View Full Version : Should I buy an alloy frame Walther P1?

03-27-2012, 7:37 PM

Are there any gotchas to watch out for in buying a nice old Walther P1? I like a lot of the different C&R Soviet Bloc pistols on the market but I don't want to have to stock another weird caliber ammo like 9 x 18. I like the look of this gun, I like that it is 9mm. Should I be concerned that these Walthers have "only with an alloy frame instead of the steel frame as the early guns had"?

These look like an appealing old pistol for less than $300.00, a lot of history and feel but I would want a shooter so is this worth it? Do you think the barrels, rifling and overall condition of one of these would be reliable, I don't want to buy something that will break easily.

About 3/4 of the way down the page http://www.classicfirearms.co/firearms.htm

03-27-2012, 8:10 PM
These are great guns and are of excellent quality. I think you would be fine as long as you didn't shoot +P out of it.

03-27-2012, 8:15 PM
The P38 was originally designed with a steel frame.

The steel frames do not have a cracking issue.

After WWll, the P38 was redesigned into the P1.

The P1 has an alloy frame that is prone to cracking.

Later on in it's life cycle, a re-design occurred, and a steel "hex pin" was added to the P1's frame.

This greatly lessened (but didn't totally eliminate) the P1's frame cracking issue.

If you're purchasing EITHER P1 - Early Design or Late Re-Design - to shoot standard velocity American fmj ball factory loads, everything should hold together.

Robertson Trading Post has a wide variety as well:
They charge a little more than Classic, BUT, you can see a LOT of pics of each actual pistol they have listed.


03-27-2012, 8:44 PM
Would not hesitate to buy one. I love mine, very early one, marked for Portugal, France and Berlin.

03-27-2012, 10:48 PM
As long as you get the Hex pin ones you'll be fine. Turners still shows them in stock, you might want to take a quick drive down the coast and check them out. I got one from them and I very happy with it.

03-28-2012, 4:25 AM
Thanks for the advice guys.


03-28-2012, 4:40 AM
Keep in mind that it is most likely aman former Police Weapon and has had a thousand rounds down the tube.
It ain't broke yet :)

03-29-2012, 9:36 PM
IMO, all alloy P-38 frames will crack at some point. Even if you never shoot hot loads, how do you know what has been shot thru it in the past?

03-29-2012, 10:48 PM
Get one, touch it with "allspark" and hope you get megatron!

03-30-2012, 12:33 AM
I bought a Manhurin P1 back in 1983. I have never had a problem with it. I do not put hot ammo (machine gun 9mm, etc.) through it; in fact I have put a lot of lighter reloads through it. The pistol has never jammed on me.

03-30-2012, 2:52 PM
They are great pistols and well worth the money. I own one with the bolt one without. Aside from holster wear theyre in great shape. Both of mine were bundeswehr, likewise they are both in no way shot out (small sample set, I know). Maybe the police ones are shot out but if it's marked "BW" on the left side of the frame then it likely hasn't fired a shot in anger and thus likely very little. As others have said, use the ammo it was designed for and it'll treat you right in return. Turner's has them for $230 in a handful of their stores. Look on their website for which has what.

03-30-2012, 8:58 PM
I have 3 from turners with the hex pin, they were all the issued ones but 2 show no wear with only a slight mark on the feed ramp. The other has a little holster rash and some wear on the frame from the slide but shoots real sweet, I take it out all the time and am thinking of getting another. For about $300 out the door you cant go wrong.

03-31-2012, 4:49 AM

Just make sure you get one with all the upgrades. Look for one that has the hex pin and the thicker slide. You can tell if it has the thicker slide if it looks like this one:


03-31-2012, 6:13 AM
Keep in mind that it is most likely aman former Police Weapon and has had a thousand rounds down the tube.
It ain't broke yet :)

FWIW, no German police agency issued the Walther P1 pistols. The police of the each German states had its own requisition system, and between the 50's and the 80's, they issued the P3 (Astra 600), Manurhin-made P1's, Manurhin PP, Walther P4 (Short barrel P38/P1), Walther P5, P6 (SIG P225), or the HK P7 PSP.

Only the German military and the BGS (Federal Border Guards) were issued Walther-made P1's. The BGS were also issued the P2 (SIG 210-4).