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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Got this original Walther/Ulm list. It shows the part-compatibility and what could be reworked between Zella-Mehlis and Ulm production. It's German (of course ;)), but imo easy to translate with a little help from a dictionary. Feel free to ask if it needs some help :).
 

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Got this original Walther/Ulm list. It shows the part-compatibility and what could be reworked between Zella-Mehlis and Ulm production. It's German (of course ;)), but imo easy to translate with a little help from a dictionary. Feel free to ask if it needs some help :).
Martin: Thank you for posting this from Walther. I have never before noticed that there was any difference in the hammer/slide interface between wartime and postwar versions, or that the hammer was regarded as not interchangeable.

However: that sheet, insofar as it pertains to parts that can be adapted by modifying original parts, is the closest thing I've seen recently to sabotage. It encourages reckless tinkering.

I am not entirely clear in which direction the substitution is possible in each instance (i.e., wartime to postwar, postwar to wartime, or either way?) but the idea of grinding out a wartime slide to make it fit a postwar barrel is nonsense, and beyond the ability of anyone without the facilities of a fully-equipped machine shop. As a practical matter the slide assembly and the barrel assembly should not be mixed with each other.

Moreover, the sheet fails to disclose that while all the parts listed might be mechanically interchangeable, there was enough hand-fitting and variation in manufacture in P38s that there is no assurance that parts once installed will actually function correctly. There is an unspoken assumption that the people who are doing this parts-swapping have the technical knowledge necessary to fit and/or adjust the parts to work.

Since most of the differences involve the firing pin and safety groups, it should be noted that many surplus WWII P.38s --especially those imported from Austria by Interarms were modified postwar to accept an interim design round firing pin, which won't work in either wartime or later postwar guns.

My point is: it's not as simple as Walther's chart would lead one to believe.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Mike!

It's for information only. Walther/Ulm released the sheet to inform German gunsmiths, how to repair Zella-Mehlis P38 using available Ulm made parts. No more, no less...
 

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Yes, I understand. German gunsmiths --probably some were ex-Wehrmacht Waffenmeisters-- were very good at that sort of thing. Not so the average American tinkerer or even some who call themselves "gunsmiths".

M
 
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