I started shooting in the early 1980s and have fond memories of the classic pistols of that time. I've been lucky enough to assemble a pretty good collection of models I couldn't afford or find back then, and recently picked up one that just about makes my collection complete—a Walther P88 in 9mm. I must admit I was not that familiar with the pistol—I knew it was based on Walther's entry in the US's service pistol trials on the early 1980s, and I remember it generating a bit of attention when it was first released due to its reputation for both its high quality and high price—but the pistol never gained much popularity and was discontinued in 1996 with only about 10,000 being made. While this pistol doesn't have as unique design as say the H&K P7 or Steyr GB it does have a few interesting design features. Here it is compared to a full-size Glock 31C The slide has nicely polished and blued sides with the rounded top semi-polished. There's a shallow concave groove running the length of the slide top, too, which I've not seen before. The frame is anodized flat black aluminum, and heavier than I expected—the full pistol weighs 32 oz (895 g). The groove extends right out to the muzzle. My pistol came with functional but plain black plastic grips, as well as the nice wood ones seen in the pictures.They're comfortably stippled and have a hand-pleasing palm swell. I generally don't care for thumb rest grips, but this one is pretty vestigial and fits my hands well. With these grips it's a very comfortable pistol to hold, and one of the best feeling ones in my hand. With either the wood or plastic grips it's still pretty thick, though, and the DA trigger reach is a bit of a stretch for me. The controls are pretty unique—I had to download a manual to figure them out. The larger flat control above the grip performs two functions: if the slide is locked back, depressing the control once drops the slide, while a second press decocks the hammer. It's similar to the P9S all-in-one control, except the P9S's can also be used as a slide lock. On the P88, the slide lock is the smaller control to the left of the decocker—you push it rearward to lock the slide back. It's an odd arrangement I've not seen on any other pistol. The control on the left is the disassembly lever. The trigger is smooth and there's a trigger stop to minimize overtravel. In dry-firing, I've found the double action pull pretty heavy, with some serious stacking towards the end of the pull. The single action pull is pretty good, although a little on the heavy side and with just a bit of creep at the start of the pull. I still like it better than the trigger pulls on the P88 contemporaries Beretta 92F and SIG P226 (at least an original P226, recent ones like the Legion have much better triggers). Similar to the Beretta 92, there's an external trigger bar. Mine is a bit bigger than on some earlier P88s. I've read that were a number of design changes were made during the pistol's relatively short manufacturing period. The decocker and mag release are mirrored on the pistol's right side, too. The sights are typical three-dot versions, although the rear dots are noticeably smaller, which helps draw attention to the front sight. The rear sight is unexpectedly adjustable for windage, too. There's a lanyard loop that's pretty well-recessed to keep it out of the way. Here's the pistol disassembled—it's a pretty standard Browning-style tilting barrel design. My initial impressions are quite favourable—it feels great in the hand, and the "pretty good for a service pistol" trigger pull is OK. I'll post an update once I've had it out to the range—hopefully next week.