pistols back and forth for the next 50 years, including the Walther PPK / S in Skyfall 2012.

When asked, Walther Arm’s Deger said he didn’t think Bond would wear the PPQ 45 in the next film, Specter, which is expected to be released in November. The gun company doesn’t make those decisions, he said. Posters for the film actor Daniel Craig, armed with Bond’s signature PPK.

But could the British super spy ever wear the larger, more Americanized PPQ 45?

“I would like to see it,” said Deger.

Sunday Monday business on 08/30/2015

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