View Full Version : German P 38 accuracy and accessories

November 12, 2010, 07:23 AM
For those of you that have one what says you about their accuracy? Also,how readily available are mags, holsters, etc?

November 12, 2010, 12:22 PM
Don't have one any more, accuracy was just fair (4" at 25 yds), parts and mags were available becasue of commercial production and the plethora of military mags.

November 12, 2010, 10:54 PM
Accuracy is what you'd expect for a military/police pistol. These aren't target guns. If you can hit a man in the chest at 25 meters, that's acceptable.

Magazines are reasonably easy to find, many of the big surplus houses have P-38/P1 magazines in like new to like new condition.

Holsters are a problem. Most of the holster makers that used to offer one or two P-38 holsters have stopped making them.
You might have to go with one of the nylon "one size fits most" types from Uncle Mike's.

November 13, 2010, 08:16 AM
Mine is acceptably accurate. Not a target pistol as mentioned. I couldn't hit a thing with mine when I got it, somebody who is a good shot hit the X ring first try. I think a lot of it is the trigger; not what I'd call 'good'

WWII marked P.38 mags are harder to come by than P1 mags; P1 mags function the same

here's holsters, scroll down a bit for the P.38 holsters in two styles:


November 13, 2010, 11:40 AM
Like stated the accuracy is strictly military standard.You're not gonna win any matches with it.P38 and the slightly changed P1 use most of the same parts,slight change to the firing pin,and there are part kits currently available.
Holsters are available as long as you go with a military issue,never really has taken off for CCW so your best bet would be a custom holster.Magazines are abundant,so go ahead and enjoy,like my Luger its fun to shoot.

November 13, 2010, 10:54 PM
It is a lot of fun to shoot and always draws people at my range asking about it. Accuracy is what everyone has said- its a fairly close up tool.


November 14, 2010, 01:11 AM
+1 to the posts above. The magazines for the P1 are available from several sources and reasonably priced.
It seems like whenever I take my P38 to the range, somebody identifies it as a Luger.
One of these days I'll get a Luger, too and take them both to the range just to confuse those experts!

November 14, 2010, 11:24 AM
I figured the accuracy would be just "good enough" but there's something about the pistols. Not only are they an important piece of historical significance, but they are a pretty ingenious piece of weaponry for their time. I was looking at the surplus ones from SOG: I know they are rearsenaled Russian captures, but the price is right for a shooter. I don't really see myself spending over 1,000 for one. But if they are totally banged-up pistols, I don't want a SOG one either. I know it can be all about luck of the draw. Anybody get one of those from SOG?

November 14, 2010, 04:01 PM
Mine is from SOG. But mine was purchased when they were all numbers matching, not force-matched, but all numbers matching, which in my opinion is quite important for these pistols

I took a gamble. 525 dollars. Barrel is dark and pitted but for all that I don't think the accuracy suffered much from it

SOG has a 3 day inspection and return policy but I believe there is S&H charges and a restocking fee

I beleive I got a good pistol from SOG; others have not had my experience. When I opened the box I couldn't believe it was as nice as it was. All I've done is replace the springs and clean it, and I repainted the "S" and "F"


November 14, 2010, 04:04 PM

November 14, 2010, 06:08 PM
My 1943 Walther is VERY accurate-I once fired a 1.5" group at 50 feer with W-W Silvertips-and despite a pitted barrel. Also the P-38 feels "just right " in my hand and points fairly naturally.

November 16, 2010, 08:29 AM
I once had an experience with a Manurhin P.1 that couldn't hit an 8 1/2 by 11 piece of paper at 15 feet.. After drifting the front sight until it was almost ready to fall out, we finally managed to get some holes on the edge of the paper. LOL!!!!!!

Obviously there was something radically wrong with that particular specimen, but P.38's are not noted for other than functional accuracy (as pointed out by Dfariswheel), i.e. "to hit a man in the chest at 25 meters."

November 20, 2010, 06:45 PM
Went ahead and ordered a Russian capture from SOG. Hope it turns out to be a decent shooter. :)

November 23, 2010, 07:47 PM
Don't forget their return policy- out a little money is better than out a lot!

Post pics if you decide to keep it :)

November 25, 2010, 06:17 AM
contrary to the other posts I had a sprewerk made in the last days of ww11 and with good remington or winchester ammo i could hit a pop can at 25 yds about every shot. Off of a pistol rest , skoal can size group and to the point of aim. Don't know maybe i got one that had never been shot and only dropped once...

December 4, 2010, 06:51 PM
Got my P 38 in yesterday. I think its gonna be a keeper. It has the waffenampt markings of "ac 41". Did some research on the markings and found it to be produced by Walther in 1941. Interesting in finding out that besides Walther, Mauser and Spreewerk (as another guy mentioned) were put into production rotations...and that Spreewerk were somewhat obstinate about quitting production of the P 08 Luger in favor of the 38. Even though it was a Russian capture, everything looks well maintained. Cleaning it tonight and hopefully put some rounds through it tomorrow if weather cooperates. The P 38, to me, is another gun that just "feels right"...great ergos in my opinion. Took some pictures, just need to download them onto the computer. Now I need to get me a nice holster and probably an extra mag for my new pistola.

December 4, 2010, 07:10 PM
If you want a military type holster, try Pacific Canvas & Leather.
They make good quality replicas in China:


December 8, 2010, 06:02 PM
I have had my P1 about nine months now. Love the way the gun handles and shoots. It is as accurate as any of my other handguns. At 30 feet it easily shoots half inch groups. If you can hold it steady it will put a round through the previous hole. All I have shot through mine are the Federal 124 grain FMJ and the gun so far has been flawless.

I bought some extra Walther mags from Keep Shooting for $15.95 each. They were surplus, but looked almost new when I got them.


Allens made me a custom leather high rise "pancake" style holster that topped this rig off.

Guess you could say ~ I'm a happy camper with mine.

December 8, 2010, 07:04 PM
Thanks for the tip on the mags, I have been looking for one, and that price is OK.


December 11, 2010, 11:45 PM
I had a couple failures to feed in mine, and the slide didn't lock back completely any of the times I fired the last round. I discussed the manner with Chris (thanks Chris) and found that my problem may have been using 115 grain ammo instead of 124. Got some cheapo Brown Bear for plinking in the 115 grain FMJ...which is what I used. Also, I was considering going the route of picking up a few recoil springs from Wolff to freshen things up...but read about how changing the springs out can be sort of a tricky (but mostly likely easily accomplished) endeavor. Think I'll just get a few of the boxes of the 124 for right now and see how she pans out.;)

December 12, 2010, 10:13 AM
In the early 70's I bought one from a gun shop in Greenville, SC and tried it out. The pistol came with a holster and extra magazine. The salesman sales spill was that it was double and single action. It was my first semi-auto. I most likely bought the cheapest ammunition that I could find and got very poor accuracy out of it. I was comparing it my brand new Ruger Security Six shooting wadcutters. I think back on that not a very good comparison. When my brother got married I gave it to him as wedding present. Last time I talked with him he did not want to part with it.


December 12, 2010, 04:54 PM
I have a newer P1 (German post-war police version of the P-38) and it shoots as accurately as any other modern police/military pistol, so far as I can tell. The main drawback is the 7-round capacity, but it is a nice little gun for the price ($320 with holster and extra mag, about 5 years ago).

December 13, 2010, 03:19 AM
Interesting in finding out that besides Walther, Mauser and Spreewerk (as another guy mentioned) were put into production rotations...and that Spreewerk were somewhat obstinate about quitting production of the P 08 Luger in favor of the 38.

Basically how it happened was that Walther shared the blue prints with Mauser then Spreewerke. Mauser started production in 1942, Spreewerke in either late 1942 or 1943. From then on, they each made them until the end.
Walthers are marked 480 or AC, Mausers BYF or SVW (changed to SVW from BYF in 1945). and Spreewerke CYQ.

Regarding ceasing the P08 production, I assume you mean Mauser because I don't think Spreewerke ever made a luger. The spreewerke factory was in Czechoslovakia actually.

Your gun, an AC 41, should have matching serial numbered mags, in a perfect world. Walther stopped serial numbering mags with the 2nd run of AC 42.

They are great pieces of history and were one of the best designed sidearms of the whole war.

December 13, 2010, 10:43 AM
the ones I shot love ball ammo and were reasonably accurate for the cans we were shooting

December 13, 2010, 04:29 PM
I thought the P38s preferred the 115gr ammo? If I remember right all the guys at the P38 website always talked about the 115gr ammo as being the standard to use. I have had a couple of hiccups with it but thought it was just the fault of my reloads maybe not being hot enough. At any rate not enough problems to worry about.


December 13, 2010, 04:35 PM
The collectors are worried about damaging their babies so they use 115. A very common bullet weight for German 9mm para in WW2 was 124gr

Did they use others? I'm sure, but that 124 is going to tend to operate the P38 more reliably

Ignition Override
December 14, 2010, 12:20 AM
Isn't a 3" group at 50 feet or 50 yards good enough to give a feral pig incentive to change his "heading" ?

cougar gt-e
December 14, 2010, 08:17 AM
Isn't a 3" group at 50 feet or 50 yards good enough to give a feral pig incentive to change his "heading"

You're kidding, right? Some feral pigs are flipp'n huge and a 9mm won't do much more than increase the grouchy factor to 11.