How are Walther P1s?


July 25, 2008, 03:07 AM
Are Walther P1s any good?
They seem like an exceptional value, but Iím a bit concerned that it will wear poorly because it has an aluminum frame.

If you enjoyed reading about "How are Walther P1s?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
July 25, 2008, 04:33 AM
They probably will not last as long as an all steel gun, but certainly will last tens of thousands of shots. Feed them standard pressure 9x19 ammo and consider replacing the dual recoil springs. Only buy one if it has the steel hexagonal cross section reinforcing bolt in the receiver. These guns are not junk, remember the post-war German army used them as standard for 35 years.

July 25, 2008, 09:00 AM

I consider the surplus Walther P1 as one of the absolute best bargains going..

I had one a couple of years ago and it was an excellent pistol. Very accurate for self defense, or "plinking".. Very reliable, and had the "feel" of quality overall.

As the other gentleman said if you buy a surplus Walther P1 be SURE and get one of the newer ones with the hex bolt (strengthens the frame), and "fat slide conversion". (stronger slide).

I was fortunate that my P1 came with the improvements and only later did I even find out about them.

I don't know how visually you can see if a surplus P1 has the slide conversion, but the hex bolt in the frame in front of the triggerguard shows you get that improvement, and perhaps both.

Great bargains... Great pistols.

Best Wishes,


July 25, 2008, 09:10 AM
On the fat slide models, the serrations on the slide extend the full length of the safety lever. On the thinner slide they extend only about haf way. It's obvious if you see pictures of both.

July 25, 2008, 09:26 AM

Hey, I'll tell ya another great surplus Walther firearm.

The Walther P5!

The Walther P5 was the last in the P38/P1 design, and by reputation was the pick of the litter... P5's are more pricey than P1's as there are less of them around, but are neat in their own right.

I don't suggest they are a good bargain in comparison to the P1, but for folks who love Walther's (I do) they make a nice addition to the pile..

Just another option.

Best Wishes,


July 25, 2008, 10:38 AM
+1 on Jesse's comments on the P1 and the P5 -- superb firearms, both, expertly manufactured and wonderfully accurate and reliable. The best deals and nicest P1s seem to come out of Dan's Sporting Goods these days. I've bought three fron Dan in the past year and couldn't be happier.

Here's a link for those who have an interest:

The folks at SOG have police surplus P5s for sale at reasonable prices:

July 25, 2008, 04:37 PM
Thanks for the info guys.

Are there any surplus dealers that will sell to a non-FFL buyer and then ship it to an FFL dealer (like when you buy a gun on auction arms etc) every place Iíve found thatís selling walther P-1s seems to only sell to dealers. :(

July 25, 2008, 05:58 PM
Dan's Ammo. Here's the link again:

July 25, 2008, 06:02 PM
Note that they were made for a long time. They are stamped with a "born on" date. Mine is from the late '70s, so it has nicer sights (can be painted with luminous paint easily). Since they changed guns around then AFAIK, it wasn't used by the German Army for very long before it was stored away. If you want a "shooter", get the newest one you can find. I saw one recently in like-new condition for $250; I should have bought it even though I already have one.:)

It's in great condition. I keep it for HD; it feeds Winchester pre-cut JHP's perfectly (higher-end LE ammo; I don't remember which line it is). They also have a discreet LCI above the hammer, which you can check by feel or sight to make doubly sure you have a round in the chamber in the dark.

I also won a charity steel plate match with it, against guys with MUCH "better" guns. They shoot well.

They are a great value, IMHO.

July 25, 2008, 06:36 PM
Hello, I've had my P1 for a few weeks now and couldn't be more pleased. My P1 is one of Dan's Gun Shop pistols and recommend his guns if they're all as nice as mine.
I have had it to the range several times now (300-400 rds) and had no malfunctions. It's extremely easy to strip and clean and loves WWB ammo which I shoot in all my guns.
I also have a Walther P7M8 NIB (safe queen), a P7 that I shoot all the time and a Walther PP 22lr. all of which are turn-ins except the (P7M8) and and I enjoy the hell out of each. The squeeze cockers are very, very special guns and so accurate they'll scare you. The PP 22lr is rapidly becoming my favorite 22.:)

July 25, 2008, 06:52 PM
My father has a P1 that I like quite a bit. They balance kinda odd because of the lightweight frame and heavy slide, but they shoot very well.

July 25, 2008, 09:54 PM
irt #8

That’s cool, I just read the “Stocking dealers. Call us.” Part and I didn’t see any prices, so I just assumed I couldn’t buy from him.
So just call him up and ask what he's got for sale and prices?

Well, I like what I’m hearing so far.

Are their any parts that break on P1s (as far as stocking up on replacement parts)
Will P38 parts interchange with P1s?

July 25, 2008, 11:27 PM
Virtually all POST-WAR and many war-time P-38 and P1 parts interchange.

The P1 is basically the post-war P-38 as marked for use of the West German military. Parts interchangeability is near 100%.
These are pretty sturdy guns and few parts ever break.

Some pointers:
Don't shoot hot ammo.
These guns were designed for standard load 124 grain ammo. They usually work well with 115 grain too.
Hot ammo can crack and break slides, frames, and locking blocks.

Don't install "extra-power" recoil springs.
While these may "pad" the gun in recoil, the slide slams SHUT with greater force, and this can crack and break the front of the frame.

These guns may be reliable with hollow point ammo, but be prepared to experiment to find a brand/type that works in your specific gun.
What works in other guns may not in yours.

July 26, 2008, 12:27 AM
I picked up one of these when my dealer got in a bunch. I was able to cherrypick through them and got the very nicest one. It is a great shooter and it is very reliable. So yes, I would say these are good guns and well worth the price. If I saw another nice one, I would pick it up with no hesitation. I also appreciate the info on the "fat slide" and hex bolt stuff. Mine has both and I never knew it till I read this thread. Must be livin' right!!

July 26, 2008, 09:15 AM
How much are those going for these days? I've seen them at gun shows at outrageous prices.

Do those of you that own one think they're better than the Sig P6, which is also available on the surplus market?


July 26, 2008, 12:11 PM
G.A.Pster: Give Dan Tobin a call or send him an email and let him know what you are looking for -- from a quality shooter with the upgrades to a "minty" version that you'll be tempted to lock in a gun safe to something in between the two. He's a good guy, he knows the product as well as anyone out there, and he will do right by you. His contact information is on the website. (Hint: He's faster answering the telephone than he is answering emails.)

NeverVictimAgain: A mint P1 sells for $299 at Dan's. You can get shooters for under $250; they tend to be in excellent condition. The pistols come with an extra magazine, a cleaning kit, and a new holster. The Sig P6 is an excellent gun as well; it just depends what you are looking for, I guess.

July 30, 2008, 03:06 PM
I bought 3 from Dan at Wanted 2 with consecutive serial numbers to display/be safe queens and one to shoot, got 3 with consecutive serials, holsters, cleaning kits...awesome condition!!!

Now, those who recommend the P5: Where can I get one in like-new condition at a reasonable price? I collect Walthers, but I have never been able to find a nice P5. I would love to be able to cherrypick from a lot.

Gato Montťs
July 30, 2008, 07:23 PM
I'm actually in the process of trading in my P1 for a P6 right now. As to which is the better buy, I'd probably have to say they're about par with one another. Both used trade ins at roughly the same price, same round and capacity, both show poor performance with HPs, etc. Really, it just comes down to your own personal preferance, which is why I'm moving to the Sig.

A word of warning though, if you decide on the P6, expect outrageous magazine prices as the amount available is quite low.

July 30, 2008, 08:49 PM
Does anyone know if the guns from Dan's Ammo have the hex nut and fat slide. His website says the guns he sells are not factory reconditioned which leads me to believe they won't have the upgrades.

July 30, 2008, 10:49 PM
The P1's from Dan's have the hex pin and fat slide. The pin and wider slide are installed new on the P1...basically a design change from the P38.


The 3 P1's I got from Dan were not factory reconditioned, they were NEW, unissued surplus.

July 30, 2008, 11:28 PM
I've had a P1 for several years and bought a P5 last year. I've always been found of the P1, which is why I bought the P5. One day as Range Officer I took several guns that another Range Officer wanted to shoot. His comment after shooting all of them, including the P5, which was not on his list of things that he wanted to shoot: "I don't want to hurt your feelings, but my favorite is the P5". I don't remember all of what I let him shoot, but I do have a Sig P210 and a Sig P226 X-FIVE.

Ohio Gun Guy
July 31, 2008, 12:23 AM
Great guns, I need to get one. But my Dad has one that I shoot when we go shooting up in his area. The gun shoots really well is very accurate.

I might need to get one for myself.... My Dad wont sell me his:fire:

July 31, 2008, 12:38 AM
"Walther P7M8 NIB (safe queen), a P7 that I shoot all the time and a Walther PP 22lr. all of which are turn-ins except the (P7M8) and and I enjo"

Better check the manufacturer on that P7 !

July 31, 2008, 09:11 AM
Thanks Gordon.... had to have been one of those senior moment. lol

July 31, 2008, 11:23 AM
I totally missed that, and I have a P7M8 Jubilee that is also a safe queen, but I also have a P7 PSP that I do shoot, but not very well.

At least they are both German manufacturers.

July 31, 2008, 04:25 PM
What can I say????? lol You guy's better give my posts a real curory look because it's obvious now that you can't tell what I'm liable to type/say. lol lol

If you enjoyed reading about "How are Walther P1s?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!