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P38 dilemma

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by STUKA, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. STUKA

    STUKA Close to Milwaukie Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Maybe this should be in the curio and relics section,but I thought I'd get more input here-if it is in the wrong place,sorry..

    Anyhoo,I bought this 1943 Mauser made P38 the other day.All original,matching numbers,pretty good finish,blah blah.
    My problem is,I've been getting guys on another "collector" website pleading with me not to actually fire it.Too nice,too collectable,etc.

    Now,I once owned a Post-War P1 which is an alloy frame version of this that is relatively cheap and easy to come by,and I loved it-BUT,I didn't feel that it had a "soul",so I wanted the real thing.
    This one definitely has a soul.Perhaps it's soul is a little dark,but it's a soul nonetheless.

    I want functional,usable firearms,not wallhangers..

    So do I sell this thing to one of the guys trying to buy it and buy another post war P1,or keep it around and occasionally put a box of Winchester 115 grain through it?

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  2. IronMonster

    IronMonster Washington Opinionated Member Diamond Supporter

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    I would shoot it, and love it all the more. Granted I probably wouldn't shoot it much.

    You dont owe any of those guys a thing. If you want to stipple the grips and paint it pink I say go for it. Its yours, do what makes you happy.
     
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  3. STUKA

    STUKA Close to Milwaukie Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    An excellent idea,however,I have some "glitter gold" in the garage that I think will look mo pimper.
     
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  4. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I say go ahead and shoot it. Thats what it was made for.
    Shoot it and maintain it , then pass it on later.
    'Course I also shoot antique muzzleloaders that are 150 years old or so ... So maybe I am biased. LOL
    Andy
     
  5. STUKA

    STUKA Close to Milwaukie Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Thanks for the input,Guys..
    I should mention that I have mostly antique or WW2 era military weapons..So I'm not lost on the concept of actually using them..it's just that people seem to be deeming this one ESPECIALLY important.
     
  6. OLDNEWBIE

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    Decisions I'll probably never have to make unless I inherit a collectable from a long lost relative.
    Nice piece BTW, I'd shoot it sparingly once or twice a year if it was me.
     
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  7. Lilhigbee

    Lilhigbee SE Portland Visit Target550.com Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    It's been shot and shooting it some more isn't going to hurt it any. Just take care of it and you won't lose anything and will enjoy it that much more.
     
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  8. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    I don't shoot my WWII lugers.
    And they are still functional guns.

    But they have the last two digits on all the small parts. So break a firing pin or extractor and your gun no longer is a matching gun.

    Kiss your money goodbye!

    The Third Reich isn't making any more parts. :D
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2015
  9. STUKA

    STUKA Close to Milwaukie Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    That was my fear..all my small parts match too,and I don't wanna be THAT guy.
    I've decided to sell it.
     
  10. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    You can put 5000 plus rounds thru that pistol and not hurt it!
    Steel frame! I have seen a few of the aluminum frames crack!:)

    Although what I do, on old pistols like this. I remove the original firing pin and extractor and put in a replacement... And plink away, and enjoy it!
    If you ever go to sell it or just retire it.. Put the original parts back in!
     
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  11. Outrider

    Outrider Oregon Active Member

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    There are differing levels of collectibles. It's neat to have something serviceable from WWII but just because something is old, does not mean it is very valuable. There are more than a few affordable, shooter grade, WWII 1911s floating around in private hands.

    The issue with collectible firearms is there is a lot to know that most people don't know. For example, Lugers have a huge amount of variation and little differences can make all the difference in price. If you don't know the standard for a particular model, you can easily make a mistake and overpay.

    With P38 pistols, there are also variations and markings that can make a big difference. Again, it's stuff that casual observers typically don't know. Mention a Walther P38 Zero Series to the average gun owner and, while he could be excited about the pistol because it's from WWII, he'll have no idea what a Zero Series pistol is, let alone what it's worth.

    There have been huge batches of WWII P38s that have been sold as surplus on the American market. Follow the link below:

    http://www.aimsurplus.com/product.a...+P38+9mm+Pistol+BYF+(Mauser+Factory)+1943+Mfg

    One of the things about collectible firearms is that value is tied to knowledge / belief of what it is. With collectible firearms, it is common for the average gun owner not to know the minutiae that separates one example from another. That lack of knowledge creates an odd dynamic. People can ask too much and people are willing to pay whatever price simply because neither party knows what an item actually is in terms of being collectible. There's just a shared belief based on misunderstanding or lack of knowledge.

    You can watch the dynamic play out in the Luger market. People selling mixmasters and VoPo reworks tend to ask too much for pieces that are lower end examples. At the same time, people with truly collectible Lugers have a difficult time selling their guns because the prices seem high to the average person who is not familiar with the market beyond his search on gunbroker.

    From the looks of it, you have a shooter grade P38. If you don't want to shoot it because you're afraid of damaging a collectible, that's fine. If someone wants to buy it and keep it as a collectible, that's fine as well. However, if you decide to shoot it with good factory ammo, you should have no problem.
     
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  12. timac

    timac Loading Magazines! Well-Known Member

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    Barring any safety issues, guns were made to be shot. Shoot that pistol like you stole it.

    Collect barbie dolls if you want something to hold and admire.
     
  13. Mongo1

    Mongo1 Santiam Canyon Active Member

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    My uncle brought a P38 home from the war. It was retrieved from a dead pilot in a downed plane. It looks in near new condition today. I have shot it and I like the balance and accuracy. My brother has it now. He doesn't shoot it unless I come to visit and we take it out for target practice. I say shoot yours with factory ammo. No hot loads.. They are German steel and craftsmanship. They are very durable.
     
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  14. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf SE Portland Well-Known Member

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    I feel the same way about Glocks.. I'd never shoot one either.















    lol just kidding
     
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  15. Goosebrown

    Goosebrown Beaverton Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2015 Volunteer

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    What a wonderful dilema to have. You are lucky.
     
  16. STUKA

    STUKA Close to Milwaukie Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter 2016 Volunteer

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    Haha! Thanks-I guess..
    I just won't want to screw up a gun that shouldn't be screwed up.. Think of all the K98's, 1903's,etc that have been destroyed over the years..
     
  17. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    But that because they have been sporterized!
     
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  18. Sgt Nambu

    Sgt Nambu Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    That P-38 is a brute! A very sturdy pistol! I'd shoot it, clean it carefully/gently, shoot it some more. I do like the idea of replacing numbered, more fragile, parts to shoot with!
     
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  19. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    If it was mint in box, then no I wouldn't, but since it's been used then why not.
     
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  20. Medic!

    Medic! What just happened? Has eagle eyes. But cant remember what he saw. Bronze Supporter

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    Tell me why do you see this as a shooter?
    Really?

    And to the original poster.
    Do you think that the people advising you to shoot it care about the money you may loose?

    They don't have a nice gun to even think about destroying! :s0140:

    You don't need to sporterise a gun to destroy value.
    You just need to break the weakest part and make in no longer original.

    Just sell it. Or keep it and make more money later. :s0092: