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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I would like to know if anybody here had - have heard of - problems with P5 or P5C.

I know that the P38 which pionniered the design is notorious for frame and slide breaks. As a matter of fact, Walther did reinforce it. I know too, that the "Pflichtenheft Faustfeuerwaffen" (handgun specifications) published in 1975 - on which the P5, P6 and P7 were based - required a mininum 10'000 rounds endurance. I read also that some german police did fire more than 20'000 rounds in P5s without any problem.

So what's your experience?
 

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Hello Laurent,

Two problems that I have heard of. Somebody here reported a problem with the decocker. Nothing much as far as I remember.

And I'd like to report that if care is not taken when removing/replacing the recoil springs, the frame can be damaged. Can't let the pin slip and hit the frame.

Yep, I think that's it. BTW, I'm not even close to 10k rounds. But Mr. Reichert did mention to me that a police department in Germany had installed an additional reinforcing pin in the frame to enable constant use of +P ammo.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi Jehza,

"additional reinforcing pin"... sounds interesting. Do you know where? On the frame?

Hope that Mr Reichert will post too.

Thank you
 

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He might, but he has his own forum to take care of. This is what he said;

"I have a friend who is Dept. armorer for a German PD. They went thru all their P5's and installed a steel pin into the frames to stop the 'battering' that was taking place.

I have a copy of their drawings.

Orvel L. Reichert"

The pin is adjacent to the existing pin on the P5. I am under the impression that they were using either Hirtenberger or the Geco BAT.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you Jehzsa,

I'll pray that he sees this post and just show us the drawings
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hello alll,

Got an friendly answer from Mr Reichert. He sent me a picture figuring a modified P5 frame along an original one.

The mod consists in drilling 2 (two) vertical holes in both frame rails, just in front of the recoil springs. Two pins, about 3 mm (.12) in diameter, are then inserted. They appear flush with the rails and, oddly, present a half moon cut at the back.

My opinion: these two pins reinforce the place where the locking block batter the frame on opening - on the picture, the anodization of the unmodified frame is worn on both rails in a triangular shape, the same on my own Ulm P38. The half moon cut, with its step at the back is more conjectural, maybe a mean to supplement the stop of the recoil springs?

I hope this doesn't sound to technical and abstract, as english is not my language.
 

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*Mildly OT but pertinent*

Laurent,
First, Your English is excellent - no worries!
Secondly, Many Thanks for sharing your interesting thoughts and conversations - which goes to everyone else here as well!
b-
 

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Hello Laurent,

Anyone who has "played" with the rec spring setup(like me, for example) while trying to change them, knows that they can slip and damage the frame(like almost me, for example).

The original reinforcing pin on the P5, if I'm not wrong which I might very well be, prevents damage to frame in its rearward movement. The additional pin would prevent damage to the frame during the forward movement of the slide while going into battery. Too much forward pressure can ruin that delicate area where the rec spring pin rests. I believe that is one of the reasons why x-power rec springs are available here in the US only 2 lbs. above standard.

It is also one one the reasons I hard chromed mine. Seeking added strength. It is also one of the reasons I stick to Geco 124gr. FMJ. Unless I'm in the mood for NGA Sentry or the RBCD round.
And until I find a cartload of Geco BAT.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank you for the kind words,

Jehzsa, the way I understand it - I can be wrong too - is that the hexagonal reinforcement pin that Walther put on the P38 during the 70s and from the very beginning on the P5 protects the frame both ways. As the barrel recoils, the locking block slides on the pin before unlocking. As the barrel goes back to battery, the locking block slides up on it and locks.

The 2 pins that german police armourers put on the rails (one on each rail) act as hardened surfaces to prevent the battering by the locking block as it reaches its lowest position. For me, the halfmoon cut that seems to create a step on the back of the pins (on the pic) might be a mean to retain the recoil springs... My these.

Indeed, Jehz., I didn't know that it was possible to hard chrome aluminium...
 

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Laurent,

I like your explanation better than mine.


And btw, I would hard chrome plastic if it could be done.
One of the reasons I sold my HK USP.

BTW, what are you doing staying up this late? You're not at the office working, are you?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Hello Jehzsa,

Indeed, I was at work... (time was 6-7 pm here in Switzerland), waiting that my paper was on page - I'm an editor in a daily newspaper.
 
 


Yesterday evening, I still had enough time - at home! - to put my nose in Gene Gangarosa "Walther Handguns". In the chapter on the Ulm P38, he explains that the hexagonal pin was introduced to prevent battering of the frame on recoil. So I stripped my "pre-pin" P38 (1967): the metal (alu) on the step that force the locking block up as it returns on battery is worn and rounded. It is at the exact place where the hexa pin is inserted on late P38 and P5. So I feel Gangarosa is right but a little vague.

About the german police mod on P5 (2 vertical pins on the rails), I was wrong too. By comparing Mr. Reichert's pic and my P38 frame (very similar to the P5's), it appears that the 2 pins are at the exact place where the recoil spring's tips stop. So the main and only goal of the mod seems to retain the springs strongly.

As my "quest for a P5C" is about to end - I will post about - I will also compare on the "right" frame...
 

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Hello Laurent,

Lawyer here. Enjoying some refreshing downtime. Glad to know your P5c is on the way.

Here's a theory. Before the hexagonal pin was introduced in P38s(P1s?) on or about December 1979(?), pre-1970s ammo loads were on the mild side on average. As soon as the 70s hit the scene ammo loads start getting hotter. This results in an increase in the battering of frames, especially alloy frames.
Consequently, measures are taken to reduce that effect. Voila! The hexagonal pin. And after hotter loads come along, then additional measures like the reinforcement stated appear.

I seriously doubt that in today's world, a rec spring setup like the P5s would suffice.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hello,

Another theory, that I read in a german gun mag (Visier) and maybe in some Dieter Marshall's book: as the official german ordnance pistol till about 1990, the P1 (P38) shot Nato rated 9 mm ammo (hot stuff!). But the german army had a very tidious replacement policy: guns were regulary replaced with new orders from Walther and sold on the surplus market.

Came the Palestinian terrorists and the Rote Armee Fraktion. German polices formed special groups ("SEK", "MEK" and the illustrous GSG9). At that time, every thing had to be discovered and tested. These guys also began to shoot much and the good ol' P1 showed its limits. The "Pflichtenheft Faustfeuerwaffen" (Pistol specs) of 1975 took account of this with a specification of minimum 10000 rounds. This Pflichtenheft, later renamed "Technische Richtlinien (TR) Pistolen", was the base for the P5, P6 and P7. As I wrote before, it seems that that some polices did fire more than 20000 rounds in their P5, what sould prove the strenth of the design. (end of my theory)

But your theory is not exotical at all: Walther did reinforce the P38 in two steps. In 1968 or 69 by strengthning the slide and in the middle of the 70s with the hexa pin through the frame. Looks like the army already had some problems during the 60s using the Nato ammo....

The Austrian example is interesting too: in the middle 50s, the Austrian army was armed with a mix of P08, P38, HP35, 1911 A1, revolvers and so on. They decided to standardize on the P38 (steel frame WWII version). These guns served well till their replacement by the Glock 17 in 1980. They were maintained with post-war parts sold by Walther.

The "Quest" is about to end with a P5. More on that next week, I have to finish a paper...
 

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And let's not forget the Baader-Meinhof gang, nor the Tupamaros, nor Red Star. Everybody went to hot loads after these groups appeared.

Between you and me, I don't think I'll ever fire 10,000 rounds in one pistol. Unless of course the gun wasn't mine!
 

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Here are my problems with my P5 #101618 with IA marks:

At the Fort Lauderdale gun show in early 2000, I sold a Smith snub .357 and a customized Colt Officer's Model to a dealer and with the proceeds bought the only P5 I had ever seen for sale.  I had always wanted one since they came out but could not afford one before then.  I believe it was $750 and I thought it was used.

It was in the box with both mags, rod, target, manual, and safety warning, and the box had the "not to be sold in Massachusetts" sticker.  I took it to the indoor range with some hardballs, and just about cried when it misfed one round per mag.  I was sorely disappointed and remember writing to someone that my Nambu Type 14 literally worked better!

But you know, my P5 may have been new (the only mark on it was a scratch on the slide rib) instead of used, and just needed breaking in, because I kept shooting it with better results.  Now it works perfectly with ball, Golden Saber 115, and Rem 147 subsonic HP.  It points naturally for me and conceals easily with a suede IWB holster.

Now that I have less than two months to go before (Lord willing) graduation from police training, I may want to carry this one off-duty.  Anybody know of a decent IWB that enables one-hand reholster?
 
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