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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here some pictures of my 6" Korth .357 Magnum revolver, series 31xxx from 1977 - still produced by Willi Korth himself and one of the last he distributed in cooperation with Dynamit Nobel. Since my earliest days in the shooting club I wished to have a Korth, but it took nearly three decades until I got finally my hands on one. This gun had two owners before me, but both did only occasionally shoot it, so I got it in an extremely good condition. I take it to the range frequently - the gun is incredibly accurate and has a fantastic trigger. Shooting double action is very comfortable due to its unique two-stage trigger which is adjustable (by changing two small round discs in the trigger mechanism - there are three different replacement disc sets furnished together with the gun in that small plastic tube to be seen in the left lower edge of the second picture).

 

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Beautiful! :thumbsup:
 

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That is a fine looking pistola.
I didn't think they made Korths anymore.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I didn't think they made Korths anymore.
The truth is a little bit more complex:

The original company of Willi Korth ceased to exist on June 30, 1981. But the brand name has been preserved until now by a number of (more or less dedicated) successors.

The last production series made by Willi Korth himself is the series 33xxx. When Willi Korth died on October 10, 1992 a lot of his knowledge went with him (he had not written down much - most was only stored in his head) and had to be "re-invented" by his successors...

There are still guns produced under the brand name Korth and they are indeed based technically on the work of Willi Korth. As far as I know there is now also a semi-automatic pistol available from Korth - the development of which was Willi Korth's last big project, but he did not progress further than the prototype stage before his death.

So a Korth produced by Willi Korth himself is much sought after today and costs a lot of money - an exception are the very first cal. .38 Special Korth revolvers of the series 20xxx he produced in the mid-1960s for the Hamburg harbour police (which did not take over these guns because they were equipped with pistols instead):




These were really simple guns - in no way comparable to what is normally understood when you hear "Korth"... Whether the guns produced today under the name "Korth" are of the same or maybe even a better standard than those from Willi Korth himself I cannot judge due to lack of personal experience with a "modern" Korth. They now look a little bit different - barrel rail is no longer ventilated and the cross section of the barrel now has a little flattened sides, not the round ones like my gun. But that latter change Willi Korth already introduced with his last two production series (32xxx and 33xxx).

At first "new" Korths were assembled from parts Willi Korth had left over. At the moment I don't know how long this stock lasted - but may be able to check this if someone wants to know. Fact is that Willi Korth's successors at first had some problems with the fine tuning and adjustment of the triggers, so guns produced in those years were not comparable with an "original" Korth in smoothness of trigger function.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
nice how or can you compare with pythons accuracy, trigger pulls?
Sorry - I never shot a Colt Python until now. Did shoot an S&W 686 for some time - as far as accuracy is concerned for me they were comparable (both guns certainly shoot potentially better than I...). For single-action shooting the trigger of the 686 was excellent, too, but only after massive tuning. The Korth was perfect out of the box. But for double-action shooting the Korth - for me at least - is a class of its own due to its two-stage trigger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Just did fresh up my knowledge about Korth production history a little bit. Source - this great book ("Willi Korth - Seine Waffen" / "Willi Korth - His Weapons"):



According to this source Willi Korth after giving up his own company kept on working for a while in a consulting/advising position for the successor company. So the revolvers of the production series 34xxx were in fact assembled under his supervision from parts he still had produced and can thus be considered to be "original" Korths also. Decline in quality mentioned above (e.g. trigger smoothness) only came with later production runs, when Willi Korth was no longer personally involved in the production (cooperation between Willi Korth - already in his end sixties and of bad health at that time - and the owners of the new company was problematic at best and ended in a series of lawsuits).
 

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Fact is that Willi Korth's successors at first had some problems with the fine tuning and adjustment of the triggers, so guns produced in those years were not comparable with an "original" Korth in smoothness of trigger function.
having imported and fired several dozen of Korth revolvers, I cannot confirm this rumor.
 

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Very interesting thread.
I had a Korth Revolver in 38 Spl like the one pictured in post #4.
I was unable to find any history or information on it.
Paid $225 at a LGS for it.
Shot it a few times & sold it for a handsome profit.
Bought a Smith 4506 with the proceeds from the Korth sale.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Very interesting thread.
I had a Korth Revolver in 38 Spl like the one pictured in post #4.
I was unable to find any history or information on it.
Paid $225 at a LGS for it.
Shot it a few times & sold it for a handsome profit.
Bought a Smith 4506 with the proceeds from the Korth sale.
Sorry for my late reply, but was on a longer trip in the US and had no access to my library.

Here a few more facts about the .38 Spl Korth Series 20xxx revolver:

Korth designated this model as "Polizeirevolver" ("Police revolver"), because the order had been placed on behalf of the Hamburg harbour police. Production was in 1964/65. The 482 examples produced in 1964 had 2" barrels, the 481 examples from the 1965 batch had 4" barrels. So total production was 963 examples (plus 18 which failed to pass the final check and were thus destroyed/recycled). The original customer did not take over the guns, however, so they were sold to arms dealers for the most part.

The gun was comparatively small and therefore had a 5-round cylinder. Overall length was 188 - 226 mm, empty weight 0.844 - 0.884 kg, depending in barrel variant. Barrel has six grooves and rifling to the right.

A rather peculiar feature of the Series 20xxx revolvers is that their component numbers do not match! For example the revolver No. 20653 has the cylinder with the number 672 and the cylinder axle No. 635. These parts have been machined and made to fit together, however, and cannot be exchanged with corresponding parts of an other gun of this type.
 

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After reading your thread, 7x57, it appears I should have kept it!
Had no idea how rare it was at the time of purchase.
All I remember is that I enjoyed my Colts & Dan Wesson much more than the little Korth.
Oh, well. Got many other toys to play with...........:)
 
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