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The Pact of the Blade feature of the Warlock reads (emphasis mine):

You can use your action to create a pact weapon in your empty hand. [...] You are proficient with it while you wield it. [...]

It goes on to say:

You can transform one magic weapon into your pact weapon by performing a special ritual while you hold the weapon. [...] ...it appears whenever you create your pact weapon thereafter. [...]

Suppose my human warlock got her hands on a nice +1 warhammer. Normally, she is not proficient with warhammers. If she uses this feature to transform the +1 warhammer into her pact weapon, she can later summon it at will.

Am I correct in interpreting that as long as she wields the +1 warhammer as her pact weapon, she is proficient with it? Or does that clause only apply to the "default" pact weapon that the warlock creates themselves?

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That feature allows a warlock to use a martial weapon with the proficiency bonus that it otherwise could not

Since the warhammer is a martial weapon, yes, it can be the pact weapon if it is so designated per the rules passage that you cited.

The Warlock is proficient with simple weapons as the default. What that class feature does is allow a pact of the blade warlock to use martial weapons without having to take a feat. A martial weapon not identified as the pact weapon can be used anytime, sure, but not with the Warlock's proficiency bonus added to attack rolls.

Am I correct in interpreting that as long as she wields the +1 warhammer as her pact weapon, she is proficient with it?

Yes.

When you do that ritual, the +1 warhammer becomes the Warlock's default weapon - the one the Warlock summons with an action.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I believe by "default" @izzy meant the "general choose what you want anytime you summon it" pact weapon that you get prior to performing said ritual and bonding with a specific weapon. \$\endgroup\$ – RevenantBacon Apr 17 at 15:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast RevenantBacon has it correct. By "default", I mean the weapon you "get" when you take the feature at Level 3; the amorphous magical energy which can become any weapon you so desire each time you summon it. \$\endgroup\$ – Izzy Apr 17 at 16:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ @KorvinStarmast Being quite frank this is still entirely hypothetical. We start a new campaign on Saturday and, I being me, I have been exploring build options all week long. The Pact of the Blade's ability to hide/summon weapons almost at will has always been fascinating to me and, mostly, I just wanted to make sure this scenario would work. \$\endgroup\$ – Izzy Apr 17 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Izzy It will work. :) And yes, it's fine to wait. :-) \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Apr 17 at 17:27

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