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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just put in a new Wolff 16# and the DA pull got a lot worse. Apparently, my original spring wasn't the standard 20#? I don't understand how anyone could keep their aim straight either way. I'm thinking of buying a 13#, but i wanted to hear about your experiences first. I've found surprisingly little information on the topic of P38 hammer springs.
 

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The problem with lighter (or shorter) hammer springs is that the hammer may not strike the firing pin hard enough to strike the primer reliably. It could also, if weak enough, cause your magazine to be loose or fall out of the magazine well.

That being said, when I bought my (sadly) refinished ac45 P.38, the hammer spring had 2 or 3 coils cut off, and the firing pin lock spring was shortened as well (by the previous owner), resulting in a BEAUTIFULLY-light trigger pull and a very accurate P.38, while functioning as it should. If you go this route, please have a gunsmith do the work. Your gunsmith can also perhaps perform other work on the pistol to make the trigger pull lighter.

Or, you could just invest in some snap caps and practice dry-fire drills until you master the trigger pull - this is probably the safest way to go.

The ac45 mentioned above has now been rebuilt as a P1, with all original Walther P1 parts installed (which means all of the springs are standard Walther parts), and so I've lost the really sweet trigger pull it once had. But I've been practicing my trigger pull with snap caps for several days now, and I think I've gotten used to it enough that I'll be accurate at the range with it.
 

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Safety is the important issue. Like backyard mechanics, we can build and make things happen, but safety is not considered. I can disassemble and assemble original P.38s anyday and then go to the range and enjoy it. BUT, altering a function correctly or incorrectly, is the provedence of a gunsmith with knowledge of his/her art but extensive hands on regarding what ever the firearm is. I am sure during manufacture of the P.38 different springs were developed and tried; and the end result was the issue specification. Good luck on your project, but be safe, not only you, but the next owner and those around you on the range. art
 

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I just put in a new Wolff 16# and the DA pull got a lot worse. Apparently, my original spring wasn't the standard 20#? I don't understand how anyone could keep their aim straight either way. I'm thinking of buying a 13#, but i wanted to hear about your experiences first. I've found surprisingly little information on the topic of P38 hammer springs.
I have the Wolf 18# springs in my pistols. I have had pistols that have had the coils cut, and I even had a well respected gunsmith tell me to cut a coil off the WWII springs. I did not. There is more to a spring than just the number of coils, and once you start cutting, you don't know what you have. If you want an opinion, I will give you mine: do not put a 13# spring in there if you want 100% reliability. I used to play with springs a lot in my younger days, and I have found that what works good with one primer will not fire at all with another. Do you positively know what primers you will be using, and what you will always be able to get hold of?

I would not worry about the double action pull. How does the single action work? You will probably never fire the pistol in anger in double action unless you are at point blank range. The trigger pull is the least of your worries at that range. And if you are trying to make a head shot at 25 yards in double action, you are an idiot, so does the double action pull really matter? I think the German 20# spring was put there for a purpose. In wartime, you don't know what you are going to get for ammo. I have shot a lot of military ammo in my time, and some of the older stuff had some pretty hard primers. I asked an old timer about this once and, true or not, he told me something that made a lot of sense. Most of the old submachine guns were slam fire from an open bolt. Some had the firing pin poking out right on the bolt face. You did NOT want the round to go off until the bolt was all the way forward! He told me that a lot of people claim that subgun ammo is hotter than pistol ammo. He said that he believed that to be a bunch of BS. He said that in his experience, subgun ammo simply had harder primers. I don't know if he was BSing me or not, but I can say that I have never had a Walther fail to fire anything that it would chamber.

I have not found any good deals on surplus 9mm in quite some time. Everything that I shoot is intended to go through a pistol, so I am not worried about the 2# that I am missing from a Walther spring. In fact, to be honest, I feel no difference between the 18# Wolf spring and the factory springs in the P1 pistols that I have. The P1 springs do seem to have fewer coils than what came out of my WW2 pistols.

I would leave the 16# spring in and learn to shoot with it. Otherwise, put the old spring back into it. I would not worry about shooting it either way. I would not, however, monkey with any of the other springs in the pistol. The P38 is a combat gun, not a target pistol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I appreaciate all the replies. It's interesting that it's possible to get a nicer pull, but it's not something i'm about to attempt if it involves cutting a spring that isn't in production anymore. Anyhow, i'll have to stick with the spring that came with the gun.
 
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