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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I purchased yesterday a pretty sweet Walther AC44. Right off the bat I knew that there was something wrong but could not put my finger on it.

It's a Walther AC44 #9143 l. The Gun Shop has it listed with serial number #91431. The frame appears to be a plum color and I understand how that relates to bluing. The grips are a light brown and appear to be original. I don't have the gun until all paperwork is done.

Problem is there is an over travel of the barrel & slide when the gun is assembled, I have attached some pictures. After inspecting my 1943 Mauser P38's, I come to the conclusion that there is either a problem with the grove cut on the bottom of the barrel where it locks up with the takedown lever or the takedown is broken or not the correct one. There is nothing else that I see that would allow the barrel assembly to be to far forwarded.

The barrel matches the slide & frame. Maybe someone got in the and hand their hand at gunsmithing.

I would think it would be dangerous to fire in this condition as it may come apart and due further damage.

Your thoughts on this matter would be much appreciated.

Regards,

George



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I would suspect that someone has taken a grinder to the bottom of the barrel where it moves back and forth over the takedown lever?

Take off the slide and place the barrel onto the frame..and lock it up. Check out the movement then? Examine the bottom of the barrel for 'basement gunsmithing'? Check the takedown lever - it should be full round side up when locked?

Then, compare the free travel area on the bottom of the barrel to the other P38 you own....are they the same size?

Let us know what you find?

Orv
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dear Orv:

Thanks for your response. If someone did grind the base of the barrel, there would be no reason to do that. I sure that that is not the case because I then will not own a nice AC44.

This gun is also registered with an incorrect serial number as the previous owner had in his permit with the last digit being a 1 and not a small letter L.

Also, has anyone ever seen light brown grips like this AC44 has installed. I has seen reddish and a reddish brown but never a brown like these are.

I plan to take a trip tomorrow afternoon and will report back with pictures what the problem was.

Regards,

George
 

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George,

It might also be a locking block problem, I would check that as well. If you let me know the markings inside of your grips I can tell you if they are correct. The AC44 series had a number of different color combinations and there were two possible three grip makers for Walther at that time.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I took a good look at the AC44 yesterday and everything seems to be correct with no parts being damaged or altered. The AC44 barrel & locking block lock up tight when installed on my Byf 43 frame. Also the barrel & locking block of my Byf 43 lock up tight when installed on the AC44 frame.

My guess that being late war it slipped through the inspectors. I will post more after I pick it up.

Thanks for your help.

Regards,

George
 

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damn! That just does not make sense to me? If there were something wrong with: #1 the frame or: #2 the barrel, then it should have the same malfunction when the uppers are switched? If they both work when the uppers are switched, I am befuddled/dazzled?

Orv
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Dear Orv:

I agree with you 100%! Everything looked ok. After I pick it up I will take some pictures and post them. Other than that, it is in nice shape and happy with my purchase.

When I was at the Gun Shop inspecting their guru gunsmith had a hard time field stripping the P38 and was not happy that I had to remind him. I really did not have the time to sit down and truly inspect it like I would have liked to.

Regards,

George
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Dear Friends:

I hope to pick up my Walther AC44 this weekend. This is my first Walther P38, I prefer the Mauser P38 for some odd reason.

My question is in the serial number. The dealer and past owner had it registered as serial #91431 and I believe that it's #9143L. However I am not sure cause I thought it may be an i but I do not believe the letter were capitalized. But then I have no knowledge of Walther P38's.

Would appreciate some help.

Regards,

George
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Picked up my Walther AC44 P38 yesterday. I have not had a chance as of yet to post pictures.

However, I did see a Walther AC44 in the J block that appears to have the same problem as my I block P38. Take a look and I would appreciate hearing your response. Look closely at picture #6.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=31363876


Regards,

George
 

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i just checked a few of mine, the only two that had the slide, barrel flat, and frame absolutely flush were a zero series walther and an ac43. the rest had the barrel off of true flush compared to the slide and frame by varying degrees, most barely noticable. the worst was a zero series cyq, its barrel extended a full 1/32 inch forward of the frame/slide; looks kinda like yours in the picture. interestingly, a couple had the barrel flat recessed slightly behind the slide/frame (e.g. the opposite of how yours sticks out). i disassembled the cyq and there's almost no noticable wear to the frame or locking block. i'd suspect it's just a production issue and not really a 'problem'.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I believe I discovered what caused this on my AC44, just been to busy to take pictures and post them. On the underside of the barrel, it is machined out in kinda a half-moon where the locking bold fits when P38 is locked up.

I used to work in a machine shop in my first life so I would guess there were jigs that these parts were put in prior to machining. My guess that is where the problem is.

It appears that the half-moon is machined to far forward thus when locked up, barrel extends to far forward and the same would be true if machined in the other direction.

I would say that this is only a cosmic issue as everything locks up tight.

Regards,

George
 

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George,

You said that the dealer had trouble diassembling the pistol. Was the trouble with the take-down latch? I recently acquired a nicely polished and blued cyq b-suffix pistol (#2331b) on which the takedown latch would not move beyond 6:00 o'clock. The fit and finish of this early b suffix cyq was such a sharp contrast to my very early b-suffix (632b)and its linear gouges along both sides of the slide that I bought it. When I finally got the latch out the plunger and spring were installed in reverse order, the plunger down in the hole!
The end of the spring was caught between the takedown latch and the
bottom of the barrel, causing the barrel to be too far to the rear
and not in battery. Correct assembly solved the problem. Your over-travel is another matter, it seems.
There may have been pistols at the Walther plant which had been assembled as early, or earlier, than your "l" series pistol but had not passed for acceptance. Later, when anything capable of assisting a 9mm load toward a Soviet soldier was acceptable, it might have been pulled out and issued. I look forward to some photos.
Enjoy your pistol!

Ed

Ed
 
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