The German auction house Hermann Historica has seen steadily increasing demand for Walther and Mauser pistols made between 1930 and 1945, noted the establishment’s firearm expert, Roland Gleixner.
Top bids are going for any of these World War II firearms made for the German Wehrmacht, “and other state institutions with the corresponding military, police, navy, air force, NSDAP and protection squad markings,” said Gleixner.
At a recent auction, for example, a Walther PPK ZM in 7.65mm, of the type given to political leaders, complete with the original holster and produced in 1937, sold for 9,600 Euros, far above the minimum estimated pre-auction price of 5,500 Euros (1 Euro equals $1.13 U.S.).
Even more impressive, a Walther PP ZM owned by Col. Walter Oesau of the German Luftwaffe, and manufactured in 1940, sold for 32,000 Euros. Oesau, Head of Fighter Command Bretagne, was awarded the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords, flew 300 missions and was killed during his last mission in April 1944.
For 20th-century military rifles, Gleixner notes the K98 Mauser carbine is in greatest demand at his auctions, with top prices paid to those examples with German military and other German state institution markings. German military semi-automatic rifles of all kinds also sell very well, including the G 41(M), G 41(W), G 43 and K 43.
There’s also a strong market for deactivated World War II machine guns. Offered recently were an MG 42 on field carriage, chambered in 8x57mm and produced in 1943, and an original MG 42 with original bipod, also in 8x57mm. Each of these non-functioning relics of the war years brought in 5,800 Euros.
This brief originally appeared in the May 2015 issue of Gun Digest the Magazine.