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Discussion Starter #1
So in the back of my head, a P1 or P38 is on the list of guns that I want to acquire some day. Mostly it would sit in the safe to be enjoyed for just owning a bit of history, but I've read they're accurate and fun to shoot - so i'm sure at some point it would come along on a range trip.

I know the differences in these are mainly related to the materials used in the frame, and have read of some later refinements (the hex pin) that reinforced the occasionally-cracking alloy frame. But it seems most people go with the P38, despite it being what seems to be a "weaker" framed pistol.

My question is... why, exactly does one pick the P38 over the P1? Is it just cost, or some other factor i'm not aware of? If i ever buy one, it will only be one - not both - so i'd appreciate some guidance on which one to lean towards. BTW - if there's a FAQ out there will allllll those suggestions already typed, pls feel free to just post me a link to read.

Thanks :)

thorn
 

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Good morning, Thorn. You'll find a great deal about this issue on the P38/PP Forum:

http://www.p38forum.com/index.htm

Check out the sticky notices in the post-war section on what to look for when buying a P1, for example, and it will doubtless give you some good insight. As to the rest of it, it boils down to personal preference, your taste for history, and what you plan to do with the gun. If I wanted to shoot one, for example (and I do -- a great deal, in fact), I'd get the P1 with the hex pin modifications. They tend to be superb shooters: accurate, reliable ... all the things you'd expect from a good Walther firearm. If you want of piece of history, however, get yourself a wartime P38 with matching numbers. You'll pay another $300 to $400 (a mint P1 from Dan's Ammo costs $299 these days; a nice war-model P38 in 95%-plus condition with all-matching numbers can be picked up for $650 to $700). But you'll also have a piece of history that the P1 does not exude. And again, much of this ground is covered on the P38 Forum (good group of guys over there as well).

As for me, I solved the problem by getting two wartime P38s (still looking for a third), a post-war P38, and two P1 models -- one unfired safe queen and one that I use as a shooter. You can never be too rich, nor too thin, nor have too many Walthers, after all. :)

If you decide to get a P1, check out Dan's at

http://www.dansammo.com/

He seems to have the nicest stock at as good a price as you'll find these days, and he's a class-A guy to deal with.

Good luck.
 

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Hi Thorn,

Being on a buget myself I have opted up to now for post-war Walthers. I got a good 1962 P38-marked shooter with alloy frame and no hex pin. I just added springs.:p
Now I find myself wishing for an AC44 to own that piece of history. :rolleyes:
Not only that. I will eventually want the Mauser vesion byf and even a Spreewerk cyq.:eek:
P38s can fill up your safe as fast as you can afford them.;)

Russell
 

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I picked a P1 first because it was LNIB, holster, Interarms box, & extra mag for $249. Couldn't pass it up. Great shooter.
 

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Most of what is written about P.38s is needlessly confusing. To keep it real simple, disregard the designations. A P1 made in any given year is identical to any contemporary P.38, just marked differently.

Generally speaking, and disregarding all the minor variations, exceptions and convolutions, all P.38s fall into one of two categories, separated by the era of manufacture: 1) made during WWII with steel frame, or 2) made postwar beginning in 1957, with aluminum frame. All P1s fall in the postwar category; P1 is simply the postwar Bundeswehr's official designation for the P.38.

Internal changes were made after WWII and some parts are not mechanically interchangeable with the postwar guns. The parts of all postwar P.38s are generally interchangeable. Moreover, within the postwar category, additional changes were made along the way, the most important being a strengthened (the so-called "fat") slide. A hex pin was later added to the frame; it is not a "reinforcement" but merely a steel cam surface for the locking block, which reduces wear on the aluminum frame. Those postwar guns without it (the majority, actually) are still plenty durable. WWII guns don't have a hex pin because they didn't need one: the frame was aleady steel.

If you want a historical gun, buy a WWII model. If you want principally a shooter, buy a postwar gun in sound condition with a fat slide; the hex pin is nice but not essential. Don't worry about how the gun is marked.

M
 

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Most of what is written about P.38s is needlessly confusing...
Internal changes were made after WWII and some parts are not mechanically interchangeable with the postwar guns. The parts of all postwar P.38s are generally interchangeable. M
What I wrote also is "needlessly confusing." What I meant to say is "Internal changes were made after WWII, and some postwar parts --notably barrels-- will not fit the WWII guns. Practically any postwar part will fit any postwar gun."

There.


M
 

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Mike,

I feel needlessly confused...:confused:
Only kidding. Youv'e clearly been at this a lot longer than I have. Your in-depth knowledge and that of others on this forum is invaluable to us new collectors,

Russell
 

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Here is mine
earlier version.... proofed '66....no hex pin and regular slide.....
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks guys. That was -exactly- the kind of information i was hoping to get. The designations are confusing, but now i do understand why people call it a p38/p1 as well as what I'm looking for (and what I'm not) when it's time to go shopping.

cheers :)

thorn
 

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I picked a P1 first because it was LNIB, holster, Interarms box, & extra mag for $249. Couldn't pass it up. Great shooter.

Would you mind telling us where you were able to find a P1 for $249?
 

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Would you mind telling us where you were able to find a P1 for $249?
Also check out the link for Dan's Ammo in this thread. I picked up a beautiful shooter from him recently, sans holster and cleaning kit, and had it shipped to my FFL dealer for $249 on the button. I'd do it again: Dan is a class act, and his guns are generally better than advertised on his website.

You also might want to check out Simpson's Ltd. They were selling P1s and P38s for $225 and less awhile back. Here's a link:

http://www.simpsonltd.com/

Good luck.
 
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