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Old September 10, 2015, 08:50 AM   #1
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Trying to Date and assess value on a couple old pistols

My Mom's companion of 38 years has terminal cancer and is trying to get things resolved with his estate. He has a couple old guns he received from his father some 40 years ago. Any help you can provide on date, make, model, and value would be appreciated and I'll feed this back to him.

From what I can tell, it appears the one is a Walther P38, CYQ, SN 5114X. I think this is a 4th variation run from Spreewerke. It looks to be in good condition but I don't know how the % rating is derived. It has a holster but not one with the big flap and I didn't take a picture of it. I also doesn't have a mag and it appears that is kind of confusing as to just what will and won't work. Ideally I think I need a JVD M/88 mag from Spreewerke but not sure if any mag will work just to use the gun.

I think the other gun is a Mauser C96. I think from the SN it is fairly early, possibly 1905 or so. I assume this from the fact it it a 'large ring hammer' gun. It has the wooden stock attachment but no leather holster. The one thing that confuses me is that I believe none came chrome or nickle plated. I think this one is nickle plated but the stamping is so crisp and clear on it it seems hard to believe it could have been applied after the fact.

Thanks in advance for your help.
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Old September 10, 2015, 10:42 AM   #2
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I think the flat side Mauser C96 date even earlier, before 1902 or so. Not sure it's plated, I think someone just removed the finish and did same attempt at polishing.
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Old September 10, 2015, 11:27 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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If you are going to shoot the P38, one magazine should do as well as another. If you want to scrounge a "correct" magazine for show, that is a different matter.

The Mauser "flatside" is a pretty uncommon gun.
Unfortunately it appears to have been plated as was often done to dress up a war capture or surplus gun. It MIGHT be worth restoration, nickel strip and rust blue. But that is $550 at one shop.
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Old September 10, 2015, 12:01 PM   #4
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Not really concerned about show as it's only a CYQ but I would like to fire it. Was just confused if the mags were really interchangeable or not.

As for the Mauser, these both were brought back from Germany by the father. And nothing was done to it or ever fired. The impression is that that's the way it came from Germany. It certainly is an interesting gun and apparently pretty early. I'd guess a person would not even try to fire a gun such as this. I assume rounds are hard to come by.

As for the P38, do those take std 9mm rounds? Anything to be concerned with on those?
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Old September 10, 2015, 03:39 PM   #5
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.30 Mauser ammo isn't tough to find, try for a start, presuming your Mauser wasn't converted to 9mm at some time.

Some GI bringbacks may have been doctored to put the firing pin through the shooter's eye. Have 'em looked over by a smith.

Ordinary 9mm Luger ammo will be fine in the P38.

For value, P38's run $450 and up, nice C96's, not bolos, $4,000 with the wooden holster/case. The nickel plating is going to affect the value, can't say how much, but more than a little.
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Old September 10, 2015, 04:40 PM   #6
Bill DeShivs
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The Mauser has been aftermarket nickel plated, and the hammer was gold plated. Many GI bring-back guns were done this way.
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Old September 10, 2015, 05:13 PM   #7
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Thanks a lot guys. I'll be talking with him tonight and let him know what I've found out so far.

He's a real history buff so this should be very interesting to him.
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Old September 11, 2015, 10:10 PM   #8
James K
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The Mauser is what collectors call the "late flatside", and date to 1900 or just after. Many were imported into the U.S. by Von Lengerke and Detmold around that time, but that one evidently remained in Germany.

In better condition, it would be a fairly valuable gun, but it does not appear to be in very good shape, so I would hesitate to set any kind of price.

The stock is unlike any Mauser holster stock I have seen; either it is after market or possibly from a Spanish copy. Perhaps someone else can offer some ideas.

Jim K
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Old September 12, 2015, 11:44 AM   #9
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The P38 is a Russian capture, note the "X" near the serial number. Without a proper WWII magazine, it is probably worth no more than $500. They do make dandy shooters though and is kind of unique to watch the empties eject to the left.
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