Home Reviews P38 Review Maruzen P38 review

Maruzen P38 review

by Arnie

P38 review

by Lenny Manseck ( aka Lenny ;) )

(0.2g/134a) (stock fps may vary)
Weight: 720g
(with mag)



The P38 (1938) was used by the German military during the second
World War as a successor/alternative to the existing Luger 08
(1908). The P38 is still in use by the German military under the
name of the P1 although it is slowly (nothing moves fast in the
German military) being phased out and replaced by the H&K

wanted the P38 as it is going to come in handy for the WW2 game
at Dragon Valley
and because the German military holster for the P38 is fully enclosed.
From now on the P8 (open/speed draw holsters only) is not going
into the field on rainy muddy days.

the box:
The gun comes in the standard cardboard box and is
supplied with one magazine, an allen key and about 20 rounds of
ammunition. First impressions of the gun are very positive. Although
all major parts are made from plastic, the feel and weight are
good thanks to some juicy weights in the grip and the finish is
clean. The P38 is a very ‘curvy’ gun and the contours have been
molded well with no obvious seams. There are also ample second
World War markings (no swastikas) on the slide and front barrel
section of the gun (see pix).

The mechanics of the Maruzen P38 are an absolute delight. The
operation is identical to that of the P8 where the trigger, hammer
and decocking/safety lever come together to make this a very ergonomic
gun. The hammer can be cocked manually by pulling it back with
the thumb or by racking the slide. The decocking/safety lever
will release the hammer without discharging a shot. Pulling the
trigger with the hammer in an uncocked position will cock and
release the hammer. The entire mechanism is extremely smooth and
pleasant and is going to result in many hours of activity while
watching the telly.

magazine is of single stack construction and holds a total of
12 rounds. With one in the chamber that makes a total of 13 warning
shots and one deadly throw. As far as gas is concerned the mag
holds very little (press the bottle down for about half a second)
and although the construction of the magazine is very sturdy it
handles more like a credit card than a blowback mag. That said,
the gas is sufficient for about 20 rounds.

the cardboard box is a HUGE sticker stating that only 134A gas
should be used. Luckily in some deep dark corner there was a bottle
of Abbey Predator gas kicking about which came in handy for initial
firing. The blowback action was adequate to lacklustre while the
BB velocity was 270fps with 0.2g Excel BBs. On Green Gas though,
this gun really comes into its own. The kick this little beast
can give you is truly surprising. Aim once and pull the trigger
until the gun goes ‘click’ will not work once this beauty has
some Green Gas in it. After each shot the blowback will take you
off target and aiming is required for each shot. Not really surprising
considering the fps jump up to around 350!

GBBs just don’t work in winter. The KSC/KWA Glocks are just foul
in winter even with some Green Gas. In an attempt to recreate
winter conditions I quickly stuck the mags and gun in the fridge
for half an hour and than re-chronoed. The Abbey
gas only managed to push out 230fps but with faultless
operation. The Green Gas, on the other hand, produced a respectable
295fps. I think there is a good chance that this gun is functional
in the colder months of the year.

hop is adjusted with a little screw on top of the outer barrel
in the direction of the inner barrel (marked D) and can be adjusted
with the little allen key supplied. After much turning twisting
and firing some joy can be had which puts the efficiency of the
hop squarely between the Western Arms Infinity (what hop?) and
the KSC Glock (perfect hop!). Adjusting it is a doddle and with
some tinkering and another thirty mags it should be right.

Disassembly of the P38 is just like the real steel. The disassembly
lever is swung down and remains in/on the gun. The slide and front
barrel can then be taken out as one part. If the slide is then
turned upside down, a metal part (marked A) will unlock the front
barrel assembly which drops out forward through the metal slide.
(Be careful when you turn the slide over as the barrel quickly
takes advantage of a free trip to the floor… ).

happens the other way round where the barrel is placed into the
slide and the whole thing is shoved on the lower receiver. You
might have to push the metal part (marked A) up and be careful
as a part on the lower receiver (marked B) can sometimes stick
up. The recoil springs (marked C) have little grooves in which
they are held and generally do not pose a problem.

The construction of the gun is adequate. A few pieces
are metal like the trigger and the hammer. The plastic slide and
the lower receiver are ,however, reinforced with metal rails where
the two of them meet. A metal kit would be a nice addition but
I don’t think that one will be available in a hurry. The weakest
part of the gun is probably the front barrel which is to some
extent separate from the lower receiver and from the slide. Since
it is not supported other than at the base it strikes me as being
somewhat vulnerable although it has fared well up to now.

with every gun this Maruzen P38 has a couple of niggling issues.
The first is that the plastic handle covers have a little bit
of play when the trigger is pulled. The hammer spring is located
in the handle as are a couple of metal weights. When the trigger
is pulled the hammer spring tenses and the plastic covers flex
which gives a slight feeling of instability to the whole enterprise.
When the two grips are taken off, there are two holes on the bottom
of the plastic grips which allow for a pin to be inserted, which
will fix this problem. The second issue concerns the mags. Because
they are so slim and because the valve is quite big it can and
does get knocked accidentally by the mag release and by various
fingers during loading. Once again, it is not a huge problem but
something to be aware off.

Overall I am positively surprised by the Maruzen P38.
I think workmanship, performance and finish are very
good and Maruzen have done a better job on this then
on the old troublesome M1100 Defender GBB shotgun.
So far no mag leaks or performance problems and I
have already put some 30 mags through it, some of
which were powered with Green Gas. The flexing plastic
grips and the valve being vulnerable to being accidentally
discharged do not detract from the overall positive
impression and the whole trigger / safety mechanism
is just such a delight that minor faults can be forgiven.


– Just beautiful


– too much plastic and handle flex


– that mechanism is orgasmic

for Money

– $137.00 Den/WGC – should be cheaper from GNG when
it is available

– better than average (on Green Gas)



on this review in the forums

Wednesday, July 2, 2003 9:15 PM
Copyright 2003 ArniesAirsoft

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