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Hi all...new to the forum. Looks like I will learn alot here.
I have a 1960 P-1 that much to my dismay now has a 1/4" crack on the slide.
My question is I have seen some "new" P-1 stripped slides
on Ebay today with no serial no. for a good price. Would
there be a problem with these fitting my 1960 P-1? Any fitting
issues? Thanks for any help.

Since found out that the slide on ebay is an 82 manufacture.
But why no serial no.?
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Moderator Edit: Photos copied from end of thread:
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Cracking slides are common on 1960's non reinforced slide P38/P1's. I've seen more cracked slides on Manurhin P1's but this could be because I've seen more Manurhins.
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Bundeswehr and certain police slides are numbered to match the gun. If the slide isn't serial numbered it may be a new depot replacement slide. Installation should be performed by a gunsmith.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ok, thanks. I was just wondering if the good price on the slide
would be offset by any major modifications made by the gunsmith.
I have really enjoyed shooting it...it was all matching and fairly
accurate for a 54 year old shooter.
 

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Cracking slides are common on 1960's non reinforced slide P38/P1's....
I find myself asking what is meant by the use of the word "common", Milspec. I have an early 1960's non-pinned frame, "thin" slide P.38 that's probably got six thousand rounds downrange and sure isn't showing any signs of letting loose anytime soon. But then, I don't abuse the thing by feeding +P+ (or whatever) overloaded ammunition through it, either. This could be a factor, I'm sure, but I still wonder what is meant by "common".

-Pilotsteve
 

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I find myself asking what is meant by the use of the word "common", Milspec. I have an early 1960's non-pinned frame, "thin" slide P.38 that's probably got six thousand rounds downrange and sure isn't showing any signs of letting loose anytime soon. But then, I don't abuse the thing by feeding +P+ (or whatever) overloaded ammunition through it, either. This could be a factor, I'm sure, but I still wonder what is meant by "common".

-Pilotsteve
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The cracking of the slide at the locking lug cutouts described by the OP is an issue common to the various "thin slide" versions of the P38/P1. A reinforced slide was introduced that was less susceptible to stretching and metal fatigue which largely resolved the issue.
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My '66 BMI surplus P1 shows signs of extensive firing though it is in overall good condition. Since I don't know the amount of wear the slide has been subjected to I do not fire this weapon. My virtually identical '64 police (Hesse?) P1 is in a similar condition so I don't fire it either. My '68 P1 commercial has the same slide as the other two but appears newer. Still, I fire my reinforced slide '72 P1 instead...if only for a perceived margin of safety.
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What is not commonly understood by many P38 shooters is that the gun was designed in the 1930s to use the ammunition of that day, and that the addition of seemingly small increments of power has disproportionate consequences. The increased momentum from a few additional feet per second of slide velocity is not in direct ratio but is squared.

Prewar and WWII-era 9mm was not loaded particularly hot, and the ammunition was held to tight tolerances by the German military, so the slide-cracking problem likely did not show up then. Not until the '60s, after extensive use with heavier police (and perhaps military) loadings, was it apparent that the designed calculations for slide mass, materials, heat treatment, recoil springs, etc. were inadequate to absorb the added momentum. Slides were stretching and cracking, and the same is true for wartime guns imported decades ago as surplus and now indiscriminately used with whatever happens to be on sale at Walmart.

M
 

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Federal American Eagle FMJ is about as mild factory ammo as one can buy today. It is also more uniform in dimension and with less extreme spread than any other I have tried. I have chronographed the 124-grain from a P99 at an average MV of 1091 fps, which is only slightly higher than some published figures for WWII German 124 gr. (which I have not verified).

Late in the war the Germans used a much lighter sintered-iron bullet of less than 100 grains, driven at around 400mps. It exited the muzzle much faster and its effect on the gun is unknown to me. In addition we have no idea today about the pressure curve or other characteristics of the propellant powders used then.

As for WWB, its OAL has varied and the long bullet shape is not the best for smooth lifting through single-column magazines like the P38's or P5's.

M
 

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Here's how my P.38 is holding up... how it looks tonight. Remember, it was in like-new condition when I bought it in the spring of 2011; I've since put many thousand cartridges through the pistol. I don't have an accurate count but figure about two boxes of ammunition, on average per month, since then (it's probably a bit more), and we come up with approximately 4,200 cycles. This sounds about right.

About halfway between my slide lock and takedown levers would be where the pin was positioned in the later models. Mine is still pristine:



There is some buffing of the anodized finish and "wearing in" of the parts but certainly nothing to be concerned about:





I'd sure like to see a picture of the pistol SgtPppr discussed in the first post. My "thin" slide is a serious hunka-chunka piece of machined steel and ain't breaking anytime soon. You could drive a truck over this thing and I'll bet it'd survive unscathed:



SgtPppr, could you show us some pictures of what you're troubled with? It's easy:

http://www.waltherforums.com/forum/feedback-comments-issues/33499-how-easily-post-your-pictures-forum.html

-Pilotsteve
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Moderator Note: Photos were posted at the of end of thread with Pilotsteve's assistance - later copied to Post#1.
 

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If broken slides are your thing, the P38 and PPK Forum has lots of pics. Here's one link:

P 38 & PP-PPK Collector Forum

And another:

P 38 & PP-PPK Collector Forum

These are WW2 guns that had the slides break. From one of the mods on that forum:
"So what are the alternatives? There are much less expensive and risky post war P.38's and P1's that fall into more of a "shooter class" of pistols. Around 1970 Walther decided to keep the P.38 and P1 in production but to upgrade it. They added a steel 3/8" hex pin to the newly produced alloy frame for strengthening it from thence forward. They also made the slide walls thicker and extended the finger serrations from then on as well. As time progressed through the seventies, other smaller improvements were also initiated."



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Please Read

This is excellent information. I've made some mod edits to clean the thread up a bit so we can convert it to a Sticky.
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Please feel free to continue to post relevant information for the benefit of the WaltherForums community and guests. No personal discussions please.
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Everybody looks for different information and has their specific concerns. We create Stickys to cover as many of the aspects of the thread topic as possible. Join the thread...add your contributions in the form of information, questions, discussions, debate, etc. When your concerns have been answered and you have nothing further to contribute quietly move on to something else. If you wish to make a personal statement that you're leaving a thread send it to a moderator or your friends by PM. It's not relevant to the topic and may be redacted from your post.
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Please contacct a moderator by PM if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Pilot Steve...I will try to take some pics this weekend...the problem is I don't
have a good camera and my phone has no flash. I'll try to take some daytime
pics. I have since bought a slide fron CDNN...the issue on another forum (P 38 & PP-PPK Collector Forum) is whether I should headspace since I am getting a new slide. Some say no...some say yes.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Tried to take some pics but I just can't get a good close up with my cell phone. Guess it's time to either get a good camera or a (gulp) smart phone with a decent camera! I did
make a new Photobucket account...it was pretty easy. In the meantime my new slide from CDNN came so I need to get it up and running.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Dep,

We've had quite a discussion about headspacing 9mm over on the P-38 forum. Alot of people don't think its necessary for simple factory specification parts replacement. Here is an excellent article by Master Gunsmith Reid Coffield explaining....

Gunsmithing the Walther P.38 & P1 part 1: after some woodworking-intensive rifle projects, Coffield eases back for something with fewer wood shavings: working on the classic Gorman double-action autoloader. - Free Online Library

To quote him...

"The major problem with excessive headspace in the 9mm is that it might lead to the cartridge case seating too deeply into the chamber. This can lead to failure to fire or erratic cartridge ignition. This can also have a detrimental effect on accuracy as you might not be positioning the cartridges in the chamber shot after shot. It's not something you deal with day after day but it's worth considering."

A far cry from some people who were saying the gun would blow up in my hand if not headspaced.
 

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...Here is an excellent article by Master Gunsmith Reid Coffield explaining....

...
"The major problem with excessive headspace in the 9mm is that it might lead to the cartridge case seating too deeply into the chamber. This can lead to failure to fire or erratic cartridge ignition. This can also have a detrimental effect on accuracy ...

A far cry from some people who were saying the gun would blow up in my hand if not headspaced.
"Master Gunsmith" ? What institution bestowed him with that title?

Makes him sound like a "Board Certified" physician...

I am not suggesting that excessive headspace leads inexorably or even often to "blowups", but I don't believe he knows what he's talking about.

M
 
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