Dating an stg barrel
The slide however continues its rearward movement on the frame, ejecting the spent case and cocking the hammer before reaching the end of travel.
Two return springs located on either side of the frame and below the slide, having been compressed by the slide's rearward movement, drive the slide forward, stripping a new round from the magazine, driving it into the breech and, in the process, re-engaging the barrel; ending its return travel with a fresh round chambered, hammer cocked and ready to repeat the process.
The firing mechanism extracts and ejects the first spent round, cocks the hammer, and chambers a fresh round for single-action operation with each subsequent shot - all features found in many modern day handguns.
Besides a DA/SA trigger design similar to that of the earlier Walther PPKs the P38 featured a visible and tactile loaded chamber indicator in the form of a metal rod that protrudes out of the top rear end of the slide when a round is present in the chamber.
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The shooter could chamber a round, use the safety-decocking lever to safely lower the hammer without firing the round, and carry the weapon loaded.
This lever can stay down, keeping the pistol "on safe" or be immediately returned to the straight position, keeping the weapon safely "ready" with a double-action trigger pull for the first shot.
Pulling the trigger cocks the hammer before firing the first shot with double-action operation.
An improved version of the P38, the Walther P4, was developed in the late 1970s and was adopted by the police forces of South Africa, Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Württemberg.
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