In honor of Veteran’s Day on November 11th, Guns.com brings you one of most famous surrender pistols ever captured by U.S. military forces. We were lucky enough to be at the Rock Island Auction Company’s premiere firearms auction in September where this gun and its incredible history were on display. This golden Walther PPK was once the property of Hermann Göring and was surrendered to Lieutenant Jerome Shapiro during the closing days of WWII in Austria.
Lt. Shapiro and a small group of men went behind enemy lines to capture Göring who was fleeing to American troops as the war ended. For his heroic effort Shapiro was awarded the gun as a war trophy along with the Bronze Star. He kept the gun until his death 1975. After Lt. Shapiro died the gun exchanged hands a few more times before finally making it’s way to RIAC for auction.
Besides the history that comes with the gun the buyer also got an impeccably kept beautiful presentation Walther. It has very detailed factory engravings of the Germanic oak leaf patterns along the slide and frame. Zig-zag borders and gold inlay round out real craftsmanship in this gun. The pistol also comes with the red presentation case which was handed to Lt. Shapiro in the field along with a “mountain of prominence,” according to Joel Korlander of RIAC. This includes letters and signed affidavits confirming it was indeed the property of Göring.
The story of the pistol and its history is fascinating and RIAC has done a great job of laying out the entire story on their site. While it’s estimated price range was $80,000 – $120,000 Korlander knew that prices for historic guns such as this could jump quickly. When the gavel finally struck down this Walther sold for $230,000, almost doubling the high estimate.
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