Wednesday, June 13, 2007
This is what we used to tote around in the Bundeswehr before they switched to that fancy new plastic squirtgun. It's the Walther P1, the military version of the P38.
I can't really say that the P1 was my "issue" handgun, since a sidearm wasn't part of my standard equipment. (My issue weapon was a G3A3 rifle.) I only got to carry a P1 whenever I was in charge of the guard at the main gate or the off-site ammo depot, or whenever I had to do an armed escort for worn-out guns that were transported back to a depot for disposal.
When the Bundeswehr switched to the P8 (a version of the H&K USP), they sold all their old Walthers, and a lot of them turned up on the U.S. market. I bought this ex-service P1 for about three bills, and I figured my old uniform accoutrements would make nice picture dressing for it.
The P1 is a bit tall and long for an eight-shot 9mm. This thing was designed and built when there was no such thing as a compact or subcompact 9mm carry gun--pistols in that caliber were military sidearms that didn't need to be concealed. Still, it points well and has very little recoil, and it's certainly not impossible to lug around if it's all you have. For the price, an old Bundeswehr P1 makes a great knock-around gun for the truck or boat.