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Opinions wanted of C&R P38

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by leadcounsel, May 31, 2010.

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  1. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    I've considered buying one. Needing opinions on quality, fair price, and any other significant details. Cheers
     
  2. REAPER4206969

    REAPER4206969 Member

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    You're going to need to be more specific.
     
  3. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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  4. PRM

    PRM Member

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    The gun itself looks fairly typical with different grades, however it seems a little high for what it is. About three weeks ago I gave $325 for a P38/P1 in 99% condition, with an extra mag and like new holster. The one I bought had all the upgrades Walther put on their later models. I have seen several go on Gun Broker for around $350 during the last month.

    Guns without the upgrades have been around close to 60 years and the majority are still on ranges, in collections... Like any other product Walther refined their guns as they produced them. Although not necessarily a deal breaker - I would get them if possible, especially if I was planning on doing a lot of shooting with it.

    One thing to look for is the hex bolt. It provides a surface for the locking bolt to ride on. Pic 1 shows the hex bolt which is visible when looking at the frame.

    I would also try and get the thicker "Fat Slide". Pic 2 shows the fat slide. You can see the serrations are longer and extend forward of the safety unlike pic 3 which is th older thinner slide.

    Personally, I would be patient and watch the auction sites (Gun Broker, Auction Arms...). If you decide to go through a dealer offering multiple grades, they obviously have a numer of the guns - get them to hand pick you one with the upgrades.
     

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    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  5. e3mrk

    e3mrk Member

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    If You want a P-1 then make sure it has had the recoil Pin installed in the Frame.
    Being a alloy Frame They tend to crack due to the way the Slide impacts the Frame causing Them to crack.

    [​IMG]

    Be sure that a Pin has been installed in the Frame to prevent this from happening.
    Another thing You can do is change the Alloy Frame with a WW-2 Steel Frame,I have done this on two of Mine and They fit and work perfectly.
    This Picture shows a Frame with the Pin Installed. You can see the Pin between the Take Down Lever and the Slide Hold back.
    [​IMG]

    Also Samco is misrepresenting the Pistol as a P-38 when it is actually a P-1. Basically the same Pistol except for the Alloy Frame and dates of Manufacture.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2010
  6. PRM

    PRM Member

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    The "recoil pin" or hex bolt was installed on the P38/P1 to give the locking block a steel surface to ride on instead of the aluminum frame. Without it, given sufficient wear this could cause locking problems - Most guns, especially in private collections, will never be shot enough to experience this problem. It was not intended to prevent cracked frames. The pic posted showing the cracked frame has been on the internet for some time. However, we need to keep in mind, there are thousands of these guns that have been in service for decades without cracking or having any other form of frame flaw. Most agree that the problem is rare and when encountered is most likely attributed to hot ammo or a continuous diet of heavy bullets, something the weapon system was not designed for.

    As far as Samco misrepresenting the gun. Their pic appears to have a P38 stamping. The P38 and P1 stampings are both found on post war alloy frame guns. The P38 designation was the stamp used on these guns from the end of WWII up through 1957~1963 dependent on the source cited. The German military changed the designation to P1 and their guns were stamped as such from that time on. Commercial models continued to be stamped P38 after that date.
     
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2010
  7. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Found this post war P-38 for $350 in excellent condition from a supplier.

    Good deal?
     
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2013
  8. mordechaianiliewicz

    mordechaianiliewicz Member

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    They are nice. Not nearly as much value as a Nazi-era gun.

    They do shoot well though. I would consider it a very nice range gun.
     
  9. PRM

    PRM Member

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    You have the hex bolt and fat slide on that gun. All the desired upgrades. But I would not consider a P1/P38 without them a deal breaker. Price is good. You should get a life time of service out of the gun. Unless you abuse it ~ your kids will be shooting it.

    I have had the best results with 124 grain, FMJ bullets, which is what the P1/P38 was designed for. Stay away from +P ammo or heavy spring kits.

    You can get extra mags at http://www.keepshooting.com/firearmaccessories/magazines/german-p1-p38-mag.htm

    Let us know how it shoots.

    Here is a couple of good sites to read up on them:

    http://www.waltherforums.com/index.php

    http://forums.p38forum.com/forums/
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2010
  10. GunTech

    GunTech Member

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    PRM, thanks for all the good info.

    It's stuff like this that keep me reading this site. I've owned a few P38s and always liked them. Bt I never seems to hang onto them. You've got me thinking about adding another one to the collection, and now I know what to look for.
     
  11. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    Yes, thanks for all the info PRM. Very helpful.
     
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