Firearms / Pistols / Walther P5

Walther P5

General Facts

  • TYPE
    Pistol

  • ORIGIN
    Germany

  • NICKNAMES
    L102A1 (P5 Compact in UK service)

  • DESIGNED
    Mid 1970's

  • DESIGNER
    Carl Walther

  • PRODUCTION
    1977 - 1990's

  • PRODUCERS
    Germany - Walther

  • QUANTITY
    About 120.000 built, including 10.000 compact models. Production complete.

  • UNIT COST
    Unknown

  • CHARACTERISTICS
    Multiple safeties
    Limited size and weight
    Small magazine capacity

Introduction

The P5 is a late Cold War era pistol of German origin. It was developed by Walther specifically for police use. For that reason the design was kept as compact as possible and multiple safeties were implemented. With the advent of polymer frame pistols the P5 is no longer considered lightweight and the 8 round magazine capacity is limited by today's standards.

Design

The design was derived from the World War 2 era Walther P38 pistol. The P5 is a blowback operated pistol with locked breech. In the P5 the slide covers the barrel resulting in a different look from the P38. Innovative features such as an alloy frame and firing pin safety were added. A single stack magazine is used. Cases are ejected to the left, which is rather uncommon.

Firepower

The P5 is a semi-automatic pistol that fires the 9x19mm round from an 8 round magazine. Despite its short barrel length accuracy is quoted as good. The design is also very reliable. The compact model has a similar characteristics as the standard full size model.

Users

The P5 was adopted by German and Dutch police forces and was sold in limited quantities to various other nations. Most P5 ended up in police use. In both Germany and the Netherlands it has been replaced by more modern designs.

Variants

P5

P5: The baseline model of the P5 is the full size model. It can be distinguished from the Compact model by the barrel that extends from the frame. It also has a longer slide and full size hammer and sights.

  • Specifications:
  • P5
TypePistol
Caliber9x19mm Parabellum
Magazine8 round box
OperationBlowback operated, locked breech
Fire selector0-1
Rate of fireSemi-automatic
Barrel length90 mm
Rifling6 grooves, 250 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity350 m/s
Stock-
Length180 mm
Width32 mm
Height130 mm
Weight0.795 kg empty, 0.885 kg loaded
SightsIron sights, blade front and square notch rear, 141 mm sight radius
Remarks-

P5 Compact

P5 Compact: The P5 Compact is a smaller and lighter version of the full size P5. Unlike the full size model the Compact model is often fitted with wooden grips. The lower profile sights and hammer make the compact model easier to draw as a concealed carry weapon.

TypePistol
Caliber9x19mm Parabellum
Magazine8 round box
OperationBlowback operated, locked breech
Fire selector0-1
Rate of fireSemi-automatic
Barrel length79 mm
Rifling6 grooves, 250 mm right hand twist
Muzzle velocity350 m/s
Stock-
Length171 mm
Width32 mm
Height129 mm
Weight0.750 kg empty, 0.822 kg loaded
SightsIron sights, blade front and square notch rear, 134 mm sight radius
Remarks-

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