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Old March 30, 2002, 11:36 AM   #1
Oleg Volk
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Walther P38/Beretta 92 locking block: why?

What does that design do better than the Browning tilting barrel?
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Old March 30, 2002, 12:21 PM   #2
jar
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I don't know that it's better but it reduces the mass of the slide and keeps the barrel in one place so that feeding is more consistent.

The P-38 sure is a hoot to shoot.

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Old March 30, 2002, 01:15 PM   #3
Shake
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I'm not too familiar with the Walther, but with the Beretta the locking block design allows for the 180 degree ejection port. I think this leads to increased reliability. When cases are ejected, they're out of there.

I think even those who dislike the Beretta will admit that it is one of the most reliable handguns out there (speaking of the 92 series).

It can be argued that the Browning tilting barrel can be made nearly 100% reliable, making any small gain in reliability marginal at best. But, hey, every little bit helps.

I'm sure you've read this before, but there are other advantages listed here: Beretta L List

I wouldn't argue that it is a better design.

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Old March 30, 2002, 05:00 PM   #4
RON in PA
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This is entirely surmise and may have no basis in fact, but is it possible that when the P 38 was designed there were still some patents in effect covering Browning design features that Colt and/or FN owned?

Also the P38 was designed to be an easier and cheaper pistol to manufacture than the Luger(the pistol it replaced), is it possible that it also was cheaper and easier to produce than Browning designs?

Could also be a case of: we don't want a foreign designed gun for our German military.

And last thought, maybe it turned out that the P38/P1/M92 dropping block system, for whatever reason it was developed, turned out to be just as good as the Browning system. Remember most pistola today using the Browning tilt barrel system have gone to the Sig lock-up system (Sig, HK, Glock, Ruger, Walther, some S&W and the new Russian service pistol).
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Old March 30, 2002, 07:51 PM   #5
Modifiedbrowning
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modified browning system, gotta love it!
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Old April 2, 2002, 02:24 PM   #6
9mmepiphany
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not really better but different...

the falling block design has some advantages such as:

1. larger ejection port, makes no difference which way the case wants to jump out...makes it easier to hit you in the forehead
2. barrel only moves latereally
2a. straight cartridge feed
3. as the locking block wears, you replace it (on the browning you replace the slide or get a new barrel with oversized lugs)

must be way the hk p7 is the best action
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Old April 2, 2002, 03:48 PM   #7
warhammer357
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Walther and Beretta designs

>>>This is entirely surmise and may have no basis in fact, but is it possible that when the P 38 was designed there were still some patents in effect covering Browning design features that Colt and/or FN owned? <<<

I doubt the Nazis worried about Patent rights. There are always ways around them. Look at the Colt Double Eagle and the Seecamp for a recent example.

Also the P38 was designed to be an easier and cheaper pistol to manufacture than the Luger(the pistol it replaced), is it possible that it also was cheaper and easier to produce than Browning designs?
The Browning designs were cheaper and easier to machine than the Luger design too. Elmer Keith's book sixguns will tell you exactly how many machine operations it takes to make the Luger vs the Colt.

It was most likely a case of the Germans not wanting a foriegn gun, as it is never a good idea to rely on outsiders for something you need in a war.

The p-38 is a good design, as is the Beretta, as is the Colt and the Browning P-35. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. The Colt/Browning is a lot flatter. The p-38 and B-92 have that straight in line barrell and the locking block is acutally simpler in theory than the tilting barrel design.
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