Larry Vickers examines the pinnacle of the P-38 design: the 1970’s-era West German police Walther P4 9mm. While the German military adopted the P-38 to replace the vaunted P08 Luger and other designs in the days before WWII, they modified the design after the war to produce the P1, which remained in West German military service until the 1990s.
Where the P4 comes in at was in police use in the 1970s. The penultimate P-38 variant took the P1 and shortened the barrel by a half-inch, then converted the safety to a simple de-cocker and changed the rear sights. These guns also had a redesigned slide and reinforced frame that incorporated lessons learned from 40 years of P-38 production.