Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

P-38 ????

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by rbernie, Mar 6, 2004.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    20,681
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    I've always liked the looks of the Walther P-38 and wanted to own one, but really had no desire to get into the whole Nazi-memorabilia thing. Well, lo and behold - today, I came across a post-war aluminum frame P38 in a local shopm arked at $360. Looked in good shape - clean bore, rifling looked good, not many wear marks.

    So, who here has any experience with the P38? Is it a reasonable and reliable shooter?
     
  2. Gordon

    Gordon Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    8,476
    Location:
    central Kali.
    Good price, good shooter! This gun will go up in price! I still have a nice AC41 & a Walther factory commenrative stashed. I shot the snot out of one like yours 30 years ago, nothing bad to say!:D
     
  3. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    20,681
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    Does the aluminum frame hold up OK? Also, I've heard that the safety is a bit frangible - true?
     
  4. cslinger

    cslinger Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    4,486
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    It is a Walther P1, the post war version, with aluminum frame.

    It is a spectacular 9mm and one of the best deals going. It will not be as collectible as a real wartime P38 but if you are after a little piece of history that you don't feel bad about shooting it is great.

    The P1/P38 should give you a great 9mm with a lot of history and make for a fine modern firearm for shooting fun and defense as well. The double action trigger pull is stout but reliabilty should be flawless.

    I say go for it. P38s and P1s do have some durability quirks that you might want to research but all in all they are very well made very durable firearms.

    As for the safety I would recommend when you use the safety/decocker to also hold the hammer and let it fall gently. This will prevent any breakage. This goes for early Walther PP, PPKs etc.

    As for the frame, clean it, and take care of it and your great grandchildren will be shooting it.......................assuming that the two real enemies of firearms to destroy the gun...........rust and politicians.

    Chris
     
  5. CWatson

    CWatson Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    190
    I have a Walther P-1 and it is one of my favorite plinkers.There are two frame types for the P-1.The later types have a hexigonal steel insert that passes through the frame just forward of the trigger guard.Mine is the early type without the insert and I have many thousands of 9mm through it and it still shows no wear.I replaced the worn out factory recoil springs with heavier (8lb) Wolf springs when I got it .I would not use any P+ ammo through it.

    CWatson
     
  6. modifiedbrowning

    modifiedbrowning Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,220
    Location:
    Bozeman, MT
    Price seems a little high to me. In the latest Shotgun News www.centerfiresystems.com has them listed for $269.97. Of course you have to add in shipping and transfer fee, but my dealer only charges $15.
     
  7. anapex

    anapex Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2003
    Messages:
    1,043
    Location:
    Free at last in PA!
    If only those P-1s were C&R ;)
     
  8. XLMiguel

    XLMiguel Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    2,551
    Location:
    Santa Fe, NM
    CDNN has 'em for $249 in good to very good condition, $279 for select, FWIW .
     
  9. Jim K

    Jim K Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2002
    Messages:
    17,751
    That hex frame insert fits into the frame at the point the locking block is forced upward to lock. That was a weak point in the alloy frame, as the edge wore down pretty quickly. I don't care for the looks, but the mod is good.

    Jim
     
  10. Roadkill

    Roadkill Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2003
    Messages:
    1,262
    Location:
    Alabama
    P1s

    I had one for a while, sold it to a friend then he sold it to another ,we still all go shooting together, I sent it on cause I've got a WWII P38 and wanted another gun, he sold it cause he wanted a Ruger Blackhawk I had in .45 acp, ect. It's what you expect from Walther, worked very well with the Walmart white box 124g 9mm, it was a little boxy for me but shot well, accuracy was not as good as BHPs or Lugers, just make sure the top plate/cover is secure, is unsettling for it to pop off and lose all those little parts in there. Disassembly takes a little to get used to, definitely not a Browning design. I'd say go for it.

    rk
     
  11. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,449
    The P38 can seem a little odd if you are used to shooting modern autoloaders, especially the sights, but once you get used to it, the P38 can be a lot of fun.
     
  12. Lightsped

    Lightsped Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,241
    Location:
    Kennesaw, Georgia
    Very interesting! What is the difference(s) in a P-1 and a P-38. When were P-1s produced? Are both actual German made guns, or is one of lss quality than the other?
     
  13. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    6,134
    The POST-WAR aluminum frame P-38 and the P-1 are the exact same gun.
    The only difference is the stamping on the slide.

    The P-38 stamped guns were intended for German police, and commercial and non-German military sales.

    The P-1 marked guns were for the West German military.

    This is sort of like the Beretta Model 92 and the US Military M9.

    Both the P-38 and the P-1 were first produced Post-war in France by Manurhin, and are so marked.
    By the late 50's Walther had built a new plant in Germany, and moved production back there.

    The current crop of P-1's are all German-made.

    In either case, Manurhin or German produced, the quality is uniformly VERY excellent.
     
  14. rbernie
    • Contributing Member

    rbernie Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    20,681
    Location:
    Norra Texas
    When I go back to look at this pistol again, how can I view this/tell if the P1 has the insert or not?
     
  15. BADSBSNF81

    BADSBSNF81 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    444
    Location:
    Out where the buses don't run.
    If you haven't tried, you might consider posting over at www.P38forum.com. Those guys live and breath P-38's. The insert is a steel pin just behind the disassembly/takedown lever.
     
  16. P95Carry

    P95Carry Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    16,341
    Location:
    South PA, and a bit West of center!
    I noticed just today in CDNN's latest flier catalog ... they have some for $249 ($279 ''selected'') (back page) ... wonder what shape they would be in?

    Is this a blowback .... I have sorta assumed they were.?
     
  17. Zeke Menuar

    Zeke Menuar Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2003
    Messages:
    1,228
    Location:
    Oregon Monsoon Central
    I'll have to check my ATF propaganda books. Some of the P-38/P-1's might just be coming into C&R eligibilty pretty soon. It would be great if I could get one shipped to my door.

    ZM
     
  18. denfoote

    denfoote Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    4,622
    Location:
    Near the border of occupied Azlan and Mexico.
    My P1 is from 1980 and it shoots really well.
    In fact, if I could find a good concealment holster for it, I might consider carrying it!!! :eek:
    It always gets looks when I take it to the range, especally when accompanied by my P08 Luger!!! :D
     
  19. WonderNine

    WonderNine member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    4,331
    Location:
    always offline!
    That doesn't sound so good, sounds like military pressure ammo is out and shooting it alot with Winchester Whitebox is even iffy....

    Another problem I have with them is that they eject to the left and I'm a righty.......

    I hate brass in my eye, that just ruins my day...and possibly alot more.
     
  20. 1911Tuner

    1911Tuner Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    May 22, 2003
    Messages:
    18,550
    Location:
    Lexington,North Carolina...or thereabouts
    P-38

    You'll find that most P-38s are hardball only propositions, but they're accurate and easy to make hits with once the SA trigger is mastered.
    Can't speak for the late-production examples, but the WW2 era pistols
    had heavy DA and SA triggers.

    If you start playing with the ramp and throat, you may find that it won't
    even feed ball...Best leave it alone.


    Wondernine said:


    Another problem I have with them is that they eject to the left and I'm a righty.......

    I hate brass in my eye, that just ruins my day...and possibly alot more

    The ones that I've shot don't kick the brass in your face, but rather throw
    it high and over your left shoulder. 11 O'clock and back at about a 30 degree angle. I've shot several, and never been beaned yet.

    The pistols that hit you in the face...notably the 1911...don't eject the brass
    back at you. They eject it high at about 1 O'clock, and the the slide hits
    it on the way back before it can get clear of the port.

    Luck!

    Tuner
     
  21. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,449
    The P38 seems pretty rugged as long as you use mild FMJ ammo. They seem to tolerate Winchester Value Pack with no problem. I'd be a little hesitant to buy one as a daily shooter, but I have no reason to feel this way. I've run over 500 rounds of Wally World White Box through a couple of older examples and have not experienced any problems. Except for the odd controls and sights that were difficult for me to master, they function like any other modern double-action autoloader.

    Still, if I was looking for a gun that I planned to run 200+ rounds per week through, I'd probably select a modern gun with a reputation for robust construction.
     
  22. Sylvilagus Aquaticus

    Sylvilagus Aquaticus Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    2,170
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    I bought a very nice BYF back in the early to mid 80's. Great shooter, reasonably accurate in my hands. It made a nice 'glove box gun' at the time. Unfortunately, I paid about $350 for it, which was the going rate at the time. A couple of months later the 'powers that be' began importing the Grey Ghosts by the shipping container load and retailing them for about $175 to $200. Needless to say, I was as upside down as the new owner of a zero-down Daewoo Leganza with a 7 year note. I sold it some years later and took what I considered to be a beating, but we both were happy. I parlayed that cash into a minty Ruger Blackhawk in .30 carbine and haven't looked back.

    Regards,
    Rabbit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2004
  23. jc2

    jc2 member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Messages:
    1,235
    Mild FMJ ammo???

    The P38 was the issue handgun of German Army (and others) from the 40s to the 80s. It was also a common LE handgun. It has evidently handled full CIP and NATO handgun loads for the last three decades--and its direct descendant, the P5 (with the same steel hex pin) is still in general service (and probably one--if not THE--finest single column nine ever produced). Why has it become so fragile all of a sudden?

    (That being said, I would opt for one with the steel hex pin.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2004
  24. Lobotomy Boy

    Lobotomy Boy Member

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,449
    The two examples I've shot have been WWII-era guns. They are probably tough as nails, but given that they are antique guns that belong to friends, I tend to treat them as if they are fragile. For example, I don't let the hammer fall when I hit the decocker.
     
  25. Bart Noir

    Bart Noir Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Messages:
    887
    Location:
    Mossy part of Washington
    About that hex frame insert...

    I checked my P-38 (1962 vintage) and in the cavity that the locking block drops into, I see what looks like a steel insert, so that the locking block is lifted by this steel surface. I don't see any indication of this on the outside of the frame, it's not like an inserted pin that goes through the frame. So am I right in saying that mine has the steel insert?

    Bart Noir
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page