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View Full Version : need info on a walther p38


bsheets20061
July 14, 2011, 01:54 AM
I took a nice walther p38 on trade today and was wondering if anyone had some information on it that they could possibly give me such as history, value, etc.

It is in good condition i would say 90%-95% OVERALL, It is marked AC/43 by that i mean the ac is over the 43. all serial numbers are matching the numbers are 28xx with 2 mags and no import markings.

any information would be appreciated, thank you


forgot to mention that is does have what i believe are military stamps and eagle holding a swastika and a symbol on each side of it.

mapsjanhere
July 14, 2011, 01:44 PM
AC is the code for the Walther Zella-Mehlis factory.

James K
July 14, 2011, 04:46 PM
In 1943, Walther was still making guns of decent qualilty, though they had started to take shortcuts in finish and fitting by late in the year.

If the magazines are actually matching (not "forced matched" by a dealer at some point) they add considerably to the value of the gun.

Good pictures of the gun and the magazines will be needed if you want an appraisal (no blurry cell phone pics, please!).

Jim

bsheets20061
July 15, 2011, 12:49 AM
the mags match the gun but idk about them being stamped at some other point in life. the stamps are identical to the markings on each side of the eagle and swastika.

bsheets20061
July 15, 2011, 01:09 PM
here are a couple pictures i am going to try to get a newer camera to take some more detailed pictures of the marking on the gun and magazine.

bsheets20061
July 15, 2011, 01:10 PM
one more

Winchester_73
July 15, 2011, 01:48 PM
In 1943, Walther was still making guns of decent qualilty, though they had started to take shortcuts in finish and fitting by late in the year.

If the magazines are actually matching (not "forced matched" by a dealer at some point) they add considerably to the value of the gun.

Actually one of the shortcuts was no longer numbering the mags. Only B block AC42 guns and earlier had the serialed mags. The indivdual small parts were also no longer waffenamt marked and the finish was a duller military finish starting with AC42 vs the earlier high finished P38s. I am not sure how many if any of the BYF/SVW or CYQ P38 mags were numbered to guns. IIRC, BYF police P38 mags were numbered to guns which I think was done by the Nazi police aka after the factory. I know I never saw a CYQ mag with a SN on the bottom, but never say never with the third reich.

Original AC 43 mags would be marked "P38" (or possibly P38v) on the left with the base plate pointed left with Eagle over "359" on the spine of the mag. E/135 was for Mauser aka BYF and later SVW, and E/88 was Spreewerke aka CYQ. "JVD" is a common stamping which was on WWII czech replacement mags.

The AC 43 itself is a very common varation of the P38 with 100k made. Me and my collector friend each have one. I will look at the pics when I get home and maybe give you a value estimate. If the gun is as you say, its a good P38 (matching and non-import marked), but not a great one either due to the high production. Other variations of the AC 43 including the AC with 43 stamping to the right, instead of vertical are a little more sought after.

bsheets20061
July 15, 2011, 03:39 PM
it does say p38 and then has an eagle with the 359

James K
July 15, 2011, 03:54 PM
Actually, it says P.38 (the "P." is the abbreviation for pistole). The serial number is 2888o. That is the letter o, not the number "zero"; it is called a suffix letter and is part of the serial number. German numbering started with 1 for each year, went to 9999, then 1a to 9999a, 1b to 9999b and so on.

So a full, unique description of the gun would be "German P.38, made by Walther in 1943, serial number 2888o."

The WaA 359 is the inspection stamp of the WaffenAmt (Weapons Office) inspector heading the inspection team at Walther. He served for most of the war. The three marks on the left of the slide are the inspection mark for the slide, the proof and Army acceptance mark (with the swastika) for the gun, and the inspection mark for the completed gun.

The pistol appears to be in very good condition; I would estimate it at about $800. I would like to see pics of the numbers on the magazines.

Jim

Winchester_73
July 15, 2011, 07:15 PM
The pistol appears to be in very good condition; I would estimate it at about $800. I would like to see pics of the numbers on the magazines.

I agree with this estimate. On top of the condition and the spare magazine, the gun has the red mottled grip type which is more sought after than the standard dark brown. I am not sure but they do seem to also be the less common grip type as well. At $800 I'm not so sure it would sell instantly, but someone would come along who liked the originality, condition, grip type, spare original mag etc that this package would offer. Many times a P38 is mismatched, imported, dipped, with a post war mag and replacement grips, to give an idea and many times still $400+ but anyone can ask any selling price they want.

James K
July 16, 2011, 09:06 PM
Just a note that the value estimates given on sites like this are opinions only, and not guarantees that an item will sell for that price. They are also estimates of retail prices, that is what a dealer would price the gun at for sale to the public, or what an individual would likely be willing to pay when buying from another individual. Obviously, a dealer will pay less (as little as possible) so he can make the most money on the item.

Jim

bsheets20061
July 16, 2011, 10:13 PM
understandable I dont even know if i am wanting to sell this piece it isn't something I would normally collect so it may eventually go up for sale or most likely trade to see what offers I get. All the information that has been given on this firearm is very much appreciated i have right around 380.00 in it myself. Also the gentleman i recieved it from just found the holster that came with it, is there anything that identifys the holster to the pistol i have not yet seen the holster i go to pick it up on monday.

thanks again

JT-AR-MG42
July 17, 2011, 02:03 AM
bs,
I would also place SELLING value in that 800 range with the two mags and the holster. The pistol is a first variation 43 and looks to be in the mid 90's for finish. Definitely collectible in today's market.

I believe JK MIGHT have mistaken the 'c' suffix for an 'o'. The lack of lighting on the letter makes it pretty tough. Your pistol has the pre-June 1943 two-step extractor cut-out and the 'light' frame made without the hump at the trigger. Both of these features point to the suffix being a 'c'.

In addition, I am not aware of any 1943 'o' block Walthers. Production stopped in the 'n' block that year and the slide stamping had been changed to a straight line AC43 in the late 'L' block.

Hopefully a clear picture of the slide number will clear that up.

Not sure from your posts if you are saying your mags are numbered or not. I would be highly suspect of a pair of numbered mags on a 1943 P.38 that was not East German - post war marked.

The correct magazine markings for that time frame pistol would be ones marked P.38 (without a 'v') on the left side with a single stick eagle/359 on the spine.

Looking forward to more pictures and the holster as well.

JT

bsheets20061
July 17, 2011, 03:48 AM
it is an "e" with the serial number not an "o" just appears to be an o from the way that the picture was taken.

JT-AR-MG42
July 17, 2011, 09:29 AM
bs,

Wow, that is tough to see! I still can't make the horizontal line on the 'e'.
Thanks for the quick correction.

Changes to the frame and slide were phased in during the 'f' block with Walther in 1943. I am actually still looking for a clean transition pistol where the second variation slide is used with the light frame.

During the same time period, magazine bodies were also lenghtened slightly to improve feeding resulting in the 'v' being added to the side of the body to identify it.

I still believe yours would have the early length magazine with the single eagle/359.

Given your good fortune in finding such a clean pistol, can't wait to see the holster. Some of the variations and rarer manufacturers are worth a pretty penny by themselves and would add to the selling value.

JT

bsheets20061
July 17, 2011, 11:28 AM
ok I will post some picture of the holster as soon as i get it.

James K
July 17, 2011, 04:40 PM
Thanks for that correction. I did some further checking and it looks like they didn't get to an "o" suffix in 1943, and the later guns had the AC 43 in line at the back rather than stacked beside the "P.38" marking.

Jim

bsheets20061
July 18, 2011, 11:15 PM
pics of holster

JT-AR-MG42
July 19, 2011, 05:35 AM
bs,

Much better photos, thanks.

The 'hft' is attributed to H. Becker & Co. of Berlin. A maker of military and fire service equipment. Holsters, ammunition pouches, and binocular cases.

I do not collect P.38 holsters, but have quite a few as a result of buying the pistol that the holster came with. I cannot speak to the relative rarity of this one, except to say I do not recall seeing one on the net.

It's interior condition seems to be consistent with the finish on the pistol and the 43 date is also in line with your May of 1943 pistol. The exterior shows the effects of 60+ years of age with no dye or shoe polish added and the stiching all looks good.

It is still collectible with the pistol as a rig. Collectors are looking for honest stuff, and not all want or can afford the mint specimans.

Looking forward to clearer photos of the pistol as you have time.

JT