Predom Lucznik KL. 170 Air Pistol (c. 1972 to c. 1980) – Cased

This is the Predom Lucznik KL. 1970 air pistol. It was manufactured by Zaklady Metalowe Predom-Lucznik in Radom, Poland from at least 1972 to about 1980 according to the last known advertisement. It is a copy of the Walther LP53 albeit far less refined.

Zaklady Metalowe Lucznik Trademark [1]

Zaklady Metalowe “Lucznik” was originally founded in 1922. It is currently part of Polska Grupa Zbrojeniowa which is a holding company created by the Polish government to unite Polish state-owned defence industry companies. Originally, the company was established to create arms for the Wojsko Polskie, or the Armed Forces of the Republic of Poland. Workers at the factory received free health care, child care services and regular leisure time. Gymnasiums, theatres, gardens and housing were all built for the workers. During World War II, the company was captured and operated by the Germans. Following the war, the factory was renamed Zakłady Metalowe im. gen. “Waltera”, or General Walter Metal Works. That’s General as in the rank and thus named after “Karol Wacław Świerczewski“. In 1990 the factory took on its old name, Zakłady Metalowe “Łucznik” with “Łucznik” meaning “archer”. It was declared bankrupt on November 13th 2000. However, on June 30th of that year, another company called Fabryka Broni “Łucznik” – Radom was established by Zakłady Metalowe “Łucznik” and the “Development Agency” which took over the production of arms. Today the company is known as Fabryka Broni “Łucznik”- Radom or FB “Łucznik” Radom. Other than arms, the company also produced sewing machines and typewriters until the year 2000 when these product lines were ceased due to unprofitability. [2][3][4]

The Predom Lucznik Model 170 air pistol

There is very little difference between the Predom and the Walther. So much so that you can swap the springs and seals between the two pistols. However, the finish and refinements of the Walther is far in excess of that of the Predom.

Rough finished metal work. Notice the various stamp marks.

The barrel, foresight and rearsight are constructed from steel and the grip and upper frame are constructed from an alloy. However, the finish of the foresight and breech block is quite crude as you can see in the photographs. The grip frame of this particular Predom appears to be painted with a crinkle finish although one side of the receiver is smooth in places. That’s probably in line with the general effort that has gone into the overall finish of these air pistols.

A screw is provided just in front of the trigger blade to adjust the pull weight of the trigger. Turning the screw inwards increases the pull weight and turning it out reduces it. In use, the trigger feels very rough. Considering the rough external appearance of the pistol, I suspect the trigger sear is also roughly finished. In comparison, the Walther trigger is very smooth and has much less travel.

The crude adjustable rear sight.

The rear sight is adjustable in elevation and windage. However, it too is very crude when compared to that of the Walther LP53. Unlike the Walther, it is very easy to knock the windage assembly so that the whole unit rotates to left or right. Don’t expect this pistol to remain sighted in for long!

Whilst both the Walther and the Predom have a recess in the muzzle to accept the rod of a cocking aid, it would appear that the Predom was not supplied with one. Certainly the manual supplied with this pistol makes no mention of a cocking aid.

There are at least three known variations of this air pistol. The early model up to about 1975 was marked “Lucznik” in a fine script font on the left hand side of the receiver. It was also stamped with the year of manufacture and serial number on the left hand side of the breech. The finish of the alloy receiver appears to be smooth. [5][6]

Manufacturer’s markings on the receiver.

The second variation dates from 1974 to 1976. Note the overlap in years with the first variant. These pistols are marked “PREDOM-LUCZNIK” in large plain font. They were also marked “Wz. 1970” with “Wz” meaning “model” and “Kal. 4,5mm” to indicate the calibre of the pistol. Similar to the first variant, they were also marked with the year of manufacture and serial number on the left hand side of the breech. The finish of the alloy receiver on the second variant can be either matt black with a fine texture similar to fine sandpaper, perhaps parkerized, or it can also be found with a black crinkle paint finish.

The third variant, from 1976 onwards, is identical to the second variant except it is marked with an “F” within a pentagon towards the rear of the pistol on the left hand side of the receiver. The symbol is a German requirement introduced on January 1st 1970 which indicated that such an air pistol had a power of up to 7.5 joules or 5.53 ft/lbs and could be owned without a license. Known examples with the pentagon symbol date from 1976 onwards with some marked and some not. This may indicate that Zaklady Metalowe Predom-Lucznik did not or was unable to sell their products in West Germany until the mid-1970s. [7]

A cased Predom Lucznik Mod. 170

The Predom was supplied in either a light brown thick cardboard box or in a faux leather case lined in green canvas style material which is perhaps intended to have a military look. Cased examples were supplied with a metal push rod with leather disc. The leather disc would protect the muzzle or breech as the rod was pushed all the way in. In both cases, the pistol was supplied with an instruction manual, test target card and perhaps a quality control slip. A brown leather Polish army issue shoulder holster was also available.

The pistol was used by the Polish army as a training pistol. With the spring housed in the grip of the pistol, the recoil could mimic that of a cartridge firing pistol. There are crates of surplus Predoms available making this air pistol far from rare. It’s clear that the pistol was mass-produced on a low-budget for military training purposes. However, it has also found its way into the civilian market and has ultimately become a collectible item probably due to its Polish heritage, vintage period of manufacture and also that it was a cheeky copy of the far superior Walther LP53.
 

Until next time, happy shooting!

Jimmie Dee

 

References:

  1. Zaklady Metalowe Lucznik trademark, money.pl
  2. FB “Łucznik” Radom, Wikipedia
  3. GENESIS AND BEGINNINGS (1922-1927), FABRYKA BRONI “ŁUCZNIK” – RADOM
  4. Weapons Factory in Radom 1922-1939; 2000-2005, Solidarnosc
  5. Predom target pistol by Lucznik, Airgun Academy
  6. Wiatrówka Pistolet Łucznik WZ 70 4,5 mm – Bliźniacza bron Jemsa Bonda, Robin TV – YouTube video showing early variant dated 1972
  7. Walther LP 53 vs Predom-Lucznik KL170, 1976 example with F in Pentagram

 

Leave a Reply

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: