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My Holy Grail pistol - Korth! :):):)

Discussion in 'General Firearms Forum' started by bac1023, Aug 17, 2012.

  1. bac1023

    bac1023

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    Sep 26, 2004
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    Actually, I have two holy grail pistols, but its now one down, one to go. :supergrin:

    This is simply called the Korth Autopistol and was designed and developed in Germany by Willi Korth himself in the early 1980's. I believe production started in the mid to late 80's, but was very limited and has since been ceased. I recall calling Korth USA a few years ago to inquire about them. I was told they still had a few new models available for the price of $30,000 each - no thanks. I was also told less than 300 were ever made and only a fraction made it to the States. This particular model is chambered in 9mm and in beautiful 98-99% condition inside and out. The Korth started out in only 9mm, but was later offered in other calibers to include 40S&W and even 357 Sig. Mine is a earlier example, hence the old Korth logo and West German origin marked on the slide. It has the original spec Mauser extractor and was probably built by Willi Korth himself, as he built most of the early models. The earlier models had a "P" in front of the serial number. Its number 122 out of the 289 supposedly built. As I mentioned, production of this extremely fine pistol has long since ended. The serial range stops at 285, with four other special serial numbered models built. Out of the 289, I'm not really sure how many are in the States, but its not a whole lot. I'd say half at best, but probably fewer.

    I'll fully admit that they are peculiar looking pistols, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. While it doesn't have the graceful, sleek lines of, say, a Sig P210, I love its exotic flare and I love hand built German firearms. These pistols were billet machined from solid steel and the attention to detail is incredible. Like my Korth revolver, everything just clicks into place. You can see it a little in the pics, but the machining around the hammer, sights, extractor, etc has to be seen in person to fully appreciate. The matte blue finish is completely even and smooth. I especially love the thin walnut strip inserted into the steel on the backstrap. This can be seen in a couple of the pics. Even the lettering on the slide and frame is absolutely perfect and precise. As you can imagine, this firearm is hefty and weighs in at 43oz unloaded. All that precision workmanship comes at a price, however. While I got it for less than a third the price of a new model, it is still the most I ever spent on a single firearm.

    This is some info, including a PDF of the owners manual I found online. Interesting stuff indeed...

    http://www.korthusa.com/pistol_en.htm

    http://world.guns.ru/handguns/hg/de/korth-e.html

    http://stevespages.com/pdf/korth_semi-auto.pdf


    Also, please check out this awesome Youtube video of a Korth pistol collection for sale. Talk about high quality, wow! Besides the incredible machining, the finishes alone are simply amazing. Start it from the beginning in 720p HD, switch it to full screen, and enjoy. I've watched it in its entirety a few times now. :cool: Its a must for anyone who appreciates high quality German handguns or is just a fan of incredible German engineering. I find the video fascinating.




    As many of you probably know, Korth is much better known for their fine revolvers and I've owned a Korth Combat 357 for years now and its the nicest, finest revolver I own. However, I bought it unfired and it has remained that way. This auto, however, will see a trip or two to the range, as its already been fired. If something breaks, I'm pretty much screwed, so I need to be careful.

    I've wanted one of these for a LONG, LONG time. Check out this thread from almost exactly one year ago. You can't see the Gunbroker auction in the link anymore, but the one I bought was the model being auctioned.

    http://www.glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1364297

    The auction had a buy it now price of $12,000. As you can see, I mentioned in the thread I would spend up to $7,000 on it. Well, we settled on $8500 shipped a month or two after the auction ended. However, I sent him an extra $100 for holding it for me for so long, nearly a year, in fact.

    There has been exactly one on GB since. It popped up about a month ago and its still there. On one of the auction cycles, somebody bid $9000 and it didn't meet the reserve. The funny thing is that its not in as good of condition as mine. It is a later model, judging by the serial number (162 vs mine at 122). It also has the newer Korth logo, though I think I like the older logo on my two Korths better. Besides that, "Made in W.Germany" looks cooler to me than "Made in Germany" does. Also, you can see the serial number lacks the "P" prefix. You can see the extractor is smaller in the newer pistol. Its not the Mauser extractor that mine has. I'm not sure if it functions better or worse, but the Mauser extractor sure looks cleaner. I do like the polished bluing it has, whereas mine has a matte blue finish.

    http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=300743449


    Most of the Korth pistols had the rounded trigger guard, whereas mine is flat in the front. I'm not sure which production years the flat trigger guard was used, but in the video, I believe only the engraved model had the flat guard like mine. However, on the website picture pages, most the models have the flat trigger guard. I prefer the rounded, but its not a big deal either way. The world guns website (link above) calls the square guard an "alternative shape". I guess it was an option. What's cool is the fact that even though the outside of the trigger guard is squared, the inside is round. Like I said, I'm in awe at the machining of this handgun. I can just stare at it. Its really that impressive. The grips are walnut and show a nice grain pattern. The checkering is some of the nicest I've ever seen on wood grips. Its Nill quality.

    The design itself has no safety or decocker, just sort of a quarter cock position. Its designed to be carried (I'm not sure who would carry such an expensive gun) with the hammer on quarter cock and a round in the chamber. Korth pistols use a locking breech designed by Willi Korth. It uses a tilting locking piece below the barrel near the muzzle. Its a very intricate design. Obviously, this is a double action, single stack pistol. As with the Sig P210, the ergonomics of this pistol are a mixed mag. The grip is comfortable and the slide release is positioned right, but the mag release sits high on the frame and is hard to reach. The Korth does point well though.

    Anyway, enough with my rambling already. As you can tell from my excitement level, this was, in fact, the best gun purchase of my life. It even surpasses my Valtro 1911 purchase a couple years back.

    Here are some pics. As you can see, there are no import markings anywhere. Its a very clean pistol.

    I know this was a long read, but please take the time to watch the video and maybe look at some of the links. I''d really like to here your thoughts.

    Thanks!


    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015
  2. bac1023

    bac1023

    102,938
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    Sep 26, 2004
    PA
    You can see in these pics, just how well done the lettering is. Everything about this gun is amazing quality. :cool:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2015

  3. bac1023

    bac1023

    102,938
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    PA
    Here are a couple pics of the gun with the slide open, so you can see the intricate machining. Its pretty wild, really. On the right side of the gun, you can also see that the serial number is stamped in three different places, the slide, the frame, and on the barrel "shroud" (for lack of a better term).


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    Here is a pic of it with my other Korth. As you can see, my Korth Combat revolver has a polished blue finish. :cool:



    [​IMG]






    I've added these pics of the backstrap, so you could see the cool walnut grip insert. Its a very nice touch.

    You can now also see the awesome slide to frame fit. There are no gaps, no spots tighter than others, no rounded corners, it looks like it was drawn by a pencil and ruler. Its ridiculous, actually.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2012
  4. jakebrake

    jakebrake cracker

    7,923
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    Jan 11, 2011
    too close to philly
    cost you about a kidney, or a first born?

    editor's note...those are gorgeous.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  5. Angry Fist

    Angry Fist Dehumanizer® Lifetime Member

    38,527
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    Dec 30, 2009
    Hellbilly Hill
  6. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    34,731
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    Acme proving grounds.
    :wow: :faint: :cool:

    I love your revolver,I ain't seen a semi before.'08. :thumbsup:
     
  7. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    34,731
    3,812
    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    :wow: :faint: :cool:

    I love your revolver,I ain't seen a semi before.'08. :thumbsup:
     
  8. rgregoryb

    rgregoryb Sapere aude

    8,315
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    Oct 20, 2004
    Republic of Alabama
    of Korth you would need one.................nize!!!!
     
  9. Bruce M

    Bruce M

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    S FL
    Hearty congratulations, Sir. I can understand why that one would be the find of a lifetime.
     
  10. faawrenchbndr

    faawrenchbndr DirtyThirty fan CLM

    36,124
    480
    Nov 24, 2005
    Troy
    Sweet Mother Mary,..........the Unicorn of firearms!

    Outstanding find Brian, congrats! :cool:
     
  11. I don't have the time to read the links now, but I'm bookmarking this just to read them next weekend.

    That is a sweet pistol, even ignoring the price tag. I'm particularly intrigued by how the barrel appears to operate. It looks truly unique.
     
  12. dnuggett

    dnuggett PRO 2A

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    DFW TX
    Very cool and an amazing find. Waiting almost a year... wow. Not sure if I could have held on that long. I've been sitting on something for two months and it's really starting to bug me.
     
  13. John Biltz

    John Biltz

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    Jul 27, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    Congratulations. You always have the nicest guns.
     
  14. bac1023

    bac1023

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    PA
    Thanks Greg

    They are not easy to find.
     
  15. bac1023

    bac1023

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    I was waiting for the deposable income to role in. I don't exactly keep that kind of money in my checking account. ;)

    I owe the seller a big thanks as well.
     
  16. Sikiguya

    Sikiguya

    68
    0
    Feb 27, 2009
    Now that you found it, are you going to Disney World? LOL.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  17. bac1023

    bac1023

    102,938
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    PA
    :animlol:

    Maybe, but not until I find my other holy grail pistol...