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Shooting Industry August 2011 Digital Edition - Page 36

By Matt Rice Walther Celebrates 125th Anniversary S mith & Wesson, the exclusive North American distributor of Walther products, congratulated Walther on the company’s 125th anniversary. Walther firearms have earned the trust of law enforcement professionals, recreational shooters and athletes throughout the world. Carl Walther, a skilled rifle maker, founded the company in 1886. Assisted by his son Fritz, the pair broke new ground in firearm technology with the design of the first usable German self-loading pistol — the Walther Model 1. Later, Fritz would continue this innovative thinking with the introduction of the first pistol with a single/double action trigger — the Walther Model PP — and, shortly thereafter, the widely recognized compact model PPK. In 1953, the Walther family constructed a new factory in the city of Ulm, Germany, where most of today’s Walther production continues to take place. After its centennial anniversary as a family enterprise, Walther entered into a new era of globalization by merging with Umarex in 1993. Under the current management of Wulf-Heinz Pflaumer and Franz Wonisch, Walther has flourished in the development of new law enforcement weapons, and replica firearms, air rifles and other sporting arms. Walther’s tradition of innovation is demonstrated in recently introduced models such as the Walther PPS and PK380, this year’s much anticipated PPQ polymer pistol in 9mm and .40 S&W, and a reintroduction of the company’s bestselling .22 LR pistol, the P22. “Throughout our long history and through our innovative products, Walther firearms have had a hand in shaping our industry,” said Pflaumer, Carl Walther GmbH president. “Today, our firearms are relied upon by police agencies, target shooters, amateur and Olympic athletes, and citizens around the world. The scope and impact of our work is not lost upon the employees here, as each 36 AUGUST 2011 Subscribe to SI DIGITAL www.shootingindustry.com

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