Revisiting the old ways, in a new way

One curious thing I have seen in my time in the gun world, which only dates back to the early 1980s, is that mass-produced polymer and machine-fitted modern production techniques have earnestly replaced more, um, vintage methods of craftsmen making firearms out of steel and wood.

However, it seems that in recent years there has been a return of sorts to a more nostalgic era of gun craft, with hand-fitted steel-framed firearms returning to the market. For instance, look at the Laugo Alien, the Dan Wesson DWX, and Beretta 92X Performance.

The Dan Wesson DWX is part CZ 75, part M1911, and all hand-fit competition gun

With that in mind, I was pleased to see Walther’s new Meister Manufaktur line of semi-custom Q5 Steel Frame Match pistols at SHOT Show last month.

The four Q5 Match SF models in the Walther Meister Manufaktur series include the Patriot, Black Tie, Arabesque, and Black Diamond. (Photo: Walther)

All will feature a blend of performance upgrades to include a Tenifer nitride treated barrel, slide, steel-frame, and magazine base plate. Going past this, there is a performance series flat-face trigger, one-piece wrap-around aluminum grip machined from a solid block of aerospace-grade aluminum alloy and the magazine base plate machined from a solid block of pure steel.

The Black Tie uses a Stinox coating to give the custom Q5 a satin finish. A black serrated target front sight and adjustable match rear sight are integrated into the slide, a feature standard across the line. (Photo: Chris Eger/

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