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Discussion Starter #1
Picked up a Walther P1 with hex bolt and fat slide, 1975 production (at least marked as such on the slide):



And finally took it to the range today. Unfortunately, I ran into several problems:

Firstly, the gun would intermittently - perhaps about 2-3 mags or so - encounter a failure to extract, where it would leave a fired casing in the chamber. I've cleaned the gun and the extractor looks to be in good shape with ok tension (it springs back into place when I push it with a finger); should I replace the extractor anyway, or could another part be responsible? Ammo used was S&B 115 grain 9mm, brass cased.

Secondly, the gun shots low and to the left. - even at just 10 yards or so, it would print about 3 inches low and 3 inches left, but hold an OK group. I'm not 100% sure on whether this is me or the gun; will try and confirm with another range trip. Have others encountered this issue with the P1, though?
 

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Walther delivered every pistol with a test target. If the POI was off, then the sights were adjusted. In the military the guns were fired by "Anschusschuetzen" every time again that they were used, shooters that were in the top 10%, or better, and if the gun did not shoot straight it was turned in to be adjusted.

I shot over a hundred different P1s as an Anschusschuetze and never had a similiar discrepancy in between POA and POI.

I would suggest that you shoot the pistol from a good rest and/or have the results verified by another shooter.
 

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For extraction troubles:

Scrub out the chamber by spinning a bronze brush in it until it appears white, bright and shiny when viewed from the rear with bright sunlight shining in. If you see yellow scum on the chamber walls, use 4/0 steel wool with lots of oil to scour it out.

Dismantle the extractor (to avoid Bubba Tracks, first remove the top cover so the extractor stud can be pushed out from the inside). Clean the muck out of the extractor channel, spring and plunger. Carefully examine the extractor claw, under magnification if necessary, to be certain it is sharp and undamaged. Occasionally extractors are seen from which the inside arc of the claw has been broken, shaved off like a fingernail cutting; if in doubt compare it to a new one.

M
 

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For extraction troubles:

Scrub out the chamber by spinning a bronze brush in it until it appears white, bright and shiny when viewed from the rear with bright sunlight shining in. If you see yellow scum on the chamber walls, use 4/0 steel wool with lots of oil to scour it out.

Dismantle the extractor (to avoid Bubba Tracks, first remove the top cover so the extractor stud can be pushed out from the inside). Clean the muck out of the extractor channel, spring and plunger. Carefully examine the extractor claw, under magnification if necessary, to be certain it is sharp and undamaged. Occasionally extractors are seen from which the inside arc of the claw has been broken, shaved off like a fingernail cutting; if in doubt compare it to a new one.

M
Extractor damage is usually the case if a round is inserted into the chamber and the slide let go forward and hitting it. The case is supposed to be fed from the magazine, that is also better for the ejector.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks all; I'll YouTube how to take out the extractor and take a good look at it. A replacement shouldn't cost more than $20 or so, right? Any particular recommended videos for disassembly or a replacement extractor? (Would it be necessary, usually, to replace the plunger/spring, or just the extractor claw?)

Walther delivered every pistol with a test target. If the POI was off, then the sights were adjusted. In the military the guns were fired by "Anschusschuetzen" every time again that they were used, shooters that were in the top 10%, or better, and if the gun did not shoot straight it was turned in to be adjusted.

I shot over a hundred different P1s as an Anschusschuetze and never had a similiar discrepancy in between POA and POI.

I would suggest that you shoot the pistol from a good rest and/or have the results verified by another shooter.
Thanks; figured it might be just me rather than the pistol. Could the choice of ammo have anything to do with it? Figured it could be the 115 grain rather than the NATO standard 124 grain stuff that I understand the Walther P1 was issued with.
 

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It's been a while since I shot my P1, but I use the number 3 sight picture for all my Walther pistols new and old, which is the so called "combat hold".

That may address the hitting low, but the left part is probably a technique error, unless one/both of the sights are grossly out of alignment in it's dovetail.
 

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The guns were sighted in with no. 2 in the military, going right into the target. That's why the white dots were added to the sights, to give a better contrast to the black target. In the earlier days in the West German Bundeswehr the pistols were mostly shot at olive coloured man-sized targets that were easy enough to hit, in later years a square target with black bullseye had to be engaged before any fast firing at the five silhouettes was done. Adjusting the trigger finger could help with the issue of shooting to the left. The finger is turning in a radius around one joint and too little finger insertion will lead to pushing the trigger to the left, instead of pulling straight back.
 

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To my dogs dismay, I just took out the old military instruction manual ZDV 3/15. If the fired case gets stuck in the chamber, it gives three things to check first. Chamber dirty, extractor defective, extractor spring broken/defective.

Now I take the dog for a walk:).
 

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I used to have a P1 and had to use a combat hold as well (shooting 115gr ammo). You may be OK with a center hold if you use a different weight of ammo.
 
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