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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
"I SPY" P38K PROJECT

Hi, I'm new to this forum and want to ask for your comments regarding a project I have in mind. The goal is to build a P38K in hard-chrome. Should I start with a P38 or a P1? Recommendations as to who can properly shorten the barrel and add front sight? Recommendations for hard-chrome finishing? Any advice on this project will be greatly appreciated. Thank you and I look forward to posting a picture of the finished project.

Tactical Closet
 

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Most of the folks here would likely advise against such a project, instead seeking out a pistol that is already chopped if you feel that you must have one. The factory P38K was rare (about 2,600 were made), is expensive, and difficult to find, and was built from a P4. The P4, in turn, is rarish and difficult to find, and when you do, you have to pay a pretty penny to get one. Chopping it is not a good idea.

Still, plenty of the already-chopped pistols are around. My advice would be to secure one that's already been ruined and then have it hard-chromed if you must. If you run a search on this forum, you'll find some discussion about these pistols, as well as a gunsmith in Oregon (Rob Shepherd of Major 9 Guns in Brownsville) who worked on a similar project for a member here.

Welcome aboard; enjoy your time with us.
 

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True Man MFU guns were converted WWII P38's, and they only fired blanks. This isn't too hard to do or have done, as there is a fellow in Texas, Brad Ferguson that has made it his life to recreate the U.N.C.L.E. guns (GALLERY | The U.N.C.L.E. Gun ). He offers most part and replica items. You run into problems when creating a shoulder stocked pistol when using a genuine P38, as BATF has a number of restrictions on such, along with real silencers, should you start down that road. I have a converted P1, but had to find a solid, WWII type P38 barrel to thread for live ammo and real suppressors. Mine used a less expensive, 2-piece grip, which is not suitable for the shoulder stock. I opted to recreate just the live fire pistol, which currently has a modified M16 flash hider (I am still trying to have made or modify a true U.N.C.L.E. type flash hider to get closer to the original, but my barrel is threaded for 1/2"x28 sound suppressors, and no one makes them as of yet). The P1 barrels are lined, and will give you problems if externally threading for real silencers; they may work fine for internally thread repro flash hiders. If you have technical questions, Brad may be able to point you in the right direction, or refer you to guys up in the NW that have spent time making some live fire guns. Brad is the go-to guy for the best reproduction parts and guns. Here is a photo of mine.
 

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Actually, if I recall, the first prop guns made for the show were not Walters...I want to say Brownings, but they were not P38's.

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They had one episode that showed a modified Mauser 1934 (?) that had the stock, scope, silencer barrel, etc, but that gun was dropped as a prop early on, before the opening show, and the epsisode shot with the Mauser later aired in the series. Initially, Napoleon Solo used a Luger for the opening scene, and later in the first episodes, the UNCLE pistol and carbine (P38) were introduced.
 

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They had one episode that showed a modified Mauser 1934 (?) that had the stock, scope, silencer barrel, etc, but that gun was dropped as a prop early on, before the opening show, and the epsisode shot with the Mauser later aired in the series. Initially, Napoleon Solo used a Luger for the opening scene, and later in the first episodes, the UNCLE pistol and carbine (P38) were introduced.
Correct - that it!

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The raw material for making a P38K is really a P4, but if you know somebody who has a stray P4 upper for sale, you can mount it on any P1 or P38 frame, aluminum or steel, so long as a P4 hammer and frame levers are used.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I would like to thank everyone involved for sharing their knowledge and experience. I am getting quite an education not only from shared comments but from searches within WaltherForums. My compliments to all involved in the maintenance of this forum.

Tactical Closet
 

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Note that the strip of metal on the left grip above the slide lock has been removed in the picture above. This makes the grips much more functional. Otherwise it is difficult to release the slide when locked open. These aluminum grips also add considerable weight to the P.38 and you really need large hands to encompass the stock groove added to the back of the grips.
 

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Your right about that. The grips on my gun are two piece, and molded. I got them from Brad Ferguson from a small lot that he got from someone else. Not duplicating the originals, they are a lot lighter. Added to my P1 frame, they make it only slightly heavier than a steel framed gun, but are not a strong enough design to accommodate the shoulder stock. Since I didn't want to go the expense, or required BATF tax stamp for a shoulder stocked handgun, the basic "pistol" configuration was fine for me. I am still wondering about the plausibility of the two piece barrel: for the guys that HAVE recreated a live fire gun, does a two piece barrel give any kind of accuracy?
 

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No Man from Uncle copies but here are some variations on the Walther P38 theme. Top Left is a 70s vintage commercial P38. Below it is a Walther P4. These came out after Munich in '72 and the German Gov't request for some new designs in pistol trials. The barrel is slightly shorter and the top cover and chamber loaded indicator were done away with. The German Government accepted these as a stop gap measure but made clear they wanted something more modern from Walther. Also introduced was the P38 K with a short barrel. You see a factory P38 K at at the top on the right side. Below that is a P1 a late friend had made for himself in the late 60s when he was working for the US Government in the clandestine services. This is an interesting gun, sleeved barrel cut carefully. The sights are dead on at 25 yards with 115 gr ball ammo. At the bottom is the custom Jonis Keit special P38. So you can make a chopped gun that works well.



 
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