Hungarian Fémáru FÉG 48.M Walam Pistol
In 1946 the BM (Belügyminisztérium = Ministry of the Interior) requested a Walther PP type service pistol for the Hungarian Police to replace their aging WW1-era Frommer Stop Pistols. One of the pre-WW2 Fémáru design engineers, Lajos Elődy was called back to manage the project. The resulting design was a copy of the Wather PP with slight modifications. Most Walther PP parts were interchangeable with the 48.M. Post-war PP mags also fit the 48.M.
The pistol was adopted by the police in 1948, hence the 48.M designation. The original Police Contract was 22000 pistols, from that number about 11,500 went to the National Police, 10,000 went to the Vám- és Pénzügyőrség (Border and Bank Guards) and 450 hard-chromed pistols went to the high ranking police officials.
After the 7.65mm police contract was fullfilled in 1950, the pistol was offered for other units and for export.
During the 1956 Revolution a small number of 48.M's were supplied to party officials for self defense. The slide of these pistols were stamped 'POLGÁRI' [civilian].
The manufacturer's legend on the slide: 'FÉMÁRU ÉS SZERSZÁMGÉPGYÁR N.V. BUDAPEST 48.M. KAL. 7.65mm.'
The pistol featured a distictive finger rest magazine.
The grips were redish-brownish bakelite with crests. Early manufactured grips had the 'Hungarian Police Crest', the later versions had the 'Rakosi Crest'. A few pistols were reported with a post-1956 'Kadar Crest', probably replacements.
The pistol was in police service until 1959, when it was gradually replaced with other Fémáru pistols chambered for the Warsaw Pact Standard Makarov 9mm: RK-59, R-61 and PA-63.
Note: This pistol called the Rendõr (Police) Model 48, or 48.R or 48.M, which can lead to confusion with the Hungarian Army Model 48 (the copy of the Soviet Tokarev TT-33). The 7.65mm Police 48.M was never adopted by the Hungarian Army.
All pistols had an 'R' prefix (For Rendõrség), followed by a dash and a 5-digit serial number, est. range from R-00001 - R-22000. (Actual numbers reported: R-08788 - R-19742)
In 1957 a contract from Egypt was received for the 9mm version of the 48.M Police Pistol, alongside with a similar Egyptian Military Contract for the Tokagypt 58 Pistols. The Police Contract pistols were named Walam. WALAM is short for WAlther-LAMpart, where 'Walther' refers to its Walther PP origin, Lampart refers to FÉG's short lived post-WW2 name, Lámpagyár Rt, and Lámpagyár NV after it was nationalized. The contract was terminated for political reasons or for a failed payment (sources differ), after 10000 pistols were delivered. Our serial number data research shows only 7000 pistols were delivered, assuming that the Egyptian Crested pistols were delivered, the others were not. Either way, the remaining pistols were sold commercially.
All Egyptian Contract pistols had an 'E' prefix (For Egypt), followed by a 5-digit serial number, est. ranges from E00001 - E04000 and E07000 - E10100. (Actual numbers reported: E01033 - E03488 and E07761 - E10054). Apparently serials between E04000 - E07000 are Variant 2 below.
The WALAM is a high quality modified copy of the German 7.65mm Walther PP chambering the 9mm Browning Short ammo. Reportedly some of the parts were
made and supplied by Walther. Most parts, including the magazine are interchangeable with the post-war Walther PP. The loaded-chamber indicator is mounted on the top left of the Walam slide rather
than at the rear of the slide as does the Walther. These pistols are 19mm [.75"] longer than the PP. Loading, firing, and field stripping of these steel framed pistols is the same as that of German Walther PP and PPK.
The pistols safety mechanism and firing pin system was an impoved version of the PP by Fémáru's weapon designer, József Kameniczky.
The 1958 made Walams were marked 'WALAM 48 Cal. 9mm Brow. Short' 'Made in Hungary FÉG 1958' on the left side of the slide, right next to the Crest of Egypt. The grips were plain checkered, did not have the Hungarian Crest.
Hungarian FEG inspection stamps can be found on the frame and on the slide in the form of a heart-shape circled 'I'.
This Variant is the same as Variant 1, except the Crest of Egypt was omitted from the slide.
Approx 3000 were marked this way between serials E04000 - E07000, (Actual numbers reported: E04680 - E06899, also a non-conforming serial E02263 was reported).
Pressure testing, caliber and serial numbers are visible on the bolt.
Typical Hungarian FEG inspection stamps can be found on the frame and on the slide in the form of a heart-shape circled letter I.
This Variant is the same as Variant 2, except there is no legend on the slide, only the importer's markings.
Est. less than 100 were imported this way. There is no indication that these pistols had any old markings removed. Most likely unmarked new or replacement slides were
used without any Walam 48 type markings. Probably a small run. Only one serial number was reported, E01990, which falls into the Variant 1 serial range. Assumably serials will be randomly scattered between the known range.
The slide was importer marked by Century Arms with: 'C.A.I. Georgia, VT' 'Made in Hungary' 'Walam 48 Cal.380'
This Variant was imported in 2011, obviously not directly from FEG.