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Old 03-02-2012, 06:26 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MGMike View Post
Daltrey is spot-on. Generally there is no pressing need to take the cover off (except the compulsive housewife urge to clean), but if you take it off anyway, you are liable to lose things --like the tiny spring nested inside the firing pin safety. No, despite its minuscule size, the gun will miss it, and will not work "just as well" without it.

However, rather than bending the lips on the underside of the cover in some haphazard way (and breaking or ruining the cover), your time is better spent studying the engagement surfaces of the slide, and the corresponding tabs on the cover that lock into them; it's all about spacial relationships, like a jigsaw puzzle. Then you can figure out how to replace the cover (hint: reverse the path you took to remove it). The cover is its own spring; sometimes a light tap with a rawhide or rubber mallet is needed to seat it securely.

M
It was on there before without bending, it should go back on without bending!
Less likely to fly off unbent.
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AC44 P.38 Reblue slide (Greatest Generation capture)
AC44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
BYF44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
Walther P1 Interarms Commercial 1969 (Peace, Love, Nines)
Walther P.38 1959 Postwar Cold Warrior
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Old 03-03-2012, 09:51 PM   #32
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The final solution

The trick that worked for me was as MGMike suggested:

First, I made sure to hold the rounded tip of the cover into its slot in the rear sight, while the rear sight was pressed firmly into its slot in the slide. This requires some dexterity, finger strength, and "tab A into slot B" assembly skills.

Then, while holding the cover tightly against the slide with my left hand, I gave a couple of light but firm taps to the front of the cover with a nylon gunsmith's hammer. With that, it popped right in, no problem, no bending, and no lost parts. (This went better on my workbench on a rubber mat.) Yaaay!

Now I feel confident enough in my slide assembly skills to further investigate the original problem, FTF, possible extractor issue on my "98%" WWII P38. I dismantled, cleaned & checked, and reassembled the WW2 pistol's slide, including dismantling and checking the extractor...no visible problems with the extractor or anything else. Thoroughly recleaned the chamber. Changed the slide recoil springs while the gun was apart. Noticed many WW2 parts are slightly different internally, like extractor, firing pin, firing pin spring, firing pin stop, indicator, slide cover, etc. I didn't take out the safety lever...no reason to.

I agree you don't want to be messing around with the slide cover or slide guts any more than necessary. It's a steel stamping and would not be hard to damage it, or lose small but important parts. Every time you remove the cover it probably becomes a bit less snug.
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AC44 P.38 Reblue slide (Greatest Generation capture)
AC44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
BYF44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
Walther P1 Interarms Commercial 1969 (Peace, Love, Nines)
Walther P.38 1959 Postwar Cold Warrior

Last edited by rollin59; 03-03-2012 at 11:26 PM.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:48 PM   #33
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Thumbs up Whatever I did, worked.

After a little internal cleanup, focusing on removing, cleaning and lubricating the extractor, a chamber scrub, new recoil springs, and different ammo, the "98%" WWII ac44 P38 works much better. It does still have an occasional "failure to extract" with Winchester White Box. No FTE with Blazer Brass. Worked perfect through 100 or so rounds of BB. Got about 4 FTE from 50 rounds of WWB.

I am attributing the FTE mainly to WWB ammo, with a possible sticky extractor as contributing factor.

My test bed P1 with the cranky slide cover also got an extractor and overall slide internal cleaning and it ejects a little more confidently too. My least-pretty, vet reblued WW2 P38 is the one that runs the best of the three. Eats any ammo with gusto and works like a champ.

So, Problem apparently solved.
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AC44 P.38 Reblue slide (Greatest Generation capture)
AC44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
BYF44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
Walther P1 Interarms Commercial 1969 (Peace, Love, Nines)
Walther P.38 1959 Postwar Cold Warrior

Last edited by rollin59; 03-04-2012 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:17 PM   #34
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I know this is a bit late in the thread to mention it, but are these wartime P-38s all matching numbers? If they are, then I would just stick them in the gun safe and pick up a postwar gun and shoot the snot out of it. If you break something on an all-matching wartime P-38, you have just lost a sizeable investment in dollars.

Now if you have a beater wartime P-38 like the non-matching ones that AIM sells, feel free to blaze away with it. I have one of those that has 3 out of 4 parts matching. Even with that, I still haven't taken it to the range.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:01 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deputy View Post
I know this is a bit late in the thread to mention it, but are these wartime P-38s all matching numbers? If they are, then I would just stick them in the gun safe and pick up a postwar gun and shoot the snot out of it. If you break something on an all-matching wartime P-38, you have just lost a sizeable investment in dollars.
Both are numbers matching WWII pistols. One is about 98%, the other has a reblued slide but original frame. I bought them to shoot although the 98%er won't get too many rounds now that it works 100%. Also bought 'range grips' for both to protect the original bakelite grips.

I bought them to enjoy and shoot, no plans to sell. I will take my best care not to break anything, which is unlikely, but possible. Also have a P1 and ordered a postwar (aluminum frame) P38 for plinking at my buddy's cabin etc.
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AC44 P.38 Reblue slide (Greatest Generation capture)
AC44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
BYF44 P.38 Original 98% (Greatest Generation capture)
Walther P1 Interarms Commercial 1969 (Peace, Love, Nines)
Walther P.38 1959 Postwar Cold Warrior
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