90th IDPG Reviews


Brownell's P-38 Grip Review

Review Date:  7/23/2007
Author: Chris Guska

With the influx of cheap postwar P38’s and P1’s comes the opportunity to get a high quality gun to blank adapt.  Although there are some differences between wartime P38’s, early production postwar P38s and finally P1’s, they are a much better option than any of the 8mm blank pistols currently available.  The guns will never be perfect and identical to war time, but there are a few options available to get them a step or two closer to looking right.  One of those steps is to get replacement grips.

8mm blank pistols have their place, but, generally are junk.  They’re made out of poor quality metal.  Basically, invest once in a real pistol, blank adapt it, and you’re good for your entire reenacting career, it’ll take a lot more punishment and firing before it breaks, if it ever does.

One of the biggest problems with postwar P38/P1’s is the grips, they come with a checkered grip which isn’t correct.  So, replace the grips.  There are a few different options on replacing the grips, either buy costly original grips which can be brittle, or get reproduction grips.   Reproduction grips are available from a variety of sources on the net, including eBay and Brownell’s.

The Grips:
Brownell’s (www.brownells.com) has reproduction grips available for  $34.73 – they are product number 121-100-090  P-38 (Wartime Brown Color)
Unfortunately, the website doesn’t have a photo available, so it’s a crapshoot as to what you actually get.  Brownell’s has a pretty good reputation for carrying pretty good quality items.

One of the gentlemen from 5GJR, www.dergemsenjager.com purchased the grips from Brownell’s to install on his postwar p38 he uses for tactical (he’s an MG gunner).

Here are the photos:

At a glance, the grips are OK; they appear to have been cast directly off of an original pair of grips.  The grips are complete with maker marks on the inside.  The grips fit the gun with no fitting, filing, adjustment or sanding required.


The problem with the grips is the finish.  The finish is a uniform matte even color, with somewhat of a stippled texture.  Most of the original grips I have handled were smooth in texture and semigloss with a slight variation in color throughout the grip.


Here is an original matching CYQ P38, for reference as far as what the grips should look like.


The Reproduction grips do not come together perfectly along the backstrap, there is a slight gap between the grips.


Detail of the right side.


Comparison to an original set of grips, albeit cracked, it does illustrate the color and finish well.


The grips are readily available at Brownell’s, for those of you that are afflicted with the “gotta have it now” syndrome, it’s a viable option.  The grips aren’t perfect.  There are better reproductions on the market for the same or a little more money.  For some reason I think these are the most in expensive currently available.  There might be a way to paint or polish these grips to appear more like the wartime examples.  This is not a recommended buy; hold off for a better product.  Save your money, and spend a few dollars more on a better set of grips. 

Inexpensive at 35$ compared to originals.
Readily available
The pattern is visually correct

The finish is weird, stippled, and not correct
The color is very uniform, like modern plastic (which it is!)
The fit isn’t perfect



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