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Old December 28, 2011, 05:06 PM   #1
Join Date: October 25, 1999
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 81
Walther P38 - Strange Mag Catch

Hi all,

It's literally been YEARS since I've posted on TFL. I've been away from the online firearms discussion realm, and was happy to see TFL still going strong when I looked today.

I'm posting because I inherited a number of firearms a few years ago, one of which is a Walther P38. It's an AC 40 gun with a slide serial number indicating it was made in December 1940. The frame and locking block serials are the same, but don't match the slide.... Anyway, that's all beside the point. It's not an investment gun, and looks to be a good shooter.

The thing I noticed right away when I got this gun was the mag catch. It looks like it's been "rigged" at some point. It's definitely not standard, and I was wondering if anyone has ever seen a similar setup on a P38. I'll let the attached images speak for themselves instead of trying to explain it here in words...

Any insight/comments are appreciated!

Btw, I posted similar threads on a couple of other forums about a couple of other firearms I inherited (1893 Colt SAA and 1939 Colt Woodsman). Check 'em out of you like:



Mag Catch Pics:

Other pics:
AKrob is offline  
Old December 28, 2011, 06:16 PM   #2
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Join Date: December 20, 2008
Location: Pittsburgh PA
Posts: 2,863
I never saw nor heard of any such factory mag release. My guess would be that this was an amateur repair or perhaps a "field" repair (on the battlefield). Perhaps this could have been done to make it easier to release the mag.

Early P38s such as yours were known for their high quality and attention to detail compared to other arms esp later P38s. I highly doubt any P38 from any of the 3 manufacturers would have passed inspection with any such gizmo as a mag release.

Apparently the original somehow broke, and this was placed to make it functional again as a quick fix.
Winchester 73, the TFL user that won the west
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Old December 28, 2011, 07:59 PM   #3
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Join Date: July 20, 2009
Location: PA
Posts: 1,220
I have an all-matching cyq from 1943 that has an odd hand-made mag catch. Odd things can be found on wartime guns!

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Old December 28, 2011, 08:41 PM   #4
Join Date: October 25, 1999
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 81
Well, I'm glad to know I'm not the only one with a customized P38! At least your handmade mag catch somewhat resembles an original. I have to give credit for creativity to the person that made mine...

I just ordered a new catch and a mag.... I want to take this thing to the range soon!
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