Now What?

All of those seemed surmountable problems to an expert like me with precisely zero experience working on guns. I bought some wood grips and new magazines, looked for anything broken, reassembled the pistol and took it to the range for reliability testing. I wanted to carry this 007 classic, so I had to make sure it fed self-defense ammo without fail. In case you didn’t know, that stuff is expensive. A few magazines in, I figured out this pistol couldn’t feed three rounds in a row.

No worries. Maybe it was just “ammo sensitive” being an old gun and all. Fast forward to another expensive trip to the gun store and a return to the range with different, although equally abusive on the wallet ammo. The result? Same problem. So, I tried again. And again. Not only did I prove the definition of insanity, retrying the same failed strategy hoping for a different outcome, I burned through second and third mortgages with my ammo bills.

Finally, I got smart and took it to a gunsmith. Sounding supremely confident to a noob like me, the counterman informed me, “These old Walthers are finicky about the magazine lip profile. We see it all the time.” After making some adjustments, he returned the gun. Still no love. I’ll spare the details, but I made repeat visits to this local ’smith, and many others, and received nothing but a bucket of fail for my efforts. With the benefit of hindsight, I now see those local “gunsmiths” were guys just like me who thought they knew more than their experience supported.