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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there all,

Today, I was finally off from work and had an opportunity to take my new/used Walther P-5 to the range for workout. I took the used/new P-5 with its 2 factory supplied magazines and a hundred rounds each of Remington UMC 115 metal case and Winchester White Box 115 grain FMJ.

When I arrived, the range was empty so I had a chance to shoot some drills that I can't when the other lanes are occupied. First, on loading the P-5, the single column magazine holds 8 rounds and all 8 were loaded easily. Inserting the magazine into the magazine well does require some finess as the heel based magazine release works against inserting the magazine straight into the magazine well as opposed to firearms with the magazine button mounted on the frame in the familiar cross catch configuration.

The sights are very easy to aquire with with a white dot front and rear square post type arrangement. Pulling back the slide, I was reminded of how smoothly the slide cycles on the frame. It reminds me of a Taurus PT 92 that I owned. The slide profile is thick and meaty compared with other handguns, i.e. the BHP. The slide serrations gave the right amount of grip to pull it back easily. The slide recoil springs consist of two P-38 style recoil springs mounted on each side of the frame.

Upon loading and presenting the P-5 down range with the hammer "cocked", I tried the frame mounted decocking lever to make sure that the lifter and spring riding under the firing pin were doing their job to move the firing pin into the notch milled into the hammer. This is a "unique" safety feature of the P-5 and a nice one to insure that one does not inadvertantly drop the hammer on a loaded round.

With a fully loaded magazine and 2 boxes of ammo, I spent about an hour shooting both rapid and slow fire. Accuracy levels with the 2 brands of ammo were in what I consider "service class" accuracy with the P-5 shooting POA/POI. The smoothness of both the single and double action trigger pull were indeed as my friend Larry says, "like eating cake".



I did not have access today to other brands or more premium brands of ammo to try to see which the P-5 digested the best.

Upon returning from the range, I field stripped the P-5 into its major components: slide, barrel, and frame. Field stripping is so simple that it is as easy as: unloading the P-5, checking to make sure the chamber is empty, pushing the muzzle down on a soft surface flush with the frame, rotating the take down lever forward, and then sliding the barrel/slide assembly off of the frame.

All in all, I am very excited about the shooting and handling characteristics with my P-5 and look forward to further testing with other brands of ammunition.

Chris
 

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Chris:

FWIW: A friend of mine gave me a box of ammo last year and for the life of me I can't remember it's name, but it was like "enviornmental" friendly and was manufactured by a major brand company. Remington, Federal? I just can't remember. (Green box?)

Anyway the nose was sorta blunted as opposed to sjhp or round nose.

Whatever, this particular ammo was EXCEEDINGLY accurate... Very much so when compared to the WWWB or Remington cheap plinking ammo I generally use at the range.

This particular ammo was so much more accurate that I just used it when I bought a new pistol to check the potential accuracy. It's that good. I might have some more stashed away, and if I can find it I'll try to get you the exact name..

I do remember it WAS PRICY... Of course that's probably why it was so accurate?

Glad you like your P5. I have my Hogue's ordered, I'll let ya know how I like them

Best Wishes,

J. Pomeroy
 

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Hello, and thanks for the range report. Please let us know how it does with other ammo and if you find a brand/load that makes it "sing."

Best.
 

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Hello Chris,

I was sure you would enjoy your P5. The smoothness of the controls is a special experience. And the operating lever with its double function is unique: I really like to put a full mag in with the slide open and "slack-slack", close the slide and decock with two moves of the thumb.

And the ultra wide front sight with the large white dot is really first class.

Now, shoot, shoot, shoot!

L.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi there Larry,

Thank you, I enjoyed myself tremendously yesterday and got a lot of "ooohhhs and aahhhs" at the range when I pulled the P-5 out to show the range staff.

Yes, I need to practice with it quite a bit more and find a bullet style with a slightly longer bearing surface to increase the accuracy potential from this well engineered 9mm pistol.

I am really impressed with the potential of this wonderfully crafted Walther.

I am grateful for your advice in the selection of this pistol.

Chris
 

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I'm told that +Ps in the P5 are a no-no!!!
This was by my family gunsmith.
The reason is the alloy frame and that hex bolt.
I run standard pressure only in mine!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hi denfoote,

No +p's for the P-5.

I may have to investigate some other European Manufactured 9 mm rounds to see what might work out well for the P-5. I suspect that a cartridge with a bullet that has a longer bearing surface will yield better accuracy. This may become a "reloading" project.

Chris
 
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Is this really true??? The Walther P-5 can't handle +P 9mm ammo??? What, with the legacy of NATO 9mm ammo, European machine-gun ammo, etc., Walther didn't design the P-5 to handle more than standard-pressure ammo???

How reliable is this information?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi Alan,

I'll get back to you with an answer if I can from the Walther web forum to see if they are +p rated or were "back in the day", i.e. the 70's. I'll also check the owners manual which is written in French, German and English to see if there are any references to ammunition use.

I have suggested that I will not run +p's through "my" P-5 and will be on the search for 9mm cartridges with a "longer" bullet. Any suggestions?

Further, when I broke the the P-5 down for cleaning, I noticed that there was very little wear if any on the locking block and barrel cam suggesting that this P-5 was either never shot or shot very little.

Chris
 

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Regarding the use of +p's in the Walther P5.

My owners manual doesn't mention +p's, only that the P5 uses 9mm ammo.

I'd be really interested to know if +p's were approved for use, but in the meantime I'll resort to what I have always done in the past.

IF I were to carry the Walther P5 for personal defense I would indeed have it stoked with 9 +p's. I would have previously shot several mags thru it to verify proper functioning, and it it fed and fired the ammo 100% that's what I would carry for personal defense.

All other plinking and target shooting would be with standard velocity ammo.

I simply don't think 30 or so rounds of +p's would damage the weapon, and I'm more than willing to take a chance.

Same logic I use with my J-frame Smiths, Colt Cobras and DS's.

Obviously the more pressure you run thru any firearm the wear must logically be increased. Any firearm I would cc for personal protection would be a quality firearm and IMO would accept a minimal use of +p's.

I'm not suggesting anyone else use my convoluted logic, but I'm an old fart, already have my mind made up, so there.

Of course there ARE exceptions to every rule... For example I don't even shoot standard pressure rounds thru the Burgos.. (Actually I don't shoot anything thru them, but they are kinda "purty")



Best Wishes,

J. Pomeroy

P.S. I'm not really sure the W.German "Burgo's" and the German Walther P5's belong in the same post anyway.....
 

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Hello,

+P in Walther P5???

It must be considered that the P5 was developed in a time (mid-70s) when the +P (marketing?) concept was not invented. Walther engineers put in the design all the reinforcements that were deemed necessary after some failures with P1s (alu-framed P38s) used by police special units. These SEKs (Spezial Einsatz Kommando/special task commandos) fired plenty of military ammo (Nato rated) through these poor P1s that regulary broke frame and slide after about 5000 rounds. The thick slide and hex pin were introduced on late P1s as reinforcements. The pin was also used on the P5 along with the closed massive slide and a thicker locking block.

Per se, the P5 is much stronger than the P1. And the hex pin does not weak the design. It is comparable with the steel insert in SIG Sauer's frames. Some european police corps did shoot more than 20'000-25'000 rounds through their P5s - and these are now sold in the US (not Chris', I hope!). They shot mostly european specs 9 para (Hirtenberger, MEN, Geco...) that are hotter than some +P american ammos.

I personnaly do not hesitate to shoot Fiocchis or Thun (Swiss military) in mine, that seem faster than PMC or Magsafe (the choice is limited here), for example.

Bye.

L.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi Larry,

Thank you for the information. Your expert knowlege on this fine pistol and its background is very much appreciated.

It confirms what I suspected about +P ammunition in 1970's manufactured Walther P-5's.

Larry, where is the Thun ammunition manufactured? Just a curious question?

Chris
 

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My bad!!!
My gunsmith also!!!
We both forgot that European ammo has not been lawyered to the point of sheeple shot!!
I'll see if I can still get some GECO or Hertenberger. There used to be a gunshop here in Phoenix that carried it!!
 

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Thank you Chris,

I'm expert in nothing, just an interested amateur!

I reproduce here for other members the answer I send you personnaly:

"Thun" is made in the city of Thun, in Switzerland, by Ruag (www.ruag.com), which is a government-owned ordnance group. The trademark "Thun" is used for civilian sales of swiss military ammo. It is extremly accurate and used also in military competitions. Ruag loads special lots to even higher target grade specs for special competitions like Swiss Federal Shootings. Swiss civilian shooters have mixed feelings about it as it is very hot (Nato specs) and hard primed (it doesn't fire reliably in Glocks). I wouldn't use it extensively on my guns.

Back to +P ammo. All hot ammos put more stress on guns and may accelerate wear (common sense). So I wouldn't not impose a steady diet of hot ammo neither to my P5, nor to my HP, nor to my Beretta 92, nor to any other (owner sense).

Now another info to P5 owners: have you seen the 2 small capital letters on the right side of the frame, over the triggerguard? As with all german modern weapons (SIG Sauer, HK), it is a manufacture year code.
A is for 0, B = 1, C = 2, D = 3, E = 4, F = 5, G = 6, H = 7, I = 8, K = 9 (note that J doesn't count in german)

My own P5 is a "IB", manufactured in (19)81.

3 letters groups like NRW (Nordrhein Westfallen), BDI (Bundes Ministerium des Inneren), BGS (Bundes Grenzschutz) and so on, indicades, when present, the Land (german federal state) or service who took delivery of the gun.

These infos and others can be found in Dieter H. Marshall "WALTHER PISTOLS: MODELS 1 THROUGH P99, FACTORY VARIATIONS AND COPIES", which is well worth its low price.

Bye.

L.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi there denfoote,

No problem. Besides conventional wisdom dictates that the lower pressure the ammunition=less wear and tear on the firearm. I won't be shooting a steady diet of +P's in my P-5 anyways. I will function and test some Federal Personal Protection rounds in my P-5 at the range today and let you all know how they do.

Range report two coming up shortly!

Chris
 

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Hello again,

Just an add-on about the comparison P38/P5. The P5 is often presented as a modernised P1/P38. The affirmation is true for the P4 (decocker-only, beefed-up P38) but really reductive for the P5.

I mentionned already all the reinforcements made to beef up the design. The P5 departs from the P38 on other capital points. As the german polices wanted a DA/SA pistol without manual safety, Walther innovated with a brand new safety concept. The decocker is mounted on the frame and doubles as a slide lock. The ignition system doesn't rely on a seperate firing pin block. The blocking function is assured by a hairpin spring under the back sight that drops the firing pin. In that position, the firing pin cannot move in its channel. In addition, it cannot be touched by the hammer as its back end faces a relieve in the hammer.

The other innovation lies in the DA system. The P5 goes away with the first Walther DA (as found on the PP and P38) as its trigger bar pulls directly on the hammer and not on the sear.

It may sound intricate but these solutions are very well thought, they involve less parts than most other designs and conduct to a great trigger pull improvement over the P38.

I hope not to have bored some to death but, as a mecanic freak, I alway try to understand the options of the engineers and their involvements.

Bye.

L.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Larry,

Man! Thank you for all of the great information! I will check the "birth date" of my Walther when I have a chance!

I went to the range this morning and discovered a couple of things. One, my P-5 definately likes better quality ammunition (no suprises there) and shooting the P-5 after shooting single action handguns for awhile is a practiced art. I took a box of Winchester 115 grain JHP's and a box of CCI Lawman and went to work.

All of my shots were in the black at 15 yards and the groups got progressively better as I continued shooting. With more practice, I will be very proficient in short order!

It was a beautiful day and a great morning with my P-5!

But, I couldn't get out of the range without buying one more gun!

Chris
 

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Now another info to P5 owners: have you seen the 2 small capital letters on the right side of the frame, over the triggerguard? As with all german modern weapons (SIG Sauer, HK), it is a manufacture year code.
A is for 0, B = 1, C = 2, D = 3, E = 4, F = 5, G = 6, H = 7, I = 8, K = 9 (note that J doesn't count in german)

My own P5 is a "IB", manufactured in (19)81.

3 letters groups like NRW (Nordrhein Westfallen), BDI (Bundes Ministerium des Inneren), BGS (Bundes Grenzschutz) and so on, indicades, when present, the Land (german federal state) or service who took delivery of the gun.

These infos and others can be found in Dieter H. Marshall "WALTHER PISTOLS: MODELS 1 THROUGH P99, FACTORY VARIATIONS AND COPIES", which is well worth its low price.

Bye.

L.[/quote]


Larry:

Thank you for the code for date of manufacture of the Walther P5. Turns out my P5 was made in 1984 (IE), and the acceptance date shows 2/84 on the right front of the slide.

My pistol has the BMI on the left front of slide marked thru with a bar.. I've been told this was basically the "Interior" or "everything" dept. Wonder what BMI departments used the P5 ?

Does this weird holster that came with the pistol give any clues?
(Assuming it actually had any connection to my particular P5)

Picture deleted due to size.

The small holster the P5 is in is a DeSantis model 5 Glock 17 holster, but the bigger thumbsnap holster on the r. was sent with the pistol.

Bet that original holster wasn't cheap to buy when new... Lots of dead cow skin went into that sucker... ;)



Thanks,

Jesse
 

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Hello Jesse,

The answer about the BMI is on the other P5 post. I'm not really into holsters but your original looks typical of the german police holsters delivered for the first 9 mm police gun generation (P5, P6, P7).

Bye.

L.
 
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