By "shopping around"I, do you mean buying from a local source to see what you are getting before you plunk down your money? i strongly recommend it; it's worth paying more for the advantage of inspecting the gun first and having the freedom to walk away without cost and look elsewhere if it does not meet your expectations.I there anything I should watch for when I shop around? Any problems I should be aware of or any weak-points to check?
But do keep in mind that the German police-issued P5s that are readily available on the market at good prices were often carried and seldom fired. Uncut has pointed out more than once on this forum that German police officers were seldom required to fire their weapons.
But do keep in mind that the German police-issued P5s that are readily available on the market at good prices were often carried and seldom fired. Uncut has pointed out more than once on this forum that German police officers were seldom required to fire their weapons. QUOTE]
With all respect to you and Uncut, I don't think one can rely on that. Over the past 25 years I have field-stripped and inspected many hundreds of ex-German police P.38 and PP pistols. Their internal (and external) condition varied widely. One thing was clear, as least with 9mm Para: the Germans were not using "target-load" ammunition for practice. While many of the P.38s were cream puffs, many others had been shot extensively and their innards exhibited hard peening on the locking and impact surfaces. A few had been fired so much with heavy loads that the barrel liners had broken loose and were drifting out the muzzle. A lot of the earlier "thin-slide" P.38s had had their slides replaced (you could tell from the anachronistic s/n) likely due to cracking at the locking lug recesses; this happens only after considerable shooting. Unlike most of the Bundeswehr P.38s now being marketed, the ex-police guns were rarely refinished.
However, a large percentage of the ex-police PPs had been refinished (and perhaps rebuilt) at least once. A reblue can hide a multitude of sins.
In the end, each gun is an individual, and should be inspected as such.
No arguments from me. I'll say it again: The best way to get a handle on the gun you want to buy is to hold it, look at it, examine it, field-strip it, shoot it, study it, spend some time with it, shoot it some more. If it's the one, then buy it. If it's not, then let it go and find another. This perfect world has become increasingly difficult to maintain, however, what with all the laws and range restrictions and lack of common sense that has gone into the industry during the past 40 years or more; sometimes a leap of faith is the only way to get the job done. I'm less concerned about the condition of the P5 than I am about some of the P38s that are kicking around, however. The SOG-purchased P5 I obtained through a local dealer was immaculate on the inside, just as I had ordered it (and made very clear that it would go right back were it not in excellent shooting condition). Even the springs were in robust shape.In the end, each gun is an individual, and should be inspected as such.