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Discussion Starter #1
I just posted a reply addressing this very subject on another thread within this forum. I am really interested in receiving an answer to this inquiry, if not from Walther, than the shooting public. In addition to shooting my PPQ, I have also shot my wife's CZ 75-SP01 and my son's P 38 (manufactured by Mauser circa April 1943). Unlike the polymer platform, steel frame guns have virtually no muzzle flip and discharge recoil. The P 38 is, in my hands, lighter than the CZ; as equally balanced as the CZ; reasonably accurate; and relentlessly reliable. In fact, were the P 38 not a historic firearm -- and I heed the advise as to possible damage over time especially since metallurgy has so drastically improved over the past 75 years -- I would prefer it to both the PPQ and CZ 75. The P 38 design is simple and has influenced other gun manufacturers (e.g., Baretta). I understand that polymer frame firearms are less expensive to manufacture and that the majority of consumers may prefer the weight savings when carried (especially on a daily basis such as law enforcement officers). Yet, I would very much like Germany to offer a steel platform alternative, especially in the P 38 design.
 

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The final evolution of the P38 "dropping lock block" design would be the P5.

The complexity of the design priced it well above many "similar" handguns (capacity, barrel length....), MSRP of almost $1000 three decades ago left many unsold.

If Walther were to produce a double-stack/all metal/NO molded or cast parts P5 today, I would expect an MSRP over $2000. They wouldn't sell.

A re-released P5, long barrel, double-stack, 10mm or 357Sig Hunter would be awesome.


I may be the most rabid P5 fan on this forum at the moment.......
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Walther Should Produce Steel Guns

So, the complexity of the design makes the option cost prohibitive? Why can CZ and Magnum Research sell all steel framed handguns at a fraction of the price that are offered by other U.S. and German manufacturers? Is it the gun design or profit margin? While I admit that I am "in love" with the P38, honestly I would be open to ANY steel platform handgun offered by Walther. I think my initial thread discussion focuses upon two issues. The first is the resurrection of the P38 design; and the second is the offering by a German manufacturer (which includes H&K) of a steel handgun. Incidentally, the Coonan and Magnum Research .357 magnum pistols -- which probably are expensive to manufacture -- sells within the $1,200 to $1,500 price range.
 

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"honestly I would be open to ANY steel platform handgun offered by Walther"
Hang in there JayBird, the PPK & PPK/s are on the way.
 

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So, the complexity of the design makes the option cost prohibitive? Why can CZ and Magnum Research sell all steel framed handguns at a fraction of the price that are offered by other U.S. and German manufacturers? Is it the gun design or profit margin? While I admit that I am "in love" with the P38, honestly I would be open to ANY steel platform handgun offered by Walther. I think my initial thread discussion focuses upon two issues. The first is the resurrection of the P38 design; and the second is the offering by a German manufacturer (which includes H&K) of a steel handgun. Incidentally, the Coonan and Magnum Research .357 magnum pistols -- which probably are expensive to manufacture -- sells within the $1,200 to $1,500 price range.

That's funny, I had no idea CZ and Magnum Research produce dropping lock block firearms (fires from a locked breech), with fully supported/non tilting barrels.


Please provide a link.
 

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Isn't the Beretta 92 a dropping block firearm that fires from a locked breech with a non tilting barrel? I don't know if the chamber on the 92 is fully supported, but that would seem to be a minor problem to correct if it isn't.


OTOH, I'm not sure a P-38 would sell for the price of a Beretta 92.
 

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Isn't the Beretta 92 a dropping block firearm that fires from a locked breech with a non tilting barrel? I don't know if the chamber on the 92 is fully supported, but that would seem to be a minor problem to correct if it isn't.


OTOH, I'm not sure a P-38 would sell for the price of a Beretta 92.

The front of the Beretta 92 barrel just pokes thru a clearance hole in the slide (best case, go to Beretta Forum and see pics of some that rub in one spot due to poor manufacturing and quality control (I would provide a link, but I get accused of being the link author here when I provide links to Beretta issues). In NO way is the Beretta barrel supported by the frame OR the slide on the muzzle end.


FWIW, the sig pic has a few of my other "all metal" guns, a WC/Beretta 92G Brig Tac is included (a 92 machined to Bill Wilsons "enhanced tolerances"/action tuned/final inspected/test fired at WC).


There's a reason two of my P5s (with a 3.5" barrel), came with 25 meter test targets showing sub 1" C to C 8 rd group, handheld off benchrest.


This accuracy costs, and the average US purchaser WON'T pay the premium.
 

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Also worth noting, Beretta "copying" the Walther dropping lock block design is an often used/inaccurate statement.


Beretta took ONE aspect of the Walther design, downsized it significantly and left the numerous other accuracy enhancing/cost increasing features behind.


These pics show several.....


1) Greatly reduced surface area of working surfaces.


2) TOTAL lack of barrel to slide support bosses (92 barrel lacks the stationary "ears").


3) P5 muzzle is supported by a close tolerance support strut (increased production cost). This allows for tight lockup (at muzzle end) between the frame/slide/barrel.
 

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Thank you DeutschlandUberAlles for the education. I appreciate it. :)



The only problem is, I now find myself wanting a P5.

I purchased my first in late July this year, will have one for every day of the week by Christmas.
 

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Yeah, DUA hoggin' all the P5's is why I decided to finally get me that Sig/Mauser M2 I always wanted. Stole it, too! Came to $275 after fees and shipping (sales price was $200). Even rarer than those P5's everybody can just get! Mine is #6592 out of around 10,000!
 

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For the OP, handle and shoot a P5; you will quickly forget about the P38.
If you just have to have a P38, they can be had; do some research on just what you want.
The alloy framed P1s are another good alternative; get the later, thicker slide version with the steel reinforcing pin.
Do not hold your breath for anything all steel coming from Walther, especially the old P38.
Kar', tell me more about your M2.
Moon
 

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Discussion Starter #16
How Does P38 Design Differ From Arms Currently Offered

I candidly confess my ignorance as to firearm construction. Exactly what is a "dropping lock block firearm (fires from a locked breech) with fully supported/non tilting barrel"? Does Walther offer such constructed firearm for sale? If not, what manufacturer offers this type of construction? I am assuming that this type of construction is superior to that otherwise offered; yet I have read comments that the P38 is not as accurate as, e.g., the PPQ. What construction type is used in the PPQ -- and for that matter the H&K VP9 -- and what are the advantages/disadvantages between the different styles. I just completed a course offered by AZTEC Larry Vickers (which, incidentally, was fantastic worth every penny of tuition paid) during which I understood him as implying that the 1911 handgun design may be more accurate than the Glocks. Is this true; and if so, why. Incidentally, I am also assuming that the Walther, H&K, Steyr and other polymer guns are copies of the Glocks. Finally, how (if any) is the CZ75-SP01 design different from the 1911s, P38s, and PPQs? I look forward to an education from those more experienced than I.
 

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Locked Breech/Tilting Barrel definition......


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Locked_breech


Walther (supported muzzle end) barrel vs Beretta (non-supported muzzle end) barrel, it pokes thru the slide with approx 1/32" clearance.......
 

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The design of the P-38 is copied in the Beretta 92 series, but the Beretta barrel is a bit simplified, and thus less expensive to make. Even with that exception, the P38 could be made and marketed for $700-$800, given the real world sale prices for the Berettas, which can be had new for $600 or so. I just think that in a market that has had them available for the last 80 years, there may not be THAT many potential buyers to excite the market.
 

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The CZ 75 series differs from the 1911 in that the frame rails enclose the slide rails and most of the CZ 75 pistols are DA/SA, where the 1911 is single action.


The CZ and 1911 use a Browning type lock breach. The rear of the barrel drops down to unlock the barrel and slide. The P38 uses a dropping block action which allows the barrel to move straight back in recoil.


1911 animation:
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=1911+how+it+works&&view=detail&mid=D4EF1519C9CA8DE8A4ADD4EF1519C9CA8DE8A4AD&&FORM=VRDGAR


P38 animation:

https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=walther+p38+how+it+works&&view=detail&mid=D1A2D50F3F216912C5B1D1A2D50F3F216912C5B1&&FORM=VRDGAR
 

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The cost issue is really the same as any German manufacturer (Sig, HK, Walther); labor cost and precision. The Germans produce high quality stuff, in part, because they pay their skilled workers really high wages, which makes sense, since they are very well trained and have high standards. The precision part also has to do with costs, since the tooling is sharpened/replaced more often, there is more gauging/QC, and more tightly-speced raw materials. All of this drives costs.

The advent of plastics have driven those costs down, and to be honest, Glock gets the credit for that. Others made striker-fired before and others made plastic firearms before, but Glock combined them along with other cost-savings measures... Simple economics discourages companies from going back towards more expensive technology. It would be hard to sell to people other than us and reenactors...
 
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