The Ortgies Patent Deutsche Werke Pistol

Another one of the European 7.62mm pistols of the early 20th Century is the Ortgies.  It is named after the designer of the pistol, Heinrich Ortgies.  The pistol was made from 1919 to 1924 or 1926 (depending on source) – a total of five or seven years.  Sources indicate new (manufactured but not sold) pistols were sold for some time after manufacture ended, perhaps into the early 1930s.

The history of the pistol is a bit involved, as Herr Ortgies died soon after production was underway and the design was taken by another manufacturer.  All this is available on line if interested.

My collection currently contains two examples of the Ortgies pistol.  They are both .32 ACP.  From what I can glean from the internet, there are SEVEN variations of the pistol.  All the variations are based on the ‘addresses’ roll-stamped into the slide.  The actual design and interior lock work never changed.  The two I own represent a ‘fourth’ and ‘fifth’ style address marking.

Ortgies Pistol serial no. 59000 series Fourth Address variation

Ortgies Pistol serial no. 59000 series Fourth Address variation

Ortgies pistol serial no. 104000  Fifth style Address line

Ortgies pistol serial no. 104000 series                    Fifth style Address variation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sadly, I cannot find any information about the dates of manufacture for a specific serial number, nor can I determine the time periods of the various addresses displayed.  However, all of these pistols were manufactured in a fairly short time period.

One of my pistols has a serial number in the 59,000 range.  The other, later production obviously, is in the 104,000 range.  I shall use these numbers to identify the pistols as needed.

In addition to the address changes, the most obvious change – as production carried on – was the change of the manufacturer’s logo.  All the grip panels I have witnessed have been wood.  Rather plain, darker – possibly stained – hardwood with obvious grain patterns.  All of them have a metal insert – a medallion, perhaps – with the manufacturing logo.

Original Heinrich Ortgies grip logo

Original Heinrich Ortgies grip logo

The earlier examples display an intertwined “H. O.” at right angles one to another signifying the designer and original manufacturer, Heinrich Ortgies.

 

 

Ortgies 104 later Deutch Werke logo cat

Deutch Werke logo

 

The later pistols, after Herr Ortgies passed on, were manufactured and controlled by Deutsche Werke of Erfurt, Germany and the medallion logo changed to a stylized “D”, which upon close inspection is a cat in profile with the tail curving up past the head.  (See picture, it makes more sense that way.)  The cat strikes me as having a mystical Egyptian look to it, or perhaps a long necked leopard.  Probably, it’s just ‘artsy’.

I have seen photographs of plastic grips.  They are the rather unimpressive black plastic of the early portion of the 20th Century.  The logo is cast into the plastic in place of a metal medallion inset.  I cannot recall seeing an actual pistol so equipped, but that may speak to my limited range more than anything else.

Ortgies 59719 serial number redacted and country of origin mark

Serial no. marking (partially redacted) and Country of Origin

Ortgies 104 serial number redacted and country of origin mark

Second example of redacted serial no. and Country of Origin markings

The serial number is roll stamped – all the markings seem to be very carefully and properly done – on the frame, forward of the trigger guard, underneath and behind the muzzle.  Both examples I have bear “Germany” in English – as opposed to Deutschland.  This marking is the required ‘country of origin’ marking for importation into the United States.  I’m sure these pistols were both imported into the U. S. and sold commercially here in the 1920s or 1930s.  This would be prior to the leftist hoplophobic mania and anti-gun hysteria of later years, of course.  Ahem; I digress.

 

Ortgies 59719 magazine left side with 9mm (kurz) mark

Early magazine left side, marked 9 m/m with six observation holes.

Ortgies 59719 magazine right side with 7.65mm mark

Early magazine with faint 7.65 m/m and HO logo marking on right side.

Markings on the magazines changed a bit from beginning to end, but the magazine design didn’t change much.  The early magazines would interchange between 9m/m kurz (9 mm short, in English, or .380 ACP for the ‘west-side-of-the-Atlantic’ faction) and 7.65m/m (.32 ACP) without alteration or adjustment.  The early magazines are marked on the left side with “9mm” and have six holes in the side of the magazine, presumably for checking round count; while the right side of the magazine is marked“7.65mm” and has seven holes.

 

 

 

 

Ortgies 104 baseplate of magazine

Later magazine with caliber marking and “D” logo on base plate.

Later magazines – at least those for 7.65mm – have seven holes on either side, the “7.65m/m” and the manufacturing logo (the stylized “D” for Deutsche Werke) marking is on the base plate.  In complete candor, I do not know if the later magazines will function in a 9mm kurz pistol.  The magazines appear identical, but I haven’t had opportunity or reason to check.

The pistol is not a shocking departure in terms of design.  It is a simple blowback action, with a spring driven striker as the igniter.  The standard Ortgies was produced in 7.65mm or .32 ACP, and 9mm Kurz or .380 ACP.  Ortgies also produced a 6.35mm or .25 ACP pistol during the same period, which appears to be a smaller pistol.  Interesting to me, the only safety on the pistol is the ‘grip’ safety which is the moveable ‘bar’ on the rear of the grip.

Ortgies 104 grip safety extended engaged

Grip safety extended; safety engaged.

Ortgies 104 grip safety depressed disengaged

Grip safety depressed, safety disengaged.

When extended – safety engaged – the sear is blocked mechanically by some extension of the safety.  When depressed – safety disengaged – the firearm is free to fire when the trigger is pulled.  Unlike the grip safety on pistols made by Colt and other manufacturers, the safety does is not spring-loaded and does not automatically extend when not manually depressed.  The grip safety stays in the depressed condition until a ‘release’ button is pressed.  This button is mounted on the frame, near the rear of the slide, on the left side.  (That release button is also used to field strip the pistol.

I understand this type of safety is being re-introduced on the new Remington “51” pistol.  I haven’t seen a live example yet, so this may not be fully – or partially – correct.

The Ortgies pistol was designed and sold as a personal defense pistol.  .32 ACP was considered a normal defensive caliber in that time period.  Truth be told, I rather imagine the .32 ACP chambered pistol is still in reasonably popular use today, if for no other reason than many were bought in the past one hundred years, many were brought home from the Second World War – back when our government trusted servicemen to retain firearms as souvenirs of service – and they are all still around.  Also in the mix is the factors the pistols are usually easy to load, handle and fire and the recoil doesn’t intimidate many people.

Ortgies 104 front and rear sight

Rear view of front and rear sight.

Ortgies 104 sight picture

Sight picture. One should focus the eye on the front sight, a skill my camera lacks at present.

 

 

 

The Ortgies is not a perfect defense pistol by any stretch.  The sights are milled from the basic block of steel that forms the slide.  The sights are fixed, and rather small by today’s standards.

Lest anyone think sights were considered a mere obligatory addition, the sights on both Ortgies pistols I own shoot quite close to the sights.

 

 

These pistols were never adopted for use officially by the German military.  However, officers and probably enlisted men could purchase their own sidearm and some Ortgies pistols were so employed.  From the sources I can find, one does NOT find Wehrmacht acceptance stamps normally.  If a family legend has it that one of your forbearers acquired his example from a German soldier, it is quite possible.  (However, it will not usually have the ‘country of origin’ marking which is needed for importation to the U. S.)  For collectors of such items, U. S. soldiers should have had ‘bring back’ documents showing they acquired ‘souvenirs’ legally and properly.  Such documentation trumps any conjecture based on perceived markings or lack of markings.

The trigger pull is not so heavy; I have two Ortgies pistols, one with a trigger weight of just over 4.5 pounds, the other pull weighs in at 6.1 pounds.  Not as heavy as some, but they are long and creepy.  When I say creepy, I mean one can feel the sear sliding out of engagement with the cocking piece.  They are manageable however.  Certainly not the sudden ‘glass rod breaking’ feeling of a top grade target trigger, but capable of discharging the arm while not completely disrupting the sight picture.

Another not often mentioned phenomenon:  They bite.  Not in the sense of operate poorly, but the slide (in recoil when fired) can easily gouge the upper portion of the web of my hand.  I’ve found a number of pistols which share this trait.  Perhaps my hands are too fat.  Lord knows the rest of me is.

The pistols are all single stack type magazines.  These were made for personal defense as concealed carry arms.  They are made to fit into a pocket.  The 7.65mm versions hold eight rounds in the magazine (and one in chamber).  Further, this pistol employs a typical – for the time – European style ‘heel catch’ magazine retainer and release.  It is simple to use and make, but IPSC shooters are horrified at the difficulty of making a ‘quick reload’.  (I feel a rant about “… thirty round bursts …” coming on; I shall endeavor to avoid such.)

The grip length is long enough for a proper grip.  My hands are not huge by any stretch, but reasonably ‘average’, I should think.  (No one has yet said, “Gee Arch, you have little tiny – or great big – hands!”)  I can get a full shooting grip on the arm; at worst, my little finger somewhat straddles the forward lip of the magazine.  Recoil is not great enough to make that a problem.

I purchased these two Orgties designed pistols just over a year apart.  The first in December of 2012 and the second one – which is the earlier manufactured – in April of 2014.  For that reason I test fired them on two separate occasions.  However, I did use ammunition by the same manufacturer – Privi Partizan – and the same lot of ammunition.

I confess I failed to observe the same testing protocols.  I’m already dieting, don’t expect any massive penance in addition.  Feel free to pronounce ‘fie’ upon me; I’ll man up.

On the good side, I did test both pistols at an initial distance of fifteen yards.  Fifteen yards is probably ‘long’ for a personal defense pistol; personal attacks usually are measured in single digits of feet units, but I feel fifteen yards is not a bad distance to evaluate mechanical accuracy of the device, without being distorted by (aging) eyesight and such.  In a burst of confidence, I shot the earlier produced pistol at twenty-five yards with suitable results in terms of accuracy.

The later produced pistol competed in one of our local ‘combat’ matches – with my assistance.  While the pistol did well in terms of accuracy, hitting pretty much everything on the first attempt, the impact of the 71 grain FMJ bullets did NOT dislodge the plates from the ‘Texas Star’ device.  Nor were they impressive on the dueling tree.  How discouraging.

The shooting – as always – was performed (committed?) on the Four Rivers’ Sportsman’s Club near Hastings, Nebraska.  No one was occupying the outdoor range and I made myself at home.

Setting the CED chronograph, I did – on separate occasions, as mentioned – some velocity testing just as a base line for discussion.  Just for the record, from the 3rd Edition of Ammo & Ballistics published by Safari Press and authored by Bob Forker, the SAAMI standards for this round indicate a 71 grain FMJ bullet is ‘expected’ to have a muzzle velocity of 900 feet per second (fps) and an operating pressure of 15,000 copper units of pressure (CUP) or 20,500 pounds per square inch (PSI) by transducer measure.

I cannot measure pressure with my equipment.  However, my chronograph does a fair job of bullet velocity.  The ammunition used in the testing is Prvi Partizan brand.  It bears no particular ‘item’ number but is described as “32 Auto” and “FMJ (full metal jacket) bullet, 4.6 grams/71 grains”.  The box has no printed claim to velocity.  The end flap interior has a stamped number of 1103, which I presume to be the manufacturing lot number.

According to the chronograph, pistol ‘59’ fires the ammunition with an average velocity of 666 fps.

Pistol ‘104’ runs the same lot of ammunition at an average of 701 fps.

So much for the anticipated 900 fps.

Both pistols using the same ammunition work very well.  Ejection and cycling is subjectively positive and regular.  The rounds register on target close to point of aim (where the sights line up according to my eyes).

In shooting, I find this pistol to be rather comfortable and ‘ergonomic’, even if that word was NOT in common use when the pistol was designed and made.  The tiny sights are a bit difficult to obtain rapidly, but the pistol seems to shoot to the sights.  I have complained in the past about the ‘issue’ sights on the Colt Government Model.  They are small.  The Ortgies sights are ‘tiny’.  Plus, as the photos demonstrate, the rear sight on the Ortgies is a narrow ‘V’ shape while the front sight is an inverted ‘V’ or pyramid shape.  (These sight profiles were popular in Europe on rifles as well as pistols.  I have heard them referred to as ‘barleycorn’ sights.  My personal conjecture is they were devised with assistance from “John Barleycorn”.  I could be mistaken.)

The groups derived are indicative of repeatability; that is, the shot holes are in an actual group and not just ‘on target’.  One has confidence the next shot will go in about the same place.  That’s a good feeling in any arm of consequence.

I have attached some photos of the results of the shooting tests.  They pretty much speak for themselves, but since I’m blogging, I’ll explain them anyway.

Ortgies 59 target 15 yards enhanced

Fifteen yard target

The multiple target (six targets) shows a single, ten shot slow fire group; the lower right hand corner.  From the picture, one can see the pistol tends to register on the right side of the target.  This group was fired two handed, deliberate aim and trigger pull.  I was trying to get all the accuracy from the arm possible.

The five targets with single shot holes was a somewhat rapid fire sequence.  I fired one shot at each target in turn, from top left to bottom right (down the left side then down the right side).  I did fire this string one handed, for reasons I cannot recall.  I note the shot holes are much more centered firing one handed.

Ortgies 59 target 25 yards enhanced

Twenty-five yard target

 

 

The twenty-five yard target is nothing remarkable, save it was fired with a .32 ACP pistol with really tiny sights.  The pistol tended toward the right side of the target, but are all on the scoring rings.  I did fire this two handed and as fast as I could get a sight picture and trigger release without moving the sights.   The target shown is NOT a standard NRA B27 target for 50 yards.  It is the reduced size which simulates a 50 yard target at 25 yards.

 

 

These little pistols never fail to amaze me.  All my life I was told how poorly they worked; how impossible they are to fire with any degree of accuracy; and they have no real world use.  Which just goes to show one should ‘trust but verify’ in many areas of life.

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50 Comments

Filed under Firearms and their use

50 responses to “The Ortgies Patent Deutsche Werke Pistol

  1. Thomas Chumley

    I am familiar with this pistol. My Grandad used to say “trust everyone, but cut the cards anyway” sometimes he would add “especially when they are family”…………….

    Date: Sat, 31 May 2014 01:31:15 +0000 To: tp_chumley@hotmail.com

  2. Jeanne Deen

    We have a 380, safety disengaged, but won’t fire. Any idea what is wrong? Thank you.

    • With the firing mechanism cocked, when the trigger is pulled, does it ‘click’? If it does, then the basic mechanism is working, but the firing pin is not making connection with the cartridge (primer). Old guns are famous for building up sludge and solidified lubricant in the ‘tunnel’ for the firing pin. Dismounting the slide and cleaning with either gun cleaning solvent or possibly mineral spirits will dissolve and dislodge the caked up lubricant.

      Another possibility is the firing pin is broken and the tip no longer can strike the primer. This can be remedied by a replacement part – do an internet search for ‘old gun parts’ or some such for vendors. Usually, one can replace parts without resorting to a gunsmith; these are non-precision parts, usually.

      Back to the initial check. If the pistol – when cocked and the safety depressed – will not ‘click’ when the trigger is pulled, then nothing is moving in the firing pin mechanism. Could be caked up lubricant. Could be rusted up internally. The firing pin spring could be broken. Dismount and look. Clean and or replace as needed.

      Or – just take it to a gunsmith. Of course, they will charge you for all that, and they can’t invent parts any more than you can. Not to mention, this sort of pistol has not been manufactured since the late 1920s or so. Most gunsmiths will have a good idea of what it is and how it works, but they’re no longer common.

      Sorry. Not much help I suppose. I do not know of any central clearing office for this sort of pistol. Good luck to you.

      • Jeanne Deen

        Thank you for the response. The trigger travels maybe half-way, but does not click. I, the wife, call it “squishy.” Thank you again, Jeanne

  3. Miss Jeanne, the Ortgies trigger IS normally – to use a recognized and familiar technical shooter’s term – “squishy”. The trigger pull tends to ‘slide’ through the movement, rather than remain unmoved until the sear moves and then feels – another technical term – ‘like a glass rod breaking’.

    I would think the interior is simply caked up. However, it is possible the firing pin spring is either fatigued (lost it’s spring) or broken.

    Again, my best wishes to you.

    • Jeanne Deen

      I don’t know about the gun, but you have diagnosed my problem. My firing pin is fatiqued, but, alas, not broken:) but to the gun. If you mite be so inclined to speak to the husband, will you inbox me jeanneboo@aol.com with a number. Oh for a local gunsmith. We have the gun on approval, and don’t know whether to fix or send back. 380 so hard to find. My best wishes for a good day, Jeanne

  4. For what I am able, I am at your service. Check inbox.

  5. Hi there to every one, the contents present at
    this web site are really awesome for people knowledge, well, keep up the good work fellows.

    • Thanks. I try. Most of the information on this pistol is from various internet sites. I try to figure out which is the commonalities and check for word for word repetitions which indicate simply copying other information. I do have two of the Ortgies pistols and find them interesting.

  6. MARK JOHNSON

    Hello!
    I just found your blog about the Ortgies pistol. It’s the most current information I have found so far. Very timely for me. Took my 7.65 to the gunsmith on 10/21/14 for a clean, oil and test fire. Mine is from the last address with the cat logo.
    Your writing on this article was very informative and such an entertaining read. Really good and a lot of new info I have not seen elsewhere. I was particularly interested in the ammo. I read that low pressure rounds should be used in these old guns. If mine checks out, I’m just going to use it for target practice at the range. My serial number is: 108257.
    Thank you for the article on the Ortgies. Really enjoy your website.
    Mark Johnson

    • Thank you for the kind words. They are really quite nice pistols, in a non-flashy, ‘ordinary’ sort of way.

      The ‘old wisdom’ was that European ammunition is ‘loaded hotter’ meaning higher pressure than U. S. manufactured ammunition. My latest information search indicates the European standards are just a bit lower than U. S. SAAMI standards. Go figure. Whatever the case, my main ammunition for all my .32 ACP collection is a bulk purchase of Prvi Partizan ammunition, all of one production lot. It works in all my pistols and does not seem to be abusive.

      According to all the old and new advertising and ‘specifications’, standard .32 ACP is claimed to produce 900 feet per second (f/s) with a 71 grain full metal jacket (FMJ) bullet. So far, none of the dozen or so pistols I have shoot above about 840 f/s; many in the 700 f/s range. So I don’t think this brand of ammunition is over loaded and will damage your pistol. I’ve tested a couple other brands, and none of them strike me as ‘excessive’, so I am pretty sure all the commercial brands of U. S. manufacture are reasonably safe to use. Of course, shooting it will wear the parts and structure more than not shooting it. But not to an unreasonable degree.

  7. Ed from Boston

    Hello,
    After my brothers passing I inherited his Ortgies pistol. Just researching and enjoying the history behind this. My serial # is 21XXX with a 7.65m. Is there a book that may have more info on this particular model?

    • I do not know of a book on the subject of the Ortgies or Deutsche Werke pistols. However, by doing a web search for Ortgies Pistol or Deutsche Werke Pistol, you’ll find several web pages dedicated to the subject and a number of articles or discussions in forums on the subject. It is a bit ‘hunt and read’ rather than all collated in one pile though. Perhaps you have aspirations of being a non-fiction writer?

  8. Thanks so much for the great info! I just picked up my dad’s Ortgies 7.65, serial 89XXX Germany. Dad died 40 years ago, and the last time my brother shot it several years ago, every cartridge jammed. He didn’t want to bother having a gunsmith look it over. After finding a youtube video, I disassembled the pistol and cleaned out all the caked lube. After lube and reassembly, a magazine of dummy rounds all ejected easily. I’m taking it to a range this week for its first test.

    • I’ve read several places the most common problem with most individually owned firearms is ‘not cleaned lately’. As you, Mr. Bullock, indicate, the lube ‘caked up’. Which happens when a firearm is left to its own devices for an extended period of time.

      From information on the internet, the serial number indicates the pistol is a ‘last address’ or fifth variation. Probably the last major burst of manufacturing. Unfortunately, I can’t find any correlation between serial numbers and dates.

      They’re fun with which to fiddle. Enjoy yours.

  9. mick

    i have a duetsthe 7.65 auto where can i purchase a firing assembly please rgds mick

    • Mick, I probably cannot be of great assistance to you. These pistols have NOT been manufactured since 1924 (that’s the official cut off, at least.) No one to my knowledge manufactures spare parts.

      However, Gun Parts Corporation (do an internet search) lists some internal parts. If that doesn’t help you, check with Jack First Company also. Both these concerns buy and sell obsolete gun parts; so availability is somewhat hit and miss. There are a couple other companies who deal with obsolete parts as well, but I cannot remember many of them.

      Disclaimer: I am not associated (financially or by blood) with any of these companies. (At least not that I’m aware.) I only mention them because I am aware of their existence and they deal with the subject at hand. From there, you’re on your own.

      Before you purchase and attempt to install or pay a gunsmith to install them, thoroughly clean the pistol. Get all the dried up lubrication out of the moving parts and recesses. You may find the parts are intact, but are simply ‘gummed up’ from old oil and time. Good luck.

  10. OrtOwner

    Hi OMM,

    Numrich has a lot of parts available for these pistols I just inherited serial 213NNN with a nickel magazine, only piece missing is the firing pin retainer pin, which I ordered along with a new pin, and some springs.

    Love your article and respect for this early Browning design.

  11. David ferris

    I have in my collection ser. 59900, early grip medallions, as far as I know was import gun in the 20’s, one owner until I came in possession in 1966. I cleaned it lubed it and fired some vintage fn ammo through it (7.65mm) it has been sitting idle all these years, overall very good condition, have no idea as to value?

    • Currently, the Ortgies patent pistols are not terribly desired. They were imported in huge quantities and do not have the ‘glamour’ of a big name company behind it. On the good side, they are rather competent little pistols; good value for purchase price (when it was initially purchased) and reasonably solid. I’ve heard comments about the sear wearing with extended use. Being in 7.65mm caliber, they aren’t over powered for self defense, but they are easy for anyone to shoot.

      The ones I have were purchased for less than $300 a piece. But who knows? Perhaps in a couple of months they’ll be ‘discovered’ and everyone will want one.

  12. bsr ,je viens de lire ,votre exposé sur le ,ortgies ,tres bien fait et expliqué ,je vous remercie,avez vous plus d’information sur la série 73xxx,merci cdlt

    • From the Bing translation site: BSR, I just read, your presentation on the ortgies, very well done and explained, thank you, do you have more information about the 73xxx series, thanks cdlt

      Merci pour les paroles aimables. Pas beaucoup d’informations existe publiquement sur ces pistolets. Ils ne semblent pas être aussi populaire que des pistolets plus connus ou plus chers de l’époque. J’utilise le “Bing « fonction et la fonctionnalité de traduction associés de recherche. Je ne parle pas Français, malgré mon nom. Je vous prie d’excuser les erreurs de composition ou d’utilisation du temps.

      Numéro 73, xxx est, selon les différentes sources d’internet – une cinquième variante, ou série de fabrication en utilisant le format d’adresse de suite de deux lignes.

      DEUTSCHE WERKE AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT – brevets des WERK ERFURT ORTGIES

      J’ai ne trouver aucune date spécifique du fabricant, mais ce modèle de pistolet n’a pas été fabriqué après 1923. La production des variantes antérieures, mais même modèle a débuté vers 1919.

      Je vous suggère de faire une recherche sur internet pour “Ortgies Pistol » et regardez les différents sites pour avoir une idée complète du bras. Si tout va bien, traduction ne sera pas un problème insurmontable.

      My Reply: Thanks for the kind words. Not much information exists publicly about these pistols. They do not seem to be as popular as better known or more expensive pistols of the era. I am using the “Bing” search function and the translation feature associated. I do not speak French, despite my name. Please forgive any errors in composition or use of tense.

      Number 73,xxx is – according to the various internet sources – a Fifth Variant, or manufacturing series using the Forth Address format of two lines.

      DEUTSCHE WERKE AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT – WERK ERFURT
      ORTGIES’ PATENT

      I find no specific date of manufacturer, but this model of pistol was not manufactured after 1923. Production of the earlier variants, but same model began circa 1919.

      I suggest you do an internet search for “Ortgies Pistol” and look at the various sites to get a complete idea of the arm. Hopefully, translation will not be an unsurmountable problem.

  13. Ed S.

    I just acquired my first Ortgies in near perfect condition absolutely no holster or edge wear, just a very minor scratch on the side of the grip safety as it enters the frame. Going to be locked up for a while. Over a year, I have seen only two near perfect Ortgies, the first one sold for $410, and no one was bidding but me and the other guy. I stopped because the price was exceeding the book values.

    Never again going to let a perfect one pistol like the one I eventually acquired get away. On the one I purchased, with shipping handling and FFL fee I invested $525 total – bidding price was $465. Gun Digest 2015 has VG at $550, Blue Book Gun Values are lagging at $400.

    My 68,XXX slide address is the same as your (59,xxx) . On right side between grip and trigger on frame and directly above on slide has the Crown N proof.

    I wanted to share valuation, markings, and serial numbers so a better history of these Ortgies production can be documented and passed on the others.

    • Thanks for the information. Congratulations on finding a really clean one.

    • Ed

      I just got my first Ortgies 9mm ser# 37,xxx at the Reno gun show. I’d love to know what the Crown N proof marks mean. I did a clean & lube on it before I put SnapCaps back in to test it. It would not fire until I reversed the firing pin spring! Like the recoil spring, it is slightly smaller on one end, and only works if you put it back correctly; small end over the guide pin!!
      Also, be sure to seat the lip of the guide pin in the small round slot in the top of the slide, before you re-assemble it to the frame. When you put it back, BE WHERE YOU CAN FIND THE GUIDE PIN, if it gets bumped, the firing pin spring will launch the the guide pin clear across the room, under the couch, and into the heat register grate. Just cover the back of the slide to prevent this.

      • The Crown N proof marks mean it was test fired and approved for smokeless powder. For some reason – I haven’t researched it – smokeless powder was referred to as “Nitro” powder for some time.

        The other comments are valid for many firearms with non-captive springs. Assembling the Government Model (.45 ACP), I’ve launched a couple recoil spring caps into parts unknown.

  14. Marty Kavanagh

    I may have to buy one of these to play with eh. – Good writing & info.

    • On the plus side, the Ortgies patent pistols are not rare (not terribly common, but available) in the United States. I’m not sure about Commonwealth (if I may use that term without offense) nations. Again in the United States, they are not very expensive. Much of this is due to the factors they are not ‘powerful’ pistols, nor do they have a large magazine.

      But they are fun. Good luck to you.

      And I appreciate the compliment on the writing.

  15. luc hoffmann

    bjr ,je recherche ,les logos pour plaquettes ainsi qu’un percuteur avec ressort ,si quelqu’un a ca en stock je suis preneur merci CDLT

  16. James

    Hi my name is James I have recently acquired a ortgies pistol serial # 80907 it has the plastic grips is it possible to atain the wood grips they do look better I have shit thus gun with great results all shots within a quarter in center I have had no issues and would like to know more about this little gun Likev what year my model may have been produced please contact me with any info thanks.

    • Hello James. I seem to have answered these in reverse order. Sorry.

      Serial numbers are a bit iffy; see the website http://ortgies.net for as much information as I know. (Not a great deal.)

      These little pistols and many more like them have far greater accuracy than commonly thought. Once one gets past the rather crude sights and somewhat deceptive trigger pull.

      But they ain’t powerhouses. James Bond notwithstanding, they are not what I would carry to meet the foes of the Republic.

  17. James

    Also I am looking for the holster for this gun it is the 32acp any ideas?

    • Not really. This pistol hasn’t been manufactured since about 1925, give or take. So a specific holster is only available in a collector’s shop.

      However, there are any number of the nylon type holsters made for ‘smaller’ pistols as a category and not specific. Uncle Mike’s brand is an example. (Uncle Mike pays me nothing.)

      Also possible are various holsters manufactured for ‘small guns’ during the period after the First World War and the end of the Second World War designed to fit any one of those. But you’ll have to look on line or at gun shows.

      • James

        Thanks I am trying to find holster that came with gun my sin is German and lives in Germany hopefully he will find me one

  18. That might work. (I presume that’s your SON in Germany. I usually keep my sin pretty close.) Still, there are a number of ‘little’ pistols in the last 120 years or so and Europe may be a better place than the U. S. Good luck in any event.

  19. Ed

    I just picked up a 2nd Ortgies. This one is 7.65mm. Like my 9mm Kurz, it needed cleaning, and a couple new springs, but shot well, without problems, and 6″ groups at 7 yards. That’s with Seller & Belloit ammo – bench rested.
    I did inquire about a holster. The seller, and previous owner of “several” Ortgies, said he had never seen a holster for them, that they were “just pocket pistols”. Not sure I buy that, tho I have yet to see one.

  20. You’re the second one to ask about a holster. I’ve never seen any holster identified as specifically made for the Ortgies pistol. I bought a pistol and a holster, but the holster was made for a small, nearly the same size pistol. I think it is somewhat generic in that is was intended to fit one of several pistols. (The Beretta M1934 and 1935, many of the Basque (popularly Spanish) Ruby pistols, the Walter PPK, the Mauser HSc and more than likely some others were all ‘almost’ the same size and shape.

    If you want something to store the pistol, or something to hold the pistol at the range, I suggest you check some of the inexpensive nylon type holsters which are somewhat androgynous. Or get wild and make one.

    If you want a period holster to keep with the pistol in the collection, I don’t know such a thing exists.

    Happily, ammo is plentiful and not unusual. Springs might be a bit more difficult, but there are a number of spring manufacturers and one finds there are a number of different arms which use a spring “this” long, “that” big in diameter and having “XX” pounds of ‘spring’. Specific parts like firing pins and disconnectors become more problematic. Check the internet for ‘obsolete’ gun parts.

    • James

      There is a web sight for this gun that has parts. my son in Germany did find holster for this gun they were manufactured on request they are out there but mostly in Germany the gun in Germany is hard to find but they are very desired there. Compared to here

      • I didn’t know any of that! I’m glad you found the holster. (Picture of it, when available please.)

        Didn’t know they were in demand in Germany. As they were nearly all marked “Germany”, I gathered they were mostly intended for export to U. S. I have heard they were popular in Germany for ‘target shooting’ (which I think was different than ‘target shooting’ in US, either then or now).

        Always good to know new stuff! Thank you.

  21. David Wantuck

    I hope this message will end up on your site. My father has a 6.35mm Ortgies SNN 88774. It does NOT feed correctly, so I’ll assume the spring in this OLD magazine either needs to be replaced or I need a new Magazine. Anyway, can anyone give me any tips on the magazine feed please?. I’ve cleaned the gun and all appears to be OK except for the feeding problem. Appreciate any help. Dave

    • To be clear, I am not a gunsmith. I do fool around with some things and I know a few tricks, but by no means am I a gunsmith. Having said that…

      You have a 6.35mm Ortgies, in the U. S. this is called caliber .25 ACP. Typically, this caliber functions rather well with the full metal case bullet and short distances involved. You say it does not ‘feed’. By this, does the round not chamber fully when the slide closes, or does the round not position itself in front of the slide and correctly behind the chamber prior to the slide closing? Or do the rounds in the magazine not move up freely?

      Usually, magazine problems are cured by replacing the magazine. In a pistol not made for the better part of a century, this may not be practical.

      If you will, be more precise about what is not happening with the pistol. Pictures of the components might be helpful.

      • David Wantuck

        Hello…Well, the round does not position itself in front of the slide and correctly behind the chamber, causing the gun to JAM. I just talked to a man at my gun club and he said he would take a look at it and let me know what he thinks. After he does that, I’ll get back to you with more info. Thanks.

  22. Joe

    I inherited a Ortgies 9MM kurz with holster from my Uncle. He said he picked it up during the Battle of the Bulge. Serial #57###. No stamp saying Germany. Also has the “dual” magazine (9mm one side/7.65 other side). Everything else that you have described (stampings and screwed grips) is found on this gun.
    One side of me says sell it (I understand it is rare). The other side says keep it for home defense. Is it worth selling?….If the top dollar value is only 250 -300. It seems to me that I’m better off using it as a home defense weapon. Thanks!

    • I really hate people asking me for financial advise. I am not good on financial predictions.
      If it does not have the ‘Germany’ the liklihood is – as according to you noble uncle – it was brought to the United Stats by a private party.

      All the Ortgies/Deutschese Werke pistols where made rather prior to the Second World War (so one being at the Bulge is reasonable).

      I think the lack of origin marking makes it a bit more uncommon. (I’ve never seen one.) I would not claim it as ‘rare’ immediately. It may be, but I wouldn’t base my retirement on it just yet. Keep the holster and don’t let it disintegrate. At the same time, do NOT clean it up and make it look new, either. If the arm has any spare magazine or ammunition, keep it all. If you can find the ‘permission’ document to bring it home, keep that as well. Collectable items are enhanced by all the circumstances and accessories.

      Next I’d look on line and see if a firearm’s collector association is based in your area, and start there for real life values.

      Yes, as a group they are worth $250-$300. But one might have ‘something’ only meaningful to one who knows about ‘it’ and can actually see your example.

      • Joe

        Thank You…I wasn’t really worried about financial, more about the scarcity of the weapon…you answered on both accounts…thank you again.

    • Ed

      I have an Ortgies like yours, 9mm Kurz, or .380auto. I paid $275 for it as a collectable, but refurbished it with new springs, a good cleaning, and lube. It is a bit light caliber for home defense, and not very accurate, but it worked reliably with the new springs. They are not very rare, thus the low price. Nice collectable heirloom.

  23. Ric Bennett

    have you any suggestions on where to purchase additional magazines for the 7.65mm? I inherited one from my grandfather who came to America just before the great war. The one that I have is chrome plated? Or at least silver in color. Great information thanks in advance..

    • Mr. Bennett, that pistol has not been manufactured since about 1924 or so.

      Triple K makes (or used to, at least) magazines for many ‘obsolete’ semi-automatic pistols (but not all) and I doubt if the Ortgies was ever one of them. The worst they can do is say “No”.

      I think the best bet – and by no means a sure thing – is to check the various ‘obsolete’ parts suppliers. They are listed on line with a web search. Attempting to remain neutral, I do not suggest any one place or another. However, I can think of three offhand and there are no doubt more. They do not hide, they all advertise to some degree.

      You didn’t ask this, but the magazine is probably nickel plated. Nickel was the common ‘rust preventative’ coating for many years in the firearms field, both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. Actually, it worked quite well in comparison to many other ‘treatments’. Gold plating was also used, but it was and is a bit expensive for us common folks.

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