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Walther P38 - Marushin

This gun came my way on a whim. I can remember having a P38 cap gun as a child and always liked its feel, so when this came up on a forum for a good price, so I snapped it up.

Metal finish is very effective.

Part of my interest was to see what the 'metal finish' of a Marushin looked like and it really does look quite realistic under natural light.

In the Box

In the box of this used gun was a Marushin brochure and the gun. There was no allen key for adjusting the Hop Up.

Not much in my box - Manual and hop adjustment allen key were missing on used gun.

The gun looked pretty good in the box, so I took it out.

First Impressions

The P38 feels very light (I'd just received my Maruzen M4506 NBB a day or so earlier and the contrast was notable and the grips were disappointingly toy like in appearance (A common Marushin gripe).

Proportions spot on. Beretta used many P38 features postwar.

On the other hand, the metal finish is very good. It really looks like metal, picking up fingerprints as polished steel would. The finish is quite different to the midnight blue of my Tanaka M29, but equally successful, I would say.

Closer Look

Looking at the gun, you sense that this is quite a faithful replica of the P38. The markings are all present (as you expect of Marushin, one of the better makes in this respect) and things like the lanyard loop on the grip and the disassembly, slide lock and safety levers are nicely reproduced in metal.

The slide is marked (on the left) with a P38 (over the disassembly lever) and a smaller ac 43 (Denoting Walther manufacture in 1943, slightly different to the more recent ac 41 produced in GBB form by Maruzen) just behind that. There's also a 1002b serial number just below the safety, which locks the trigger, and this is repeated on the left side of the frame, under the disassembly lever. The S and F on the safety are painted Black and Red respectively. The only markings on the right side of the frame are a light MFG. MARUSHIN on the slide and a tiny ASGK just above and forward of the trigger. I really like the way Marushin blend their own markings with the genuine - Something Western Arms could do well to look at.

Markings limited (as on real gun), but well rendered.

The trigger pull is typical NBB with a fairly long dead pull before firing, but the cut off point is easily felt, allowing you to adjust the sights before firing.

Grips (as so often with Marushin), biggest let down.

The magazine is released via a simple catch at the rear of the bottom of the grip. This is awkward, but not easily released and not Marushin's fault as it accurately reflects Walther's wartime design. Underneath the gun, you can see where the two halves of the frame were moulded, but there's no actual seam that you can feel. The magazine holds a fairly paltry 15 rounds, but the grips is slim.

Pushing the disassembly lever down, with the magazine removed, allows the slide/barrel (all one piece as far as I can tell) to slide forward off the frame. This might make for easy cleaning, but doesn't serve a great purpose on an NBB - still, at least it's another detail Marushin have taken the time to reproduce.

Anyone familiar with the Beretta M9/92F will recognise many features. The disassembly lever near the front of the frame and the position and style of the safety/decocker (which doesn't work as a decocker on this gun) are very 92F, as is the open top slide. No surprise, as Beretta stole many of the design features of this modern design after WW2.

I've written this review over a couple of weeks and I must admit that the more I look at this gun, the more I like it. Even the grips seem less offensive in natural light, whereas the "metal" finish looks better.

Shooting Impressions

Click on image for bigger version in separate window.

Carrying out my standard 5m/6 round, off hand test, all the shots fell low of the aim point, but grouped in a sub 2" (5 CM) diameter. I've not adjusted the Hop-Up at all, but being a maxi version with the SSB (SuperSonic Barrel), it has Hop-Up (adjusted via a tiny allen bolt in the rear of the barrel, reached via a small hole in the top), which could correct the low falling shots - Obviously using .2g BBs would also compensate.

The sights are fixed, so there's no scope for adjustment there, but the consistency is good and it would not take long to determine the degree of compensation required, anyway.


Overall, the P38 is a decent NBB.

The metal finish effect would make it a good choice for a WWII re-enactor or collector, whilst the accuracy is pretty good for someone skirmishing and it would make an excellent sidearm for a sniper with a Tanaka or Marushin Kar 98K or even someone with more up to date German equipment as the P1 is virtually identical.

Gun strips similarly to real thing.

The detailing on the gun is generally good, but the downsides are its light weight and rather cheap looking grips.

Weight : 550g

Realism : ***
Quality : ***
Power : ***
Accuracy : ***

Real Steel link at World Guns

HL E-book on the Walther P38

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