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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My 1940 P-38 will not lock open with empty mag... Problem is NOT the mag spring...The Mags works in my other P-38's... I CAN get the Hold Open to work by holding the pistol bottom up and dropping in the mag... 1) please advise on the hold open mechanism and how it functions... Is it spring loaded or simply a mechanical displacement of the latch.. Thanks DES-Ohio
 

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From my manual on the P-38, the slide catch is held down (and out of the way) under slight pressure from the forward end of the 'cocking piece spring', and that slight tension is over-ridden by the magazine follower when the magazine is empty, and the slide catch is moved up to block the slide from moving foward.

I'd check the protrusion of the slide catch to see if it is worn. You have other P-38s, and I'd just compare them to the one that is not working.

More likely, it could just be a matter of the slide catch is not moving freely and is binding up from dried grease or carbon in the area milled into the frame that the catch rides in. A good detail cleaning might fix your problem. I'm thinking that is your problem.

Jim K - where are you? This sounds like another area where your expertize is needed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Thanks Jim for your definitive response. I removed the slide and in the process of removing the grips, I discovered the problem. The grips were not perfectly aligned and were lightly touching the Slide Catch and preventing free movement. LOOK CAREFULLY at the picture..See the rubbing on the grip from the Slide Catch...also note the slight FOWARD displacement of the grip... Ouch!
 

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