I bought a new to me, used Walther P38.


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dondavis3
May 30, 2010, 11:01 PM
I was at a big gun show in Fort Worth yesterday and I bought a new to me, used Walther P38.

I've always enjoyed the looks of the P38 but had not ever bought one or even shot one.

I had already bought a Sig P226 and was just goofing around, and then I saw this very pretty P38 laying on a very small vendors table with only 6 other guns.

http://i742.photobucket.com/albums/xx67/dondavis3/Guns/WaltherP384.jpg

I had always seen many blued P38's, but never one like this.

After I looked it over and bought it - I asked the vendor where he had gotten it and he said it was part of a 30 gun estate sale that he had bought.

There is a date stamped on the right side of the slide 4/69 (at least it looks like a date).

Serial # is 323XXX.

Gun is in great condition.

Can anyone tell me anything about this beautiful gun?

Thanks for your help.

:cool:

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PRM
May 30, 2010, 11:19 PM
Nice finish.

Your gun has the fat slide which is an upgrade you want on the gun. You can tell by the serrations extending past the safety to the front.

It does not have the hex bolt which was an upgrade to the frame. Still not a bad thing.

Post war models have an alloy frame. It should not be fired with hot ammo or heavy bullets. 115 Grain Winchester white box FMJ seem to be what most owners like. I shoot the 124 grain FMJ, Federal American Eagle and have had great results. I am getting 1 inch groups at 45 feet with mine.

The Walther Forums have a lot of good info on these guns.

I just bought 5 extra mags from Keep Shooting for $15.95 each. They came in excellent condition and functioned like new.

http://www.keepshooting.com/firearmaccessories/magazines/german-p1-p38-mag.htm

This was the flagship of the Walther 9mm line, and for good reasons.

dondavis3
May 30, 2010, 11:30 PM
"It does not have the hex bolt which was an upgrade to the frame. Still not a bad thing. " - is that something I can or should correct?

I was told on another forum that this gun did not have this finish from the factory - no P38 came that way.

Is that correct?

:confused:

PRM
May 30, 2010, 11:40 PM
The hex bolt was put on later models to provide a surface for the locking block to ride on. I don't think that upgrade can be done without replacing the frame. I wouldn't worry about it. As long as you stay away from hot rounds or heavy bullets - it should last a life time. Walther made them for decades before adding it. These guns were made to shoot. Enjoy it.

I have not seen that finish - but, I don't claim to be an expert. Ask Orv on the Walther Forums. He seems to be one that is highly respected for his expertise.

M2 Carbine
May 30, 2010, 11:42 PM
I was shooting mine today.
Fun gun and surprisingly accurate.



The first P38 I bought was in the early 1960's. I never even heard of a decocker. When the gun was loaded, hammer cocked, I pushed the safety down and the hammer dropped I jumped about two feet.:D

dondavis3
May 30, 2010, 11:42 PM
+1 PRM

Thanks for the magazine tip - I just ordered 3 mags.

Good price.

dondavis3
May 30, 2010, 11:45 PM
+1 M2 Carbine

Now that's a funny story - I did exactly the same thing with a S&W auto I bought - the first time the decocker slammed the hammer forward it sared me to death :eek:

:cool:

PRM
May 31, 2010, 12:06 AM
It Loaded - good info

bigfatdave
May 31, 2010, 11:40 AM
Don't worry about the lack of a hex-bolt, I'd think adding one would cost as much as a new frame, at least.

A P.1 (commercial/police version of the P.38) was my first centerfire pistol, and still holds a special place in my safe and makes it to the range frequently. Mine likes WWB target ammo and doesn't mind cheap steel-case stuff, but doesn't seem to like much else for some reason. That's OK with me, I am forced to feed it the cheapest ammo I can find, most days.
I did some limited defensive ammo testing, and Gold Dots feed reliably, I keep a small stash of 115 grain non+P GDHP rounds just for that gun, even though I have many far more suitable options for defensive purposes.

Have you had it to the range yet? I always take mine if I'm hitting a rental range, it is my revenge for getting the right-most stall, because it throws brass left to the great confusion of other shooters, sometimes.

76shuvlinoff
May 31, 2010, 12:38 PM
I have the P38 my dad brought back from Germany, it is a commercial gun that appears to have been pressed into service for the military as the German war effort was circling the drain. All matching numbers but it's got some surface pitting. I consider it a family heirloom and a shooter, albeit I only put a couple mags worth through it a year, it runs like a clock. These weapons were advanced for their time.

Not a good picture, it actually looks better but here it is.
No the barrel isn't bent :o

http://i476.photobucket.com/albums/rr123/76shuvlinoff/1_copy32.jpg

Gik-tal
May 31, 2010, 03:31 PM
Just for the record that is not a P38 it is in fact a Walther P1. The last P38's were made in 1945. Starting in 1957 till sometime in the late 1990's, walther kept up production under the P1 model number. The big diffrence was that the P1 had an alloy frame the the original P38 was made of all steel.

dondavis3
May 31, 2010, 03:41 PM
+1 bigfatdave

Those are hollow point bullets in the picture :what:

But I'm going to be shooting ball ammo in it.

+1 76shuvlinoff - that picture does make it look like it has a bent barrel :eek:

Thanks for your replys.

bigfatdave
May 31, 2010, 04:21 PM
dondavis3, a few rounds of hot ammo aren't going to turn your pistol into a heap of metal shavings or something, just don't make a habit of using the hot stuff, it won't give you any benefit killing paper and it will cause increased wear&tear on the biggest part of the pistol you can't replace.

Another tip, I find that mine works best if the locking block is completely clean with just a dab of grease on the pivoting point, and other sliding surfaces get a bit of grease as well (rails, hammer face) with minimal lube otherwise. Like many guns, overlube is as bad as underlube.

REAPER4206969
May 31, 2010, 04:27 PM
Can anyone tell me anything about this beautiful gun?


http://i49.tinypic.com/29aqqtd.jpg

Milspec78
May 31, 2010, 06:18 PM
Actually dondavis3's gun is a commercial P-38/II (you just can't see the slide markings in the photo). It's identical to the military P-1 in every respect (including the circle/dot inspection stamp) - it just has the "P-38/II" model designation on the slide. It was imported by Interarms in 1969 (stamped on the right side of the slide). My commercial P-38 was proofed in 1977 (HH code) so it has the hex bolt... :)

http://fototime.com/81FF29D6BF54ABD/standard.jpg


http://fototime.com/1CDC3F034041ABA/standard.jpg


Milspec

Snowdog
May 31, 2010, 06:36 PM
LOL, quite rich Reaper. I haven't seen that one before. :D

dondavis3
May 31, 2010, 06:42 PM
+1 Milspec78

Your qiute correct - I did not notice the / II until it was pointed out to me thanks.

:cool:

PRM
May 31, 2010, 06:47 PM
Just for the record that is not a P38 it is in fact a Walther P1. The last P38's were made in 1945. Starting in 1957 till sometime in the late 1990's, walther kept up production under the P1 model number. The big diffrence was that the P1 had an alloy frame the the original P38 was made of all steel.-Gik-tal

It's not that simple in the world of Walther. You are correct in stating the war time models (pre-1945) were steel frame. However, there were a small number of Walther P38s made post war that had steel frames. The German military changed their designation to P1 in 1957 ~ 1963 dependent on source cited. Prior to that, commercial and military models were stamped P38. There are commercial models after that date that are stamped P38.

I think it is safe to say:

1. All war models were steel frame
2. Some post-war models are steel frame
3. Post war alloy models are stamped P38/P1 dependent on when and who they were made for
4. P38 or P1 are both correct terminology

dondavis3
May 31, 2010, 06:50 PM
Thanks PRM

The world of Walther P38 is more confusing than most gun models it seems.

Lot's of good information available - you just have to do a lot of asking and looking.

:cool:

76shuvlinoff
May 31, 2010, 07:09 PM
I found a lot of help here while researching my father's P38

http://p38forum.com/index.htm

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