I rarely shoot my matched ac45 P38 (I've only shot maybe 50 rounds since I purchased the gun a year ago). But sometimes Helen just looks so cute I can't resist. Last time, the top strap popped off (and the rear sight smacked me in the forehead). What a naughty girl, that Helen!A big problem with p 38's is the top cover. Beware if you use hot 9mm loads you risk having the top cover and all the small parts inside blowing off. Most parts are easy to find but the firing pin lock can be difficult to find for WW2 guns. I have replaced a few of them and all are the result of using hot or +p loads.
Anyway, I did find the strap, sight, and firing pin/spring in the leaves by my feet (mirable dictu!). As someone (Mike?) noted, put back together properly, the strap should stay in place. But I'm the one who installed the strap when I first purchased it, as I recall it somehow popped out when first cleaning/inspecting.
My question is, is this just a reflection of my choice of ammo? (I used 124gr FMJ which seems unremarkable), or does the strap suffer from wear (looks unlikely, simple design)? I can't imagine I put it together incorrectly, but anything is possible. Any suggestions or tips on attachment?
Once re-assembled she will go back in her cradle and I'll use the P5 for my fun. But I know I'll be tempted to take her out every so often. Just like I occasionally drive my 1972 Norton Commando or my 1973 Triumph Tiger: rarely. I suppose that means I'm slightly more shooter than collector, although from this thread it's clearly a continuum, everyone to their tastes and risks. As anyone who drives vintage will tell you, you take your chances.