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Help with newly acquired AC 42 p38

1581 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  eugevita
Hi Folks, new to the forum here and hoping to get some help from the resident P38 experts! Recently picked up this AC 42 from a buddy of mine for 500 bucks, other than some exterior barrel pitting which doesn't bother me and a slightly loose rear sight the gun is in great shape and shoots super reliably!

My main question is with regard to the loaded chamber indicator? I have shot and cleaned the gun twice and each time after I reassembled the pistol the loaded chamber indicator has shown false positive immediately after assembly (see pic). I have no idea why this is and am guessing maybe it is broken. The first time it happened I showed it to my buddy who racked the slide really hard a couple of times resulting in the indicator somehow going down. Second time around I have tried to replicate what he did but the chamber indicator refuses to go down despite the empty chamber. Any thoughts?

Lastly, if anyone has any historical info/value estimate on this sort of AC 42 I would greatly appreciate it. I am guessing it is a variant one AC42 from my research

Thank you!


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Not familiar with the P38 loaded chamber indicator.

I know enough about firearms and metallurgy to NOT fire that P38.
Do you have the wide loop at the end of the firing pin spring pulling the indicator pin down towards the firing pin? That pin returns the firing pin backwards and the loop keeps the indicator pin from climbing up and catching on anything inside the well, if I recall correctly. Sometimes the firing pin spring wide loop is broken off due to age, contamination and corrosion, etc.
You probably have a mangled spring on the loaded chamber indicator. You will have to remove the top cover and diagnose. Here is a video which may be helpful:
Warning -- reinstalling the top cover is NOT as easy as the video makes it look. Do not attempt this unless you have a lot of patience.
On the plus side you have a nice piece of WW2 history which you got for a good price. As far as shooting the pistol is concerned, Deutschland is right. A lot of the WW2 P.38s have developed cracks especially on the slide. If you must shoot it I would recommend Winchester White Box 115 grain ammo.
Gents, thanks a lot for the info, i am not sure about my firing pin spring and whether that is the issue. I will probably try to take top cover off per the recommendation, will definitely take some patience. Anyone else experience a similar issue?
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