Historic 9

Competing in a category with peers that are newer and more capable on paper, this week’s feature doesn’t exactly have a huge following. Spend some time getting comfortable with this WW2 classic however, and you may just may come to prefer it over its rivals.

Joining our ranks during a time of rapid weapons growth with the 0.45 update, the P1 brings some old war charm to the killing party. Join me as I talk about what makes it surprisingly similar and yet totally different from its modern counterparts, and find out why you should hold onto it next time you cross paths with one.

Walther P1

The P1 pistol in DayZ is a later revision of the storied Walther P38. Originally conceived as an answer to the German Wehrmacht’s call for an inexpensive handgun at the outset of World War II, the P38 was a semi-automatic, steel-bodied, magazine-fed pistol primarily designed to fire 9x19mm Parabellum rounds. The P38 was itself based on the earlier Walther AP that was proposed as a replacement for the legendary Luger.

The P1 is an improvement on the P38 primarily due to the switch from steel to aluminum (anodized black) and began production in the 1950s. Telling the two apart can be difficult, since some earlier P38s were aluminum as well, and only later models of P1 have a reinforcement bolt above the trigger guard (the one pictured above is a non-reinforced model, like the one in-game). In addition to the standard 9mm, some 7.65x21mm Parabellum and .22LR versions were available.

The P38 & P1 established many design features that would become commonplace on other handguns in the future. It was a double-action/single-action design that included the ability to leave the pistol chambered without the hammer being cocked, leaving it always ready to be fired. These Walther handguns also have a moving barrel design that has the slide and barrel move together for part of the recoil movement to help reduce impact on the user.


Image via CalGuns.net.

Civilian Duty

Though the P1’s origins may be military in nature, it makes the perfect civilian weapon in post-apocalypse Chernarus. With a round in the chamber, this pistol has a maximum capacity of 9 rounds, which is just over half of what the CR75 and Glock can hold. It may be down on volume, but it still delivers a sufficient ammo count and, if nothing else, encourages trigger discipline.

Aside from a magazine, it needs nothing to be capable of performing at its best. Straightforward iron sights allow beginners to pick it up and run with it, and strong performance at close range makes for easy self defense in urban areas.

Stealth in a Pinch

The one advantage the P1 has over its 9mm, .380, and .45 competitors is its ability to accept an improvised suppressor. This makes it one of the most accessible stealthy handguns in the game. You can use this to your advantage by maintaining the benefits of keeping quiet around potential threats like the infected and other survivors.


This pistol makes the perfect starting weapon, particularly so if you’re able to find a magazine for it quickly. Even with nothing but a bullet in the chamber however, you may feel bold enough to make a careful strike at your enemies. A single shot isn’t likely to put anyone on the ground, but it will make them reevaluate fighting back and probably put them on the run.

Be careful not to let that confidence go to your head, as automatic weapons still outclass this pistol at close range. Having the advantage of height or surprise may tip the scales in your favor though.

Simple Terms

In addition to using the improvised suppressor, the P1 will also accept the standard universal pistol suppressor as well. This gives it a flexibility with stealth options that no other handgun can boast. Combined with the highly common ammunition that it fires, this pistol can be easy to outfit.

Due mostly to the age of its design, these are the only attachments compatible with the P1. That being said, it has all that it needs to shine. The magazine you’ll need to find can be gathered from houses, wrecked cars, and some other common public buildings.

Concealed Carry

Once you’ve got yourself outfitted with a full-sized primary weapon, the P1 becomes a solid option to act as your secondary. It’s small size and efficiency with ammunition mean that you’ve got an excellent backup plan that takes up very little space in your inventory. If you need to justify carrying it around, find yourself a suppressor and use it to clear a town of zombies before you loot.

The P1 is also the perfect weapon to pass on to a friend. Meeting up with a friend who’s a fresh spawn on the coast? Hand over the P1 to get them off to a good start and they will last long enough to thank you for it later.

Don't Doubt

One thing you should never do is underestimate the P1. It is far more capable than most will give it credit for — you simply have to overcome the hurdle of supplying it with a magazine. That struggle alone can turn some away from it, but there is more to choosing a weapon than simple challenges like that.

The small but mighty punch of the highly common 9mm, the ease of which it can be used, and its versatility in suppressor attachments all make it a strong contender for your choice of sidearm.

Shared by Tatanko on April 4, 2016

The seventeenth in a many-part series covering the different weapons found in DayZ Standalone.

Many thanks to /u/Frankenstone3D and /u/strelok12 for assisting with the album, and to official forum user Red Ensign for the magazine.