Walther P38 CO2 BB pistol: Part 2

by Tom Gaylord, a.k.a. B.B. Pelletier

Part 1

Walther P38 CO2 BB pistol left
Walther P38 CO2 BB pistol.

Falke stock restoration update
Before we begin looking at the Walther P38 CO2 BB pistol, I have an announcement. I feel like a kid who knows he is about to get his first BB gun! Doug Phillips, the man who is restoring the stock of my Falke 90 rifle (which I’m in the middle of testing), has been updating me weekly on the status of the project. He had to completely rebuild the section of the stock where the trigger is located, which on this gun is a very thin and complex wooden shelf that has holes for the front and rear triggerguard bolts, plus an enlarged hole for the trigger. Because this shelf was more than half missing, he had to completely redo it, including redrilling all the holes. It took him three attempts to get things in the right place, but he now tells me that they’re finally right.

But the real news is something that he didn’t tell me, but he showed me in a very small photo. The initials in the checkering on the left forearm panel are now gone. I was unable to tell they’d ever been there, though I’ll need to see the gun close up to know that for sure. And the grain in the walnut now stands out instead of being hidden by a cheap-looking layer of shellac.

All of the dents and scratches are gone as well. I’ll be writing a blog about this work when I get the gun back, but I wanted to share the progress with you now. I’m so grateful to blog reader Kevin for recommending Doug in the first place. I took plenty of before pictures, and Doug has taken pictures all through the restoration process, so you’ll get to see the project from start to finish. But, now, let’s get to today’s report.

Walther P38 CO2 BB pistol
One question that blog reader John asked after the first report: Can the gun be disassembled in the same way as the P38 firearm? The answer is a qualified “yes.” I should have showed that in Part 1, but since I didn’t, we’ll look at it now. There’s another lever on the left side of the gun that I didn’t mention last time. It’s at the forward edge of the frame, above and in front of the triggerguard. It’s the disassembly lever or what the owner’s manual calls the barrel catch lever. To disassemble the gun, rotate the rear of the catch down and forward until it stops. The barrel can then be pulled straight off the frame. As I recall, that’s exactly how the firearm came apart, as well.

Walther P38 BB pistol barrel off
To remove the barrel, swing the barrel catch lever down and forward until it stops. Then the barrel assembly slides straight out of the frame like this.

It’s possible to also take the slide off the gun, but it doesn’t serve any useful purpose, so I recommend against it. The barrel comes off to clear a jammed BB, but removing the slide doesn’t give you access to anything that you need on the gun.

Firing behavior
This gun has blowback! Although the slide is a smaller mass than on other pistols, it still comes back with a jolt — creating the simulation of recoil. The impulse is quick and sharp, unlike some other blowback guns that have bulkier slides.

The trigger is two-stage (non-adjustable). Stage one has more resistance than usual, making it almost feel like a single-stage trigger, but you’ll feel the start of the second stage if you persist. Stage one takes almost exactly 3 lbs. of pull and stage two breaks at between 7 lbs., 5 oz. and 8 lbs., 5 oz. I know that sounds heavy; but since this trigger feels more like a double-action pull than a single-action pull, it doesn’t seem that bad. Very few double-action guns have an 8-lb. trigger pull.

Loading
The stick magazine is set up to receive just one BB at a time. Once the BB enters the mag, the mag must be oriented nearly straight up and down or the BB will stay at the top of the mag and block other BBs from being loaded. That makes this a more troublesome magazine to load than the average stick mag.

However, the BBs do go into the mag opening easily enough. As I mentioned in Part 1, the place the BBs enter the magazine is funnel-shaped, plus there’s a small groove that leads to it. If you hold the mag nearly vertical, each BB that enters will fall to the bottom, making room for the next. The way this magazine is designed, I don’t think it will be possible to fit it to a speedloader.

Velocity
I tested the velocity with Daisy zinc-plated BBs, which have proven themselves to be the best general-purpose BB on the market. The velocity of the test gun averaged 385 f.p.s. with a fresh CO2 cartridge. At the average velocity, this pistol generates 1.68 foot-pounds of energy at the muzzle. The range was from 374 to 404 f.p.s., so the total variation was 30 f.p.s. I did notice the gun cools down a lot as it’s shot, so waiting longer between shots gives you higher velocity.

There are between 50 and 60 shots in one CO2 cartridge. All 60 won’t be powerful, but they should all shoot out of the gun. So plan on shooting three full magazines before changing cartridges.

Thus far, the Walther P38 seems to be everything they advertised. Let’s hope it’s also reasonably accurate; and if it is, this will be one very authentic and nice BB pistol!

33 thoughts on “Walther P38 CO2 BB pistol: Part 2

  1. This is so mundane and esoteric that you should skip over this comment and immediately read the next post.

    I’m always interested in tips that will help me sell guns for more money than the other guy that is selling the same gun. Although B.B. didn’t mention it and it has nothing to do with the topic I can’t help but notice how well the disassembled Walther P38 POPS in photos with that blue pinpoint/oxford background.

    I got to see that Falke 90 at the 2010 Roanoke Show. It was still in the rack. My biggest concern was the crack that had appeared in front of the trigger guard that was well photographed up close in B.B.’s article, part one of the accuracy testing of the Falke 90:

    http://airgun-academy.pyramydair.com/blog/2011/02/shooting-the-falke-90-part-1/

    Although the flexing of this stock during the shot cycle is likely to affect accuracy the bigger concern, especially with a rare, significant airgun like the Falke 90, is what additional damage/separation of the stock will occur with additional shooting? It’s a spring gun after all.

    An achilles’ heel of this rare airgun.

    I still remember Vinces’ multi-part series on reviving this gun. Vince is a gifted artisan that happens to shine especially when his genius is applied to airgun tuning/restoration since he obviously has a passion for this tangent.

    Guess I’m a little surprised that it only took Doug 3 attempts to fix this issue since there’s nothing there to work with. The primary reason that I said early on that I would never attempt that restoration since I have no idea how you could fix that problem area. There’s no “meat” to pin or dowel. Can’t wait for the blog on this restoration since it not only encompasses structural repair but significant cosmetic repair as well. Kinda like sewing air to water.

    kevin


    • Kevin,

      Yes, the problem crack has been repaired. Whether it will hold up as the rifle is used is another matter. Every Hakim I’ve seen, and that’s been hundreds, has the same crack.

      The trigger plate repair is probably the biggest story of this project, except those initials on the left side are even more visible. Doug took pictures of the trigger-plate job in-process and I still find it fascinating what he did!

      I am really waiting for this unveiling with anticipation. After two years of talking to people how I would get this stock fixed, I still can’t believe that it was possible to do all he has done.

      B.B.




      • I would LOVE a Luger. A Mauser broom handle would also be very nice!
        They make both in blowback CO2 airsoft so maybe we have a good chance of seing them made in airgun versions too?

        There’s no way I’ll ever own these historic pistols (unless I have the winning loto numbers and buy myself a house on your side of the border) so the BB version is the next best thing to me.

        J-F


        • CO2 blowback? I know the P08 is available in green gas blowback and the Broomhandle in non-blowback form… is there a blowback version of the Mauser?


          • My bad, sorry for getting your hopes up.
            I only found a 4.5mm steel BB of the Mauser and Makarov in blow back, that can be stripped like the firearm being sold (made?) by KWC/cybergun.

            And the Tokarev TT-33(the one Crosman was supposed to sell?), Luger and Makarov (the same one sold by Umarex here?) also in 4.5mm steel BB but non blowback.

            If they’re anything like the Tanfoglio Witness 1911, GSG 92 and SIG Sauer P226 they’re currently selling I’ll buy one for sure.

            I can’t post the link as it requires a password and link to another store but you can google
            KMB-18DHN for the Mauser
            and
            KM-41DHN for the Luger
            The luger seems to have operating pieces like the Umarex Makarov, you can pull the slide back manually but it’s not a blowback. Looking at the pics I can’t see how they can fit the 12g CO2 they say fits inside of the pistol…

            Maybe they’ve announced it but these will never actually see the light of day like so many manufacturers do (yes I’m looking at you Crosman… TT-33, MAV-77, NitroPiston pistol, new pump, all for 2012, hurry theres still a few weeks left :-P )?

            J-F


          • Looking at far away stores I found the C-TT Tokarev copy Crosman was supposed to sell here IN STOCK in other countries!
            They seem to have a bunch of things not available here for some weird reasons… wonder if the shipping charges might be worth it on some of these?

            J-F


  2. Thanks BB for the info on Florida air gun deaers,after the hoiidays I can again
    start my search,which I think is almost as much fun as finding one.
    Merry Christmas have a nicre one


  3. Wow, now that’s a gunsmith. I know the feeling of anticipation. Christmas will come for me as soon as I receive my Enfield No. 4 with its world-class treatment from my gunsmith.

    The Guest, wow, legal blades are even shorter than I thought. I was looking the other day at a folder with a 7 inch blade from Cold Steel. That is hysterical about the frisking story. What a sporting move to give up the Kabar. You have to wonder where he was keeping it?!

    Matt61


  4. Since I live in Illinois I checked the Internet for an answer to the blade length question. The answer is: it depends. Not surprised, are you?

    The consensus is 3.5 inches of blade unless you live in Chicago then it’s 2.5″ (huh, imagine that). If you’re hunting or fishing or have a very, very good reason, then it can be longer as long as you assure the police or DNR who questions you of your very, very good reason. How much longer you might ask? That depends on how many idiots try to find out.
    -Chuckj


    • Chuck,

      Not sure how this translates to the civilian world my daughter is in the navy (nuclear tech) she is allowed to carry her Leatherman Wave or something like the Leatherman as long as the blade is not over 3 1/2″. In fact when she was in “Power School” the instructors strongly encouraged them to purchase one.

      David B.



        • To Chuckj

          Yeah, she’s gonna be on a carrier once she is finishes all her training. Also the nuclear techs all have shirts that say “If you see me running it’s already to late”.

          To Wulfraed

          I know the Leatherman Wave was under the 3 1/2″ max. The new Leatherman Surge (wave on steroids) I carry is only 3″. You may be right about wearing it on your belt vs in a pocket but 3 1/2″ was the max blade length allowed.

          David B


      • David B,
        Oops, I assumed nuclear subs but that’s not necessarily the case, is it. If she gets on a surface ship she can make all the noise she wants.
        -Chuckj


      • The main blade on a Leatherman WAVE is only 2.75″ (measured as a chord from heel to tip; if you’re wrapping the ruler along the belly of the blade it may measure 2.875″).

        Knives worn openly on a belt may not be as limited as “pocket folders”…


  5. I’m very surprised to see that this CO2 pistol even has the swinging locking block of the original Walther P-38. It is unusual, as this part is certainly not necessary, and not visible from the outside.


  6. Hi guys !
    It is nice to be with my friends again , although we have somewhat language barrier between us -this is still the best forum I have been a part off .
    I wanted to say that my mum is at HOME for a couple of days now, and she is doing fine ,in fact I think that she is doing MORE THEN FINE (you gotta keep in mid that she has had a mayor ,maybe the biggest op there is ,a heart transplantation),She is walking inside the house and every thing is ,well NORMAL :)
    I wanted to share this update with ya guys because all of the support you guys gave me when things were hard for me …
    God bless you all again!


    • Milan…….forget the language barrier! My own neighbors have less command of English.LOL
      I am SO VERY elated to hear (read)your update!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
      It is EASILY the best thing I have heard this year! May a son’s LOVE be the only treatment she require,and may God continue to smile on you both! One of your MANY American friends-Frank B


    • Milan,

      That is wonderful news. Your mother is lucky to have a son who is as devoted as you are.

      Know that you are both in out prayers, always.

      B.B.


    • This is great news Milan. Tell your mother to be patient and follow the Dr.’s and physiotherapists orders to the letter. My Dad had a hip replacement in 1985, and he felt so good he didn’t think he needed to use crutches at all. Result? Hip replacement failed, and he had to wait a year for another hip replacement. Moral? Evan though she feels 100% better, the body will still need time to adjust to a new heart. But, as she is a Dr., she should be aware of the post operating procedures. There is a saying over here that Doctors make the worst patients. This is were you come in as a good son and lay down the law. LoL.
      On another note, I recently took my HW 77k in .177cal apart, and cleaned and lubed it. I also used your ‘beer can’ tune. I can say the results are amazing. So smooth. Thanks for the tip brother. All the best to you and your Mother.
      Caio Titus


    • Yes, that pesky language barrier. But please be patient, and hopefully I’ll improve!

      Good news about your Mom. The Lord blesses those who are good to their parents.


    • It’s good to hear Milan, I’m happy for your mother and you.

      I totally understand your language barrier, english isn’t my mother tongue and I’m always wondering if I’m using the right words or if I’m not making some kind of bad word association that may have a double meaning that I’m not aware off and my mind will often get ahead of my fingers and I will forget whole words LOL.

      Take good care of your mother, she’s the only one you have.

      J-F


    • Milan, I join these others share your happiness that your Mom is home. I also think it is great that you understand and speak more than one language. And I am glad you have joined in here. God bless.
      ~Ken



    • Milan

      That is great news. Your mother is lucky to have a son that cares for her so well and so deeply. Then again she is the one who raised you, so maybe luck has nothing to do with it.

      Make her take it easy even if she seems to be 100%. As you stated, a heart transplant is probably the most major surgery there is.

      God bless and Merry Christmas to you both.


    • Milan,
      Thanks for the nice words, but we did what friends do. I’m so glad things are going great with your mom. Don’t worry about any language battier on our part. But, really, you have a very good command of the English language. Good to hear from you.
      -Chuckj



  7. Hi guys ,yesterday was really late and now (it is early in the morning here i ,well it’ is not ‘early’ early but I’ve just woken up it is noon LOL :) ) Thank you guys on your kind words of support …Ps. my grammar is bad even in my native language ;) lol …Sometimes my hands are quicker than my brain(my brain is usually turned off even when I am completely awake ….what can I do ,can’t go to school again i am too old now 27 yrs old …well it is more likely for me to go to the early retirement;) lol
    I love you guys (but I hate grammar ,ps I am glad because my beer can tune has delivered a good results once again ;) !


  8. This is a very intriguing gun to me. I’ll be watching these blogs to see what it can do. I tend to like my pistols to act like pistols and have the weight of the real deal but like my air rifles light, accurate and powerful with minimal recoil. i suppose this is because my rifles are what i work with and every shot needs to be a money shot and my pistols are only for “play time” (Not trying to call these toys and they should be handled with respect of a firearm…..) Just my pistols never fire a money shot.

    Just got one of the centerpoint action cams. It’s going on my condor in the spring just in time for muskrat elimination season. It will be nice to have an instant replay to see if I got it or not. Sometimes things happen so fast that you just aren’t sure what just happened and muskrats tend to sink when they are shot. I’ve only ever recovered one body. It will be nice to show a proof of death video to the land owner so I get paid proper for my work.


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