Manurhin Pistolet P1


February 23, 2009, 05:09 PM
Anyone know anything about Manurhin P1s?

I purchased a Manurhin P1 yesterday that looks like it spent its entire life in storage. The only finish wear is on the curved edges of the trigger guard. It looks better that 2 unfired P1s that I have. It has a blued slide rather than the phospate or parkerized finish. Has the circle with dot inside on the slide and front of barrel. Full serial 216xxx on the frame with matching xxx on the slide and barrel. It's a thin slide model with short serrations and no reinforcing pin in the it has P38 properties but alloy framed. There is some sort of cartouche on the right side of the frame just in front of the serrations that looks similar to the crossed cannons on a 1911 and it has a 3 at the top and a 34 at the bottom. Can anyone tell me what the cartouche and 3/34 mean and does anyone have info on the approximate date of manufacture for this serial number? From my research, it looks like the cartouche may be for a Portuguese contract, but that still doesn't explain the 3 and 34.

The magazine is peculiar too. It is blued with no markings on the outside. It has a blued/black follower in it with no groove...just flat. The front of the buttplate where it is usually crimped is crimped, but it's not crimped straight across...the crimp is rounded to match the front of the mag. I initially thought this was an aftermarket mag of some type, but the more I look at it, the more I'm thinking it could be original to a Manurhin P1. Does anyone know what the correct mag should look like?

Thanks in advance!

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Steve C
February 23, 2009, 07:19 PM
Manurhin, a French manufacturing company, was/is a major subcontractor to Walther which was just down the road and across the border.

After WWII there was a need to rearm the German police but the peace accord forbade the manufacturing of firearms at the time. The German government went to Manurhin to make P1's for their police. These guns are stamped with the Manurhin name, French verbage thus the pistolet. Many of these pistols came to US via surplus. Manuhin also sold Walther pistols under their name and where imported as commercial firearms for a while, I'd say in the late 70's ealy 80's.

Yours may be a former police pistol or could be a commercial model. The ones I have don't have a hex screw in the frame that was added to increase durability with more powerful 9mm NATO ammo. They are stamped on the right side with French proof marks and the German Eagle over Swastika Reichmark as shown below.

February 23, 2009, 07:26 PM
My brother has one and while he claims the bluing is thinner than a Walther, it is exactly the same and a nice clean gun, much as you describe yours. He bought his a few years ago at auction for $210. Very pretty gun. Congrats on your acquisition. Not much discussion on these guns but they are classics.

February 23, 2009, 07:36 PM
Yes, mine is a police pistol...has the starburst stamp on the left side of the trigger guard. I didn't get lucky enough to get the eagle/swastika stamp. The bluing does look nicer than phosphate, but it is a far cry from my commercial blued P38 version or any of the PP, PPK or PPK/S pistols I have. I have searched all over the Internet today trying to find out what the 3 over 34 means on that crossed stamp on the right side of the slide...found nothing. I posted over on P38Forum last night but that post has gone unanswered so far.

Jim K
February 23, 2009, 07:59 PM
The hex plug in the frame was a retrofit; the original P1's don't have it.

That crowned shield is the Paris proof mark; the crossed cannon may be a Manurhin mark.

But the eagle/swastika mark is puzzling; after WWII, Germany wanted nothing to do with that symbol and almost immediately discontinued its use, and I find it hard to believe the French would have used it. I don't have a Manurhin P.1, but my other Manurhin pistols don't have it.

I do know that a while back some jokers got hold of some (real or fake?) eagle/swastika stamps and used them on a lot of guns, including an M1 rifle and a Colt revolver. I wonder if that was the case here.


February 23, 2009, 08:55 PM
From what I found on the Internet today, the crossed scroll or cannon cartouche was for parts "originally" manufactured for a Portuguese contract...but it didn't say what the 3/34 meant.

February 23, 2009, 08:56 PM
The Manuhrin pistols are every bit the equal of the Walther guns in fit and finish and performance. Production started in 1963 and ran into 1987; the serial numbers range from 200000 to 450000.

All parts for the Manuhrin P1 were made by Walther in Ulm and then were shipped to the French plant, where they were marked, assembled, and proof-tested. They were essentially made for the West German police, but other police agencies used them as well. (The terms of the Four Powers Agreement required that no German weapons could be used by the German police force, and the Manuhrin was technically a French weapon, not German.)

The West Berlin police and customs Manuhrin P1 pistols were taken out of service between 1982 and 1987.

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