Tag Archive | Walther P-38

The Everlasting P38

Here we see a Portuguese Corpo de Fuzileiros Marine on UN duty in the Central African Republic.

Of note, his rifle is the 7.62 mm Espingarda m/961, essentially an updated HK G3 and in the holster is the m/961 9mm pistol, which is a Walther P38.

The guns date back to Portugal’s brutal African brush wars in Angola, Guinea, and Mozambique during the 1960s and 70s.

As such, the P38 is one of few WWII-era combat handguns (besides the Hi-Power, 1911 and to a lesser extent the TT-33) that are still in regular use downrange some 75 years later.

More on the P-38’s longevity in my column at Guns.com.

The Walther P38: Godfather of the modern combat handgun

When you think German Army pistol, the Luger comes to mind. The thing is, the Germans themselves wanted something better and came up with one of the great-unsung handguns of all time. You may call it the Walther P38 and its influence has been felt far and wide.

In the 1930s, the German military was quietly rebuilding. Even before Hitler came to power, the tiny Reichswehr had done extensive research into rearming their nation with the most modern of equipment. After Hitler came to power, this process got louder. One of the things the army wanted was a new handgun to replace the 1900-vintage Luger. While the Luger was a beautiful weapon, its toggle-action was prone to clogging, especially when dirty. It was also expensive, and every army in history had a budget.

Carl Walther, an up and coming firearms manufacturer who had just won a contract to supply his innovative PP and PPK pistols to the German police, threw a design from his workshop into the ring.

canadian soldier checking out a captured P38 during WWII
Read the rest in my column at GUNS.com

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