August Menz (Waffenfabrik August Menz) of Suhl, Germany, made the 7.65 mm. Menta pistol during World War I. This pistol was one of the Beholla group, all made from the same drawings and already discussed. The Menta differed but little from the other three members of the group. During the later stages of production Stenda-Werke added a barrel assembly catch to the Stenda pistol. One 7.65 mm. pistol of this type, with Menz grip plate monograms but with no other markings, has been examined and found to have the barrel assembly latch (in slightly modified form). No pistol marked Menta or 7.65 mm. Menz on the slide has been found to have this catch. From the serial number, which is No. 72,322, it might be concluded that this was a continuation of the Stenda-Werke numbering rather than that of Menz. However, all other observed pistols made by Stenda-Werke are definitely so marked; furthermore, the rifling characteristics are not consistent for any pistol in the Beholla group. This pistol may have been one of a more or less experimental lot made by Menz after the war, but this is only a conjecture.
In addition to the 7.65 Menta made during the war, Menz made several other pistols. Some of these appear to have been produced in quantity, while others seem to have been of an experimental nature and not marketed. Menz also made pistols which were sold under other names, particularly the Bergmann Erben which were made for the successors (heirs) of Theodore Bergmann. The following notes, while admittedly incomplete, probably cover most of the pistols made by Menz.
Liliput-The Menz Liliput was made in two calibers, 4.25 mm. and 6.35 mm. The latter is designated Mod. I in the contemporary catalogs, while the former was given no designation other than the 4.25 Liliput. The two models are very much alike in design and operation, both being of the simple blowback type, striker-fired with a magazine capacity of 6 cartridges. The design bears a resemblance to the Menta in some respects.
The 4.25 mm. model is only 90 mm. (ca. 3.5 inches) in length, with a barrel length of 45 mm. and weight of 175 grams. Truly a „vestpocket" pistol. The cartridge used was a round originally designed for the Austrian Erika pistol, some time before 1914, and adopted by Menz when he brought out the Liliput in 1920. The Liliput soon displaced the Erika in the market, and though more popular than its predecessor it too was soon displaced. Cartridges of this caliber have not been made for many years.
Just when the 6.35 mm. model was introduced is not known, but it is thought to have been in 1925. Several specimens marked as Mod. 1925 and Mod. 1927 have been seen. The 4.25 and 6.35 models were apparently numbered in separate numbering series, as some specimens of the former have higher numbers than the lower numbers for the 6.35 model. The 6.35 mm. model is 105 mm. long, has a barrel length of 52 mm. and a weight of 270 grams. No production figures are available. The 6.35 mm. Liliput was reportedly also sold under the names Bijou, Okzet, and Kaba. The latter name was derived from the name of the dealer-Karl Bauer, of Berlin.
6.35 mm. Menta-The 6.35 Menta is a copy of the 7.65 mm. Menta and has the same markings. It is 118 mm. in length, barrel length is 63 mm., and weight is 384 grams. The magazine capacity is 6 rounds.
6.35 mm. Menz-While specimens of this pistol have not been available for examination, contemporary catalog illustrations show that it is not a copy of the Menta, though functioning in the same manner. The only feature that is exactly the same is the pattern of the grip plates. This pistol has a cocking indicator, a pin which protrudes from the rear end of the slide when the piece is cocked. The Menta does not have this feature. It also has a barrel assembly catch, probably taken from the Stenda but absent on the 6.35 mm. Menta. The top of the pistol is a straight line from end to end, not higher at the rear end as in the case of the Menta. Further details are lacking.
7.65 mm. Menz-The Menz Mod. II bears a very close resemblance to the 6.35 mm. Liliput or Menz Mod. I as it was also called. Even the monogram on the grip plates is the same. Apart from size, about the only discernible difference is a small change in the serrations of the finger grips.
The length of this model is 128 mm., barrel length is 67 mm., and the magazine capacity is 6 rounds.
Menz Mod. PB „Speziall"-This pistol represents an entirely different design from those previously used by Menz. The letters PB in the name represent the words „Polizei and Behorden" (indicating the pistol was for Police or other Official use).
In this model the barrel is fully enclosed, which was Dot so in previous models. 'It has double action with an exposed hammer. The thumb safety is located at the top of the slide at the rear end, instead of on the frame, and disassembly is accomplished by unlocking the trigger guard at the front (being pinioned at the rear end). The pistol is well designed, well made, and has an attractive appearance. According to Menz literature it came in 7.65 mm. caliber, with a kit containing a 9 mm. Short barrel and a 5.6 mm. practice barrel for center fire ammunition. Spent cartridges are ejected through a port on the right side instead of at the top, as with the previous models.
Menz P and B Mod. III and III-A-These 7.65 mm. pistols bear little resemblance to the PB Speziall or to any previous Menz pistol. The thumb safety is located at the top of the grip frame, close to the rear edge of the grip plate, instead of being on the slide. Disassembly is accomplished by pushing in and turning a milled sleeve which surrounds the muzzle end of the barrel. Externally these two are alike except for a slight difference in the thumb safety and the grip plates.
Kersten (Wapens en Munitie) shows an illustra tion of a very similar Menz 7.65 mm. pistol which he calls the P.N.B. Mod. IV. The most obvious difference is in the location of the trigger. In the P and B Mod. III-A the trigger is at the rear end of the trigger guard opening, whereas in the P.N.B. Mod. IV the trigger is located in the center of the opening, as it also is in the
Bergmann Erben 9 mm. Mod. II and the Menz PB Speziall. It is quite obvious that Menz did quite a bit of experimental work on pistol design, but it does not appear that his pistols had a wide sale.
Bergmann Erben „Speziall"-This pistol is the same as the Menz PB Speziall and was sold by Theodore Bergmann Erben (Bergmann's Heirs). The numbering seems to be in the same series; for example, the Bergmann Erben No. 3797 is identical to the PB Speziall No. 3267.
Bergmann Erben Mod. II-This pistol was made in both 7.65 mm. and 9 mm. calibers and was quite similar to the PB Speziall, but it differed in some details of construction. The magazine release is of the push-in button type, located at the front edge of the grip frame directly back of the trigger guard. Both are double action, with exposed hammer.
Bergmann Erben 6.35 mm. Mod. II-This 6.35 mm. pistol is strikingly like the 7.65 mm. Menz Mod. II. The forward end of the slide has been cut back somewhat farther on the underside, and the slide is a bit shorter, probably to decrease weight. The pattern of the serrations on the slide is somewhat different. The barrel lengths are the same, 67 mm., though the over-all lengths are not. The 7.65 Mod. II Menz is 128 mm. long, while the 6.35 mm. Bergmann Erben is 123 mm. in length. These latter pistols appear to be numbered in a special series, the first digit of which is 0.
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