About the Handgun:
The PPK is a compact version of the Walther PP. The history of the post-war PPK is similar to that of the PP. Licensed to Manurhin during the post-war ban, it was made in France until 1964. Dimensional restrictions introduced by the US Gun Control Act of 1968 required imported pistols to have a minimum height of 4 inches, halting the importation of the 3.9 inch PPK. Walther introduced the PPK/S variant that was 4.1 inches high, allowing importation to continue. Ultimately, the problem resolved by licensing production of the PPK to a US company, avoiding the size problem altogether. PPK/S production stopped in Germany when production began in the US.
About the Manufacturer:
Founded in 1886 by Carl Walther, this German company originally manufactured hunting and target rifles. It was not until 1908 that, under the initiative of Fritz Walther, the oldest son of Carl Walther, they began to make pistols. In 1929 they began to make the popular 'police pistols' or PP models. This was followed in 1931 by the first of the PPKs (Polizeipistole, Kriminalmodell). In 1938 the German Reich awarded Walther the contract to produce the 9mm P38 service pistol. After World War II, Walther was reduced to just a collection of designs and patents. But Fritz Walther started anew and began manufacturing in Ulm in southern Germany. The company resumed production of the P38 (renamed as the P1) in 1957 in order to equip the new West German Army, the Bundeswehr, with sidearms. In 1993 the Walther firm was acquired by Umarex of Arnsberg, who continued to manufacture under the Walther name in Ulm and Arnsberg. In 1999, Smith & Wesson and Walther announced a joint plan to distribute Walther branded firearms and accessories in the United States under the name Walther America.
About the Cartridge:
Designed by John Browning and introduced by Fabrique Nationale of Belgium, this cartridge has achieved world-wide acceptance and has even been adopted as the standard pistol cartridge by several governments. One reason for the round's success is that it is the largest practical cartridge that can be easily adapted to small automatic pocket pistols. Ballistics fall far short of even the 9mm Luger, but still prove adequate for most self-defense situations. The round has established quite a niche position in this role, often being chosen over more traditional small calibers such as the .25 and .32 Autos.