View Full Version : Walther P-38 question

October 19, 2004, 08:55 AM
This is a general question on a mid-war P-38. It's an AC over 43 weapon with all matching serials and the eagle over 359 marks and eagle over (swastika?--lightly struck--hard to be sure) on the frame, slide, barrel locking block, etc. The question is, is it safe to assume that a mid 1943 weapon from the Walther plant would have been issued to a nazi soldier and used in the war? In ohter words this is likely a war-used weapon as opposed to something that was civilain or commercial use?

October 19, 2004, 01:57 PM
By 1940 there WERE no civilians in Nazi Germany.
Everybody was considered a "soldier".

Any weapons produced were military, other than a tiny handful produced for foreign governments.

I believe Germany produced commercial-marked HP/P-38 pistols for Sweden? during the war.

A pistol marked like yours was strictly for issue to German police and military forces, and as such was undoubtedly issued to and used by a Germany soldier or police officer.

NO civilian other than Party members or other "important" people were even allowed to possess firearms, much less military firearms.

October 19, 2004, 02:36 PM
I've got a book at home that explains all the markings on P-38's. I'll look up your markings and let you know. I've got an AC41 model that my Grandfather brought home from WWII, still shoots smazingly well, though I've only shot two mags through it.

Herr Walther
October 19, 2004, 03:12 PM
You have a Walther manufactured P.38. 1943 saw the highest production of the P.38 and marked the beginning of the end of the nice machine work and finishes. Commercial HP's were still manufactured and sold during the war if you were of enough importance to be issued a permit by the Verwaltungspolizei to purchase one.

One important change was made to the frame of the P.38 after the 'f' block. The machining was changed to include a 'bump' or radiused area around the trigger pin to strengthen this area.

As hard as it may be to believe, not all Werhmacht soldiers nor Luftwaffe airmen were Nazi's. Most were just german soldiers either drafted or enlisted and had no ties whatsoever to the Nazi Party. They were not endoctrinated in Nazi ideology nor did they receive the same training.

Pistols were not commonly issued to foot soldiers. Tank crews often received a P.38 as did most officers, but officers had to buy their own as well as those who carried the PP and PPK. The P.38 was not used by the various police organizations during the war. The standard issue was the PP. The Kripo often carried the PPK.

The police acceptance stamp is the Eagle/C mark.

October 19, 2004, 03:26 PM
Thanks for the feed-back. My pistol has a good finish, not like some of the Spreewerke pistols from 1944 -45 I've seen. Bore is perfect. It's a "j" block serial number and has that little "hump" in the frame. For whatever reason, it had the black bakelite grips, not the reddish brown ones. Any good books you can recommend that pull together alot of the information on the P-38 itself and also the acceptance stamps, proofs, the weapons plants where they were made, to whom they were issued, etc.....i.e. the kinds of fascinating information you all mention in your repsonses?? Thanks again.

Herr Walther
October 20, 2004, 09:40 PM
Walther Models 1-P99, Dieter Marschall. English edition; 2000

Dieter occasionally drops by the Walther forum. He is a renowned expert on Walther pistols.

Walther Vol. I, II, III, Rankin.

Know your Walther P.38, Hoffschmidt

Know your Walther PP Series, Hoffschmidt

Eine Deutsche Legende, Walther Waffenfabrik, German language and now english edition available.

P.38 Automatic Pistol, Gangarossa

The Walther Handgun Story, Gangarossa

The Standard Directory of Proofmarks, Gerhard Wirnsberger

All of these books are in my library.

Gangarossa's books contain many errors in several areas and many of the photos are not very good. He tries, but misses the mark on several points he should have researched more thoroughly.

Black Bakelite grips were not uncommon on many war-time P.38's. Some had them, some had red.

May 3, 2009, 06:18 PM
I just got a byf 44, and want to know what the X over the serial number on the frame means. I have looked all over the internet but have had no luck, the serial # is 7690t. I have broken the gun down and all the serial numbers match, but the colors on the gun are different, the barrel and part of the frame are more grey and the other parts are blue. There are no import marks on the gun anywhere. Can somebody please explain what I have?


May 3, 2009, 06:27 PM
Post your P38 questions on this site...very precise info


May 4, 2009, 07:51 AM
Thank You Herr Walther, answered a bunch of questions I hadn't asked yet.

now if I could just find a good PPK.