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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The local Gander Mtn. has several P38's for sale. They claim they have new or near new "uppers" including the barrel. They come with a holster (cammo) and two magazines. They look to be in good cond. with some wear marks on the left grip cover from flicking the safety decocker on/off. The "upper" has more of a powder black flat finish compaired to the lower, which is more of a glossy black. I was told that they have no real collector value, but priced at $299.99, I think it would be a fun range shooter. I own several handguns including a P99 & P22, but I'm no classic gun expert by any means. Can any of you P38 experts tell me if this is a decent deal? Is there any weak points or weak areas I should look for when I field strip it? Any high-wear areas to look for? (I WILL field strip & inspect before I purchase) I know for 300 bucks, it's not going to be new, but I'd like it to be a good shooter. Gander won't give me any info. about where they came from (must be a big secret) and I don't really trust their in-store gunsmith inspection. I figure lay the 5 or 6 they have on the counter and pick the best one out of the herd. I could use some tips & guidance on picking out the best one though.

Thank you in advance for your help.
 

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I think I am a P38 novice, but will try to help. 299 is a good average price. You can find them for around 200 to 400 depending on condition. Most people want the ones with the hex pin in front of the trigger. Walther added this because frames were cracking. Other than that physical appearance should be your guide. On the right frame there will sometimes be a "W" followed by a date. This stands for reworked, the fewer of those the better because if they weren't reworked they spent more time on the shelf.

Later ones are made with a sleeved barrel. You will see a line at the rear end of the barrel. Some people like the early ones with the barrel made from one piece of steel, but then you will be giving up the hex reinforcement pin. They are great shooters, but not as accurate as your P99, but close enough for plinking and if you throw it in a safe long enough it will be a collector some day.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I think I am a P38 novice, but will try to help. 299 is a good average price. You can find them for around 200 to 400 depending on condition. Most people want the ones with the hex pin in front of the trigger. Walther added this because frames were cracking. Other than that physical appearance should be your guide. On the right frame there will sometimes be a "W" followed by a date. This stands for reworked, the fewer of those the better because if they weren't reworked they spent more time on the shelf.

Later ones are made with a sleeved barrel. You will see a line at the rear end of the barrel. Some people like the early ones with the barrel made from one piece of steel, but then you will be giving up the hex reinforcement pin. They are great shooters, but not as accurate as your P99, but close enough for plinking and if you throw it in a safe long enough it will be a collector some day.
Thanks for the info, banddr2.
 

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Gander Mtn. P-38's

I think you will find that the Gander Mountain P-38's are really P1's that have been upgraded/reworked.
I just bought one today for $279.
I suggest you go to www.p38forum.com/ and go to the forum postwar p38 and read their first stickey, take notes and then go to Gander and look over what they have.

The one I selected was upgraded in 4.98 and has the hex key installed in the frame. The slide and frame have matching numbers and matching proof marks. The barrel and slide are a nice black oxide finish, rifling looks clean and crisp. The frame is alloy and has a shinerer finish than the barrel/slide.

All indications are that it should be a good shooter and the price was right.

The internals are all upgraded with the same care that was excercised when it was built.

When my wife goes to sleep I'll tear it down and go over the internals and take some pictures. (she doesn't know about it yet LOL)
 

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The best buy on shootable P1s these days can be found here:

http://www.dansammo.com/

Dan is a good guy, he has guns that are absolutely pristine, he'll hand-pick a gem for you, and his prices are right. There's not much more to be asked than that.
 
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