Another cased Walther LP53 finds its way into the collection! This time it is a first model, smooth finish LP53. This pistol will accompany the cased, crinkle finish, first model with barrel weight LP53 that was added to the collection last Christmas. This particular model is thought to have been manufactured from 1953 to 1957 and this pistol, in particular, was manufactured in 1955.
The LP53, which was modelled on Walther’s famous .22 LR Olympia target pistol, was Walther’s first and only spring powered air pistol. The mainspring and piston are fitted within the grip of the pistol and it is said that Walther designed it in this manner so that the recoil would simulate that of the .22 LR Olympia target pistol.
The pistol was supplied in either a cardboard box or a luxury presentation case. With either type of box or case, a wooden cocking aid, cleaning rod with leather protective washer, two different profile rear sight blades as well as the one fitted and two different profile front side blades again along with the one already fitted were also supplied as standard. Brown or black plastic grips were also available. Some were also available with a barrel weight. Very early LP53 pistols may have been supplied with chequered walnut grips, although as far as I know, these grips have only been illustrated in adverts and instruction manuals.
There is another variant of the first model that sits between the smooth and crinkle finished variants. This one has smooth sides and a crinkle finished top receiver.
The second model LP53 can be clearly distinguished from the first by the shape of the rear of the receiver. The first model has a curved rear whereas the second model has a straight slanted rear. All variants have a steel .177 rifled barrel. The barrel shroud or housing is aluminium along with an aluminium receiver. The trigger guard and other parts are steel. LP53 air pistols manufactured up to around 1960 also have an adjustable trigger whilst the later pistols had this feature removed.
I really like the LP53. The quality of craftsmanship is superb. Shims are used on the pivot points, the pins and screws are perfect fits along with the grips. The pistol feels solid, well made and everything fits just right! I really must endeavour to find the other variants of the LP53 to add to the collection.
Until next time, happy shooting!