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Old June 1, 2002, 04:46 PM   #1
J.R. Bob Dobbs
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Walther P38 help....

I just bought an unissued 1963 Walther P38 today, at the Marietta GA gunshow I went in with a heavy case of "gun-fever", and have been leaning toward another used military gun to compliment my Makarovs. I picked the P38 that had both nicest markings and best trigger, out of about 5 at the show. Unfortunately, I didn't look for a users manual, too

I've got a few questions for you p38 affecianodos:

-I can't figure out how to field strip it. I'm sure I'm "close, but no cigar". I've stared at, and fumbled with it for over an hour now, and I give up.

-Can it handle NATO spec ammo (+P)?

-Will it feed hollowpoints?

-Can it be safely dry fired?

-Anything else "unusual" I should know about?


It seems like a really nice little gun, and fits my hand wonderfully.
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Old June 1, 2002, 04:53 PM   #2
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http://www.gunsworld.com/walther/p38_home_us.html
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Old June 1, 2002, 04:56 PM   #3
J.R. Bob Dobbs
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Excellent!
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Old June 2, 2002, 07:47 AM   #4
J.R. Bob Dobbs
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Whew!! I've detail stripped, cleaned and reassembled the gun. Getting that firing pin channel cover plate back on was a REAL pain, I needed about 5 hands. Ended up using the "help" of a C-clamp and 2 wooden blocks. Took it out back and fired 2 rounds, to make sure I put it back together right. Shoots great, so it's off to the range Monday!

-Anybody else have any input about +p, or NATO spec pressure rounds thru this gun?

-The firing pin looks really beefy; is it OK to dry fire?
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Old June 2, 2002, 08:11 AM   #5
jar
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You probably have the P-1 instead of the P-38, with the alloy frame. it should handle Nato or +P just fine as long as that is not it's primary diet.

The one thing that you do need to get checked is the safety/hammer drop. If it is really unissued, you're okay. BUT, the P-1 had a problem with the safety, IIRR, that caused some exciting times. Drop me a line if you nedd details. But do check to make sure that the firing pin block is working before you go live. And the first time you use it, be sure that the barrel is pointed in a safe direction.
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Old June 2, 2002, 08:50 AM   #6
J.R. Bob Dobbs
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Thanks Jar, yes you're right, it is alloy framed, the steel is parkerized, and is indeed stamped "P1" on the frame; it looks like Century Arms stamped the P1, since the CAI and the P1 on the frame aren't stamped nearly as well as the factory proofmarks which appear only on the steel.

I've heard about the possibility of safety/decock causing AD's; I will check it for proper function at the range tomorrow. I'll probably just thumb the hammer down, since it is easy to control, same as I do with my Makarovs, for the same potential (known) problem.

I'll take it to the range tomorrow, with an assortment of FMJ, NATO FMJ, and +P JHP's to see how she likes knocking over steel plates. I really like the grip, balance, and SA trigger on this gun (DA is really stiff). I've never seen a gun that ejects to the LEFT, too. I can't wait to run a few boxes of ammo thru it.
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Old June 2, 2002, 12:26 PM   #7
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I'll give you one more thing to check, the security of the firing pin cover. Many have flown off into the grass round the shooting position because they weren't on properly.
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Old June 2, 2002, 12:39 PM   #8
J.R. Bob Dobbs
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I'm pretty sure it's on correctly. It was a BIT$# to install, though, and I doubt I'll ever remove it again!!
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Old June 3, 2002, 05:26 AM   #9
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J.R.,
You might want to look HERE

These guys know more about the P38 than anybody on the planet!!
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