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Tuesday, 4 October 2016

ORTGIES 7.65mm Pocket Pistol:

The Ortgies pistols are cleverly designed compact carry pistols made in Germany for some five years immediately following the end of WWI -  until they were forced by the occupying powers to cease production and close-down in 1924.
A French Soldier Occupies A German Ruhr Freight Yard 1923.

- The basic design is noted as having been bought by Heinrich Ortgies from Karl August Brauning who worked for Fabrique Nationale (F.N.) of Liege, Belgium. - However Ortgies himself patented more than ten firearms designs.

. There were 3 Ortgies iterations - in.32 ACP, (7.65x17mmSR Browning),  - the .380 ACP  aka 9 mm Short, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Corto, 9x17mm, 9mm Browning Court, - & the smaller frame .25 ACP aka .25 Auto, 6.35x16mmSR.

Note: Always bear in mind that .380 ACP is not the same as the more powerful & longer, semi-rimmed .38 ACP (- which is also called 9x23mmSR. (- nor the 9x23mm Winchester). - I know, it's all very confusing and messy eh.
An Early ORTGIES 7.65 (32 ACP)Pistol.

- Pins and springs aplenty - but looking carefully you'll see that there were only 29 parts listed when these neat pistols were made back in 1919.

 - The Glock 17 is acclaimed as being a superbly efficient modern design - having only 33/35 parts.

Economy of purpose - check-out how the striker-spring also powers the "grip-safety" - and the firing-pin also works as the ejector for the fired cases. - The recoil-spring uses the barrel as a guide & the 'grips' or stocks are retained by a hidden spring-loaded internal latch.

The grip safety is not like that on the 1911s - as it only works 'on-safe' when the pistol is cocked - and when disengaged by squeezing inwards it 'clicks' into the Fire position and stays there without needing to be squeezed any more - until the wee button is pushed-in to release it.

 - That round button also doubles as the 'take-down' button - by holding it in while pulling the slide rearward & up to 'unhook' it from the frame.

The guns are striker fired - and the grip badge (schutz-marke) is an intertwined "H O" for Heinrich Ortgies  - who developed this 'blow-back action' gun during WWI while living in Liege, Belgium.
- Some time later - after State owned Deutsche-Werke AG took-over making the pistols - a new badge of a "D"  in the form of an 'art deco' cat or lion was used.

They are an accurate, streamlined, & sturdy German design - that was very successful in target shooting competitions in the 1920s - but they must surely have modified those weeny sights - unless they had younger eyes than me. - Link to Video of shooting the 7.65/.32 Auto:

Ortgies's pistols sold well right from the start in 1919 - and Heinrich transferred the whole business 'lock-stock-and barrel' for a good price to Deutsche-Werke AG in 1921.

 - But postwar Germany was under the control of The Inter-Allied Military Control Commission - who were determined to restrict Germany's economic and military power by using the Treaty Of Versailles following the 'Great War'.
History records that Hitlers friend Eva Braun 
owned Ortgies Serial # 42668 - a 6.35mm Pistol.

Small Frame "Vest Pocket" .25 ACP with Larger .32 ACP / .380 ACP Model
(There is an Ortgies .25 ACP gun in
 The Franklin D Roosevelt Presidential Library & Museum)

 - Deutsche-Werke Ag's production was compulsorily terminated in 1923/1924 and 91,000 of the guns were "dumped" onto the American market at give-away prices - quoted at around only seventy cents each wholesale.

Ortgies Barrel SWIVELS to The Left for Take-Down.
- a precise fit.

- So that stopped that then - a promising design squashed underfoot like a bug. - This may also partly explain why these fine old pistols are common in USA.

This is a link to a comprehensive review site on the Ortgies Pistols:

Marty K.