Norton DP-75: Titanium Plus German Police Pistol

This pistol is something of a mystery – its design comes from the experimental Mauser HsP of the mid 1970s. It uses a short recoil system with a pivoting locking block vaguely like a P38, and was an unsuccessful competitor to the H&K P7 in German police trials. The design was dropped by Mauser by 1983, and only a small number were ever made. However, this aluminum and titanium DP-75 version was produced for some reason by the Norton Armament company of Michigan. Norton is best known for being the American company affiliated with Edgar Budischowsky, designer of the high-end Korriphila pistols. I was unable to find any connection between Budischowsky and Walter Ludwig (designer of the HsP) or the Mauser company, however.

In an neat twist, this pistol was used by the ridiculously talented machinist Raymond Hutchens to create a fully functional perfect half-scale miniature, which is being sold as a package with the full size gun.

43 Comments

  1. Interarms discussed the possibility with Mauser to produce the HSp under license in the US. Complications were the need to pay royalties to Mr. Henk Visser who owned the rights to the design (which he purchased).

    Options were discussed on how to circumvent Visser’s rights if the design were to be produced in the US.

    Documents on this survived.

  2. Very well made handgun but an expensive sample for a service pistol. Besides, single row magazine with a thick handle and seperate verticaly swinging locking block seem rather unpractical in long range usage.

    By the way, was Alex Seidel the inventor of Mauser Hsc…

    • Confused Mauser HSc with experimental HsP which was designed by Walter Ludwig who also the designer of Walther P5… Sorry.

    • After quick search I found https://www.thefabricator.com/article/arcwelding/the-facts-on-welding-titanium which states that
      U.S. Department of Defense has funded many advances to reduce the prohibitively high cost of titanium through improvements in materials processing and fabrication, including alternatives to the traditional means of producing titanium parts, new alloys, single-melt processing techniques, and automated welding techniques that increase welding productivity at a fraction of the cost.
      I don’t know if today it is easier to work with aluminium or titanium, but apparently that second becomes more and more popular.

      • Titanium is well suited for some demanding aerospace applications. An early, large scale, use for it was in the SR-71 airplane. So it is not surprising that the military has funded a lot of research that n how to make things from it.

  3. The early withdrawal of the Mauser from the competition that led to adoption of Walter P5, SIG-Sauer P6 (P225) and Heckler & Koch P7 (PSP) as fit for German police use is shown by the fact that it was not even assigned a P-number by German authorities.

  4. The half scale miniature is cute, but where’s the half scale cleaning kit? Anyway, this is thankfully an artistic package and not a “murder kit,” so no need to worry about ATF… or am I wrong?

      • My apologies, but it appears that too many people actually extended “illegal gun” definitions to include anything not defined as a sporting long gun owned by some rich fat cat. I kid you not, if you showed up in my neighborhood with a percussion lock revolver openly carried with the cylinder removed from the frame, a policeman would run you down with his car and declare you a terrorist within 20 minutes. They are just that paranoid.

        • In Spain, even for matchlocks and blank-firing guns you need licensing (that can be revoked any moment with “social alarm” as excuse).
          Actually, a “career criminal” arrested (again) last month in the next town over mine, is facing a heavier sentence for a blank firing gun, tan for the real illegal caliber 25 he also carried.

        • It’s getting real old seeing the same tired sound bite about how afraid you are of gun control legislation (real or imaginary) on every single video posted. This is not exactly a forum for signaling our favorite virtues, more for discussing the specific forgotten weapon in whichever of Mr. McCollum’s videos we’re commenting on. I’m sure there’s some other website where you can go to find folks who will agree and engage with you about your culture war.

          We get it, you like to own guns. So do many of us, I dare say most folks visiting Forgotten Weapons do. You’re preaching to the choir here, at best.

  5. The parallels with the Rogak P18 debacle are there to be seen, if you just squint a little…

    I’d love to have the chance to fire one of these, but I doubt I could afford the luxury. The design looks good, but I wonder what went on with it in the testing that it was eliminated so early…? Did Mauser lose interest, or were there problems?

    These limited-production boutique firearms like the Korriphila and others are fascinating insights into a bunch of things, not the least of which are the imponderables of what the “might have beens” were. It’s also interesting to note that the only German police pistol that managed to achieve further development and “life” was the SIG-Sauer P225. Both the Walther and the HK offerings turned out to be dead ends; the Browning system-based gun lives on, and you could argue that the current US service pistol is something of a descendant.

    • The century old Browning action lives on with very few changes. Good to know that it won’t go out of style anytime soon.

      • “century old Browning action lives on with very few changes”
        Wait, now I confused. What you understand as “old Browning action” – choose exactly one:
        1) original Browning as in Colt Government
        2) so-called linkless Browning as in Star Model B Super
        ?

  6. So, many comments.

    1) Where does one find 4.25 Lilliput ammo? Out of what might you handload it?

    2) Let’s see, dropping block, double recoil springs, the slide sits inside frame a la Petter and SIG 210. Was there a firing pin block? The HSP would have cost a fortune, and the profit margins would have been minimal. But was it more expensive than a P7?

    3) Dropping block non-tilting barrel, slide sits inside the frame a la Petter and SIG 210. Depending on trigger pull, this must have been a fantastically accurate gun.

    4) The Walther P5, being the last iteration of the AP-HP-P38, could go no further; it took less machine time to manufacture than a Luger but it is wide, expensive, and not amenable to double-stack magazines. I agree that it was at a dead end.

    5) Meanwhile the German police trials were just an additional chapter in the ongoing life of the SIG-Sauer pistols; the P6 (225) being a refinement of the Swiss service P220, the double-stack 226 a development from there, and all of them deriving from the lockwork of the Sauer 38 of pre-war fame. I don’t think the Browning barrel lock is the sole factor. Its further development is in the direction of Glock — polymer frame and now modular assembly. Glock might go that way too.

    6) I posit the HK P7 is not a dead end; that the Walther CCP revived the gas-delay-blowback feature proves it. It is simply that Glock showed up and beat everybody based on cost (okay, it was a reliable quality product, too). The combination of polymer frame and Browning barrel (and no need to amortize any existing machinery) let Glock manufacture guns for as little as $100 each back in the 1980s!
    The P7 squeeze cocking system, the absolutely safest idea ever devised for a fast-draw immediate-shoot accurate carry handgun, still seems to me to perhaps have a future if it could be revived with a plastic frame, regardless of barrel-locking system. This seems to be proven by the P7’s high resale price on the used market and frequent claims of shooters that they still carry them despite age and cost.

    Considering the many published claims that Glock derived his striker from the HK VP70 (none of them knowing of the Roth-Sauer and Roth-Steyr, and none mentioning the P7 as a developmental step), I suggest that Mr. M might do a video on the P7 as a Forgotten Weapon. Such publicity might yet revive it.

    • I have to disagree with you in your assessment of the P7; the squeeze cocker is not “…the absolutely safest idea ever devised for a fast-draw immediate-shoot accurate carry handgun…”. What that would be is the Glock, or any of the other passive-safety only single-action pistols.

      The P7 family is a dead end precisely because of that squeeze cocking mechanism–The gas system isn’t. The root problem with them is that the guns really screw up draw and presentation, and if you’re in really exigent circumstances like one of my cop acquaintances was, well… That gun’s a recipe for a really bad experience. There are a couple of documented cases out there with US cops using those guns in hand-to-hand situations, and finding that the inability to muster the hand strength to cock the damn things after injury, and with the general rough-and-tumble of a fight at close quarters…? There’s a reason those guns aren’t as popular as you would think. The expense of them is only a part of the reason.

      Not to mention, the difficulties inherent to a manual-of-arms that is unique, and which doesn’t lend itself to swapping around. The P7 family of guns is one you’d better plan using exclusively, because the motor-memory skills you need to be good with it do not lend themselves to swift and easy adaptation to other guns.

      Good friend of mine was a fanatical IPSC shooter. He bought one of the first P7M13 pistols he saw, and was going to use it as his primary carry pistol for self-defense. By the end of the first two months with it, he’d determined that wasn’t going to happen for him, unless he could get a set of P7s to shoot competitively with. The motor skills were just too different, and while he thought that it would be fine if that were the only gun someone used, the problems he had switching back and forth between the P7 and his other pistols were enough that he’d never consider treating it as more than a toy.

      Your mileage may vary, but after having borrowed his pistol to play around with a bit, I came to a similar conclusion. The manual-of-arms is just too damn different to really integrate in well with any other pistols, and if you’re using something else…? Don’t rely on the P7 as even a concealment piece.

      • The P7 was a terrible choice as a personal carry gun for several reasons.

        First of all, sustained fire (as in range practice) caused rapid heating of the frame under the gas takeoff, right at the font of the trigger guard. As in “hot enough to burn skin”. West German PD P7s were issued with a special heat-resistant plastic shroud that clipped on the trigger guard and frame to provide at least some protection against this.

        The fact that the more powerful .40 S&W version heated up even more rapidly was what doomed it, rather than the frame and slide not being able to take the stress as is generally supposed.

        The second problem was purely psychological, but potentially lethal. When you released the frontstrap on the P7, it made an audible and very loud CLACK.

        Now imagine it’s 0200, and you’ve just used your P7 to scare off a prowler. The police arrive in response to your 9-1-1 call, and not knowing who you are tell you to put down the gun. It’s dark, and nobody can see too well.

        You release the frontstrap.

        CLACK.

        The officer assumes you’ve tried to shoot him and the gun failed to fire.

        His gun does not.

        Your death is ruled justifiable because you “put the officer in fear of his life”.

        I demonstrated this to a friend, a serving officer who carried a P7 as an off-duty gun. He immediately replaced it with a Model 19 S&W .357 2.5 inch. And advised two other officers who like him had just bought them to do likewise, which they did.

        The P7 was a technical tour de force, but it had some serious drawbacks in the real world.

        cheers

        eon

        • I suppose that even an original FN Browning Hi-Power is better than the P7 in performance but not in production cost (and modern production of the Hi-Power has already ceased in America). I don’t think the P7 would survive a dunking in trench mud (or an accidental dive into a trash dumpster) let alone getting used as an impromptu bludgeon…

        • Realistic observations. P7 has a very intriqued stiker safety added to these drawbacks. The part keeps its place as standing on with front and rear tips of its spring and also gets beaten by the striker impacts during dry fires. Even unoperable pistols can be seen with pop out striker safety when fired +P ammunition.

          • All submacinegun 9mm Parabellum loads can be accepted in +P ammo. Even HK VP70 pistols which deputed earlier than P7, were produced with deeper rifling grooves to accommodate in those rounds. Further, in some countries, only +P level 9MM Para. ammo are produced and obtainable. A usable service pistol should be designed as can be servicable with all obtainable rounds in its class..

    • “Where does one find 4.25 Lilliput ammo? Out of what might you handload it?”
      I don’t know if anyone is producing that cartridge now, ammo-one, which has many rare cartridges, know about it existence but don’t have it in stock now:
      https://www.shop.ammo-one1.com/product.sc;jsessionid=49660867B314700DDCAF8697B9A55C42.p3plqscsfapp005?productId=396
      I doubt if any popular cartridge might be used for reloading, this cartridge according to municion entry has diameter of only 5,01 mm in most thick place.
      If you want to have miniature caliber fire-arm consider 4mm M20, see photo:
      http://www.waffenlager.net/ammo/4mm.html
      it is available in Germany

  7. I could see this as 007’s sidearm replacing the Walther PPK. 😉

    Seriously, for someone needing a compact handgun with usable power and wanting a pistol grip adaptable to people with hands above Size Small Munchkin, the DP-75 would seem to fit the requirements very well, much like the very similar Walther P-5.

    As for the mini copy,other than its cartridge (which suspect might be a one-off, or else a misnamed 4.25mm Erika/Liliput), it would make a very nice deep-concealment piece that even a svelte lady in an evening sheath could hide somewhere accessible and non-embarrassing.

    Again, definitely Q Branch material. 004 would no doubt want two of them.

    cheers

    eon

  8. Just a little engineering tidbit.
    Aluminum 7075-T6 has a mechanical Fty (tensile yield strength) of about 70 ksi
    This is generally considered the strongest aluminum but it’s also the hardest to machine, lowest toughness and has issues with stress and surface corrosion. So check that barrel for cracks and it should be good. (you do have a dye penetrant tester right?)

    Stainless Steel has similar Fty =30-105 depending on heat treat and alloy variation. (303Annealed=34 303CRES=60, 303SE=75 and that is just one alloy)

    Whereas pure Ti has a Fty = 40-70ksi Now there is a bunch of different Ti alloys that have different properties. Ti-6Al-4V Fty = 128 None of them are “easy” to machine, but with the proper tools it can be done. And one thing to keep in mind DO NOT let cadmium (all craftsman tools), mercury or silver touch your Titanium parts. Ti don’t like that elvish crap.

    Just remember that strength is not the same as surface hardness or toughness.
    Al7075 is just as strong as most stainless but stainless will wear much better than uncoated aluminum. Hence the plastic jacket on the aluminum barrel.

    • A pertinent remark. The 7075 is not the best pick for barrel, I agree. And strength by itself… well, it depends on how thick is the section. And ductility plays into it too. My suggestion, if you use aluminum, do not mix it with steel – they do not like each other. One of most unfortunate designs in that sense is AR15. To fix the problem they had to, part of hard anodize, use layer of dry film lubricant. Titanium (Ti5 alloy type) on the other hand is little better; they use it extensively of mufflers.

  9. This sample is characteristic for German handgun – pedantic to point of unpractical. What is the minimalist weigh for? There is recoil too, right. I believe Herr Budischowski enjoyed himself though.

    Another such exclusive maker is Korth:
    http://www.guns.com/review/korth-semi-auto-9mm-review/

    All bits are made from hardened tool steel. Prize is “consulted” before making an order. Crazy.

    • One detail on praising side; I like the fact it locks without tilting barrel. Any such handgun increases my level of interest in it by 100%.

      • “without tilting barrel. Any such handgun increases my level of interest in it by 100%.”
        Though not locking at all, as it blow-back operated, you might find interesting OTs-27 automatic pistol: http://stechkin.info/article/138
        Its can be easily reconfigured to fire either 9×18 (Makarov or PMM), 9×19 Parabellum or 7,62×25 (Tokarev) cartridge.

        • If you examine 3rd photo from top, you might notice similar field-strip to APS, this is not coincidence as one of designer of OTs-27 was Stechkin.
          There was also gas-brake version of Stechkin for 9×19 Parabellum cartridge: пистолет Паук by С. В. Уржумцев
          Short description and basic technical data: http://arsenal-info.ru/b/book/4108361891/56
          Another photo* and cut-away drawing: http://www.sinopa.ee/sor/bo001/bo03pi/bo03pi28/pauk01.htm
          * Паук closer to came, APS in background
          Паук: cartridge: 9×19 Parabellum, capacity: 20, mass with empty magazine: 980 g, length overall/barrel: 225 / 140 mm, sights: fixed at 50 m

          • Thank you for additional information.
            There is strange looking “spur” under (or as part of) feed ramp; being part of barrel assembly. Does this add in some way into function of recoil? Also I noticed there is additional spring bellow barrel. Very good design overall.

          • Section of “Pauk” if I am right, shows barrel recoil delay by gas… this is not that unique, but still surprising. How did it perform in tests/ long run usage?

        • Yes I am very interested in Stechkin II, this being your mentioned Oc-27 Berdysh. I looked at some pictorials and did some reading (saving the page for later study). It is indeed fascinating to see a pistol with ability to handle such variety of shots with ‘simple’ blowback breech closure.

          • “Stechkin II”
            I never encountered such designation used for ОЦ-27, other names are ПСА and ТКБ 0220.
            If you wish to see patents linked with OTs-27, please check 2 zip files from here:
            http://stechkin.info/doc
            named
            Патент на пистолет Бердыш (конструктивные особенности пистолета) (внутри doc-файл и 6 рисунков в tif) [3rd link from bottom]
            Патент на пистолет Бердыш (особенности УСМ и работы предохранителя) (внутри doc-файл и 8 рисунков в tif) [2nd link from bottom]
            Images contained inside should be helpful

      • More simply, the Dan Wesson revolvers with interchangeable barrels could be used with a conventional muzzle-attached sound suppressor, simply by adjusting the barrel/cylinder gap to minimum with the feeler gauges provided with each revolver. To effect near-complete sound elimination without sacrificing killing power, a special heavy-bullet subsonic load in .357 cases was used, 200-grain bullet at 1,050 F/S for 490 FPE.

        This revolver, in .357, was used in just this way by several Western intelligence agencies in the 1980s.

        cheers

        eon

        • Very good information. As far as you know, what is the smallest practical gap between barrel and cylinder mouth? I understand even if cylinder rotates true with minimum of front face runout, there must be some clearance. I suppose a solid frame might be of help too.

          • …(B)efore checking barrel/cylinder gap on a used (revolver), you must check headspace to obtain an accurate measurement. This is done by loading the cylinder with fired cases, making certain that none of the primers protrude and that there are no burrs around the firing-pin hole, and measuring the gap between the case heads and the recoil shield (standing breech). this measurement should normally not exceed .008 of an inch.

            Regardless of that measurement, keep the cylinder blocked fully forward. If you’ve a spare feeler gauge, simply keep those leaves in place, if not, shim stock or even a thin sliver of wood or cardboard will do the trick. All you need to do is hold the cylinder fully forward, solidly enough to to obtain an accurate measurement up front. Now you can accurately measure the gun’s barrel/cylinder gap.

            To insure smooth, drag-free functioning, the barrel/cylinder gap must be at least .005 of an inch when the cylinder is shoved forward. That’s the condition existing at the time you start double-action pull for a second shot- the cylinder rammed forward by the firing of the last round, the case head still pressed against the recoil shield.

            If you do not intend to correct any excessive headspace condition under these circumstances, then the gun may be restored to serviceability by simply opening up the barrel/cylinder gap to a minimum of .005 of an inch. However, you will be far better satisfied with your gun’s performance if you do correct the excessive headspace. To do this, you must either extend the headspacing surface forward on the cylinder or rearward on the crane or frame.

            – Maj. George Nonte,Pistolsmithing, Stackpole Books, 1974, pp. 233-235.

            One of the great virtues of the Dan Wesson revolvers was that headspace and B/C gap were easily adjustable. By comparison, Smith & Wesson revolvers were rather difficult to adjust, as the headspace and B/C gap depended on a thin ring on the crane that bore against the even thinner gas ring machined into the cylinder center pin tunnel end. Usually, adjustments had to be made by welding more metal onto one or the other and then acing it off, which tends to mess up the heat-treatment. (S&W Magnums tended to batter these components badly, in my experience.)

            Colt DA revolvers required essentially machining out the front of the cylinder tenon and installing a hardened steel “ring” that could then be carefully faced down until the gap was correct.

            Colt SAA revolvers were easy. Headspace and thus B/C gap was controlled by the long, tubular base pin bushing. Simply replacing it with a longer one and then stoning it down until you reached the correct OAL to ensure correct HS and B/C gap was actually a lot easier than it sounds.

            Incidentally, Major Nonte’s book is still indispensable, IMHO. Fortunately, it was recently reprinted;

            https://www.amazon.com/Pistolsmithing-Stackpole-Classic-Gun-Books/dp/0811708217

            cheers

            eon

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