The Walther Star Model SL (Signal und Leucht, lit. "signal and light") was a Nazi German flare gun produced from 1930 to 1945 by Carl Walther Waffenfabrik. An evolution of Walther's flare gun designs from the 1920s, the SL acted as the standard flare gun of the Kriegsmarine during World War II.

History[edit | edit source]

The Walther SL was designed as an evolution of the older Walther flare gun designs from the 1920s, including the Leuchtpistole. The pistol began production in 1930 as the Star Model SL (Sternsignalpistole SL, lit. "star signal pistol")[1]. The weapon was adopted by the Kriegsmarine shortly after as their standard flare gun.

The SL received some changes some years later; the weapon soon became the SLd (Signal und Leucht, doppelschuss, lit. "signal and light, double shot") in 1936. As with the SL, the SLd was also adopted by the Kriegsmarine as their standard service flare gun, and would see service on many U-boats; production ended at the end of World War II. Come the end of the war, many of these flare pistols were lost due to U-boat sinkings and few survive today to become collector pieces.[2]

A total of some 3,600 SLs and 13,000 SLds were produced.

Design Details[edit | edit source]

The SL was a break-action flare gun which took 26.65mm flares. The weapons had wooden furniture and were originally made of stainless steel, but as the war progressed aluminum was used instead in order to save the stainless steel for later use. The barrel release latch is a lever located forward of the trigger. The weapon's safety is located on the left of the gun.

The SLd was very similar except that it had two barrels and a selector switch located behind the barrels used to switch between which barrel could fire. The weapon could fire one barrel at a time or both at once.[3]

Ammunition[edit | edit source]

The weapons took 26.65mm flares as with most German flare guns of the time period.

References[edit | edit source]

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