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Old May 5, 2013, 10:53 AM   #26
Crankgrinder
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My understanding is the p38 was a good workhorse when it was introduced, but the Luger had style and class and was the favored posession amongst Germans (and us as well). We have a similar thing going here we have beretta M9s and some sigs but 1911s seem to be rather coveted amongst us.
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Old May 5, 2013, 11:18 AM   #27
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NO personal evidence one way or the other. My father brought back from the war a Luger and a Mauser HSc. He always said that the Walther P-38 had been stolen in transit, and he deeply regretted that loss.

I have the Luger and Mauser, but have not fired a P-38, so I have no personal judgement. Whether the P-38 had a personal connection due to the way it was obtained, or if he viewed it as a superior weapon to the others, I have no idea. My father was not a gun guy.

He could appreciate them as machinery but never had a desire, that I know of, to collect.
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Old May 5, 2013, 03:21 PM   #28
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microgunner- It's a post-war gun with an alloy frame. It is marked P38 and that's what I call it.

Mike- The NAZIS were commies. NAZI means National Socialist German Worker's Party and that's as commie as it gets. The NAZIs denounced capitalism and favored central control of wealth.

Or did you know this and only wondered what school taught the truth about Naziism?
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Old May 5, 2013, 03:55 PM   #29
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My dad brought a Luger back from WWII. He had a nickel plated P38 he took from a prisoner but it was stolen from his pack(he was a paratrooper). He was glad it happened because he got the Luger and was only allowed to bring one semi-auto handgun home. He also shipped a 98K Mauser home. I have both guns and paperwork he filed to bring them home.

I have fired both Lugers and P-38s. I enjoy Lugers more because they are different. The P-38 is a fine gun and is very reliable.
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Old May 5, 2013, 04:44 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaxonPig
The NAZIS were commies. NAZI means National Socialist German Worker's Party and that's as commie as it gets. The NAZIs denounced capitalism and favored central control of wealth.
I don't want this thread to devolve into bickering over the prewar Nazi economy, but socialism as practiced by the Nazis was NOT the same thing as Soviet-style Marxist communism.

The Nazis maintained strong central control over the economy but did not abolish private property ownership or centralize the entire economy; a major clue is that German WWII weapons were made by private companies like Walther and Mauser rather than being made by The State. In fact, one of the reasons Hitler came to power was by promising to crush the Soviet-backed Communist Party, which had become popular with many less-skilled German workers who had suffered under the weak and inflationary Weimar economy. This gained him political points with German conservatives and business owners who figured that some degree of central economic control was far more acceptable than the REALLY scary ideas that the Communists espoused.
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Old May 5, 2013, 10:16 PM   #31
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Carguychris is correct. The original NSDAP tended toward socialism but Hitler needed both the money and the support of the industrialists in his rise to power, so the "S" was quickly ignored and older Nazis who actually believed in the "socialist" part were purged. (So was the "A". Workers who thought Hitler would improve their lot found their real wages cut, work hours increased, and the industrial bosses very much in control.)

A good source is William L. Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, written by one who was there and before revisionists and some pro-Nazi apologists had a chance to distort history.

In practice, to an American, there was little difference among Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and the other dictators of that ilk. All ruthlessly slaughtered their own people. Mao killed at least ten times more people than Hitler, yet some left-wing Americans adore him as a socialist hero!

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Old May 22, 2013, 02:14 AM   #32
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Oh I get it, Hitler was a communist, Stalin was a fascist, Marx was a Leninist and Lenin was a Marxist. Eureka! It is all coming back to me now...funny how I got all of that reversed after all these years.

There is enough "propaganda" (a lot of anti-P38 sentiment) to embarass a Soviet newspaper in this thread. The P38 was one of the best pistols of the war, and the parabellum, aka "Pistol of 1908" does not compare.

Quote:
The Luger actually has fewer parts ( about 16 fewer ) than the P38.

parts count : Luger = about 40

P38 = about 56

The Luger is also SIMPLER, to understand and field strip, all the way down to the firing pin, with NO TOOLS. You can see the entire action ( it's more linear ) of a Luger easily, ..... but the rotating parts and processes going on inside the frame of the P38 are actually more complicated.
The luger is not simpler. The mechanism has more moving parts. I mean just look at the toggle for God's sake. Wouldn't you rather have a slide? While I believe that the P38 has more parts, the P38 still disassembles into 3 basic pieces: the barrel/locking block, the slide (with firing pin, extractor, manual safety etc) and the receiver (trigger, springs, hammer, etc). The locking block can be removed easily, if needed. The P38 is in my opinion simpler to understand, since it has only 3 basic parts assemblies. Disassembly is a breeze and it was designed to be field stripped very easily. It is more a modular design, as members such as Walt Sherrill have already mentioned. The luger, on the other hand, requires removal of 2 PARTS, for a basic field strip. If these parts are lost, you got a problem. Also, I never tried to remove a luger firing pin without a tool (oddly enough, the luger tools were made in part for this purpose) but it would NOT be an easy task. So the luger requires removal of the sideplate and rear toggle axis pin, and a firing pin change requires the use of a tool to twist the firing pin guide from 12 o'clock position to 9 o'clock position. How is that simpler? Its not. The luger is a primitive semi auto system that was advanced when it came out, around 1900.

Quote:
I am just guessing here, but given the German love of fine engineering I suspect the typical German soldier would have preferred the stylish and more precisely built P08 over the more utilitarian P38.
I think the idea of usefulness in a combat situation greatly outweighed the "style and precision built" Luger "advantage." As a German soldier, going with the superior designed, modern, ground breaking P38 would have been the wisest choice. The P38 is a common cal, with a more reliable design, most likely easier to find parts for (esp as the war went on), more mags around for those, etc. As a German soldier, or any soldier, before you concern yourself with how you or your equipment looks, your main objective is survival. Of course looking good is crucial, and your guns should be stylish, but what good is lookin stylish when you're dead? We're not talking about marching through the streets of Berlin for a parade in 1937 either, we are talking life and death during WWII. In the combat scenario, you always want the latest and greatest, not a near obsolete pistol from warriors past. While the P08 was not truly obsolete in the purest sense, it was no longer competitive with the current designs, and why would it be, when it was designed 30 to 40 years before most of the other pistols fielded in WWII. I for one think the P38 had a stylish look, whereas the Luger look was more of a functional design rather than a stylish one.

IMO, the German foot soldiers would have been proud to carry P38s. It was one of the most advanced designs of the whole war, and one of the best designed pistols of the war, in general. What do you think they were told when they were trained with P38s? It was probably something to the effect of "this is the greatest pistol man has ever had, and you have it! Heil Hitler!" Yea, the luger has history, but that is more of a concern with a luger collector in the US vs a German soldier in WWII. I know if I'm a German soldier, I want either a P38 or a BHP way before a luger, for many reasons.

I also don't believe many officers wanted a P08 for the history. As others have said, they purchased their own pistols, and since they knew it would be a special occasion for their pistol to be drawn, they often carried smaller pistols in 32 acp such as the PPK, 38H, PP, HSc, Mauser 1934, etc. I acknowledge that a few would have wanted a P08 for one reason or another, but if you had your pick of 9mms as a german officer, the prudent choice would be one which offers advantage over your adversary, such as the BHP with a 14 rd capacity (13+1) or at least something that is more current than a luger. I can see an officer carrying a luger for sentimental reasons, or because it shot good for him due to the grip angle, but otherwise, I think you carry something more modern as a Nazi officer.

Btw, any P38 made after WWII is a reproduction. Only a wartime P38 is the genuine article.
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Old May 22, 2013, 05:59 AM   #33
Walt Sherrill
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Quote:
The Nazis maintained strong central control over the economy but did not abolish private property ownership or centralize the entire economy; a major clue is that German WWII weapons were made by private companies like Walther and Mauser rather than being made by The State.
The Germans, in WWII, did what the Allies did: they put in place a form of economic control called "Command Capitalism" in which the government directed where activity was to occur, and left the economic system to carry it out.

China is using essentially that technique, today, to manage its growth: the Communist leadership calls the shots, but allows private ownership and profits. (Oversimplified, but generally correct...)

The Chinese Communists, it seems, don't mind private property and profits, as long as the Communist Party stays in control. (Whether that will be possible over the longer term is the question everyone is trying to answer -- i.e., is the relative "freedom" of the Communist economic system incompatible with the the almost TOTAL control of their political system?)

.

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Old May 22, 2013, 06:25 AM   #34
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Quote:
Boogieman, the Nazis were definitely not communists.
Ok I get it. I meant fascism. I wrongly stereotype the F,M,S-isms as the same. In many cases the only thing they share is that they are not Capitalism.
The point I was trying to make was missed. The soldier like most soldiers was not allowed to think or favor. If you were issued a P-38 then thats the gun you like.

Personally I like the P-38. It very closely reminds me my Beretta 96. I have never had the opportunity to fire a Luger, perhaps it will change my mind.
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Old May 22, 2013, 07:13 AM   #35
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While I have both, I much prefer shooting the P-08 Luger. Shoot both side by side. I find the P-38, and the post WWII P-1 actually crude by comparison. Is the P-38 a "good gun"? Certainly. Is it more reliable than a Luger? Not for me, plus it is not nearly as accurate. The Luger is a work of art.
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Old May 22, 2013, 08:35 AM   #36
Mike Irwin
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"Mike- The NAZIS were commies. NAZI means National Socialist German Worker's Party and that's as commie as it gets."

Wow. I missed that.

Failing grade on the history test.

A NAME does not make something so, the practice makes something so.

In practice, the Nazis were about as far from Marxist Communism as possible.

I'm starting to think that I should have become a history teacher.
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Old May 22, 2013, 08:40 AM   #37
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I'm trying to remember where I read it, but it's been some years...

Anyway, what I read stated that in production terms, the Luger took well over 1,000 man hours to manufacture, while the P-38 took roughly 1/4th that amount of time.

Much of that was in the precision machining, finishing, and fitting required for many of the Luger's intricate parts, such as the toggle.

While the quality of finish was steadily decreased, that's only a small part of the production total for the gun.

More man hours equals higher unit cost, higher labor costs, and slower product delivery.
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Old May 22, 2013, 09:12 AM   #38
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I would imagine that in the latter years of WWII, the typical German soldier, had he a particular need for a sidearm, would simply have chosen what he could lay hands on and obtain ammunition for. I doubt very much he had the luxury of hours of contemplation in the matter.

Remember, also, these are SIDEARMS - they are not primary weapons for combat troops. I'm sure we as enthusiasts put a lot more thought into this than the typical Wehrmacht feldwebel who no doubt had more practical concerns.
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Old May 22, 2013, 09:28 AM   #39
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I think officers would have wanted the newer Walther P-38.

But I think the Luger was a better pistol, especially the artillery carbine version, but I could be biased.

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Old May 22, 2013, 10:48 AM   #40
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Beautiful arty carbine. Is it yours?
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Old May 22, 2013, 10:57 AM   #41
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Quote:
Mike- The NAZIS were commies. NAZI means National Socialist German Worker's Party and that's as commie as it gets.
And the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea) is most definitely democratic.
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Old May 22, 2013, 12:24 PM   #42
Kev
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My grandfather had an artillery carbine just like that one.
He traded it for a Webley pellet gun for my father when he was a wee lad.
Still have the Webley....dammit!
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Old May 22, 2013, 12:47 PM   #43
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My only thought on the firing pin question is that anyone who thinks the P.08 firing pin is hard to remove should definitely not try to remove the P.38 firing pin.

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Old May 22, 2013, 02:06 PM   #44
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I had to chuckle at that ^
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Old May 22, 2013, 02:25 PM   #45
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Quote:
My grandfather had an artillery carbine just like that one.
He traded it for a Webley pellet gun for my father when he was a wee lad.
Still have the Webley....dammit!
Don't be so glum. I'm sure that Webley pellet rifle will still fetch every penny it sold for when it was new!
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Old May 22, 2013, 02:48 PM   #46
Kev
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lol..It's worth maybe 200 bucks, just a bit less than the Artillery Luger..

BUT..Speaking of P38s, this really tempts me..alot...

http://www.gunsamerica.com/996714103...t_Magazine.htm
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Old May 22, 2013, 02:57 PM   #47
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25 years ago when I worked for Mercedes Benz I worked with 5 older gentlemen who were in the Wehrmacht, they all said they liked the Luger over the other handguns available.
One told me if a enemy soldier was caught during battle with a Luger they were shot on the spot.Reason being that they killed an officer to get it.( Of course they all said they were'nt Nazi's either)

I have a 1917 P-08, 1941 Walther P-38, and a 1962 P-38. They all are accurate, and a joy to shoot, and I find the 1962 P-38 the easiest to field strip of the three.
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Old May 22, 2013, 04:29 PM   #48
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Quote:
One told me if a enemy soldier was caught during battle with a Luger they were shot on the spot.Reason being that they killed an officer to get it.( Of course they all said they were'nt Nazi's either)
That just seems silly to me (not necessarily saying it's inaccurate). Let's be honest - neither the Russians nor the Germans were terribly conscientious when it came to the treatment of captured foes and neither side felt the need to devise any sort of rationalization for killing POW's when the mood struck them.
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Old May 22, 2013, 04:57 PM   #49
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I don't think preference comes into play here, the troops used what they were ISSUED. The P-38 was a more modern design to take advantage of modern manufacturing techniques-stamping, e.g. Same with the MP-38. Not familiar with German practices regarding officers purchasing their own equipment, always thought that was more of a British practice. Pretty sure the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS got the pick of equipment, the rear echelon, police and security units got what was left over.
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Old May 22, 2013, 05:06 PM   #50
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I don't think preference comes into play here, the troops used what they were ISSUED. The P-38 was a more modern design to take advantage of modern manufacturing techniques-stamping, e.g. Same with the MP-38. Not familiar with German practices regarding officers purchasing their own equipment, always thought that was more of a British practice. Pretty sure the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS got the pick of equipment, the rear echelon, police and security units got what was left over.
It's probably some of both. Remember that toward the end of the war, the German armed services (let's not forget the Luftwaffe and Kriegsmarine and all the other agencies as well) were grabbing essentially every warm body they could find - even as officers. For example, consider the various foreign national SS divisions. It would have been, to say the least, problematic to demand that each of them somehow source, on their own, suitable sidearms. So as a matter of expedience, it seems necessary that the German services would have the capability of issuing sidearms to those officers who, for whatever reason, were unable or unwilling to purchase them on their own.
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