Walther P38

June 10, 2009 at 11:47 am 1 comment

Walther P38

The Walther P38 is a 9mm semi-automatic pistol was developed for the service in the Wehrmacht at the start of WWII. It was intended to replace the Luger 108 in 1942.

The Walther P38 has a double action trigger, which is curious for it is the first pistol to have such a feature and have a locked-breech.

The user could load a round into the chamber, use the de-cocking lever to safely lower the hammer without firing the round, and carry the weapon loaded with the hammer down. With a pull of the trigger and the hammer down, the pistol would fire the round, eject it, and load another round into the chamber.

The first designs submitted to the German Army had a hidden hammer and locked breech, but was requested to be developed with an external hammer. This led to the adoption of the P38 in 1940.

Under the breach, the Walther P38 has a wedge-shaped locking block. When fired, the barrel and slide recoil in tandem, where the locking block drives down, disengaging the slide and preventing travel of the slide backwards. The slide however continues travelling on the frame, ejecting the spent casing and re-cocking the hammer. Two return springs then send the slide forwards after being compressed by the slide’s movement, stripping a new round from the magazine, driving it into the breech and re-engaging the barrel, ready to repeat the process.

The Walther P38 takes 9x19mm Parabellum rounds, with a muzzle velocity of 365 m/s, and has an effective range for 82 ft. It’s maximum range is 164 ft.

Next week, the Raven Arms MP-25 is reviewed. Stay tuned.

Entry filed under: Handguns.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Rob  |  June 12, 2009 at 7:58 am

    What was the gun JAckie Chan threw out the glass window in Rush Hour? And have you ever heard of a Russian-made Baikal?


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