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Old 04-17-2019, 09:13 AM   #1
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Question Modernizing the P88 -- What would you improve?

Curious what the fellow P88 community would improve or modernize on the P88? I realize that this classic should be preserved, but from a durability standpoint, what exactly would you like?


I only ask this because I read a ton about potential problems that have sprung up on these pistols before Walther released the P88C. The full size is such an elegant design, I just wish I could shoot it more without feeling any guilt. Mine is NIB.


I recently won a GB bid for a P88 parts kit (everything minus frame), and Numrich sells blank frames for <$20. I've had ideas about steel frame rail inserts, full length dust cover (like the XM9), maybe even an accessory rail, or a smaller rear backstrap. Would be a fun build and a fun shooter.


In any regard, would love to hear any input on this. Cheers!

Last edited by romeo_alpha01; 04-17-2019 at 10:53 AM. Reason: Mispelled Title
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:06 AM   #2
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Have you handled both?
Question; When is a compact handgun NOT a compact handgun? Answer; When it's a P88C.


The P88C APPEARS significantly smaller in images, due to the full length dust cover. In reality, the "compact" (faux-compact?) has a barrel that's a whopping .2" shorter then the P88.


This tidbit from Wiki sums it up......"The standard P88 was heavily criticised for being bulky, heavy and expensive; the Compact solved none of these issues.".


I'm a hardcore P5 collector (seven at this time), even own a Lang, yet I don't own a P5C. Don't like the smaller grip size, shorter trigger reach, even the "look" is off to my eye (unbalanced grip longer then barrel/slide overhang look).


I have ONE compact in my collection, the P88C. Because it's NOT compact.
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Old 04-17-2019, 11:33 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeutschlandUberAlles View Post
Have you handled both?
Question; When is a compact handgun NOT a compact handgun? Answer; When it's a P88C.


The P88C APPEARS significantly smaller in images, due to the full length dust cover. In reality, the "compact" (faux-compact?) has a barrel that's a whopping .2" shorter then the P88.


I'm a hardcore P5 collector (seven at this time), even own a Lang, yet I don't own a P5C. Don't like the smaller grip size, shorter trigger reach, even the "look" is off to my eye (unbalanced grip longer then barrel/slide overhang look).


This tidbit from Wiki sums it up......"The standard P88 was heavily criticised for being bulky, heavy and expensive; the Compact solved none of these issues.".

I have ONE compact in my collection, the P88C. Because it's NOT compact.



It's pretty difficult to come by older handguns in CA, so I've only experience with holding the P88, not the Compact.


The criticisms I've read about here in regards to the P88 are its girthy grip, and in some cases, stress fracturing around the magazine release (and frame rails on the XM9).


I for one would be interested to see if anyone had any idea how to possibly reinforce these spots, while still preserving the essence of the pistol. I wouldn't mind buying a bunch of spare frame blanks and mocking up things to it just to imagine what it would be like. I would essentially have parts for a home build (granted CA no longer allows it, so it'll wait until I move).


And to answer your question: A USP Compact isn't really all that compact. It's nearly as large as a P7M13.

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Old 08-18-2019, 12:16 AM   #4
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it would be a PPQ!
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:35 AM   #5
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it would be a PPQ!

Already have the Q5 SF, still aint a P88!
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Old 11-06-2019, 11:14 PM   #6
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Romeo_Alpha01 what makes the P88 in your experience “better”, I was contemplation the Q5-SF but perhaps I rather stay with my P88 fixation/collection_urge....any insight welcome.
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Old 11-07-2019, 09:29 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by ameridap View Post
Romeo_Alpha01 what makes the P88 in your experience ďbetterĒ, I was contemplation the Q5-SF but perhaps I rather stay with my P88 fixation/collection_urge....any insight welcome.
I think my bias towards the P88 is a bit subjective but Iíll try to explain. My bias comes from collecting pistols with some sort of technological or historical significance. I bought the P88 and Q5 SF within a month of one another. Was the perfect combo to complete lineage to the P99.

So with the P88, I prefer it simply to being Walthers last hurrah to old world craftsmanship. While it was never perfected and considered to many as a commercial flop for Walther, you canít deny its accuracy for being a common browning tilting action pistol. Itís compared secondly to the Sig P-210 which was also intended to be a service weapon. Aside from the P7, the P88 was one of the first fully ambi pistols for commercial market, although the controls were clunky.

Fast forward to the Q5 SF. Thereís no denying itís an accurate performer here as well. Ambi slide stop, good machine work, etc. This was accomplished with machinery and good marketing.

I feel the P88 is just as accurate in a lighter package, and overall more innovative for its time. It has Walthers old world pedigree. Both pistols to me, while awesome, weíre both in some ways cobbled together to get into market. The genesis of the Q5 is almost parallel to the P88, plagued with small mechanical issues, and slow sales. The Q5 SF didnít pioneer anything new or draw any sort of inspirational breakthrough in pistol technology either.

Walther, no doubt makes quality pistols. Their niche has always been tailored to shooters who demand uncompromising accuracy. I donít think Walthers new products, including the Q5 SF are anything inspirational anymore. With all the new doodads and go fast design, it doesnít seem like a Walther anymore. Iím in my early 30s and I always thought Walthers were suited for distinguished shooters. Just seems now Walther is the hipster you see with a business suit, minus the tie, but wearing sneakers and a fitted hat.

The P88 will always be that however, even if it was Walthers incomplete answer to the budget friendly Beretta 92 series. It led us to the P99, and then to the PPQ. The sillouette of a P88 is elegant and classic, while still relevant in todayís market of gun culture 2.0.

Sorry for the long ramble, but I hope somewhere in there I gave you an honest answer!
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Old 11-07-2019, 11:46 AM   #8
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To clarify, the P88c is the last all-metal design out of Ulm, not the P88. I like my P88c, a lot, and just like a P5, you will certainly be the only one at the range shooting one.
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Old 11-13-2019, 09:44 PM   #9
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Thanks Romeo, indeed my thoughts are quite similar to yours and although as beginner for only 3 years now my cruisade started with a Tavor-IDF, PS-90 and Springfield-TRP I got soon attracted to the historical and timeless PP series at first (mainly the 60-80s generation) based on my childhood JB upbringing but the more I read books, studied and reviewed (including you and all the other great guys on this forum) I came to the conclusion that the P88 series is just the best of the best FOR ME.....nothing beats all metal, the feel, solid, powerful, balanced and moreover great looking. Understanding the love of others for P5 and P38 and the reasons why, for me the P88 embodies the PHD level in Walther gunmaking. Having said that you made me complete my mission 2 days ago and I was fortunate to add a Competition to my collection. Thanks and Regards!

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Old 11-14-2019, 06:00 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ameridap View Post
Thanks Romeo, indeed my thoughts are quite similar to yours and although as beginner for only 3 years now my cruisade started with a Tavor-IDF, PS-90 and Springfield-TRP I got soon attracted to the historical and timeless PP series at first (mainly the 60-80s generation) based on my childhood JB upbringing but the more I read books, studied and reviewed (including you and all the other great guys on this forum) I came to the conclusion that the P88 series is just the best of the best FOR ME.....nothing beats all metal, the feel, solid, powerful, balanced and moreover great looking. Understanding the love of others for P5 and P38 and the reasons why, for me the P88 embodies the PHD level in Walther gunmaking. Having said that you made me complete my mission 2 days ago and I was fortunate to add a Competition to my collection. Thanks and Regards!
Glad you are enjoying it. Nothing could describe how elated I was when I bought my P88. Of the 4 Walthers I own (P99, P88, Q5 SF, and P5C), the P88 gave me the tingles when I finally found it, which is not an easy task where I live. When I found another one a month later, I had to buy that one too and eventually gift it to a good friend who also share the same taste. The only other time I ever felt this way was when I found a P7M13 and Mark 23 within a month of each other.

Every time I hold the P88, it really reminds me of the more of Walther in its hay-day. Itís almost like a stress reliever because when I look at Waltherís current offerings with the Liberace-style design queues, itís really cringe worthy. I feel like a distinguished gentleman when I shoot it. Really classy piece!

When I defect from the communist west I hope I can follow in your shoes and also have a P88 champion, along with finally being a free citizen. Cheers and congrats again!
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