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Thread: Inherited Walther Zella-Mehlis Sportmodell .22 -identification and advice please

  1. #1
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    Default Inherited Walther Zella-Mehlis Sportmodell .22 -identification and advice please

    Hello all,

    I would really appreciate and thoughts/opinions/advice on this gun that was recently inherited by a friend. I understand it to be a Waffenfabrik Walther Zella-Mehlis Thuringen (Sportmodell) .22. I believe it is also marked "Meisterbüchse".

    My understanding is that there were multiple variations, models and levels and I am curious to learn more. I assume the gun is mid-late 1930s.

    Additionally, if anyone has a guess of valuation, that would interesting as well. The context of this inquiry is to learn more and then eventually (likely) find a good home for this gun so that it does not sit in a closet for any longer.

    I apologize in advance for the photos, better photos can be obtained. Thank you for your perspectives.

    IMG_9387.jpgIMG_9388.jpgIMG_9389.jpgIMG_9390.jpgIMG_9392.jpgIMG_9393.jpgIMG_9394.jpgIMG_9395.jpgIMG_9396.jpgIMG_9397.jpgIMG_9398.jpg

  2. #2
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    Yes, rifle is from the 1930s. The Meisterbuchse (Master's Rifle) was Walther's top-of-the-line rifle (a Champion's rifle). Looks like it's intact. The sliding rear sight assembly is often absent. Hang on to it. You might look and see if it matches the gun - it likely does. The rifle looks like it needs a good cleaning. Not sure the leather thing clamped on the barrel, but it should probably be removed as it may cause rust or loss of bluing (maybe already has). If everything matches, the bore is good and its not rusted it should be worth somewhere in the $700-$900 range. More or less depending on where you live and how it cleans up. They are really nice rifles. I would like to have one. Have passed on a couple this year.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Leon1260 View Post
    Hello all,

    I would really appreciate and thoughts/opinions/advice on this gun that was recently inherited by a friend. I understand it to be a Waffenfabrik Walther Zella-Mehlis Thuringen (Sportmodell) .22. I believe it is also marked "Meisterbüchse".

    My understanding is that there were multiple variations, models and levels and I am curious to learn more. I assume the gun is mid-late 1930s.

    Additionally, if anyone has a guess of valuation, that would interesting as well. The context of this inquiry is to learn more and then eventually (likely) find a good home for this gun so that it does not sit in a closet for any longer.

    I apologize in advance for the photos, better photos can be obtained. Thank you for your perspectives.

    IMG_9387.jpgIMG_9388.jpgIMG_9389.jpgIMG_9390.jpgIMG_9392.jpgIMG_9393.jpgIMG_9394.jpgIMG_9395.jpgIMG_9396.jpgIMG_9397.jpgIMG_9398.jpg



    You find all answers inside my book
    Bruno

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    Senior Member luftmacher's Avatar
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    This one was made about 1936 and prior to Walther re-vamping their serial numbering system to include a W suffix to the number as a model designator. You can find a wealth of information on the various configurations, number ranges, dating, sights and accessories in Training Rifles of Third Reich Germany, which has an entire chapter devoted to the Walther Sportmodel.
    Steve

    photo 1.jpg

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    Thank you for the information and for informing me about the excellent source-books.

    I look forward to taking and uploading better photos, as well as trying to verify the story/lore that is associated with this particular rifle.

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    I am curious about that leather wrapping. It has a buckle and all that fits the barrel -- probably not chance. Anyone know what that is?

  7. #7
    Senior Member mauser99's Avatar
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    Nice walther... basically the same type quality and level of example as your mauser you posted. They were all in competition for customers $$$$..

    Some prefer walther some mauser.. Just like Chevy or Ford Some love one over the other. Brand Loyalty is strong.

    This rifle has some condition issues but should clean up fine.. Value is about what was stated above. These are fairly common but great shooters.

    No added markings so no added value beyond the base rifle. The Mauser being a much better find.

  8. #8
    Senior Member luftmacher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by halygon View Post
    I am curious about that leather wrapping. It has a buckle and all that fits the barrel -- probably not chance. Anyone know what that is?
    Is that possibly a sight protector?
    Steve

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    Quote Originally Posted by luftmacher View Post
    Is that possibly a sight protector?
    Steve
    I took the gun to a well-respected regional gunsmith who had three thoughts:

    First, the leather strap appears to have been part of some later storage case.

    Second, that the gun is treated in cosmoline (I had not heard of this). That being the case, the gunsmith's assumption was that the gun may have been treated for shipment when in Germany, and as a result, the barrel is likely in very good shape.

    Third, if the gun was treated in cosmoline in Germany, then it has not been fired since leaving the country, indicating that all the wear would have been likely from the 1930s/early 1940s. Again, an assumption, but an interesting one.

  10. #10
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    If what appears to be rust is realy cosmoline then clean it all off and shoot some more pictures. If there is good blue and wood finish under the cosmoline, the value could increase.

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