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Old 08-18-2012, 10:26 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr.mosin View Post
looks like it could be an army pistol like mine, with the double dot. but it looks like a p1 (note the hex nut in the fame)


I know I need to put up better pics, but there is no hex nut. It has the thinner slide and the thin front sight as a P38. Also, the circle I see on it does not have a "dot" inside it. It does not seems to have the military markings/stamps that I have read about. In addition, there is no date that I can find stamped anywhere. It has no import markings (my father got it back in the late 1970s. It was quite expensive at the time and this was before the flood of imports came in). I am 99.9 percent sure it is commerical.
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Old 08-18-2012, 10:34 AM   #22
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P1 VS P1 verstärkter Verschluss und verstärktes Grifftück
P1 VS P1 stronger slide and stronger frame
































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Old 08-18-2012, 11:20 AM   #23
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Great Pics- Thanks.

Mine is definitely P38. My original posting was about the Walther markings on the side. It just has the Walther "banner" and "P38 Cal 9mm" on the slide, nothing more. All the P38s I've seen in real and in photos have more than that on the slide. Was there a period that this is how they marked the commercial pistols?
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Old 08-19-2012, 02:30 AM   #24
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peroid

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Originally Posted by GDavis View Post
Great Pics- Thanks.

Mine is definitely P38. My original posting was about the Walther markings on the side. It just has the Walther "banner" and "P38 Cal 9mm" on the slide, nothing more. All the P38s I've seen in real and in photos have more than that on the slide. Was there a period that this is how they marked the commercial pistols?

I read somewhere, that the P.38 was A service pistol. A P-38 was Civilian. Like A P.08 (Luger) P-08 was commercial.
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Old 08-19-2012, 08:43 AM   #25
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eine P1 ist eine P38 and a P38 is a P1

German Bundeswehr give the new name P1 = Pistole 1
the first Guns for Bundeswehr are label with P38 and later P1
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Old 10-29-2012, 09:44 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by MGMike View Post
I posted this in another thread below but since this is a sticky, it may be useful to repeat here, with a little elaboration:

The importance of the hex pin is much overemphasized. The fat slide is far more important, but the truth is that the absence of both is not a catastrophe, provided one uses sensible ammunition. These guns are half a century old. Treat them accordingly, and they will give you very respectable service. New recoil springs are not a high priority if they are not collapsed or kinked, but easy-to-chew ammunition for their old teeth is important.

In WWII military service the Germans strictly controlled the specifications of the ammunition used, so it is entirely possible that cracked slides were avoided or at least minimized. I know of no evidence one way or the other that slide breakage was a problem then. I've never seen an early Walther "ac" slide broken-- though that doesn't mean that none were.

The problem seems to arise in postwar use. This happens to coincide with a wide variety of ammunition becoming available. 9mm Para ammunition is now made in dozens of different countries by scores of manufacturers, and its specifications vary greatly. Measure cartridge case length of various samples with a micrometer and the differences you'll see are remarkable, sometimes visible with the naked eye. This affects headspace, and excessive headspace is abusive to the P38's locking system, as it provides room for the locking parts to get "a running start" before the engaging surfaces slam together.

This is aggravated by more powerful 9mm ammunition, such as adopted by the postwar German police; American police did the same thing. It isn't long before things start to break. Mind you, I am not contending that is the cause of slide stretching and cracking (it could be metallurgy, or a lot of other things) but it is evidence.

Certainly Walther acted in the late 1960s to increase the thickness of the slide sidewalls, and that appears to have remedied that problem.

M
Excellent analysis! Thank you! That was an incredibly good synopsis!....DesertDave
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Old 10-29-2012, 11:46 PM   #27
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I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and learning from this post and I thank you all for sharing both your photos and knowledge.
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:25 AM   #28
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What to buy?

I've been reading your posts with great interest. I am interested in purchasing a P1/P38. From what I have read the later models where improved with the fat slide and hex pin. Since I am buying a shooter, should I stay away from the earlier models without these features or does it not make that much difference? Of course I would be shooting standard target ammo. Thank you.
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Last edited by marcus58; 11-18-2012 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 11-18-2012, 04:19 PM   #29
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As a general rule, an earlier P1 or postwar P38 should perform as well as an updated version, and most all of them do. When you do see a cracked slide, however, it comes from one of these and not from an upgraded model. Walther did perform the upgrades for a reason, so all else being equal, by all means go with the later model. I have an early P1 that I've put hundreds of rounds through during the past twenty years or so and have never had a problem -- never give it much thought, either. I always shoot Winchester white box 115-grain ammo.
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Old 11-18-2012, 05:05 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by searcher451 View Post
As a general rule, an earlier P1 or postwar P38 should perform as well as an updated version, and most all of them do. When you do see a cracked slide, however, it comes from one of these and not from an upgraded model. Walther did perform the upgrades for a reason, so all else being equal, by all means go with the later model. I have an early P1 that I've put hundreds of rounds through during the past twenty years or so and have never had a problem -- never give it much thought, either. I always shoot Winchester white box 115-grain ammo.
Thanks for the information. I'm going to call AIM on Monday to see if I can request one with the hex pin and fat slide.
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