Ontario WWII Re-enactors Forum Index Ontario WWII Re-enactors
This forum is where WWII Re-enactors can share their knowledge
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Maruzen P38

Post new topic   Reply to topic    Ontario WWII Re-enactors Forum Index -> Reviews
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message

PostPosted: Tue Apr 29, 2008 2:50 pm    Post subject: Maruzen P38 Reply with quote

External Details

The pistol has the typical metal parts for any GBB, including front sight, rear sight, hammer, trigger, disassembly lever, safety lever, slide-stop lever, magazine catch and grip screw. However, Maruzen has gone even further by making the fake ejector, fake loaded cartridge pin and top slide cover out of metal, whereas most GBBs would have these parts moulded into the plastic slide.

Trademark wise, there are plenty of war-time manufacturer stamps all over the pistol and on some parts such as the hammer and trigger, plus a serial number on the frame. Maruzen's own trademarks on located on the barrel block, and are only visible with the slide locked back.

However, the main reason for purchasing this particular model P38 from Maruzen is the "black metal finish". Unlike the earlier P38 offerings by Maruzen, which came in silver or parkerised grey, this gun has a brilliant metallic finish that just has to be seen in person.

Internal Details

The metal internal parts of this pistol are very similar to real P38s, with the exception of the blowback mechanism and firing pin for the GBB magazine valve. If you ever needed replacement parts, I'm sure real P38 parts would fit with little to no modifications. For whatever reason, all parts (metal or plastic) are black except for the locking block which is an unfinished/unpainted.

As for durability, the slide is more accurately described as a metal unit, with a plastic ABS outer cover. The metal rails run the full length of the slide and are thicker than the outer plastic skin. The frame also has thick metal rails which mate to those on the slide. The slide-stop lever engages into a notch in the metal rails, and NOT the plastic slide, which ensures that the metal lever will not wear away the plastic slide.

Shooting Experience

A preliminary test with 134a duster gas yield crisp blowback. However, on several occasions, the pistol either failed to cock the hammer or failed to chamber another BB. Most likely, the weaker pressure of the gas (it was somewhat cool during testing) did not provide enough force to cycle the slide all the way back.

Just for curiosity, I fill the magazine with a small amount of propane and was pleasantly rewarded with a much stronger blowback. I had read that a user on the Arnies Airsoft forums used propane (green gas) in his P38 without any problems after 5000 rounds. Based on a visual inspection and analysis of the construction of the P38, I would be inclined to agree that propane could safely be used in the Maruzen P38.

However, I've taken the extra precaution of "upgrading" the stock recoil springs (the P38 has two), with two short but stiffer springs placed inline with the original springs. The result is that instead of having the recoil spring guides slam into the metal frame, the new springs absorb this energy stop the slide from slamming full back. The disadvantage is that the slide-lock function is disabled, but I've cut the spring short enough that a BB can still be chambered.

Only time will tell ff this modification helps prolong the life of the P38 on propane. Alternatively, I could buy recoil springs for the real P38 and fit them to this pistol. I only wish I had a place to fully test my pistol and chrony it as well, without having to go to Flagraiders.
Back to top

Joined: 31 Dec 1969
Posts: 3558
Location: London, Ontario

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 7:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As always nice review. Would you mind sharing where you picked it up from and the cost?

1Lt. Lee Cassar (Re-enactor)
Dog Company 2/506th
101st Airborne
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

leecas wrote:
As always nice review. Would you mind sharing where you picked it up from and the cost?


Special ordered it from "Marksman" on ASC. I pm'ed him on the 11th, and I received it on the 28th. Overall, it was much faster than AA. The cost was $355 including shipping, so call it $300 plus taxes and shipping? I'd definitely order more stuff through Marksman, if I had more money to spare.
Back to top

PostPosted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:55 pm    Post subject: Propane conversion update Reply with quote

In an attempt to further improve my modifications, I considered the propane problem from a different perspective: Instead of finding ways to soften the blowback energy, why not reduce it at the source?

The design of magazine for the Maruzen P38 uses two "exhaust" ports. Presumably, one is for the gas to propel the BB, and the second is to activate the blowback mechanism. My first idea was to insert some kind of flow restrictor into the "blowback port", thus reducing the amount of gas use to kick the slide back.

In the end, this idea was scrapped, but I discovered something new. There appeared to be some kind of simple valve that is used to separate the two gas ports. The valve is just a small brass cylinder, closed on one end and with a spring in the other. Just for kicks, I replaced the original spring with one of the new ones that I had bought and originally intended to use for the recoil spring. I also changed the recoil springs back to stock configuration.

The result on duster gas was disappointing. Even with a 3-4 second charge of 134a, the gun fired a couple shots, sometimes the trigger would stick, and the gas was vented in a nice cloud. The mag was quite cold too, and since my supply of duster was running low, I'll wager these problems were due to the quality of the gas. As for the recoil, it was noticably softer than completely stock configuration and duster gas.

The result with propane was much more promising. I put it a very small shot of propane, racked the slide and pulled the trigger. Blowback was MUCH less violent than in both stock form, and with the modified recoil springs. The advantage of this new setup is that slide-lock should be functional again. If ever there was a time that I wanted a chronograph, now would be it. I've read that the P38 on propane shoots about 300fps. I'm dying to know if this mod increases the muzzle velocity. Anyone have a chronograph I could borrow?
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Ontario WWII Re-enactors Forum Index -> Reviews All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group