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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey Guys, This is my first post so pardon if anything is out of order. I picked up a Walther p-38 built in the spreewerk factory in what I can trace to 1944. I'd been looking at picking up a p-38 for some time now, but somehow the firing pin broke.

Is this a common occurrence?

I'd taken the gun apart to the frame cleaned it all up. But after reassembling was checking the slide and the tip of the firing pin snapped off. I've already ordered a new one, but I wanted to see if it was something I did and how to correct it or if it is the poor machining of the later build dates.

Thank you.
 

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I have never broken a firing pin on a P-38, nor have I ever seen one broken. But then again, all my P-38s are post war. I have heard some talk of rare occurrences of WWII pieces breaking firing pins when decocking, but never actually witnessed one.



Hard to tell with a late WWII piece, it could have been used hard, substandard steel, or maybe the firing pin was not heat treated properly. Lots of variables.
 

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Welcome to the forum Riddlekid. It's unlikely you did anything to damage your firing pin. In addition to what CAR mentioned above you have to understand that Spreewerk relied on forced (slave) laborers from all across Europe.
 

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Welcome to the forum Riddlekid. It's unlikely you did anything to damage your firing pin. In addition to what CAR mentioned above you have to understand that Spreewerk relied on forced (slave) laborers from all across Europe.

Worth noting here. Many 1911s produced during WWII contained parts not and/or improperly heat treated.


Handguns during wartime see little use, long term wear-ability (10s of ks rds) is not a major concern during MANY of these "war time" production runs.


If a GI was fortunate (bulletproof?) enough to survive hundreds/thousands of situations where his 1911 was needed (CQB), and wore it out, there were plenty of functional 1911s available near less fortunate GIs. Just a reality of war that affected production requirements.
 

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Poor material, poor heat treatment or poor machining. On Spreewerk P.38s it could have been any or all.

M
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Poor material, poor heat treatment or poor machining. On Spreewerk P.38s it could have been any or all.

M
I've read about the issues with slides cracking if used to heavily, I was planning on having this particular pistol as a "fire-able" piece. Is there anything I should look for before firing? I've seen some rust and I oiled the gun adequately.

I'd be horrified if I broke anything especially since I have a matching magazine and a holster that is dated correctly for the time.
 

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...........I'd be horrified if I broke anything especially since I have a matching magazine and a holster that is dated correctly for the time.

Sounds to me like you need to pick up a P1 or P4. Same shooting experience, ZERO horror.
 
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I'd be horrified if I broke anything especially since I have a matching magazine
I'm unaware of any Spreewerk P.38 coming with a serialized magazine. Can you post some pics ?

Whenever you shoot an old gun there's a chance that it might break. I accept that risk and shoot mine. But if it concerns you then it might be a good idea to pick up a non-stop matching wartime P.38 or a postwar P1.
 

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...

I'd be horrified if I broke anything especially since I have a matching magazine and a holster that is dated correctly for the time.
Just buy a another WWII-type firing pin, replace the broken one, and quit agonizing about it. Nobody will ever know the difference.

M
 
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