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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked up this Walther P1 recently for what I thought was a decent price. Wish the import mark wasn’t front grip strap, but beggars can’t be choosers. I know a decent amount about WWII Era P.38s, but am a little bit of a novice of the P1s.

Took it apart and all serials match, including locking block. From my understanding this is a “Fat Slide”, non magnetic frame anything else I should know about this? Should be safe to shoot, correct?







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Your P1 has the fat slide and hex pin so you should get a lifetime of shooting out of it.

The only thing I could add is that on the P1 elevation is adjusted by replacing the front sight. There should be a number stamped on one side. Windage is adjusted by replacing the rear sight. The rear sight will either have the notch centered or offset to the left or right. These latter sights will be stamped with an "L" or "R".
 

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“Should be” is potentially dangerous. If you are AT ALL unsure of the condition of the frame, get it to a competent gunsmith who will give it another once-over to make sure it is on the up and up for you. With the locking block setup that it has, all the stresses of firing a cartridge are impinged on that locking block and not so much the frame. So in theory yes, but don’t take what I just said as a blanket statement meaning go make it go bang!

I had a P1 years and years and years ago and it was the same setup as yours there, but it was a Frankenstein monster. Nothing on that puppy matched, I got and fitted parts from the surplus shop down the way from me. Worked like a TOP, it chambered and fed and fired and extracted everything I fed it short of steel cased ammo.

The left hand ejection and the heel-mounted magazine release stumped me and weren’t my thing after all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
I gave it a through inspection and did not see any hairline cracks, chips, etc. I just wanted to make sure their wasn’t anything special about these specific models I wasn’t missing.

I had one previously circa 2013 when some of these were imported and that one shot well. I don’t remember what year the pistol was, but have kicked myself since selling it. I came out as a wash from making a little money on that one and paying a little more for this one ha. Odd thing about that one was it shot well with the P1 mag but it did not like to cycle properly with the post war P.38 labeled mag it came with.


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A few more details about your P1:
This P1 is a former service weapon of the German Bundeswehr, recognizable by the Bw marking (Bundeswehr) on the left side of the frame.
Like all such service weapons, this P1 also has no markings for a proof test of civilian weapons, but instead the acceptance stamp for military weapons (stamp of the "Güteprüfdienst" - quality inspection service) on the right side of the slide and frame.
This P1 was manufactured in December 1979, recognizable by the marking 12/79 on the left side of the slide.
 

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the standard caution of using the "proper" 9mm ammunition in it applies... nothing hot and will last a long time... look into replacing the springs if you encounter any FTF/FTE type issues
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
the standard caution of using the "proper" 9mm ammunition in it applies... nothing hot and will last a long time... look into replacing the springs if you encounter any FTF/FTE type issues
I ran Winchester white box and federal through my previous P1 and didn’t have any issues. I would assume most of these lower target ammos as long as you’re not shooing a +P round? Any specific to avoid?


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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I would avoid shooting +P through a P1. Even if it has the fat slide and hex pin there's no reason to subject it to the extra wear.
Always avoid shooting +P myself, with the exception of my snub which was designed for +P. Like you say, seems unnecessary, especially for just the range.


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Interesting that yours is stamped “Germany” on the slide. I have a similar P1 (dated 6/82) which doesn’t have that marking on it. I assume that’s part of the import mark since at time of manufacture it would have been labeled as being made in West Germany. The slide numbers match the frame so I know it wasn’t replaced after being surplused so I’m curious now why mine doesn’t have the Germany marking.
 

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Interesting that yours is stamped “Germany” on the slide. I have a similar P1 (dated 6/82) which doesn’t have that marking on it. I assume that’s part of the import mark since at time of manufacture it would have been labeled as being made in West Germany. The slide numbers match the frame so I know it wasn’t replaced after being surplused so I’m curious now why mine doesn’t have the Germany marking.
The Germany stamp on the OP’s gun is gilding the lilly by the importer, if I recollect the legal situation correctly. Country-of-origin marks were required on commercially imported guns that didn’t have the country on them within the factory markings since early in the 20th century; that’s why you see the Germany on commercial Lugers, for example. But the importer stampings required since the GCA/FOPA superseded that rule, and since PW have their name on the gun, the Germany is superfluous and usually not found on these.
 

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The Germany stamp on the OP’s gun is gilding the lilly by the importer, if I recollect the legal situation correctly. Country-of-origin marks were required on commercially imported guns that didn’t have the country on them within the factory markings since early in the 20th century; that’s why you see the Germany on commercial Lugers, for example. But the importer stampings required since the GCA/FOPA superseded that rule, and since PW have their name on the gun, the Germany is superfluous and usually not found on these.
Interesting. Thanks for the information. I learn something every time I come to this forum.
 

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A few more details about your P1:
This P1 is a former service weapon of the German Bundeswehr, recognizable by the Bw marking (Bundeswehr) on the left side of the frame.
Like all such service weapons, this P1 also has no markings for a proof test of civilian weapons, but instead the acceptance stamp for military weapons (stamp of the "Güteprüfdienst" - quality inspection service) on the right side of the slide and frame.
This P1 was manufactured in December 1979, recognizable by the marking 12/79 on the left side of the slide.
Interestingly, the P1 shown on Walther P1 9mm Surplus Pistol Review - Firearms News has the serial number of 420670, and 2/80 on slide. Also it doesn't have any rework marks on both sides of frame. So based on the 3 data points:
OP's P1: 422089 on frame, 12/79 on slide, no rework marks.
My P1: 422058 on frame, 12/79 on slide, no rework marks.
above P1: 420670 on frame, 2/80 on slide, no rework marks.
It seems they were all built after 2/80 at least, choosing whatever slides available at that time.
 
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