What colors to refinish a P38 (aluminum)?


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Leif Runenritzer
October 25, 2007, 04:21 PM
I've lately bought a P38. There are some scratches, there's holster-wear, and the grips are slightly warped so that the seam doesn't close at the backstrap. I'd be happy with a dark-park look, or blueing, but the frame is aus Leichtmetall, so i need to paint it.

For the grips, black would be alright, but i would only want them glossy if the rest of the gun was too. I've seen wood grips, but i can only find them with a brass, non-milspec escutcheon. I know someone linked to a maker of wooden grips for sundry handguns somewhere here, P38s included, but i can't find it now. As for the style of grips, i imagine the P1-style would work better, but i don't have a big preference.

I was considering parkerizing the steel parts and making the frame olive-drab or tan, but i think a P38 would look better with the continuity of one tone on the bigger parts. Besides, i'm sure some of you would hate me for doing anything so outlandish to a P38 as make it tan or whatnot. I'm likely to choose one color for the frame, slide and barrel, and leave the other bits parkerized, but i can't decide what color. In your opinions, what colors would look good on a P38? What colors would look right on a P38? What i don't want is a glossy frame under a parkerized barrel and slide, as it was originally. I would get it in flecktarn if i could find a stencil for that pattern. Whatever finish i use, i would like it to resist holster-wear better than the original finish. What do you think about all this? Sorry if this is sounding like queer-eye for guns.

Wow, i thought this would be shorter.

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bannockburn
October 25, 2007, 05:08 PM
From your description, do you have a P1 with an aluminum frame, a P38 with a steel frame, or a post war commercial P38 with an aluminum frame? If it is a P1, then the aluminum frame can be anodized several different colors, and does not have to be glossy if you're going to go with a matte finish for the slide and barrel. My Manurhin P1 has the matte blue upper along with a glossy blue/black anodized frame.
I had a commercial Walther P38, 1964 vintage, that had a subdued dark blue upper with a deep black anodized frame, that looked as though they were both finished the same. I don't think that it would be a problem with whatever finish you go with, to have both the upper assembly and the frame match each other.
http://http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc231/buckeroobanzai/th_DSC02385.jpg (http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc231/buckeroobanzai/DSC02385.jpg)

gb6491
October 25, 2007, 05:36 PM
Nice pistol bannockburn! As more food for thought, there are some good photos of other P38s here. (http://www.p38guns.com/)

If you decide to paint the frame DuraCoat (http://www.lauerweaponry.com/duracoatcolors.cfm?colortype=stock&Category=220) comes in quite a variety of colors.

Numrich Gun Parts Corporation (http://www.e-gunparts.com/productschem.asp?chrMasterModel=2100zP38) has some wood grips listed for the P38.

Regards,
Greg

bannockburn
October 25, 2007, 07:55 PM
Thanks gb6491; this particular P1 was one that was made for the West Berlin police force. Another great place for everything P38 is the p38forum.com; great info and the pics aren't bad either.

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