Walther P1 Weirdness


Dain Bramage
April 8, 2003, 02:57 PM
I just got my P1 from Centerfire Systems. It's a black parkerized 1974 model. It came somewhat dirty, but the finish looks good, with very minor holster wear. Two good clean mags, coated with the same black finish, and a ratty black holster finished out the ensemble.

The gun is light for it's size and substantial appearance, with the aluminum slide. I like the finish and plastic grips, making it a good pair with some eeeevil black plastic rifle.

After the first few single and double round try-out mags, I fired a full magazine. One of the cases came back and went down my shirt. I did the little dance, and got it out. Cool, this thing has a left-side extractor.

The next mag, one of the cases sailed over my glasses and hit me in the left eye. Ouch. I don't usually wear safety glasses, since my regular lenses are poly-carb. I got out the safety glasses and put them over my regular ones.

I proceeded to get pelted in the head and chest. I was starting to develope a flinch, especially when using the long DA pull. I starting cracking up and laughing. Luckily, I was alone at the range, and elicited no strange looks.

I switched from modified Weaver to a single hand stance, and I actually got better. This is the only handgun this has ever happened with. Most of the brass was missing me when standing sideways.

Okay, so why does this thing have a left-sided extractor? I learned from a P38 board that the straight back or slightly to the left ejection is common. Ammo or the condition of the ejector and/or extractor can be a factor. I will check them out. I do know one thing, my oldest boy, who is eight and a lefty, is going to love this gun when he grows up.

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April 9, 2003, 10:35 AM
As to why the P-38/P1 has a left handed extractor I haven't a clue. Maybe that's just the way the Walther engineers designed it or that's the way the German Heer wanted it. Right or left, it's a coin toss.

One bit of advice on the P1: Invest in a set of Wolf recoil springs and maybe a new hammer spring(if the gun doesn't fire all the time in double action). It will prolong the life of your pistol as in my experience they tend to have weak springs.

Also, I don't think you meant to say aluminum "slide", rather it does have an aluminum frame with a steel slide.

April 9, 2003, 10:46 AM
Got one too. The a$$backwardness is typical of Walther, imho. Don't know why they do it that way but most of their stuff seems different just to be different rather than different because it's somehow better.

April 9, 2003, 12:26 PM
Well, you know, back when it came out all double action service pistols had left-hand extractors. ;)

April 9, 2003, 02:30 PM
The left hand extractor allows for easier clearing of a jam. Say you have a stove pipe. With the pistol in your right hand, you can tilt the gun palm in to allow the empty to fall out with a slide rack. With the right hand ejection, you have to do an awkward palm out tilt. At least so say the people at Walther. Shooting IPSC southpaw I did find this to be an advantage. I would imagine given the standard one arm stance taught back in those days, left ejecting shells were not as much of a problem.

Dain Bramage
April 9, 2003, 03:05 PM
Tamara, and I suppose Sam Colt thought a revolver didn't need a top strap. :D

I just think Walther was way ahead of the curve on this one. The P-38 wasn't just the first DA combat pistol, it was also a combat simulator. Sure, ducking brass is not the same as ducking bullets, but Pong wasn't any great shakes as the first video game either.

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