Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by MI2600, Jul 26, 2013.
Most P38s on the market are force fit rebuilds from ex communist bloc nations, spoils of war. The really good P38s are priced out of the range of most people for use as day to day shooters.
P1s fill the gap for good quality shootable examples of a classic design.
The war time rebuilds will do the same but always remind me of assembled piece parts guns.
After the war, Walther changed the design to use an aluminum frame, and they made the aluminum P-38 up until the mid-1990's before it was discontinued.
The aluminum P-38 was sold to West German police and as a commercial gun all over the world, including in America.
When the new post-war West German military adopted the P-38 as their standard pistol they designated it as "Pistole One" or P1.
The P1 is nothing more then the post-war aluminum P-38 with military stamps in place of the commercial stamps.
The aluminum P-38/P1 does feel slightly different when shooting due to the lighter frame and different balance due to the lighter frame.
The steel bolt in the P-38/P1 frame was not to prevent cracking, it was to provide a steel wear surface for the locking block.
In high round count guns the Germans discovered that the aluminum frame would wear in the locking ramp area and the gun would start to have locking problems.
The steel bolt gave the frames locking ramp a steel surface that would last longer.
To me it is well worth the $225 out of pocket for the deal.
There are no differences (other than finish and markings) between an aluminum P-38 and a P-1 of the same vintage.
M92fs = M9
P228 = M11
Government Model = M1911
I shot a couple hundred rounds a year through it for years, not so much now with ammo getting harder to find and expensive.
It is holding up just fine.
Add a set of wood grips and the weight difference is a non issue compared to a steel frame gun wearing the plastic service grips.
Like all the P-38 series guns all adjustments were made by moving the front sight for windage, or replacing it with a different height for elevation.
The P-4 was developed to provide an upgraded pistol to the German police until a fully developed new design pistol was available.
Knowing that the new Walther P88 wasn't ready, and the German police were impatient for a more modern replacement, Walther did a fast redesign of the P-38 as a stalling tactic.
Walther designated the post-war commercial pistols as "P.38" because that designation was so well known. The "P1" pistols sold on the commercial market were either a production overrun on the military contract or sold later as surplus.
There are some significant differences between the wartime and postwar pistols, especially in the safety and firing pin which were revised to eliminate a weakness in the wartime pistols that could result in automatic fire. Some, but not all, parts in other areas will interchange to a degree but fitting may be required.
Separate names with a comma.