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Brigg

WE P-38

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The WE P-38,The first *actual* full metal airsoft replica of the walther P-38, has at long last landed in my hands. I have been excited about this gun from the day that WE teased about it, showing the prototype in the white along with the M84, Makarov and P99. These are my initial impressions of it.

 

While I understand that the P38 has been available for months, I was not a fan of the cheap looking "Blue" version, and so I waited for it to be available in normal black. There are some "Blue" parts to even the black P-38, and seeing the finish on them, Im very happy I waited. I will say that I am not disappointed by the painted finish at all, but more on that later. First, some pictures:

 

Left side:

 

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Right side:

 

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Breach open:

 

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The fit and finish are very nice. Not only for a WE product, but for any airsoft gun. There is very little play between parts, or slack to the return spring. the barrel does rattle slightly when the slide is retracted, but i imagine this is likely the case on the real one as well.

 

There was a lot of talk about whether or not this particular model was a clone of the older Maruzen model. Having both to compare, I can say that the WE version is not a straight up clone. Maruzen's gun was without question the basis for the WE design, however, WE seem to have taken Maruzens version and improved it in many ways. So, many of the parts are completely different, though some are identical.

 

For example, The hopup unit is here:

 

yMFVMGyl.jpg

 

While it does bear a resemblance to the maruzen unit, both the hopup unit and loading nozzle are completely incompatible. The loading nozzle is a different shape which uses a standard WE setup. It doesnt have the two holes in the magazine gas bucking either like the Maruzen does.

 

H1cJ57Kl.jpg

 

More interesting is the hopup bucking itself:

 

gBbSkJzl.jpg

 

Unlike the Maruzen version, It appears that the WE uses a standard VSR-10 type bucking, which would give it a lot of upgrade potential.

 

Another one of the parts which has been redesigned is the valve striker system. Whereas the Maruzen had a thin striker which was forced through a pot metal guide block (Which coincidentally wore out on all of my Maruzens, turning them into paperweights), WE seems to have simplified this portion of the design:

 

Kg1qtEkl.jpg

 

The valve striker is now much more conventional, And along the lines of many of WE's other GBB pistols. It also looks like it cant eat itself apart ala the Maruzen version.

 

Here is a picture of all major parts disassembled. Some parts like the barrel locking lug and leaf spring are identical to maruzen. I imagine that the safety, slide release, and take down levers are also compatible, were you to need replacement parts.

 

cokWgVxl.jpg

 

Gas consumption seems moderate. filled normally, the magazine will give approximately two magazines worth of BBs per fill. the second mag, depending on the time given, may not lock back the slide, but there is no problem with the first run.

 

However, using the usual trick for single stack mags, where the first fill of gas is rapidly discharged manually, and then filled again, I was able to get 2-3 mags with slidelock, plus another 2 mags worth without locking. (This works for many other single stack magazines as well, like the 1911's and Lugers)

 

Output seems to be relatively consistent over the first two mags (When venting/filling). Hovering between 285 and 295 fps. And dipping down to about 270 and change as the magazine cooled down during the third go. During the first fill of BB's however, there was no major dip in fps. Recoil is relatively light but very crisp. No slop to it at all.

 

I wasn't able to do a proper accuracy test, though at 50-ish feet i could hit a torso sized target without an issue. I plan to go back and do one properly with pictures when i get another chance though.

 

A few other notes. Maruzen mags are not compatible. The gas release valve is very different on the maruzen, as well as the gas bucking. The slides and frames, while they will swap between the WE and Maruzen, do not function when doing so. And, Maruzen grips will fit the WE just fine.

 

Now, about the paint. I think this is about as proper a paintjob as Ive seen on a WE gun. Its not the usual thin garbage they used to use. While im sure it isnt anything special, If you notice the right side of my barrel has some scuffs in it. This is because while messing around during testing, a kwa 1911a1 magazine with a steel baseplate fell on the p38 from standing height. It scuffed the paint but didnt scratch it, so i think the paint is fairly durable. I would buff it out, but i'll just wait till i can get a replacement.

 

If you look you'll see that the magazine does still have the "Blue" finish like the original release. Some people thought the rainbow effect might just be from the cameras, but its not. It seriously just looks like swirly rainbow ###### in person too.

 

And one last thing. Because of the Redwolf video, some people might think the P38 has no double action feature. This is not the case, It's double action works the same as on the real steel P38. Meaning, the gun actually has to be chambered first and then decocked. Simply inserting a magazine and pulling the trigger will do nothing as the valve knocker isnt retracted (And on the RS P38, no round would be chambered). If you were to do that on an average Marui, it might cycle the slide, but as there would be no bb chambered, it still wouldn't accomplish anything. But, I did find it somewhat amusing that the guys at Redwolf have no clue how double action works.

 

So, overall, I would say that if you're looking for a WW2 sidearm or just a pistol in general, i would definitely recommend WE's P38.

Edited by Brigg
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Just ordered mine. This one appears to be all black with none of the "bluing" of some of the parts (pretty much like yours). Bought the pistol at one place and 2 spare magazines at another. At some point I want to get a hold of some of the silver mags and switch out their base pads for the black color. I've always liked that look on the 1911 Wilson style mags.

 

The pistol looks promising. I'm still going to get the K model when it is available over here. Would be nice if you could get the shorter barrel with the front sight actually on the barrel as apposed to the slide. Like the P38 used by the character Kelly Robinson in the old I Spy TV series. 

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Well, I just got to use the p38 in a few cqb matches over the weekend, and I have to say it did not disappoint.

 

I found it to be highly accurate, and at least for me, it pointed incredibly well. Maybe it's just the long barrel, but I found I was able to line up targets much more quickly then usual. I found myself taking single shots at enemy players rather then the 2-3 I would normally take.

 

Because I usually use a Beretta in games, the controls all felt natural, and I didn't really mind the heel release. It actually seemed to make my reloads faster. Once I get a few more mags, this may well become my go to pistol.

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Mine arrived today and I too was impressed. I've not had my hands on an actual P-38 or P-1 in over 20 years and I forgot how slim they actually are (weight seems closer to the P-1 than the all steel P-38..fine with me). Really feels good in the hand and Brigg is correct in how quick you can line up a shot with this.

 

Smoothest double action trigger that I've ever felt on a airsoft pistol and the single action is wicked crisp. While on the M9 or Sig P226/229 where there is no trigger "stop" before let off in single action mode, the WE P-38 does have that slight stop that you then easily pull through for a nice break. Very sweet.

 

Sights are very simple, but it is easy to get a good sight picture. Blow back is pretty good but not punishing in any way which hopefully means parts dont get worn out to quickly. Very little rattle with and without the magazine installed. The slide also cycles relatively smoothly.

 

Just got home from work at 10pm so I've not fired any BB's out if it yet, but I did gas up my 3 magazines about a half dozen times each and the best I could get was 12 shots out of a gas filled magazine. The can was not completely full though.

 

I also like the fact that you must rack the slide when you first insert the magazine in order to get to shooting. Just like the real thing.

 

Now this is just my second WE purchase. I previously purchased 3 of their Hi-Powers and have to report, that I've not had a single issue with either of them (with the exception of the barrel bushings and front sights becomming loose on two of them, which was easily fixed with some lock-tite). Years of pounding away with them and they are still going strong! Hopefully the WE P-38 continues my experience with the brand. Might have to get another.

 

PS: Did the early GSG-9 use the P-1? I know they liked Smith & Wesson revolvers. If yes, it would be interesting to see a "early" set up using this P-38 and maybe a MP5?

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Wingman, try this. Fill your magazine with has normally then vent all the gas out at a good pace, not all at once but almost. Then immediately fill it again.

 

You should notice on the second fill you should notice it takes considerably more gas. Doing that I was able to get shots numbering into the 40's. Though after the first or second fill of BBs you do need to let it warm up a bit if you want the slide to lock.

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Thanks, will try it out tomorrow. My 19 year old cant keep his hands off it and I suspect he will soon provide the cash to buy one of his own. Wish they'd get some spare magazines over here. Had to order from overseas for mine.

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Hey, it worked just as you said. I got about 30 shots out of gas fill (using .25's) which would still lock the slide back when the magazine was empty of bb's. I still got another 10+ shot where bb's would still shoot but not that far and would not lock back slide.

 

For the size of this magazine, thats really good and makes this pistol totally usable in the field. Time for more magazines! Maybe another P-38 is in the cards as well.

 

Pistol was accurate out to approx 90 feet. Will see how it goes when the hop-up is worn in. Kind of windy here today, so not a fair test but the temperature is 65F! December 24  in the northeast USA and 65! We are deffinately going to pay for this later (like the 109 inches of snow we had last year). 

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Keep in mind that trick works for all single stack sized mags. I was able to get good shot counts from we lugers and kjw 1911s doing the same thing.

 

I don't know why it works, it just does.

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I think Safeword wrote on another WE P38 thread that he had fitted altamont grips with some modifications. Can't find the thread, (stupid search function)

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Here's a unusual issue. I've had such good luck with my WE P-38 that I ordered another in black. Naturally, they sent a silver one!

 

Now in the retailers defense, the box was clearly marked as a black model, but it might be a good idea to open the box before you ship it, eh!

 

My question is: Should I return it? The finish is kind of a semi-mat semi-gloss and is actually quite handsome. However, I'm not sure how this finish holds up on WE pistols.

 

I was reading up on Walther P-38's and while there was never a "factory" chromed version, there were custom engraved versions that appear to have been chromed after the work was done. Now there is no way I'm spending that kind of money on engraving, but then I remembered the "Grey Ghost" version of the P-38 and wondered if I should try a grey ceracote spray and see how it works out with this finish?

 

I've also contemplated glass bead blasting which always looked nice on my stainless real steel revolvers. Not sure I can find someone willing to go to all the work for it though.

 

Your suggestions will be appreciated (please be kind. I'm not looking to "pimp it up"-lol). 

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So, I found some used walther P-1 grips for sale for $15 and figured why not give them a shot (Robertrtg.com if anyone else wants a pair). And Im pleased to report that the Real steel grips work fine with no modification. However If you want the heel release to act as normal you do have to file an absolutely tiny bit of the rear locking peg on the inside of the grips. the WE heel release seems to rub on it a little adding a bit of friction. This might be desireable though if you want the mag release to be a bit stiffer.

 

 

Now that I know they fit, I think I'll order some repro brown bakelite ones for my second P38.

 

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Those look great and I think I'll be getting a set. Still looking to get a set of wood grips as well.

 

Still no news about a K model available in the USA. It's really holding up the UNCLE build I've wanted to do. Let me know if you hear anything.

 

Still loving the P38, ordered another black one. Going to try to drill out the front sight for a white dot as was found on the P1's.

 

Still no spare magazines available in the USA either. Disappointing.

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Ordered another yesterday in black (hopefully I get the black one this time). Still cannot get the P39K or "S" version as WE calls it, in the USA and the shipping charges from overseas are just too high on a GBB pistol that sells here for between $99.00-$120.00.

 

The plan with this one will be to cut the barrel down to make as close a replica of the UNCLE P38 as I can. I t wont be exact, but it will suffice. Not sure I'm going to deal with the UNCLE pistol grips as they cost $200.00! Muzzle flash hider I've found is a bit different but it looks nice. 

 

My two standard P38's are still running just great. No magazine issues and no worn or broken parts (knock on wood).

 

If anyone has any instructions on how to fully disassemble the barrel group on this pistol, I'd appreciate it and if anyone has the older Maruzen UNCLE pistol, or just parts like the grips, flash hider etc and are looking to let it go, please let me know.

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I did have the hammer break on mine. Right where the hammer strut is connected. Luckily I was able to replace it with one from a busted Maruzen P38. I will say that I dry fired the out of that WE one so Im not overly surprised. But, that should be taken into account. The area surrounding the hammer strut is very thin and looks like its an obvious breakage point.

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I'll have to keep and eye on that. Just bought another black one a week ago (along with another ASG P09). So that makes 2 in black and 1 in silver.

 

Yesterday I ordered a nice looking set of Walnut P38 grips off ebay. If these turn out well, I' get a set for the P1 (even thought the slide serrations wont be correct).

 

There is just something about the P38. Wish someone would bring some P38S models and spare mags into the US.

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I wanted a brown grip so I just went with Maruzen one which were dirt cheap.

It also came with nice set of weights and I think I prefer the weight balance with them installed.

post-76335-0-42918300-1463069533_thumb.jpg

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The walnut grips arrived today. Very well made and unfinished so I can darken them if I choose.

 

They are going to take a little fitting in the slide release area and the inside down near the magazine release but it doesnt look too difficult. Should look nice when done.

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