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Thread: Walther P1

  1. #1
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    Default Walther P1

    I recently purchased a Walther P1. Haven't had the chance to take it to the range yet, was wondering if anyone has any thoughts or comments about this pistol. It feels good and solid in the hand and I am looking forward to trying it out.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Walther P1 9mm (A).jpg   Walther P1 9mm (B).jpg   Walther P1 9mm (C).jpg  

  2. #2
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    Here's more or less, "the standard" on the P1.

    First, the P1 is nothing more than the military issue version of the POST-WAR aluminum framed P-38.
    100% of parts interchange, since they are in fact the same gun.
    Some later P1's had reinforcement pins in the frame and a beefed-up slide, but the gun is the same.

    NEVER shoot hot ammo in the P-38/P1.
    These were designed for use with standard load 125 grain, full metal jacket ammo.
    You can shoot 115 grain ammo, and most guns will handle defense type ammo if you're willing to experiment until you find a brand/type that will feed reliably.
    They were NOT designed to shoot either hot ammo, or heavier bullets.
    Doing either will damage the gun sooner or later.

    NEVER install "extra power" recoil springs.
    Two things can cause the slide or frame to crack.
    One is hot ammo, the other is stronger springs.
    Stronger springs may "pad" the gun when shooting hot ammo, but the slide slams SHUT with much greater force, and this will cause the frame to crack through the dismounting lever hole as the heavy springs literally hammer the frame forward.

    NEVER attempt to move the rear sight.
    The rear sight is NOT movable for windage, and attempting to move it will destroy the top cover.
    All windage adjustments are done by moving the FRONT sight.
    For elevation, buy a higher or lower front sight from Earl's Walther Service.

    Don't remove the top cover unless you absolutely have no choice.
    The cover is easy to spring or mis-install, and this will allow the cover to blow off under recoil, scattering internal slide parts far and wide.

    Reliability is usually good with the ammo it was designed to shoot.
    It is NOT a target pistol, it was made for military use.

    Reliability is a factor of the ammo, and whether you clean and lube the gun AND magazines. Some guns and mags have never been cleaned and may be full of dried storage lube.

    The P-38/P1 has a history of throwing brass into your face. This is a "feature" of the odd left hand ejection.

    The trigger pull is heavy and there's nothing to do about it.
    Lighter springs almost always cause reliability problems.

    Quality of the gun is sky-high.
    Walther is the premier European gun maker, and the P-38/P1 was their top-of-the-line model for years.
    As such, these current import P1's are very much a "best buy".
    Last edited by dfariswheel; 09-20-2007 at 07:50 PM.

  3. #3
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    I love my P-1 but can't master it. Fun to shoot (it ejects to the left) and have shot mostly lead bullets (remanufactured) out of it (could this be my problem with accuracy?).
    Just looking...... Membership Chair, Dormont Mt. Lebanon SC, PA. Visit us at : http://www.mdi.net/dml/

  4. #4
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    Is the P1 a C&R eligible pistol? I know I can look it up on the list just wondering if you knew since you own one as well

  5. #5
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    For the money, it is a good pistol.

  6. #6
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    The post-war P38 and P1 is not C&R eligible. No idea why not... another dumb oversight.

    I picked up my post-war P38 a couple months ago. I love it. It is well-made, it functions great, and it is comfortable to fire (for me). I haven't taken it out for serious grouping yet. For the price, they are very much worth it.

  7. #7
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    I have two. Like bones said for the $$$ you cant beat them. I think these pistols are real sleepers. In a few years they wil be very sought after due to their history and their many dates of Mfg. as well ar different markings.

    They also shoot extermely well.
    I never met a gun I didn't like!
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by JIMMY C View Post
    I have two. Like bones said for the $$$ you cant beat them. I think these pistols are real sleepers. In a few years they wil be very sought after due to their history and their many dates of Mfg. as well ar different markings.

    They also shoot extermely well.

    I agree with Jimmy C except for the last part! Went through three or four before I finally got a good shooter. That one is a keeper now, didn't even have to adjust the sights. Only shoot 115/124 FMJ non +Ps through them.

    Of course, YMMV & you could get a good one right off the bat. When the imports eventually dry up, it'll be interesting to see where prices go on a 9mm Walther DA pistol.

  9. #9
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    I love mine it is accurate and reliable. Got the original box, two mags, and holster with it for $269.00...for a Walther! It would be very hard to beat the value in these guns. You can't even get a Kel-tec for that in many places.

  10. #10
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    I thought the reason the P1 was upgraded with the hexpin in the frame and the fat slide was to indeed stand up to heavier loads. The Germans like to shoot their pistols a lot and these upgrades were definate improvements. I shoot mine with Winchester white box and the pistol is spot on at 25 yards with this load. I was actually surprised by how accurate it was. These are really quality pistols.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails My P1 LS.jpg   My P1 RS.jpg  

  11. #11
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    I think there are differences in the firing pins, the P-38 has a flat firing, the P-1's is
    rounded, they do not interchange. Also you get the .22 conversion unit for the P-1.
    I spoke to Earl's Walther Service a few years ago about getting a conversion unit for my
    P-38, he said it will not fit due to changes in the P-1's frame-the hex pins(?).

  12. #12
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    I found the P-1 interesting in that for me it is comfortably accurate. Sometime earlier this year, I compared the CZ-82 and the P-1 at the range. While I am definitely not a skilled handgun shooter, the difference was striking as evidenced by the two targets below (about 12 yards). I should probably get another P-1. ;-) -a.


  13. #13
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    i bought a p1 and shot it i did not like it to much it did nothing to me i am used to and love the feel of the steel ww2 german p.38 if you have shoot the ww2 p.38 verse the p1 you will know what i am talking about

  14. #14
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    Default New P1/P38

    I just picked up my first P1 from a shop for $160. It looks to be in pretty good shape. I have a feeling, just from reading here in this post that the slide and barrel are P1, and the frame feels like aluminum (P38), I could be wrong about that though, I've never handled any other P1 or P38. I understand that this id interchangeable and probably not a big deal, but does that make sense?
    It looks like the original serial on the slide was "X"ed out and stamped with the last three of the frame to match. I'll include pics.
    Also, is there any way to narrow down the year of manufacture? This is the first place I looked for information, so I may answer my questions very shortly, but I thought I would throw that out there.

  15. #15
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    ah yes...the P1. My P1 or should I say P38/P1 was made in April, 1958. The slide is marked P38 - I figure that it was probably a left over P38 Slide used to build the P1. It came (as they all did from Century) in the original German GI cardboard box, leather holster, two magazines (marked P1), and the ubiquitious green plastic box with cleaning kit...all for $275 at Gander Mountain.

    It is a good shooter with "standard" 9mm ball (jacketed) ammo. No +P or hollowpoints. Besides - as has been said - it is a real Walther!



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigKahunaFSU View Post
    I just picked up my first P1 from a shop for $160. It looks to be in pretty good shape. I have a feeling, just from reading here in this post that the slide and barrel are P1, and the frame feels like aluminum (P38), I could be wrong about that though, I've never handled any other P1 or P38. I understand that this id interchangeable and probably not a big deal, but does that make sense?
    It looks like the original serial on the slide was "X"ed out and stamped with the last three of the frame to match. I'll include pics.
    Also, is there any way to narrow down the year of manufacture? This is the first place I looked for information, so I may answer my questions very shortly, but I thought I would throw that out there.
    Here's a further resource for ya:
    http://www.p38forum.com/

    They cover p38's and p1's

    Howard

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwo4uscgret View Post
    ah yes...the P1. My P1 or should I say P38/P1 was made in April, 1958. The slide is marked P38 - I figure that it was probably a left over P38 Slide used to build the P1. It came (as they all did from Century) in the original German GI cardboard box, leather holster, two magazines (marked P1), and the ubiquitious green plastic box with cleaning kit...all for $275 at Gander Mountain.

    It is a good shooter with "standard" 9mm ball (jacketed) ammo. No +P or hollowpoints. Besides - as has been said - it is a real Walther!.
    Just a little younger then mine, a 7/59, from Gander as well..

    Howard

  18. #18
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    BigKahunaFSU
    Your gun should have a production date stamped on the right side of the slide.
    This would be in the form of 6/68 for June 1968, as example.
    There will likely be other dates as well, and these will be the dates the gun was inspected or rebuilt.
    If you look up this page to the picture posted by Shyquestor you can see the date produced on his gun, which is 3-64 or March, 1964.

    Your frame is aluminum since with the exception of a limited end-of-production run in the 90's, all post-war P-38 and P1 pistols had aluminum frames.

    cwo4uscgret.
    You probably you have an all P-38.

    After WWII Walther did a slight redesign of the P-38 firing pin and safety and at the same time, changed to an aluminum frame.
    Walther made BOTH the P1 and the P-38, both of which were essentially the same gun, only one marked "P-38" for sales to German police, foreign military and police sales, and commercial sales.
    The "P1" marked guns were for sales to the West German military.
    As it turned out, the police used both P-38 and P1 marked guns.
    The P-38 was sold in the USA right up to the end of production in 1995.

    As these guns were reinspected and reissued, damaged guns were reworked by cannibalizing damaged guns to make up serviceable guns.
    These guns had serial numbers "X-ed" out and renumbered.
    "Usually" since these guns were reworked in batches, they all would have been the same version guns.
    In other words, they'd bring in a batch P1 guns and rework them, then they'd bring in P-38 guns for rework.
    For that reason its most likely that a P1 would have P1 parts, and P-38 marked guns would have P-38 parts.
    Of course, parts could have been mixed and matched, but its most likely your gun is a rebuild all-P-38.

    To recap:
    Both the P-38 and P1 were made after WWII, with the P-38 made up into the 1990's.
    The guns shown in the pictures above have post-war commercial marked P-38 slides,

    All post-war P-38 and P1 guns had aluminum frames.
    (With the exception of some rare steel models made in the 90's)

    With only a few very minor differences later in P1 production, the P-38 and P1 are the same gun only with different stamps.

    Guns were cannibalized during rebuilds with numbers "X-ed" out and re-stamped.

    The purpose of the steel pin in the frame of later P1 pistols was actually a "wear seat" for the locking block.
    It was found that high round count guns were wearing the aluminum frame in the locking ramp and having locking problems, so a steel block was installed in later production guns to give the locking block a steel surface to wear on.
    Last edited by dfariswheel; 10-23-2009 at 10:15 PM.

  19. #19
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    Default thanks...

    cwo4uscgret.
    You probably you have an all P-38.
    DFariswheel - it is an all matching numbered (slide, frame, and barrel) gun except for the P1 marked magazine.

    At some point and time (after 1970 or so) the gun was engraved with a NATO stock number, formerly a federal stock number. When the FSNs were converted to NSNs a two digit code was added to designation country of origin. The NSN on my gun is 1005-12-120-6168. The 1005 means it is a Weapon, Small Arms (10; 05) the 12 means W. Germany, and the 120-6168 is a specific number assigned to the Walther P1/P38.
    Last edited by cwo4uscgret; 10-23-2009 at 11:40 PM.

  20. #20
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    I'm suprised no one has mentioned, don't shoot Remington Green & White box ammo out of your P1. Due to bullet seat depth, casing length, and overall length, Remmington G&W turns the P1 into a jam-o-matic! No problems with other brands
    I Swear On My Life, And My Love Of It, That I Will Never Live For The Sake Of Another Man, Nor Ask Another Man To Live For Mine. - John Galt

  21. #21
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    Man, I think my P1 has the same birthday as yours judging by the date on yours. I bought mine because it felt REALLY good in the hand. I began shooting it and found it to be very nice and easy to hit with. Kinda learned a little bit from it and it helped my M1911 game. Now I'm decent with the 1911 and sometimes struggle with the P1. At 30 yards, and with a spotlight in the snow lighting my shooting, though, I did shoot a pretty pleasing group with mine last year. I like it a lot, especially for the money.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shyquestor View Post
    I love my P-1 but can't master it. Fun to shoot (it ejects to the left) and have shot mostly lead bullets (remanufactured) out of it (could this be my problem with accuracy?).

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by MP517PRCT View Post
    I'm suprised no one has mentioned, don't shoot Remington Green & White box ammo out of your P1. Due to bullet seat depth, casing length, and overall length, Remmington G&W turns the P1 into a jam-o-matic! No problems with other brands
    I second that, WWB 115gr works the best in mine.
    Laugh hard and often.

    Gary

  23. #23
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    Default Reliability

    I don't have my round counter sheet on this computer, but with cheapo remanufactured ammo made on winchester machines, my P-1 has shot over 2500 rounds without a single failure. Of course I perform standard maintenance and cleaning. It was most likely rebuilt 2x with the refurb marking on the frame and the slide is an '84 which is dated after the refurb. There are some locking block marks on the frame, but other than that it is in great shape.

    I consider this pistol to be ultra reliable and very accurate. I don't keep it as my home security pistol because of the lower number of rounds and because of the bulkiness. You can get near new holsters (original) online for 10 if yours is like mine was with a worn out strap.

    This is a great historic pistol with low recoil, in my opinion. It would be perfect as a defense pistol for camping where you can wear a large military holster in my opinion. Easy to use and understand its features.

  24. #24
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    These classics really are a bargain and are now drying up. I ran across this ad for Hunters Lodge circa 1968, $96 new. A Browning Hi-Power was $89. The last retail prices on the commercial Walther P38s when they were available was over a grand...



  25. #25
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    $50 Radoms!!!!!!!!!!:eek:
    I Swear On My Life, And My Love Of It, That I Will Never Live For The Sake Of Another Man, Nor Ask Another Man To Live For Mine. - John Galt

  26. #26
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    Default Walther P1

    Just bought a French P1... How do you determine the date of manufacture?

    Thanks

    Earl

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebh256 View Post
    Just bought a French P1... How do you determine the date of manufacture?

    Thanks

    Earl
    French P1 and West German Berlin police. Interesting.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ebh256 View Post
    Just bought a French P1... How do you determine the date of manufacture?

    Thanks

    Earl
    Send an email with the serial number to the Walther guys.

    http://2289.de.all-biz.info/en/message.php
    Laugh hard and often.

    Gary

  29. #29
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    I agree that P1 is a great pistol for the money. I also agree that once you try steel-frame WWII P38 (the real thing) you might want to have that rather than an alloy frame P1. As to me, I sold my P1 after I got my P38, but a couple of years ago, I decided to look into getting an alloy frame Walther of P38 family. I zeroed on Walther P4 with shorthr barrel, hexagonal cross-pin, decock, rather than safety lever and trimmed hammer for concealed use. I must say that P4 is an extremely comfortable shooter and for what it is, it does well on accuracy. On comparison photo, top one is a WWII (1942) byf P38 (all s/n masked, sorry , bottom one is P4
    Last edited by aeo; 11-02-2009 at 08:49 PM.

  30. #30
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    Default P1-38



    Here's my P38 marked "commercial" pistol, with the hex reinforcing nut. It came with a leather police holster with a broken snap, so I keep it in a flectarn "army" holster.

    Maybe not correct, but until I get around to getting a new leather holster, or buying a P1 that comes with leather and swapping them, which is my plan the P38 will ride in the flectarn. I assume at least a few P38 marked pistols made their way into circulation with the West German Army.

  31. #31
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    YMMV
    I hate to say this, but I have no idea what this means. Could someone enlighten me?

  32. #32
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    The post-war P38 and P1 is not C&R eligible. No idea why not... another dumb oversight.
    They're C&Rs if they were made 50 years before today's date.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by dondone View Post
    I hate to say this, but I have no idea what this means. Could someone enlighten me?
    Yer milage may vary
    Laugh hard and often.

    Gary

  34. #34
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    As an extra coolness factor, it's Megatron man.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by izzytok46 View Post
    As an extra coolness factor, it's Megatron man.
    Wow!

    Are they still available?

  36. #36
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    Oh, my.... Does that scope mounts on top of the slide and flyes into shooter's eye with every shot ?

  37. #37
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    Yer milage may vary
    Thank you, curly1.:D

  38. #38
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    As Curly1 said in his post - send your serial number off and a email to the factory & they will give you the history on your P1. When made, when delivered to the Army, etc. Some good & interesting information!

  39. #39
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    Default Matching Numbers?

    I am a little confused about the questions about matching serial numbers, I purchased a new P-38 from Pasadena (CA) Gun Shop in 1962, and there are no numbers at all on it except the factory serial number on the forward left side of the frame, exactly as shown in one of the pictures. I was advised then that Walther had qualified under some German standard for interchangability, and no selective parts were used. Are the numbers in these discussions added by various users?
    Last edited by Old Steve; 11-04-2009 at 05:28 PM.

  40. #40
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    One thing about my P-1 is that i bought it in 97, was mint made in 87 and was told it was a Ex-Police and that was why they removed the police eblem on Frame and in doing so also removed the first 2 serial numbers and then reparked the Slide!
    Kind of wish they had left the Police Stamp on it!

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Steve View Post
    I am a little confused about the questions about matching serial numbers, I purchased a new P-38 from Pasadena (CA) Gun Shop in 1962, and there are no numbers at all on it except the factory serial number on the forward left side of the frame, exactly as shown in one of the pictures. I was advised then that Walther had qualified under some German standard for interchangability, and no selective parts were used. Are the numbers in these discussions added by various users?
    The guns shown above are German police and military issue guns. They had numbers on the slide, frame, barrel, and usually the locking block.

    "As I recall" (note the qualifier) commercial P-38's back when yours was imported had only the frame number.
    I had a P-38 commercial with the limited production bright blue finish. I seem to remember it only had the frame number.

  42. #42
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    Dfariswheel, I've found this thread about ther P38 very interesting, the only thing I dont understand is your phrase:
    "Don't remove the top cover unless you absolutely have no choice.
    The cover is easy to spring or mis-install, and this will allow the cover to blow off under recoil, scattering internal slide parts far and wide."
    Is this top cover the meatl strip that runs alongside the slide??
    I've got a very nice ac43 in perfect condition,pics below=
    One last thing, some ten yrs ago I saw a very special P1, it was an original kit with a factory silencer and the frame had a factory installed slide stop that was used when the silencer was installed, very interesting piece, but the guy was asking US$ 5,000 and I thought it was much more than I could spend-




  43. #43
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    Raul it is the part that covers the loaded cartridge indicater.
    Laugh hard and often.

    Gary

  44. #44
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    Dfariswheel, I've found this thread about ther P38 very interesting, the only thing I dont understand is your phrase:
    "Don't remove the top cover unless you absolutely have no choice.
    Raul, the "top cover" is the flat sheet metal piece on the top of the slide that's inserted into the rear sight. It is held in place by two spring fingers and can blow off anyway, whether you've messed with it or not.

  45. #45
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    Tks for the info guys

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