ERMA-Werke

Post WWII Commercially Manufactured M1 Carbines

ERMA-Werke
Dachau, Bavaria


.22 long rifle
.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire

The ERMA-Werke Model E M1 .22 LR Self-Loading Rimfire Rifle


Directory of Pages
(with links)

History, Importers, MarkingsFunction Animations Cleaning & Disassembly
Part I: 1945-1990    
Part II: 1990-2000+ Parts & Diagrams Reassembly









 



A Special Note
The Erma Suhl Ranger, 2D images, 3D animations, additional photographs, and many of the suggestions you will encounter on this website were provided courtesy of, or in cooperation with, the very knowledgeable and talented Bryan Cox of Bristol, England. I am in deep gratitude for his cooperation, assistance, and patience in constructing what you will encounter on these pages.


History, Importers, Markings

Part II

1990-2000+


Mandall Shooting Supplies Inc. of Scottsdale, Arizona 1994-1996

Mandall Shooting Supplies incorporated in Arizona in February 1975. Mandall's imported the Erma E M1 from 1994 until Erma's ceased importation in 1995. Mandall's E M1 imports had the original markings of the E M1 on the left side of the receiver along with their import mark in script on the right side of the barrel.

While the German Office of Bombardment had changed their date codes on proof marks to an alphabetical system, the older system was allowed to run concurrently. Erma eventually changed to the letter system sometime in the early 1990's. Two letters replaced the two numbers and indicated the year the weapon was proofed using A=0, B=1, C=2, D=3, E=4, F=5, G=6, H=7, I=8, K=9. The letter J was omitted. The below example has the letters KC, meaning 92 (1992).


Photo courtesy of Chevelon Canyon Gun Company of Queen Creek, Arizona


Photo courtesy of Chevelon Canyon Gun Company of Queen Creek, Arizona


Left to right: Nitro proof, Munich proof house, KC date code (92)
Photo courtesy of Chevelon Canyon Gun Company of Queen Creek, Arizona


The Torro EM1

The research conducted by Holger Schlemeier of Bavaria indicates the Torro was manufactured for the market in Spain. Proof mark years range from 1987-1993, serial numbers range from E050xxx-E053xxx. Holger has found quite a few Torro's in Austria.

In 2007 the below Erma E M1 was sold at auction in the U.S.A. Unfortunately the date it was proofed was not shared by the seller or owner.


Bankruptcy, a New Owner & Name Change

In 1995 Erma Werke ceased all imports to the USA due to the volume of product liability lawsuits against gun manufacturers allowed by American courts during that time period. Erma-Werke filed for bankruptcy in October 1997.

Erma's assets were taken over by "Suhler Jagd und Sportwaffen" ("Hunting and Sporting Weapons of Suhl") in 1998. The company's remaining assets were relocated to Suhler Jagd und Sportwaffen's facility at Schützenstrasse 26, D-98527 Suhl, Germany, and the name changed to ERMA SUHL, GmbH.

Suhler Jagd und Sportwaffen, GmbH was founded after the merger of West and East Germany. They were the remnants of the WWII German weapons manufacturing facilities in and around Suhl (MEWA-Suhl, Merkel, Gebr. Greifelt & Co, Ernst Thälmann Werk and Fortuna-Werk formerly C.C. Haenel) that the East German government merged together in 1950 under the name of J.P. Sauer & Son. Between 1947 and 1993 the company went by several different names and continued to manufacturer weapons bearing the names of many of the former companies. With the fall of communism in East Germany the company was renamed Suhler Jagd und Sportwaffen GmbH for a new beginning. Eventually the name evolved into Suhler und Sportwaffen.

The controlling interest in Suhler und Sportwaffen has been owned by several different European major arms manufacturers since 1994-2004.


Erma Suhl's Ranger

Holger Schlemeier of Bavaria is in possession of blueprints for the Ranger that are dated September 1996 in Dachau. Proof dates range from 1999-2000 in Suhl. It appears the original idea started with Erma in Dachau, who manufactured a number of parts for the Ranger which were eventually assembled and sold by the new owner in Suhl. The countries the rifle was sold in appear to be Western Europe with, the exception of Germany. Rangers have been purchased or seen available for sale in The Netherlands and the United Kingdon. Used Rangers have been found for sale in Germany. The Ranger was not imported into the United States.

The exact dates and quantity of Rangers manufactured is not known. It is also not known if the serial number sequence started at 00001 or a higher number, possibly 50000. The Ranger is not a commonly encountered rifle, suggesting it may have been produced in limited numbers. There is insufficient information to come to this conclusion at this point.

The Ranger below was proofed in March 2000 by the Suhl Office of the German Office of Bombardment. The Erma name and logo appears on the top of the receiver above the breach.

The muzzle is a standard 1/2" NF 20 tpi thread for a sound suppressor. At the time the rifles that have these were made, suppressors were unrestricted in a number of Western European countries including France, Belgium, and Norway.
Note the difference in finish from the EM1
Erma Suhl logo

German Nitro Proof, Suhl proof house logo, 3AA is March 2000


Final Closure, and yet another German company using the trade name of Erma Werke

Suhler und Sportwaffen finally retired the Erma Werke name and their Erma Werke weapon line in April 2003. The Suhler und Sportwaffen name was retired in late 2004 and the company became known as Merkel Jagd und Sportwaffen Suhl GmbH. The facilities and location remained the same.

In 2008 Merkel responded to an inquiry about Erma Werke that they no longer have the records of Erma Werke and have not saved any part of their history.

In November 2009 Erma-Teilhaberschaft für Sport- und Jagdwaffen Internationales UG GmbH (Erma Partnership for Sport and Hunting Weapons International UG LLC) incorporated at Duissernstraße 7, 47058 Duisburg, in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. The company is using the name of Erma Werke for the sales of airsoft weapons.


Serial Numbers

The following information is based on what I have seen so far and will be updated as I learn more. The West German proof mark requirement helps date which serial numbers were used when. It is clear from the proof dates and serial numbers seen so far that Erma Werke used numbers sequentially as the rifles were made, however, they also started over at 001 for certain companies that contracted with Erma Werke to build the rifles in the contracting company's name (i.e. Iver Johnson).

Proof DateQty ObservedStarting S/NEnding S/NImporter Mark (started 1969)
1966 4 00135 02038 
1967 9 0465x 16651 
1968 2 1975127220 
1969 4 36492 5215xLA Distr. New York on barrel
1974 1 100803 (import mark not provided)
1984 1 000029  Iver Johnson and Owl on receiver, no import mark
no proof marks6 E119295 E2105752 of 6 have Excam Hialeah, FL on barrels
1984 1 000029  Iver Johnson owl on receiver, no import mark
not provided7 00042x 008270Iver Johnson Arms Jacksonville, AR on barrel
1985 9 012085 028479Iver Johnson Arms Jacksonville, AR on barrel
not provided7 029647 034776Iver Johnson Arms Jacksonville, AR on barrel
1986 2 35083 61745xIver Johnson Arms Jacksonville, AR on barrel
1993 1 E22485x Mandalls Scottsdale, AZ on barrel
2000 1 050356 Erma Suhl Ranger

The more common Erma Werke rifles are the E M1's 1967-1969 and the EW .22HBA's in 1985. The least common are the .22 magnum versions.

Keep in mind Erma was selling large quantities of the E M1's and the less common ESG 22 to countries other than the United States. Information from a long time corporate executive at Wischo indicated Erma made several hundred thousand E M1's and variations. The Model E M1 was Erma Werke's best selling gun, throughout their entire history.

As a point of interest, this website has generated communication with E M1 owners from Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Italy, Malta, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Pakistan, and especially the U.K. and U.S.A.

Directory of Pages
(with links)

History, Importers, MarkingsFunction Animations Cleaning & Disassembly
Part I: 1945-1990    
Part II: 1990-2000+ Parts & Diagrams Reassembly