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Hey guy's. I'm looking to buy a P5 in the near future. I know some about these pistols, but not a whole lot. What should I look for? I know about the reinforcing pin and where its located, but are there any particular years that are more desireable than others?  
 

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Hi,

I hope you get some help from someone with a lot of experience--if such a person hangs out here. It seems a lonely site. I can only say I bought a 1986 P5 that is just flawless in performance and accurate as hell. I've not read anything that would indicate new ones are any worse or better than older models. Mine came with the Nill walnut grips ($150.00) which slightly widens the grip and is to my liking. I love this gun more than my two HK p7's which I'm trying to sell. All the best. Greg
 

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I've had several P5's. The most significant differences are that late production P5's had an adjustable trigger backlash incorporated into the receiver frame-earlier production pistols had a fixed stop in the trigger back. I've noticed at least three different versions of the magazine release; the latest are flatter than the original "shelved" version(s). My understanding is that later production P5's also incorporated some small parts/spring changes to help preclude accidental discharges if the pistol was dropped. I personally saw one very late production P5 whose slide markings were exactly like those on the P5C-larger, more "billboardish." There have been some very subtle changes in hammers and disassembly latches over production as well-the best source for this sort of information is Dieter Marshall's excellent book "Walther Pistols-Models 1 Through P99" which is available at www.carlwalther.com. I have not noticed for all practical purposes any handling or functional differences between early and late models-they're all excellent! Problems, if any, seem to be magazine spring related-I automatically replace mine with Wolff springs, FWIW!

Best, Jon
 

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Well,Walther forums in general, and certainly this P5 forum, are about as dead as a forum can get.  As to the P5 variations, I have a few of the different ones.  I can't really discern any significant difference in quality or function.  The later mag release is probably less likely to be accidentally pressed.  After about 1990 and about serial number 100,000, Walther changed the gun somewhat to make it more resistant to accidental discharge if dropped.  They offered a retrofit to older guns also, and as far as I know there is no marking to indicate if a gun was sent back for the modification.  I have never bothered to try and look at this difference, and wouldn't worry about it myself.  There are reports of P5s being sensitive to some ammo, especially gold dot and 147 grain ammo, perhaps due to excessive OAL.  I haven't had this problem though, so have no idea whether it is limited to certain years.  I am sure the gun was primarily designed to work with NATO spec 124 grain, though, and so my first choice in carry ammo would be 124 grain non +p Federal Tactical or Winchester Ranger T, although I also use the 147 gr. Ranger T with no problem.  I think it might be a little hard on the gun though, long term, so I prefer the 124.

For all the talk of the P7 cult (no offense to anyone), if there is a cult surrounding any 9mm gun of recent manufacture, I think it would have to be either the H&K P9 (which doesn't fit my hand at all), the P88, which is a bit big with a bit of a wide grip and very expensive, and the P5, which I like better than my P7 or Sig 225.

Excellent gun, under appreciated.  Consider replacing mag springs and if you are up to it, recoil springs too.  If the factory grips seem to slim, get some Hogues or spring for the Nills if you want wood.

There are a bunch of German police trade-ins around now, with some at reasonable prices, although I have not looked at any and don't know what kind of shape they are in.  

I hope you find a good one at a good price.  Welcome to the cult.
 

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I've had several Walthers and I consider the P5 the best. I also have a P5c wich is a little bit smaler a a carry gun. Both have fired 5,000 plus and funtioned flawless except some jammings with Federal's Hidrashock usually on the first round of the magazine. I carry it loaded with Glaser ammo.
 
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