Saturday, January 26, 2008

Walther P5

(I do not own this gun. This is at the gun shop, price not yet set.Photos taken with the ancient 1.3MP Olympus, click for larger image)

This is quite an unusual weapon; designed in the late 70's, this was Walther's first foray away from the P38 style of handgun as duty weapon. It's full of strange design features and still has a little bit of P38 lineage in it. Click on each image to enlarge.

First, just a side shot.

Upon opening the slide, you can immediately tell that this isn't a browning-style lockup, the barrel stays linear to it's axis. I'll get to this.

The pistol has the classic European style magazine release on the butt behind the mag well.

One of the most unique features here is the articulated firing pin. Instead of a blocking style firing pin safety like you'd find on everything else, with the trigger at rest the firing pin is in a low position where the end finds a blind hole in the hammer and would not be struck if the hammer fell. When the trigger is pulled, the firing pin is pushed up where the hammer can strike it.

The takedown lever is at the front and simply unblocks the barrel assembly.

Here you see a little of the P38; the barrel is locked with a block, actuated by a pin that presses against the frame during recoil.

Barrel removed (inverted), locking block in the "unlock" position

And the last of the oddities, here are the dual small diameter recoil springs. This was probably done in the interests of keeping the pistol compact, avoiding the placement of the spring underneath the barrel of behind the grips (Beretta tip-up style).

The pistol has a very nice trigger and is probably very accurate, though I can't verify since it's not mine as its' for sale at the shop (price as yet unknown). Another little odd feature of the pistol is that the lever on the side is dual purpose (see photo #1). With the slide locked back, the first downward sweep on the lever will drop the slide forward. A second sweep will decock the pistol. If you need to lock the slide back with a loaded or removed magazine, you have to press upward on the upwardly-curved piece of metal on the frame ahead of the main operating lever.

So there you have it; the Walther P5 in a nutshell. Very strange gun :)


Blogger Jonathan said...

dual small diameter recoil springs

VERY odd....

12:01 PM  
Blogger Dr. StrangeGun said...

You've obviously never seen the spring setups that some of the small Euro pocket pistols use.

Beretta tipups have leaf springs, two of them, under each grip panel.

I have a Le Francais that has two operating levers under the grips that pry up on a trunnion block that compresses a spring in the front of the grip.

8:55 AM  
Blogger krylonultraflat said...

You left out one other odd fact:

shells eject to the left, not the right.

I stumbled across this post shopping for grips for the P5. I'm thinking of buying one, because a gun without character is as interesting as an ipod.

11:44 PM  
Blogger B&N said...

I have one of these.

Purchased it as part of a collection that was being broken up about 9 years ago. It was pristine then, and I think I've only fired it twice since then, so it's led a pampered life.

I noted all of the strange points about it that you made, including the left ejection by one of the commentors. The slide is forged as well. Rings like a bell.

Accuracy is fine, as you suspect, but nothing as good as a tuned 1911.

Mine was steep on price, like seven bills, I think, with box and original papers, but I bought it for the cachet and nothing else.

3:08 PM  
Blogger The Plan said...

I purchased my P-5 about a month ago from the original owner who purchased it new in 1989. Box papers and two magazines $550. I bet that it had not had 100 rounds put throught it. Pristine and different.

I really like the pistol very nice trigger, well made and and the right size for a carry gun.

7:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own one that I got in Germany via the Office of Special Investigation at Spangdahlem Air Base. I bought it new and have perhaps fired 150 rounds through it. I have all the papers including the license to import it into the US.

11:23 AM  
Anonymous Holden said...

I, too, have one of these pistols. Mine is as accurate as I am...once I acclimate to the uncharacteristic left ejection dynamics, which DO make a difference.

It IS a cool gun and when I acquired it new, it was one of four Walthers I then owned. I pared down from over twenty firearms to one and somehow, this is what I'm relying on.

Alas, it's not reliable with a lot of self defense rounds, though I've read of several owners having better luck after sessions with good smiths. Hardball stuff feeds flawlessly.

I'd never carry with hardball, so it ends up being a great pistol for the range and always gets comments. Since the goal is 'one gun fits all,' I'll try to find a buyer for it and pick up a .40 PPQ. I'll still have a well made Walther...and one that won't choke on Hydra Shok cartridges.

1:19 AM  

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