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Old 08-08-2010, 01:22 PM   #1
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P38 - sighting in

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I recently picked up a commercial P38. It's as great a gun as expected. And it's my 1st P38, although I've shot one or two in the past.
I've notice that lining up the front and rear sights is unlike any of my other pistols, or any I recall shooting. I know each gun has it's own perfect sighting and as a shooter one get's accustomed to their guns as be. But on this P38 I immediately shot very low (keep in mind, I'm no dead-eye). Kept that up for a few rounds and then brought the target in to about 15 ft. and slowly worked my way down the front sight until it was dead on. Works out that when I aim the pistol I need the front white dot to sit on top of the "invisible line between the back sight sides. Floating way above the white square between them. I just windered if this is normal for a P38 or if anyone else's sights in as such. Once I figured it out the gun is dead accurate so it's not really an issue. It just seems like an odd setup. Now I was wondering if perhaps the original owner replaced the original sight more to their preference, but it all "looks" factory. Thanks for any info. It's got me curious. I've attached a couple photos. -ps gun is dated HH, so '77. Many thanks.



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Old 08-08-2010, 02:27 PM   #2
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Picture of rear sight viewed from behind?

I find that my P.1 requires a more concerted effort to focus on the front sight for whatever reason.
Luckily; it points well, is more of a range toy than a defensive weapon, and even the worst sight alignment at realistic defensive distances will be fine with that sight radius.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:33 PM   #3
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MGMike .38
Let a couple others shoot the pistol. Then conclusions can be reliably drawn.

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Old 08-09-2010, 09:16 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by MGMike View Post
Let a couple others shoot the pistol. Then conclusions can be reliably drawn.

M
I actually let a couple of the guys that work at the range fire it. They're all very reliable sources (as well as always willing to help, etc.) They agree, set the white dot on top of the invisible line and you're on target.
That's why I posted a pic of the sight, just to see if any of the other members noticed any difference.
I got this new camera, and dang it, I can't get a good back to front sight shot or I'd give a better demo. I'm going to figure that out.
As far as shooting, I can either switch sites or adjust I guess. I'm pretty flexible for an old guy. Thanks for the comments gents. - J
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Old 08-10-2010, 04:13 PM   #5
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Take a look at the sticky above on this thread dealing with P4/P38 front sight height; it shows that by installing a no. 5 instead of your no. 2, you can drop the height by 1.1 mm. That might not be enough to put the white dot completely down into the notch. If you file down your existing sight, you'll lose the white dot (I suppose you could always drill another one.)

I'd be inclined to just hold the dot high (it's the front sight you need to "see" anyway) and not worry about it.

You didn't say what ammo you're using, but if it's 115 gr. you might also try some 125 gr. or 147 gr. ammo and see what happens. It may change the POI (or it might not).

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Old 08-10-2010, 11:02 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by MGMike View Post
Take a look at the sticky above on this thread dealing with P4/P38 front sight height; it shows that by installing a no. 5 instead of your no. 2, you can drop the height by 1.1 mm. That might not be enough to put the white dot completely down into the notch. If you file down your existing sight, you'll lose the white dot (I suppose you could always drill another one.)

I'd be inclined to just hold the dot high (it's the front sight you need to "see" anyway) and not worry about it.

You didn't say what ammo you're using, but if it's 115 gr. you might also try some 125 gr. or 147 gr. ammo and see what happens. It may change the POI (or it might not).

M
Mike,
Thanks for the suggestions. I was thinking I could replace the sight. But for now I'm going to leave it alone. The gun is in beautiful shape and to tell you the truth it's so much fun to shoot anyway. I've taken it to the range every time I've gone since I've gotten it. Run at least 5 or 6 mags through it. I'm the only "Walther "person" at the range that I know of (I'm sure there are a few wandering around). The gun gets quite a few looks. And, I was going to say quite honestly, since I've learned to adjust. It's not an issue.
I'll try some 124 gr. next time out, I happen to have a bit on hand. We'll see if that makes any difference. I'll report back. Thanks again. - J
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Last edited by jujonte; 08-10-2010 at 11:05 PM.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:21 AM   #7
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Mine shoots high just like that.
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Old 08-12-2010, 09:21 AM   #8
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Mine shoots high just like that.
Sorry....shoots low just like that.
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Old 08-13-2010, 02:41 AM   #9
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Sorry....shoots low just like that.

Good to know I'm not the only. Thanks.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:59 PM   #10
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Can I suggest you try ammo with much heavier bullets? Because of the longer barrel residence time, they should shoot higher.

I keep telling my Beretta 92G that it is supposed to shoot higher with 147gr ammo than it does with 115gr, and it keeps shooting LOWER.
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