Three Variations of Party Leader PPK Pistols

Today, courtesy of Tom from Legacy Collectibles, we are taking a look at “party leader” PPK pistols. There are three different versions of these, and we will look at all of them in sequence. They are highly valued in the collecting community, and also extremely easy to fake, making authentication quite difficult. I will give you as much information as I can to assist in this, and Tom is happy to help (free of charge) as well.



  1. Hitler checked out with a PPK. I wonder if it was one of these types, and what happened to it? That would be a war trophy worth having!

      • OK. Marco, so who “really” killed Hitler? Please back your claim with references to reputable works (I’ve had it with Wehraboos using “My Little Coloring Book of Wunderwaffen” to back up claims about things like Nazi flying saucers being based under the Antarctic ice cap) so we can evaluate the claim.

      • So what do you reckon? Ju390 to South America or Uboat to Antarctica?

        Do share, I always enjoy a cool, unorthodox theory.

  2. “On 30 April 1945, just a few hours before committing suicide, Hitler signed the order to allow a breakout. According to a report made to his Soviet captors by Obergruppenfuehrer Hans Rattenhuber, the head of Hitler’s bodyguard, Axmann took the Walther PP pistol that had been removed from Hitler’s sitting room in the Fuehrerbunker by Heinz Linge, Hitler’s valet, which Hitler had used to commit suicide; saying that he would “hide it for better times”.[5]”

    Axmann managed to escape from Berlin and evade capture until Dec 1945. If the above statement is correct, any number of things could have happened to that pistol in the meantime. I don’t think it’s definitively known.

  3. I’ll wait until das partei issues me one, thank you.

    Just shows you the inefficiencies in the German war time economy that drove Speer nutzo. At a time when the country needed every weapon possible at the front, labor, machine tools and materials were devoted to making toys for REMFs. Just like when the Kriegsmarine tried to order (IIRC) 15,000 officers’ daggers for OCS graduates late in the war. Speer said “No”. The KM replied that regulations required all officers to wear their daggers in certain uniform orders, so they had to have the daggers. Speer replied, “Not only no, but HELL NO and you can take your regulations and stuff ’em.”

    Contrast this with the US Army, which discontinued the wearing of DUI’s (“unit crests”). These are small (sometimes precious) metal bases to which various (usually rare and expensive) enamels are applied.
    Now consider that the US Army had over 8 million troops at the height of WW2. Since every troop would have had at least one set of DUI’s and many would buy multiple sets to avoid the hassle of moving them from uniform to uniform, the number would be enormous. The result of the ban was the saving of several hundred tons of raw materials and &diety knows how much labor – that could be applied elsewhere in the war effort. Same thing with the cloth belts on jackets – the buckles wore holes in the jackets, meaning they wore out quicker, so away went the belts. The British equivalent of DUI’s are regimental cap badges – they went from metal to plastic.

    So tell me all about “German Efficiency”

    • Germany wasn’t very efficient about the majority of the stuff at the time. They just got it flashy enough to be interesting. Oh, and did I mention that the early Panzer III variants that might have invaded Poland found themselves out-gunned by Polish armored trains? Whenever the Luftwaffe wasn’t around to support the Panzers (WHICH WAS MOST OF THE FREAKING TIME, AS THE HEER AND THE LUFTWAFFE HATED EACH OTHER), one could find German armored units praying that they were nowhere near those trains. Just kidding!

      • Is this meant to be ironic or a joke or something?

        Well yeah doh! Of course a tank (whether Panzer III, T34 or a Sherman) is outgunned by AN ARMORED TRAIN.

        Those things are freaking huge, often with 10-15 cm guns!

    • On top of their occasionally wacky priorities, Nazi Germany didn’t even enter a full war economy until 1943 or thereabouts.

      Compare that with the U.K. that very quickly entered an economical war footing, sent the women to the factories etc.

      Why? More than ideological reasons, it was probably because of the experience from WWI. Whether warranted or not, they didn’t want a repeat of civil unrest, “losing the war on the home front” and so on.

      • I think there is an extra factor in this inefficiency.
        Note that in WW1, Germany had a ridiculous # of companies building warplanes – many of them building versions of the Taube monoplane, but different versions. Then in WW2 you have all the notorious redundancies and continued production of obsolete weapons that Speer had to deal with.

        I think that this is the product of Germany’s oligarchical capitalism, in which the intermarriage of the industrialists and the aristocracy had created a class that was entitled to government contracts. The generals and the CEOs were too chummy with each other. Hitler didn’t do away with it because it very much fit his vision of social hierarchy. Such a class would want a permanent state of war preparation and thus contracts, but would not want to make any sacrifices to a more extreme crisis.

    • Also, the US Army suspended use of its blue and white dress uniforms – Model 1938 – after Pearl Harbor. In peacetime officers had to buy the blues from tailors with their clothing allowances just as they did their olive drab uniforms. Figure how many tailors actually had experience making either when the army was 1/80th the size it would reach, and you can see why matters had to be simplified. The Navy abortively tried its own simplification with gray dress uniforms made from synthetics to replace several uniforms, but it didn’t last long despite the huge increase in personnel who must have been getting it issued to them.

  4. My understanding about Hitler’s walthers were he had two in the bunker (another was in his office in Munich, was taken by an Army LT and later made it out into the collectors market, where, rumor has it, it is owned by somebody living in California. Called the “Holy Grail” of Walthers, it is the one most often seen in gold with “AH” on the grip). One was .32PP the other was .25PPK. Both were moved out to the outer office and put on a table. The PP was with Axmann when he escaped from Berlin. He was captured in the fall of 45 and said he had hid the pistol somewhere in West Germany. No details further.

    The .25 has been variously held to be in Soviet Archives and lost. It was the pistol Hitler used to carry in his pants pocket. Special holster he carried (insert your own joke here)

    Not sure which Hitler shot himself with but it was probably the .32 cal.

    On a different note, own a Party Leader pistol with rig. Always wondered about faking it as these things are not that different from the standard PPK. Thanks for the video, very useful.

  5. there looks to be a difference inside as well. two sides on real one are rounded on fakes squared. Is just what i noticed. Maybe i am wrong but just look in the vid at 10.04

  6. 16:31 “DRGM” ist the abbreviation for “Deutsches Reichs-Gebrauchsmuster”, roughly translating into German Reich registered design.
    It’s some kind of a parallel to a patent, not for inventing something but for designing it in a distinctive shape.

  7. Weird how Nazi’s are constantly being brought up and used as a bogeyman in the media. (Compared with say… 10-20 years ago, when folks would usually just chuckle if somebody declared themselves a Nazi)

    But Nazi memorabilia is worth more than ever before.

    Slap a Swastika on a Walther PPK and it becomes worth 5 figures? Craziness!

    • There’s a sense in the air throughout the Western world that the trauma of the Nazi era has worn off thru the dieoff of those who remember, and people are beginning to be seduced by the idea that they could get away with the “more reasonable” things the fascists failed at. Go to a Youtube comment section whenever the subject is Nazis or Germany or fascism or immigration – you aren’t seeing bogeymen there.

  8. If anyone has a time machine, it looks like it could be really profitable to travel back to the 1970ies and buy a couple of crates of Nazi-gear: Partyguns, Ritter Kreuzes, SA daggers and all that Jazz.

    Back then your average punk rocker could afford to buy genuine swastika gear to get old folks angry. Today even a plain Iron Cross is impossible to find unless you throw hundreds of dollars after it.

    • Col. Beausabre. Indeed. I wouldn’t be surprised if unissued medals or uniforms are still tucked away in warehouses around Germany, waiting for some intrepid entrepreneur to find them
      and sell them at five figure prices.

      I recently read about a uniform dress coat for the GrossDeutschland regiment that made in 1939 and put back into storage when the war broke out. These are easily worth 20.000$-50.000$ Only a handful of these are known to exist, but somehow more examples of these keep popping up the last couple of years.

      As for Hugo Boss, in their defense they also sold uniforms to church groups and Boy Scouts, etc. And were just one of hundreds or even thousands of small clothing shops that competed for Nazi business.

      Heck, good luck finding a German business with pre-WW2 roots that didn’t do business with either the Wehrmacht or the NSDAP, I’m not holding my breath.

      • Of course the reaction of most Germans since May of 1945 has been to throw anything with a swastika on it right into the trash. Aside from wanting to avoid having to answer awkward questions by occupying soldiers, it’s illegal to display swastika stuff in Germany.

        Probably most ordinary Germans think opa’s old knife or coat with the bird is illegal to even have, and do not imagine that there even exists a market where it could be sold. Never mind for the price of a car.

        Probably most Americans don’t know that grandpa’s old military stuff has value either. What idiot would pay $300 for a pair of old dried out boots or a moth eaten jacket? I’m sure lots of it is thrown out every day.

        Our police department routinely gets people trying to turn attic footlocker gun finds in, and got a lot more twenty years ago when the vets mainly died off.

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