pea one.

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.


9 thoughts on “pea one.

  1. Jay G says:

    It’s the Walther P1, the military version of the P38.

    The P-38 was also a military sidearm. The P1 is an aluminum frame, otherwise the same firearm.

    Either way, a P-38 is on my short list of guns to get soon…

  2. Marko says:

    The P38 was a military sidearm in Germany, too, but that was before the Bundeswehr. By the time they adopted the P1, the steel-framed P38 was a civilian version, technically speaking.

    But yes, you’re correct.

  3. B&N says:

    I acquired a similar piece about 8 years ago, now, a P5.

    It was a consigned gun from a large collection at one of the last mom-and-pop stores, locally, and it was pristine, likely fired only a few times when I found it. The price was steep, but let’s face it, it’s a scarce gun and the condition couldn’t be beat.

    Of all the pistols that I own, it has the unique property of the slide ringing like a bell when fired, instead of a metallic clank. This is very evident after field disassembly, when one can flick the slide independently of the rest of the gun.

    Definitely a forged piece, and the machining is, of course, superb on the entire gun.

    Neat gun that I don’t fire often at all, and probably the most rare piece I own.

  4. Brandon says:

    Gonna reveal both my age and level of dorkiness here, but I’m sure I’m not the only person who remembers that a particular Transformer toy was a P1/P38 with a stock and barrel extension. Once I’d stopped playing with Transformers, a little superglue made Megatron a solid pistol for playing army. I’ve wanted a real one ever since.

  5. Mark says:


    I’ll… I’ll get my coat…

  6. Ben says:

    Ex-Fallschirmjager, Marko?

  7. Marko says:

    No, ex-Fernspäher.

  8. Matt G says:

    Uh, you mean LRRP?

    Y’all tawk ‘Merkin, now, hear?!?

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