Saturday, September 9, 2006

Ballseye's Boomer - Ortgies .32ACP Pocket Pistol

What can I say about this classic, but somewhat unknown, little pocket pistol. I like it! Those three words, for me are enough, but I guess I owe you some explanation as to why I like it.

Let me begin by saying the Ortgies was manufactured in pre WWII Germany. It is the only firearm of German manufacture that I own. Overall it seems well made, you know that German thing about quality, and that is good. Besides that my wife was born there and I too have at least some German blood in my veins. So it is nice to have a firearm from there.

As to the gun itself, as I said the quality seems very good. It has an all steel frame and slide. The grips are wood with a medallion inset that indicates manufacture by Deutsche Werke, which means it was not produced by the original Ortgies company but by the one that took over later production, still prior to WWII, and still high quality. It is semi-automatic in operation, possibly blowback but I am not sure. The gun feeds and goes bang every time I try to fire it, and it extracts and ejects every round flawlessly. I should add that when I first got it, it did not go bang every time with certain ammunition. Replacing the firing pin (striker) spring remedied this immediately. This was a simple operation even for me, and I am not trained in any gunsmithing techniques. It is fairly easy to field strip and to reassemble. If you have one and need those instructions, leave a comment asking me for them.

Originally my pistol would have been blued steel, but as can be seen in the picture, the years have taken their toll and much of the finish has worn off and otherwise been turned into that so called "plum" coloration. No rust though.

As far as safeties go, this one has a grip safety on the backstrap, much like a Colt 1911 .45 ACP pistol. There is a small button on the frame of the pistol, that will activate the grip safety if it becomes disengaged then want to reengage it. There is no external hammer. The magazine release is at the bottom of the grip and to the rear. The magazines (yes those are originals in the picture) are chromed. If I recall right they hold 8 rounds (it has been a while since I shot it). The trigger squeeze is not too bad, and I left it just as is. The sights are a fixed grooved rear sight and a fixed blade front sight. This makes this little pistol capable of fairly accurate shots out to 15 yards in the hands of an average shooter, although I suspect you would be better off using it close in for defensive shooting. I note that I do not carry this pistol for self defense all that often. First of all, it is old, and all of the springs should probably be replaced because of its age before use as such. Secondly it is .32ACP, which can be used for self defense, but I prefer a somewhat larger caliber when I can carry one.

This is a great pistol for plinking, maybe a decent one for self defense, and a nice one for the collector (not too expensive, one could be had for about $250 nowadays).

All the best,
Glenn B


Likia said...

if you wouldn't mind publishing the take down (field stripping procedures) i would truly appreciate it. I just picked up one of these in .32acp and can't figure out how to take it apart. thanks...

Glenn Bartley said...

Sorry I only realized today, July 2, that you left a comment on june 23rd. The takedown instructions for this pistol can be found at, and there is a link to an exploded parts diagram on that page too.

All the best,

Charles said...

I followed the link provided but it seems only a partial instruction. The article refers to images that are not provided. Any other postings or is it available from you through email?

Glenn Bartley said...

They used to have all the pics, but when they changed the look of the site, I guess they lost at least the first one.

Based on my experience, I believe the take down latch to which they refer is also the thumb button on the left side of the frame just above the grip panel. If you pull the slide back about 3/4" to an inch and depress the button, you should here a click meaning you can then lift the slide up from its rear. Do it carefully as the striker and striker spring are loose in the top of the slide.

A visual clue that the slide is back far enough to engage the takedown button, is seen looking at the slide from the bottom as you pull it back while still attached to the frame. As it comes back, you will notice there is notch on the inside of the slide, on the right side, that is about 1/4" long. Once that is visible you should be able to depress the takedown latch, and pull off the slide. This takes a bit of doing, as sometimes I need to move mine back and forth a little bit till it is lined up correctly.

All the best,

Chriso said...

I was given one of these little pistols from a friend who's father brought it back after WW2. These are quite nice and point rather naturally for myself and a couple friends who have tried it out. I am wondering, though where you found a firing pin?

Glenn Bartley said...

I did not replace the firing pin/striker. What I did replace was the firing pin spring. Both parts are available through Numrich Gun Parts. Copy this address into your web browser:

All the best,

Anonymous said...

I don't know when this was posted. I also have a D model gun. Midway has listed both the firing pin and a spring kit for this gun. Hope it helps.