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Discussion Starter #1
I have (from my father) a commerical post-war (alloy frame) P38. For years these had some value (expensive to buy at least). Now with the recent imports of post war P38 and P1s, is there any reason I should just treat it more like any of the other less expensive 9MM out there?

I really do not care if it has "dropped in value", and while I do not abuse guns, I have previously handled it with the respect that a "more expensive" handgun deserves. If they are common now, I know there is no collector, and no reason to "baby it".

It has no police or military markings/proofs, nor does it have an importer mark on it. It does have "Made in West Germany" on the alloy frame, but I assume this is on all of them.

So I guess my question is: Shoot away, or, buy a P1 and shoot it and keep the commerical P38 in prestine shape?
 

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Generally speaking, there is a difference between commercial and military firearms in the fit and finish categories.  Usually the commercial variant has the edge.  You can really see the differences in the military 1911's and Beretta 92's vs. the civilian commercial versions of the same guns.  I'd expect your P38 to look in better shape than the P1's I've seen coming out of the Bundeswehr's arsenal.

If history is any guide, the drop in value your gun has suffered should be a temporary thing.  In the early 90's, a bunch of captured P38's and P08's (Lugers) left the armories of Warsaw Pact countries and hit the American market.  For a while, you could get the pistols for about $249.  The supply was exhausted and prices rose again.  Try getting even a VOPO Luger (cobbled together by East German armories) in decent shape and it will cost you at least $425 now.  The P38's went back up in price too.

Whether you should "baby it" or not is up to you.  Guns are tools that are meant to be used.  From your description, your pistol has no collector value.  Shoot it when you want to shoot it.  It can be used like any other quality pistol.  I wouldn't use the recent influx of P1's to stop routine maintenance or as an excuse to treat the gun roughly.
 

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Thanks BreakerDave

What you said makes perfect sense. I guess in reality I was hoping someone would say, "oh no, don't shoot it", giving me justification to pick up another P38 or P1 now that they are at such great prices. I have absolutely no need for it, we we all know we have a sickness that can't be explained. Do you think my wife might buy that "the one I have now (P38) is really lonely and another P38 might make it feel better??". OK, how about it is just too great of a value to pass up!

Or better yet, delete your post and repost saying the one I have is definately a collector piece and that under no curcumstances it should be shot. And if course, your recommendation is that I purchase one of the low cost "shooters" available now.

Honestly, my wife doesn't care (or would notice) if I bought another one. I just have to convince myself. Unfortunately, my wish list is long.

Thanks for your reply.
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (GDavis @ Jan. 16 2005,5:01)]OK, how about it is just too great of a value to pass up!
Absolutely.  It is a great value.  In five to ten years the prices will go back up so you could sell a used gun at a profit.  It would be like someone is paying you to enjoy using it for a specified period of time.  -Additionally, the P1 has military markings that certainly will make it sought after by people who collect military firearms.



How's that? It's sort of true...
 

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The lack of an import stamp is critical. I'd be happy to get one of those P-83s available now and trade you even for the non-marked one...
 

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BreakerD. is right about quality between commercials and militaries. In this case, it must be added that the P1/P38 has been manufactured in both parkerised and high gloss finish. Both has been sold to civilians, the later at a higher price.
But "Waltherologs" report some high gloss P38 sold to the Bundeswehr, with military acceptance marks. It seems that by Walther, rules suffer exceptions: when the factory had problems to full its military quote, it took whatever was in the civilian bin. The same with P38/HP during WWII.

Bye
 

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This is my first post on this forum. I recently ordered a P-1 from Dan's. I have dealt with him before and know the quality of his merchandise and his character. Top drawer all the way. I am eager to get hands on the gun--my father-in-law carried a captured P-38 in a handmade shoulder holster all the way across Europe in WWII. He still has the holster, but alas not the gun. He's probably going to try to take it away from me. By the way, Dan was (may still be) offering a case of ammo for $100 (Fiocchi) with the purchase of a P-1 or a P-38. I think he is at the Shot Show, but is gone for about five more days, so be patient if you try to contact him. CB
 
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