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Walther P38 (P1)

Discussion in 'Handgun Discussion' started by OLDNEWBIE, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. OLDNEWBIE

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    Thinking of getting a P1 and actually using it as a Plinker/Home Defence gun.
    always wanted one and held a few but never fired. Is it worth big money to find a slighty used one or are they just really cool antiques? Saw one in a pawn shop last year that looked like a safe queen for around $500 and was tempted.
     
  2. Outrider

    Outrider Oregon Active Member

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    While the P38 and P1 look the same, they are a little different. The P38 has a steel frame whereas the P1 has an alloy frame. The military P-1 will have a hex bolt in the frame, the commercial production P-1 typically won't. The P38 having a steel frame doesn't need it. It is due to the locking block creating a bad wear pattern in the alloy/aluminum frame with a very high round count. Also, the slide of the P-1 is slightly beefed up (an improvement over the P-38) and I believe the slide serrations are a little different.

    $500 for a P-1 doesn't seem like much of a deal to me. The P-1 pistols were sold as surplus in the U.S. for about $300 a few years ago. They're nice pistols but at $500, you might as well get a modern pistol if you need something for self defense or home defense.

    If you happen to be looking at war era gun that is really a P-38, you have to realize that there were several different manufacturers- Walther, Mauser, and Spreewerk. The Walther pistols have AC as a manufacturer's code. The Mauser pistols have BYF as a manufacturer's code. And the Spreewerk pistols have CYQ as a manufacturer's code. The guns vary in price depending on manufacturer, condition, serial numbers (early vs. late), etc. -And if the gun has magazines with numbers stamped on them, those can be worth a bit too.

    One problem with the war era pistols (especially late war) is that they are rougher and some were made with substandard steel.

    As far as plinker role, the P-1 is good. Again, it would not be my first choice as a "go to" home defense pistol. There are simply better options, especially at the $500 price point.
     
  3. OLDNEWBIE

    OLDNEWBIE State of Flux Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Outrider, I have indeed seen examples under $400 but only online. That comes sight unseen except pics and the other added costs of course. This example, now gone, that sparked my interest was like new. I'm learning more about them and think I'm starting to know what to look for. My current HD is a 38 S&W pre-model 10. My workmate says it's an old man gun. Just looking for a little more cool factor but dont want headaches. I think I'm going to do alot more research and hope to even fire one before putting down so much money.