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Old January 28, 2013, 05:39 PM   #1
Livending
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JP Sauer 38

I recently acquired this 38H. It has no serial # and the only stamps are an H on the frame, and H on the cocking lever and the # 3 under the slide. Does anyone have any insights of when it was made and a possible value?
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Old January 28, 2013, 05:40 PM   #2
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Another pic

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Old January 28, 2013, 07:48 PM   #3
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I was a bit torn between a pre-production model shop job and a very late-war gun made in a hurry. I finally concluded it was the latter, based in part on the magazine catch. The 38H is a bit odd in that the gun originally had no slide safety, most of the production had it, then it was taken back out again in the very late guns to save time and production steps.

So a gun with no safety could be either early or late; I opted for late, but if anyone has other ideas, I would appreciate hearing them.

Jim
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Old January 28, 2013, 07:53 PM   #4
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Quote:
I was a bit torn between a pre-production model shop job and a very late-war gun made in a hurry. I finally concluded it was the latter, based in part on the magazine catch. The 38H is a bit odd in that the gun originally had no slide safety, most of the production had it, then it was taken back out again in the very late guns to save time and production steps.

So a gun with no safety could be either early or late; I opted for late, but if anyone has other ideas, I would appreciate hearing them.

Jim
Considering how rough the finish is I would agree that this is a later example. I would think a pre-production gun would have a better finish.
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Old January 28, 2013, 07:57 PM   #5
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Actually model shop work is very crude, since finish is the least important issue when trying to get a new design to work. But, as I said, I opted for a very late war gun.

Jim
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Old January 29, 2013, 07:26 AM   #6
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In all my research I was only able to find one other with the notched trigger guard. He claims it to be an experimental model, but we all know " buy the gun not the story".... The notches do correspond to the cocked and uncocked trigger position, but I have had almost no luck finding others. The finish is very rough, but the fit seems right. It did come from the home of a memorabilia collector, but he had items from pre WWI through Nam. I appreciate the responses!
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Old January 29, 2013, 09:19 AM   #7
JT-AR-MG42
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The earliest 38hs had a pinned magazine release.

I agree it is a last model 'cigarette gun' made for the elements of the American Third Army that occupied both the Walther plant in Zella-Melis and the Sauer plant in Suhl, about three miles apart from one another.
The American Army subsequently pulled back to the West in accordance with Allied powers agreements, i.e. we backed up so the Russian army could control what was to become the DDR.
Of course, the Walther and Sauer clan packed up in a hurry and came along with us. Their workers, not so lucky.

Most of the guns were assembled from parts in the plant with no thought to matching up slides and frames in exchange for cigarettes and rations.
The majority of the frames were already numbered, some in sequence and a separate run of frames were made starting at serial 1. But un-numbered frames are not unheard of.
Yours appears to be one that fits neither standard occupation category, as it appears to have been built with a nice looking mix of finished and in the white parts. Lack of rust on it is a definite bonus.

I've never read of a conclusive reason for the TG notches that are only found on these mid 1945 guns.

Value is definitely over a standard Army proofed or police gun, not to mention a commercial.

Auction might be the only way to know for sure, but I believe it would fetch 750 or more easily.

Sauers like yours don't show up for sale that often and yours is in definite collector grade.
Keep it oiled and get another instead if you want a shooter.


My 02, JT
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Old January 29, 2013, 01:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input JT
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