P 38's: what's what ?

asiparks

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Any P38 experts in the house ? I've had this couple for while, but know next to nothing about them, other than one is a war time, all steel version and the other is a much later commercial, alloy framed version with a nicely blued upper and shiny black frame.
Grateful for any info anyone can offer up...

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Mikej

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I Want! Someday. Luger P-08 too, but those aren't as much "Shootable" as a P-38. As I understand.
 
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Spitpatch

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View attachment 814428

I Want! Someday. Luger P-08 too, but those aren't as much "Shootable" as a P-38. As I understand.
As to "shootable", every P-08 I owned was impressively accurate, especially the .30 caliber. After these showed up stateside in great numbers, the P-08 was unfairly saddled with a rumor-driven burden of unreliability. Such was rooted in the disparity between ammunition loaded on this continent vs. that from across the pond. German 9mm ammo was "hotter", and the Luger usually needs the extra in order to cycle with perfect reliability as it is entirely capable. The tight fitted gun also requires more regular cleaning and lubrication than a rattletrap battle fitted 1911.

On the other hand, the two P-38's I've had experience with (one owned, the other shot extensively) were certainly accurate enough for combat but could not approach the Luger for precision shooting. They were a lot more tolerant of domestic ammo, though.

Having said that, I have chosen a war-trophy P-38 as my everyday carry with no exception and have never been without it for 48 years:

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Mikej

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As to "shootable", every P-08 I owned was impressively accurate, especially the .30 caliber. After these showed up stateside in great numbers, the P-08 was unfairly saddled with a rumor-driven burden of unreliability. Such was rooted in the disparity between ammunition loaded on this continent vs. that from across the pond. German 9mm ammo was "hotter", and the Luger usually needs the extra in order to cycle with perfect reliability as it is entirely capable. The tight fitted gun also requires more regular cleaning and lubrication than a rattletrap battle fitted 1911.

On the other hand, the two P-38's I've had experience with (one owned, the other shot extensively) were certainly accurate enough for combat but could not approach the Luger for precision shooting. They were a lot more tolerant of domestic ammo, though.

Having said that, I have chosen a war-trophy P-38 as my everyday carry with no exception and have never been without it for 48 years:

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Cute! Learn something every day. :) As far as the Luger goes. Speaking to the guys at the big OAC shows with fine Lugers on their table. I get the idea that any breakage isn't easily repaired/replaced. And they are quite quite spendy too.
 
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asiparks

asiparks

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those were great links, thank you- apparently I have a very unspecial, run of the mill Walther ac 45 second variant, so I have to push off retirement for a few more years....:( Still, means I can enjoy shooting it :D

I Want! Someday. Luger P-08 too, but those aren't as much "Shootable" as a P-38. As I understand.
Think there's quite a few shootable, all steel examples like this for around $600, not too out there. I always liked them, because a) Man from Unkle, b) just a great design, both technically and aesthetically.
 

gmerkt

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The ac 45 has the appearance of a Russian capture piece, many of which were imported and sold in the 1990's. Once somewhat disdained by ardent collectors, it can't be denied that these actually saw service on the eastern front. Where they were captured.

I've owned many P.38's, a few P.1's, generally haven't experienced them as notably fine shooters. Certainly accurate enough for military service standards. Due to the design, there is no practical way to accurize one. The best shooting example I had was one of the post-war P.1's. The WW2 versions were more along the line of 9mm sprayers. And that's the one I have now, a byf 43.

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Handgun doctrine in European armies may have been somewhat different than the US. That is, they were often used to enforce fighting discipline of junior enlisted soldiers.
 
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Ive owned several. Commercial, Nazi, and post war police. and Lugers too. The P38 was the most advanced gun in the world when it was introduced. The design more or less lives on in the M92 Beretta. Its a combat gun. Maybe not the best trigger in the world but it is good for a combat double action.
 

CountryGent

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I had a post-war P1 that I got for a song in the C&R days, and kept in a part of my office for a long while. The trigger was at least a trifle craptastic, but it never failed to go bang, and pointed well. I sold said, I remember dimly, early last year, whilst reorganizing. Here it is with M1911A1 stablemate that is still in the collection.

 
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I've got 2 P1s, one "German" and the other French (Manurhin-made) plus a P4 (shorter barrel for more concealed carry) and the ne plus ultra of P38's, the P5, which was based on the P38 and then refined by Walther. It is the smoothest sliding, best crafted pistol I've ever had, and that included a 1938 P08 Luger, a new Sig 210, and my HPs.

I never could bring myself to pay the tariff on a war-time P38 as I like to shoot what I own and I'd hate to see a collectible like that with some sort of breakage, so I know I wouldn't be shooting it very much.

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