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