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Thread: Airgun Manufacturers in Zella-Mehlis Germany

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    Airgun Manufacturers in Zella-Mehlis Germany

    Were there any other manufacturers of airguns in Zella-Mehlis besides Tell and EM-GE?

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45flint View Post
    Were there any other manufacturers of airguns in Zella-Mehlis besides Tell and EM-GE?
    John Walter wrote a fantastic account in the 3rd edition of his Airgun Book:


    Vintage Airguns Gallery
    ..Above link posted with permission from Gareth W-B
    In British slang an anorak is a person who has a very strong interest in niche subjects.

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    Good stuff. Thanks

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    Interesting he says Germany continued Airgun production through WW2 until 1945? I always read Airgun production ceased as it did in Britain?

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    Walther, Anschütz and Weihrauch all started in Zella-Mehlis.
    Must have been the German equivalent to the gun quarter in Birmingham.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45flint View Post
    Interesting he says Germany continued Airgun production through WW2 until 1945? I always read Airgun production ceased as it did in Britain?
    The last German airgun I've seen date marked is 1940 (a Diana).
    Vintage Airguns Gallery
    ..Above link posted with permission from Gareth W-B
    In British slang an anorak is a person who has a very strong interest in niche subjects.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garvin View Post
    The last German airgun I've seen date marked is 1940 (a Diana).
    That makes sense, I find it impossible to believe anyone was making airguns during the war.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ptdunk View Post
    Walther, Anschütz and Weihrauch all started in Zella-Mehlis.
    Must have been the German equivalent to the gun quarter in Birmingham.
    That’s crazy such a small town.

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    I would love to see how a war torn country with its back against the wall, could still find the resources to make of all things airguns. No disrespect to airguns of course, but I struggle to see their utility in times of war.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dvd View Post
    but I struggle to see their utility in times of war.
    Morale?
    Vintage Airguns Gallery
    ..Above link posted with permission from Gareth W-B
    In British slang an anorak is a person who has a very strong interest in niche subjects.

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    Training young soldiers?

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    Oberndorf-am-Neckar has a similar pedigree. It is a big village with a railway station. Home to the once massive Mauser factory it also became the home of Feinwerkbau and Heckler & Koch.
    I can believe that Germany continued airgun production long into the war. I have read several times that the Nazis continued producing consumer goods and failed to put their economy on a war footing as effectively as Britain did. They did not get as many women into the workforce, for instance although they did make massive use of slaves and conscripted foreign workers. They used airguns for youth training so perhaps some production made sense.
    ***Je Suis Charlie***

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45flint View Post
    Were there any other manufacturers of airguns in Zella-Mehlis besides Tell and EM-GE?
    Wasn't the Langenhan company based there?
    I thought that the 'L' and 'Z' in their earlier crossed-arms trademark (pre WW1?) stood for for Langenhan and Zella-Mehlis; likewise in their later circled 'FLZ' trademark (post WW1?) the letters stood for Freidrich Langenhan Zella-Mehlis.
    It would be nice to get this verified, as I now have a couple of pre-WW1 Langenhan rifles and would like to be sure of their manufacturing origins.
    Atb, Clogger

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    Quote Originally Posted by 45flint View Post
    That makes sense, I find it impossible to believe anyone was making airguns during the war.

    There was a very interesting research article by Jim Stonely on this very topic back in 1986 (Guns Review, Dec 1981, pages 1020-1023), entitled “Production of German Airguns, Sporting Guns and Ammunition in World War II”. Using official UK-USA reports (CIOS) and UK reports (BIOS) based on seized Nazi industrial records he found that Haenel, Diana and Venuswaffenwerk. EM-GE and Langenhan were all producing substantial numbers of airguns during the war years. The reasons for this included the need for training guns, and a desire by companies to be in a viable manufacturing position once the war ended. The individual figures for each company are surprising, and for example Diana alone was producing up to 200,000 airguns a year at one point, and Haenel 85,000 air pistols. Hard to believe I will admit, as where are they all now?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CLOGGER View Post
    Wasn't the Langenhan company based there?
    I thought that the 'L' and 'Z' in their earlier crossed-arms trademark (pre WW1?) stood for for Langenhan and Zella-Mehlis; likewise in their later circled 'FLZ' trademark (post WW1?) the letters stood for Freidrich Langenhan Zella-Mehlis.
    It would be nice to get this verified, as I now have a couple of pre-WW1 Langenhan rifles and would like to be sure of their manufacturing origins.
    Atb, Clogger
    Looks like Zella-Mehlis see below:

    https://guns.fandom.com/wiki/Langenhan_pistol

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