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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
New to my meager, but nonetheless growing collection is a first generation Modell 8 - I'm guessing from about 1923-1924... This is a very accurate 6.35mm (25acp) pocket-sized pistol with an enclosed hammer and tiny fixed sights, that are challenging to use for those of us with aging eyes... The magazine holds 8-rounds, and has a large "W" imprinted on the bottom plate. Later variations had the Walther banner on the bottom plate of the magazines. Of note (maybe common to this era?) are the double stamped marks of the crown over N and the "Made in Germany," both enlarged for detail.

For those who do not know, the Modell 8 was the direct predecessor to the PP-series pistols, with many patents debuted that would become standard features on the PP-series, such as the pivoting trigger-guard-slide lock among others. One feature which thankfully did not carry to the PP was the internal extractor (pictured) on the side of the removable breech block. In addition to extracting cartridges, it served to hold the removable breech block in position by springing outward into a slot within the slide. On the later variations the entire system was changed to a fixed breech block and claw-type extractor with plunger and spring similar to the ones found on the PP-series. These early variation 1 extractors are extremely fragile, made of very thin spring steel and were prone to breakage if handled, which led to the complete redesign of the part for the variation 2 Modell 8. The extractor on my pistol was broken when I picked it up, and I learned myself how difficult it is to locate, fit and install a new one without breaking it.

 

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Very nice, AMA; that's a wonderful addition. Every Walther fan should have at least a couple of representative examples of the Modell pistols, IMO. The 4 and 8 are readily available and can be added at a reasonable cost, in most cases. Thanks for sharing your good fortune; looks like a beauty.
 

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That's a real beauty you have there, AoxoMoxoA. Have you fired it? I love how small it is... talk about a pocket pistol with some real elegance about it!

-Pilotsteve
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Have you fired it? I love how small it is... talk about a pocket pistol with some real elegance about it!
Yes, I have fired it, and it's quite the nice little shooter! The fixed sights are very tiny though, so for those of you who sport bi-focals, as do I, you need to find the "sweet spot" of your lens to best see and work with the sights.

For a size comparison, I've placed it atop my '62 PP...

 

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Very Very nice. I have one, S/N 4586xx, that has much less finish than yours but internally is good. It came with a broken extractor also and I got one but have not installed it yet. Any tips or tricks that you could share for installing the extractor?
I have a soft spot in my head for small pistols and would really like to shoot it.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I have one, S/N 4586xx, that has much less finish than yours but internally is good. It came with a broken extractor also and I got one but have not installed it yet. Any tips or tricks that you could share for installing the extractor?
Is there enough of the extractor left that the breech block is still held in place by the spring tension? If so, you can shoot it as is. Being a blowback design, the cartridges will blow out the back of the chamber and come in contact with the ejector which will deflect them out of the ejection port. I shot mine prior to locating the replacement extractor, and probably had 98% of the rounds I shot eject properly, with the occasional FTE. The extractor's function on blowback pistols is primarily for manual extraction of the round.

Regarding installation of the new extractor, I'd be happy to share all i know on the process, but it all depends on which extractor you have. Where did you get it? Is it an original part or a replacement part?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My extractor was missing when I rescued the Walther from the funshow. I got the replacement from here Welcome to Wisner's, obsolete gun parts. about 3 years ago.
If you need I'll send or post a picture and thanks for any help.
So you've had the part for three years and haven't yet shot the gun? If so, we need to take care of that...

Yes, post a photo or two of the part...
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Here is the extractor picture.
From the looks of the submitted picture, it appears that your replacement extractor will likely need to be fitted in order to work with the pistol. When outfits such as Wisners manufacture some of these obsolete gun parts, they make them a tad oversize, as A) it's easier for them, as they do not have to match the exact tolerances of the OEM part, and B) a gunsmith would likely be employed to do the work, and would wish to properly fit it into place. If you're not up to the task of filing the part down a little at a time then trying to flex it into place, then maybe you should ship the whole operation to Tom Heller and let him do it, but if you are of the adventuresome sort as is the case with myself, and are not afraid to try (and perhaps fail), then let's get to work.

The diagram I have put together generally outlines the process. You're going to need some jewelers files, and 800-1000# emery cloth to polish the part when done filing.

The square boss on the side of the extractor fits into the slot in the side of the breech block and interfaces with the slot in the firing pin to limit its forward travel when in place. It may not fit into the slot in the block. If that is the case, you will have to determine where it needs to be filed down, and doing small areas at a time, keep trying to slide it into the square slot until it fits nicely - not too tight, not too sloppy, but can be slid out easily.

The curved portion of the spring is too thick as is, and WILL snap if you try to flex it into place, so material will need to be removed from there as well to make it much more pliable - but not too thin that it will snap when flexed. I needed to take nearly half the thickness off (from the outer side of the curve) before it matched the factory extractor's thickness. With the jeweler's file, uniformly file away just the curved outer portion of the extractor until you have removed about half of the material - again, small increments at a time, checking for uniformity over the entire radius of the curve. See diagram to see the difference between filed and not filed. When the desired dimension is achieved, polish it with the emery cloth until mirror-like, as it will aid in sliding into place during installation.

With the slide clamped into a padded vise, now is a good time to assemble the breech block and carefully study how all the parts work and where they should be. The round boss on the upper portion of the breech block interfaces with a round recess inside the slide. Drop the block straight down, directly over where it needs to be, and take note of its position, as you will need it to be very close when the block starts to drop into position. You will see the curved portion of the extractor, and will get a feeling of how much it needs to flex before it clears the ridge of the slot.

When you're ready to begin, you will need to wedge a small jeweler's slotted screwdriver between the outer curve of the extractor and the side wall of the slide. With a prying motion, use leverage to flex the spring inward, and when you are getting close to it being flush with the ridge of the slot, begin to push the breech block assembly down until the spring finds the slot in the slide beyong the ridge. When you are pressing down, the block will not find the proper position if the round boss isn't aligned with the round recess in the top of the slide. You may have to gently tap it into place with a wooden dowel and rubber hammer for it to fall into place. If the spring portion of the extractor hasn't snapped, and the block has fallen into position, then you have succeeded.

If the steps I outlined above scare the living daylights out of you, and you have beads of sweat running down your forehead just thinking about it, then perhaps you should send the gun and replacement extractor to a competent Walther gunsmith such as Tom Heller, as he's done more than a few of these.

And if this is worthy of a sticky, by all means post it...

 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
A Sticky it is. We've also given it an updated title; if you have any thoughts on a more inclusive title for the thread, now's the time to holler.
Maybe add "Variation 1," as the extractor issue and repair only apply to the first variation Modell 8s with removable breech block and internal extractor.

Because of the frail extractor, Walther changed to a fixed breech block and external extractor on the second variation pistols, similar to the subsequent PP-series.
 

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I would be inclined to a different approach. The curved middle section is already weak and is the most stressed-- why thin it down? I would rather get the clearance needed by trimming down the seating flats at the back end.

Just a thought... I don't have the gun in front of me, or even own one.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The curved middle section is already weak and is the most stressed-- why thin it down? I would rather get the clearance needed by trimming down the seating flats at the back end.
Upon purchasing the replacement part from Jack First, I was told that it would likely need to be fitted, and was not "drop in ready." I ordered one and upon receipt I found that I would need to file the square boss so that it would fit into a side slot on the breech block. My gut feeling at the time was that the curved portion of the new part was quite beefy - especially when compared to the Walther original part (broken part pictured below) that was quite thin - maybe 1/3 the width of the replacement part. I decided to go forward and try to install it as is. At the point when I flexed it inward it immediately snapped. I called Jack First and told them what had happend and they offered to send me another at n/c, with the understanding that if I broke the second one, it was on me. I expressed my gratitude for the fine service and awaited delivery of the second extractor.

While I waited, I conferred over the telephone with two Walther gunsmiths whose names appear prominently and often in these forums, as well as with a local gunsmith in person, and it was agreed upon by all that the curved section needed to be thinned considerably in order to have the amount of flex needed to install.

As I previously posted, I filed the new one until it matched the thickness of the original Walther part, and with a bit of sweat, she popped into place without incident.

Regarding trimming down the seating flats, that's not an option as that would introduce unnecessary play into the lateral fit of the breech block.

 

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..

As I previously posted, I filed the new one until it matched the thickness of the original Walther part, and with a bit of sweat, she popped into place without incident.

Regarding trimming down the seating flats, that's not an option as that would introduce unnecessary play into the lateral fit of the breech block.
That's fair. It was only a thought on my part, and without benefit of hands-on experience with the Model 8.

I can see why the design was changed.

M
 
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