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What colors to refinish a P38 (aluminum)?

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Leif Runenritzer, Oct 25, 2007.

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  1. Leif Runenritzer

    Leif Runenritzer Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2007
  2. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    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.
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  3. gb6491

    gb6491 Member

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    Nice pistol bannockburn! As more food for thought, there are some good photos of other P38s here.

    If you decide to paint the frame DuraCoat comes in quite a variety of colors.

    Numrich Gun Parts Corporation has some wood grips listed for the P38.

    Regards,
    Greg
     
  4. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    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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