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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, guys. First time poster, so hoping to pick up a bit of advice from those in the know.

I have a 1977 production Walther P1 that's beginning to show an occasional issue. After about four or five rounds, the manual safety will begin to "walk" downwards under recoil. At that point, there's a chance that continued shots will cause the gun to decock itself under recoil. This also produces the nasty effect of having the slide come forward with the manual lever down, which delivers an irritating slap to the top of my thumb if I shoot with my usual high grip. Ammo used was commercially reloaded 125gr fodder, which is loaded a little less hot than factory. (Incidentally, I'll see if it performs similarly with 115gr).

So the question is, what's the issue here? Cases extract reliably, so it seems like the extractor spring is doing its job. I would guess, then, that the detent spring for the safety lever itself is weak?

If so, do I need to take apart the top cover (a dreaded task, it seems) to get to the spring? Alternately, if I ordered a complete slide assembly, would that also take care of the issue? Are slides generally considered to be a drop-in part on the P1 that can be swapped around multiple guns? Is this a fairly commonly encountered problem, or am I just lucky? :rolleyes:

Thanks for the help!
 

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The extractor has nothing to do with it, but you do have to remove the top cover to get the safety out.

Generally speaking, complete slides will fit mechanically but are seldom functionally interchangeable; you'll just generate a different set of problems.

My prediction is that, in the end, it will be cheaper to send the gun to Mike McClellan at M&M Gunsmithing and let him fix it.

M
 

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My prediction is that, in the end, it will be cheaper to send the gun to Mike McClellan at M&M Gunsmithing and let him fix it.

M
I don't know what that would cost with shipping, parts, and labor, might be worth it... but consider this:
You can buy another P1 for around $330+shipping still available from some vendors (Widener's)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Anyone else with any experience on this?

My issue with the P1 is that it's nice for a C&R handgun. So if we're stacking it up against, say CZ-52s or Nagant revolvers, it's a great value. However, I have a lot of other autoloaders that I like shooting quite a bit more, so I'm really just looking to get this thing back up to being functional.

That, and (especially in California), the hassle of readying a handgun for shipping, sending it to an out-of-state gunsmith, and waiting for the fix + parts and labor is going to be more time and money than I want to deal with on a gun that I see as being worth maybe $400, tops.

If I'm right, the repair costs of me doing it myself seem to be about $35 if I get a new safety plunger spring and a new top cover in case I bend or deform the one that's on there. Does that seem to be a correct assessment?
 

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It might be that the metal pin in the safety lever is worn. This pin holds the lever in the right position. A small spring presses this pin upwards. Breaking of that spring would result in the problem that you experienced.

Replacing the safety lever is very easy. There are very good descriptions about the removal of the top cover, firing pin and eventually the safety lever.

Good luck!

Regards,
Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey, Dennis: thank you for the reply.

Just to confirm, are you suggesting that the main safety lever itself should be replaced in addition to the plunger spring, or are you suggesting a replacement of the plunger itself, too?
 

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Anyone else with any experience on this?

My issue with the P1 is that it's nice for a C&R handgun. So if we're stacking it up against, say CZ-52s or Nagant revolvers, it's a great value. However, I have a lot of other autoloaders that I like shooting quite a bit more, so I'm really just looking to get this thing back up to being functional.

That, and (especially in California), the hassle of readying a handgun for shipping, sending it to an out-of-state gunsmith, and waiting for the fix + parts and labor is going to be more time and money than I want to deal with on a gun that I see as being worth maybe $400, tops.

If I'm right, the repair costs of me doing it myself seem to be about $35 if I get a new safety plunger spring and a new top cover in case I bend or deform the one that's on there. Does that seem to be a correct assessment?
Then take it to a local gunsmith and pay him for his time, expertise and equipment and let him diagnose the problem and fix it correctly. It might be in the safety or it might be in the slide.

At this point you don't know what is causing this malfunction, much less how to fix it. The safety detent plunger and spring are semi-permanently swaged into the safety drum. Do you know how to replace them? You could replace the entire safety, but then you might discover that the safety-- because it is an individually fitted part-- no longer operates as it should, in which event you may create a dangerous condition that did not exist before.

M
 

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It might be that the metal pin in the safety lever is worn. This pin holds the lever in the right position. A small spring presses this pin upwards. Breaking of that spring would result in the problem that you experienced.

Replacing the safety lever is very easy. There are very good descriptions about the removal of the top cover, firing pin and eventually the safety lever.

Good luck!

Regards,
Dennis
I had this problem with my first P38, a WWII CYQ. The Rest Pin & Spring that hold the Safety Lever in the right position were full of dirt. I removed the Cover and all the internal parts then pushed out the Lever and took out the Rest Pin & Spring, cleaned them out and insured it would spring well against the Safety, then reassembled the slide. This also happens with the spring for the Barrel Catch and Extractor Spring - they never seem to get proper cleaning.
 
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