One of the things I soon discovered after arriving in West Berlin from Fort Benning, GA in 1977 was that Berlin Brigade shared a range with the Polizei and they were always glad to let us shoot their stuff in exchange for letting them shoot our stuff. They were crazy about M-16's and thoroughly enjoyed using our 300 yard pop-up silhouette range. They didn't have any Lugers for us to shoot but, they had plenty of postwar-built Walther P38's/P1's, PP's, PPK's and their recently-issued Walther P5's, (Sig) P6's and (HK) P7's.
I thought it was pretty cool to be allowed to shoot James Bond's pistol and I had only seen P38's/P1's in the movies and in history books so when the opportunity arose for range time with them, I didn't hesitate. We had a good working relationship with the Polizei. Many of them were just regular guys, like us, who enjoyed shooting and hunting. When one of them offered to let me try-out his brand new P5, though, it was lust at first sight. I could tell, on the surface, it was just an improved variation of the P38/P1 but that's about where any similarity between the two ended. It had a decocking lever on the frame, better sights, shorter barrel and excellent ergonomics. I couldn't wait to give it a spin.
I was never all that impressed with 9mm. None of the pistols I had previously fired chambered in 9x19 seemed anywhere near as accurate as my issued Colt 1911A1 but the P5 completely changed my mind about the accuracy potential of 9mm vs 45 ACP. It was the first 9x19 pistol that I could actually shoot as well as my 1911.
I didn't start seeing the first imported commercial P5's for sale until I had been back home for about a year (1983) and after being spoiled by Rod & Gun Club prices on base, I was downright aghast when I saw what my civilian price was for one. I resolved to wait until prices came down but, they never did and by then, acquiring a P5 wasn't a real high priority. I was more about S&W and Colt revolvers at the time.
I recently stumbled across this P5 at an LGS, from the owner's personal collection. It's a commercial model with the subdued 'Interarms' import mark, before they started using the big ugly crest emblem. Nice. He got it out of the case and kindly asked me to not drool on it. The next thing I knew, we were writing it up.