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This has been posted before, but it's probable that many new members have never seen it. We'll add it as a Sticky here so that we can admire it from time to time, with compliments to the folks at the P.38 Forum and the artist, Vlad Makarov, for the great animation effort:

http://www.p38forum.com/anime7.swf
 

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Thanks searcher

Im portuguese and im a sargent in the Portuguese Air Force. We still use the Walther P38 since a long time, right after the second world war. It is still in operation today. Its realy good, considering its age. Its very reliable, and in rough terrain its excelent. Altough a bit heavy comparing to the new guns.

I usually participate in the Armed forces shooting tournement. We use 3 main cathegories, 9mm, 7,62mm and .22
For the 9 mm we only use the P38, everyone's use standart military P.38 distributed by the FAP (air force) or any other branch.
For the 7,62mm we use the G3.

I'll try to upload some pictures of our armed forces P38.

By the way, yesterday i bought my new P99 9mm (here .40 or .45 is forbiden) and im loving it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Spadejack: Thanks for that terrific, and highly interesting, report. It's hard to believe that the P.38 is still standard fare in some military circles, despite the long credentials of this venerable firearm.

Are you using original P.38s, or are they the updated and/or armory-refurbished models? I'd also be interested to know if your army uses any of the P1 or P4 versions and merely refers to them generically as P.38s. (I'm also tempted to ask about whether the P5 has ever shown up for use but don't want to get too far adrift here.) One other question: Do you have any idea where the army secured the guns that you are using? I'm wondering here whether any of the Russian Capture pieces made their way to Portugal.

We'd love to see photos, of course. We always like photos.

And congratulations on the purchase of the P99. It, too, is a fine firearm, though it doesn't yet have the legs of the P.38.

Thanks again for sharing.
 

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Hello again searcher

Im afraid i cant answer wether if the guns are updated or not. I only know that they were distributed in Portugal in 1961. Before that we used the Luger P08 9 mm.

We dont use any other versions, only the P38 (altough im not sure if its the P1) but i suspect that there were some P4 used during the colony wars, but i will need to confirm that.

Never seen a P5 nor i have heard of one ever being used in the service.

Im sorry, but i didnt understand your question about securing the weapons and russian capture pieces... what do you mean? Every branch here has their own wepons secure room (we call it armeiros) and its there where the wepons are stored. for example, everytime that i go on duty, i get my P38 that is designated for me, the officer too. Its a standart issue.

Well, excuse me for my errors, but i think my english is not that bad.

Cheers:cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Spadejhack: You are doing great, and your English is fine -- far better than my Portuguese, to be sure. Thanks for helping to satisfy my curiosity.

My question was where your Army found, or bought, the P38s back in 1961. As we know, the Russians captured a great volume of German arms as the war was ending, and they took those weapons back to the Soviet Union and dipped them in some sort of preservative solution, then stored them for years -- no doubt waiting for the next world war. But somewhere along the line, they began selling those stores of weapons, including the many thousands and thousands of P.38s that they had on hand. So my question was whether the Russians sold your army the P.38s, or whether they were purchased from some other source.

Thanks again for sharing this fascinating bit of information. I'm sure that many of us here are amazed that the P.38 is still in use in the armies of the world.

One other thing: Do you know of any other nations that are still using this gun? Thanks again.

Muitos agradece para seu tempo
 

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Hello again Searcher.

Im sorry for my late answer. I went to ask some people about our P38 and where we aquired them. They told me it was bought from Germany, so i guess its not soviet. In fact, Portugl has been in NATO in 1961, so i guess we didnt bought from the soviets. What i knew was that when the colony wars started, the armed forces used the P08 Luger. It proved to be a very bad pistol to be used in Africa. So, the government choose to aquire the P38. The results were very good. Dust, mud, heavy rain, sand and the pistol always worked.
The fact is that we still use the same pistols from that time and they still work. Its true that they are a bit worned out, but still operational.
The armed forces are planing to substitute the standart pistol, and the main guns in debate are the HK USP, Glock 17/19 and the Beretta 92FS. But recently it has been considered the P99.
The recent question now is what to do with all the P38 and G# to be discarted. I've heard that the government is going to sell them to whoever wants them. Since weapon policy here is very strict, not anyone can hold and purchase a gun (9mm is off to civilians, only 6,35mm) my guess is that its going to be sold abroad.
Your portuguese is good enough :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The guns that your army is using would do very well on the general market in the USA, where the current supply of surplus P.38s and P1s has been pretty much depleted but demand is still quite high. If the guns that you are issued have NATO numbers attached to them, then you are likely equipped with the post-war models, which would make sense. I'd be interested to know what the typical serial numbers and stampings/markings are like; it would help us to get an idea of when the guns were made. Any chance that you can post a photo or two?

I still find it fascinating that the P.38 is in use; it's a good testimony to the overall design and staying power of this quality firearm.

Thanks again for that fascinating report, Spadejack. Most interesting, indeed.
 

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Ok, i'll try to put some pictures here.
Im on vacations now, going back to the base only on the 18th September. Probably on the 19th (saturday) i'll be on duty. There, i'll take some pictures of my P38.
 

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Thanks searcher

Im portuguese and im a sargent in the Portuguese Air Force. We still use the Walther P38 since a long time, right after the second world war. It is still in operation today. Its realy good, considering its age. Its very reliable, and in rough terrain its excelent. Altough a bit heavy comparing to the new guns.

I usually participate in the Armed forces shooting tournement. We use 3 main cathegories, 9mm, 7,62mm and .22
For the 9 mm we only use the P38, everyone's use standart military P.38 distributed by the FAP (air force) or any other branch.
For the 7,62mm we use the G3.

I'll try to upload some pictures of our armed forces P38.

By the way, yesterday i bought my new P99 9mm (here .40 or .45 is forbiden) and im loving it.
Hello Spadejack,

There has always been rumours saying that some of the Manurhin P1s delivered to West Berlin police in 1963 were actually planned to be delivered to Portugal.

These P1s show a stamp on the right hand side of the slide: "crossed cannons" with a figure below. Is this stamp a Portuguese military acceptance or proof mark?

Any help is highly appreciated.

Kind regards,
Dieter H. Marschall.
 
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