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Discussion Starter #1
According to that monster Walter Book I have, 1999 was the last Year of Production, as they came out with that Plastic Hammerless Toy that Year. Knowing that the P.88 was the last real Walther, I would like to know the very last year, I read somewhere else it was before 1999? I also recall in a 1984 Gun Magazine seeing the Pistol Previewed 4 Year's before it came out. It is sad in my Opinion they stopped making this fine Pistol to make a toy!(never have been with the Glock Clones Crowd) Even Sadder is the fact that James Bond never carried one!!!:(
 

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If I recall correctly, Walther discontinued the full-sized P88 in 1994. Sales were disappointing; because of the high price attached to the gun, no military or police contracts of any substance were ever received, which also hastened its decline.

In "The Walther Handgun Story," Gene Gangarosa Jr. reported that Walther produced about 10,000 pistols before production halted. The company then redesigned the P88 and called it the P88 Compact, producing that model for another five years before coming out with the P99.
 

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I believe it was 1991 or 1992. Production of the P88 ceased before production of the P88C started, and I believe the P88C was introduced in 1992.
 

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Interesting. Production ceased for the P88, apparently, depending on which source you either check or believe. At least two online sources that I just checked indicated that production ended in 1996, which contradicts the 1994 date from another source and also is at odds with parebellum's observations of 1991 or 1992. It's all quite curious.

I'll poke around a bit more and see what I can turn up, if anything, that's definitive ... but at the moment, your guess is as good as the next guy's.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guy's, Would like to know just for the Knowledge. What was the first year? 1988 right??? Paul
 

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Well sir, it again depends on who you ask or where you look; the sources and books and reference sites seem to vary wildly, which is odd given the relative young age of the gun and its wide following as one of the so-called Super-nines and/or Wonder-nines. You also would think that the P88 was developed in 1988, but ...

According to Dieter Marschall's "Walther Pistols Models 1 Through P99," the P88 was introduced in January of 1987 and was produced until 1992. The P88C was introduced in December of 1992 and continues today. If you poke around online, you'll find at least three other competing dates, which is ... curious.

You might want to send a note to the Walther folks and see if they have anything to say on the matter. That's one horse's mouth, at least, that I would tend to believe. :)
 

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There is not much profit in trying to pin down too precisely the dates of earliest and latest "production". First there is the problem of definition: "introduction" and "production" are not the same thing, nor are "production" and "assembly" the same thing. Walther had a practice of going from a prototype series to small production runs to serial production. Which one are we talking about? "Introduction" (meaning unveiling at IWA, SHOT or NSGAW shows or write-ups in gun magazines) could occur variously at any point. Most manufacturers also follow a practice of making "clean-up" assembly of discontinued models by using up the spare parts inventory, often much later; this likewise could be considered "production".

One also should not expect too much from emailing Walther in Germany. The young clerks who answer these inquiries do not have the benefit of much institutional memory, a lot of which was lost after the Umarex acquisition in 1993. For example, people are no longer there who can personally recall the precise division of labor between Manurhin and Walther in the Ulm-marked PP-series pistols, so there is no point in asking them if you want an authoritative answer. They also can't figure out why some Walthers did not go through the Ulm proofhouse (though all were indeed proofed).

This is further complicated by conflicting information from the published authorities, including the redoubtable Mr. Marschall (for whom I have very high regard, as he worked largely from primary sources), who are occasionally just plain wrong on their facts.

For example, pertinent to this thread, Marschall writes that the experimental V ("versuchs")-series of P88s (V1170-1549) was made in Oct. 1986, and the "pre-production" series (s/n 881226-881390) in December 1986. Those dates are clearly incorrect. Photographs of one versuchs gun, V1195, was published five years earlier in the 1981 edition of Guillaume Tell, and the first preproduction P88 (marked "P88"), s/n 8811252, arrived in the United States in July 1982. A few months later seven more were imported for testing and evaluation by police departments and the Secret Service. In August 1984 30 P88s (also in the s/n 881-series) were submitted to the XM9 pistol trials at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Of these 30, 25 became the property of the U.S. Government; at least one is (or was) on display at the Smithsonian.

The first "commercial" P88s to be exported to the USA were received in May 1987, the last ones in June 1992. The first P88Cs (not really a compact version, but a completely different gun, as few parts were interchangeable with the standard P88) reached the US market in May 1992, though it had been displayed at IWA the year before. Presumably the P88C continued to be available from Walther (whether "manufactured" or simply assembled) for some while after the P99 (first called the HLP, then Modell M) came onstream in the autumn of 1996. The P88C was still being shown at the SHOT Show in 2000.

There, FWIW. No doubt this will add to the confusion.

M
 

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FYI - P88 & Compact

December 1, 1992 price list form Interarms shows~

Distributor price at $720, Dealer at $900, Retail at $1,200.

P5 was listed at $754.00; $943; $1257.00

Kind of interesting
 

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Of course. The P5 was a better gun.

M
Have to say that I'm hard-pressed to argue Mike's point. My favorite all-time range gun is the P5; it is a flawless performer, time and again, in all sorts of weather, with all varieties of ammo, year after year. I take it on virtually every range trip that I make, and I generally make four or five a month thoughout the year. The only time I don't think about shooting the P5 at the range, in fact, is when I have the P88C in my hands. I find it to be an equally flawless performer, time and again, in all sorts of weather, with all varieties of ammo, year after year. It is a joy to shot, time and again.

Truth be told, I wouldn't want to be without either one.

I could get by without a P99 (much as I like it), a P99C (much as I like it), the P1 and P4 that I often take to the range (much as I like them both). I find them all to be fun to shoot and wonderfully reliable. But I'd give them all up for the P5. I just wouldn't want to have to make the case to give up the P88C as well.
 

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Dieter

Mike

your comments on dieter were interesting, I had the privilege to correspond with him before he wrote his book on East German Weapons . a little background I worked for the bundesweher in 1990-1991 as a private contractor for a un-named three letter Gov't agency. I had access to most of the weapons/ammo storage facilties/depots, I saw thousands of NVA weapons plus captured WW2 rifles and pistols.

I found dieter to be pompus, former bank managers usually are, he refused to acknowledge numerous comments and experience from a variety of individuals, including myself. As he was the expert!, one contributor was a collector who as a young man liberated the Walther factory, deiter discounted this mans memory.

yes he wrote several books on the subject at hand, but I wouldn't use them as anything but reference. In college I was trained to use a variety of sources and not rely on one

yes I am new here but I have been collecting (not acummulating) Wathers rifles and pistols for over 30 years. I find the info you have provided to be first class

sprat
 

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Discussion Starter #13
How could the P.5 which was just an improved P.38 be better than the P.88??????
 

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How could the P.5 which was just an improved P.38 be better than the P.88??????
Awww, you know how to rattle my cage, doncha?

The P5 was a THOROUGHLY developed and de-bugged design that passed the most stringest and demanding tests that the German police could devise, and was adopted for service (along with the SIG P6 and H&K P7). It was produced in the tens of thousands, including about 40,000 for the Dutch police alone, and other thousands more for various other countries, and has stood the test of time. No serious weaknesses ever showed up, and the performance of the gun has been exemplary. I have NEVER seen one that suffered a major failure, and I have been in a position to observe a great many.

The P5C, in turn, emerged as the winner of a very demanding and strenuous British MoD competition to select a compact 9mm pistol for its special forces. Nobody except Germans can critically test a gun like the Brits, and unlike the Germans, the Brits did not (at least then) suffer from the NIH Factor, and were not bashful about accepting a foreign gun-- as the Lee-Enfield, Browning Hi-Power and FAL attest.

Both the P5 and P5C shoot well and are utterly reliable.

Now: as to the P88. Who adopted it? Nobody. Whose tests did it ever pass? Nobody's. The XM9 version, arguably the best P88 ever made, was eliminated midway in the Aberdeen trials. Structural problems. It never again was subjected to any rigorous trial, so we really don't know what kind of endurance can be expected, especially under adverse conditions.

Because of commercial pressure to turn the investment into income, Walther was continuously changing the design on the fly. It's difficult to find two P88s that are exactly alike. When it was discontinued, it was still only a partially developed design. That is not exactly reassuring.

Total production of both standard and compact versions was probably under 15,000, certainly under 20. The structural problems were never completely cured; there were numerous frame cracks in standard guns in the 2-4,000 s/n range; they occurred where the magazine catch had been changed from the XM9 version. When confronted, Walther balked at guaranteeing the gun for more than 5,000 rounds. They claimed the P88C would exceed that, but who knows?

Don't get me wrong: I like the P88. It's an elegant gun. A gun for a gentleman. But it ain't a P5 -- which is a gun for serious business.

M
 

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As a former CZ guy f and CZ forum.com I knew CZs in and out for 35 years.

When I turned 50, I decide that the only real interest I had in another brand would be Walther, but I also have a few XDS pistols.

I lways like to check in here and learn from the Old Hands on this forum.

When calling a fiancé comoany the other day , a customer service guy asked me what I did.

I told them that I was in LE and Corporate Secuty for most of my career, and ten ran what was the veery first BLue lives Matter mission to S.africa in the late 80-s and 90s.
because when 500 cops of all races were getting killed each year, someone had to speak out and lend support. By did I get involved, and not as a racist or ANC supporter.

17 years of Project Safestar alsi got me to be quite the CZ75 fan and CZF was born.

Basically, I'd known about the P-38 in SA POLICE service but as one who carried
aPolice Special 92-FS, was really only interested in their Z-88 or the Cee-Zeds.

Well, you get to know weaponry and things blossom/
So, I told him that as of today, I'm a Walther Colector, but have had to sell most of my old collection to be debt free and move back to Idaho.

However, I really love the Walther Forum guys,and find them to be very keen on anything Walther has ever made. I appreciate people know their guns.

He asked abut CZs and we talked for almost an hour, but in the end I think he will be buying a PPQ 9mm as his first handgun")
Forum member P88 is an hour South of me and even if he doesn't buy my Stainless PPK/s when we meet. I hope he brings a P88 or two for me to fondle.

The last one was 1990 and I think a P5C for $1,500. Three times the price of then new 92FS that I was buying in Oregon City.

[email protected]

[email protected] if any of you guys want to discuss guns.

https://kev-rees.imgbb.com/
 
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