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Old 02-21-2015, 04:09 PM   #1
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Smile Walther P 1 Serial Numbering and matches

This may have been covered in previous posts and I simply never heard of it. However, I have a P1 which I bought about 12 years ago and all along I thought the slide and frame did not have matching serial numbers however I no longer think so and here's why:

1. It seems the Germans (or whoever had these guns before they came
to the US) love to date everything.

2. There is a date on the slide, in my case on the left side with a slash
as in 11/77 (November 1977 I make it). That date is not part of
the serial number, that is a date at which something happened to
the gun, I have no idea what.

3. There are three numerals stamped on the slide towards the rear.
These three numberals are repeated on the lower portion of the
barrel, only visible when the slide is pulled back.

4. The actual serial number is followed by the letter W, stamped a
little higher in the case of my gun, than the line of the numbers.
That letter is followed by three numbers with a dot between the
first number and the last two, in the case of my gun it is 9.93.
Again I believe this to be a date when something happened to this
particular gun, I have no idea what.

5. Following those digits is a circle with a dot in the center, some kind
of proof? Then the letters BW.

6. The actual serial number consists of 6 numbers, and these numbers
are the ones on the box and target. The last three numbers, 977,
are the ones stamped on the rear portion of the slide and on the lower
part of the barrel I mentioned above.

In looking closely at photos of lots of these guns, the P1s that is, it appears that in some cases the numbers and letters following the serial
number on the frame appear at different places on the gun than they do on mine.

I am only posting this note as it took a while for me to realize that my gun is, in fact, matching. I imagine that most are, even those which seem not to be.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:12 PM   #2
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You have a surplus Bundeswehr P1 that's been through depot maintenance with parts replaced as required. If you post photos we'll be happy to tell you what all of the markings mean.
.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:27 PM   #3
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I hope the photos are clear enough. On the barrel the three last digits appear, no photo. On the lower front of the barrel two proofs appear but no photos.

I look forward to learning more. I think that 11/77 is a date and I think that 9.93 is a date as well.

Thanks,

DJ
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Left Side.JPG (3.23 MB, 89 views)
File Type: jpg Right Side.JPG (2.88 MB, 59 views)
File Type: jpg 001 Frame marks to use.JPG (2.25 MB, 72 views)
File Type: jpg 002 Proof maybe on triggerguard right side.jpg.JPG (2.88 MB, 56 views)
File Type: jpg 004 Proof maybe marks right side of slide.jpg.JPG (2.47 MB, 53 views)
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:05 PM   #4
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You have an early military P38 that was upgraded to late P1 configuration with a new frame and slide (probably barrel too) during at least one depot level rework. I'll post details on each of the markings later today. Very nice Bundeswehr P1.
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Old 02-23-2015, 03:29 PM   #5
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Very interesting! I have read various posts about reworks and the most interesting, in a way, are those about serial numbers. The idea seems to be, or the theory or fact, that the Germans did not renumber guns when frames were changed, they simply destroyed the old frame and used a new frame and gave it the old number. If that is the case then perhaps the 9.93 date on the frame is the actual frame manufacturing date or possibly the date it was used and the original frame was destroyed?
The serial number beginning with a zero would seem to lend some credence to that idea, at least in my mind.
The 11/77 slide date ... would that be the date that slide was added to the parts?
I wonder how much of this gun is from the original assembly, maybe not too much.
Very interesting.
Later addition to the note:
I had a chance to look at a post war P 38 this afternoon. It has a 6 digit serial number on the frame, 335??? or 333??? without any following numbers or letters (not trying to hide the complete number, just don't remember it), and does not have the hex reinforcement. Date in small characters on right side of slide, 7/69 I think; and the Interarms stamp on the slide actually nicely done. It has the proof on the trigger guard which my gun lacks and overall better finished than mine is.
Interesting.

Last edited by Northstar; 02-23-2015 at 08:06 PM. Reason: More information without a separate post.
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:27 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidJackson View Post
...
I wonder how much of this gun is from the original assembly, maybe not too much.
...
Correct. Practically nothing. You have a gun reconstructed by Bundeswehr armorers, with all major parts --frame, slide and barrel-- replaced, and probably most of the minor ones as well. The gun is now apparently like new.

What's not to like?

M
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Old 02-23-2015, 10:54 PM   #7
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"What's not to like?" Well not too much, I guess!

What leads anyone to the conclusion that the barrel has been replaced? Just curious.

And I still would enjoy knowing what all the different date markings actually mean.

Last edited by Northstar; 02-23-2015 at 10:55 PM. Reason: Clarity of my response is enhanced.
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Old 02-24-2015, 12:32 AM   #8
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Based on the serial number and markings you have a surplus Bundeswehr Model P1 that was originally manufactured in the late 1950's - early 1960's.
.
On a military P38/P1 the frame, slide, and barrel are considered to be repair parts. When a major component is replaced the new one is stamped with the original serial number. Over the years your P1 was reworked (possibly several times) to its current configuration. It originally had a "P38" marked non-reinforced "thin" slide and alloy frame without the Hex bolt. The stepped muzzle indicates the barrel is also a replacement. It's possible that all the original parts were replaced during your P1's service life.
.
Your new frame has a steel Hex pin that provides a hard surface for the locking lug to land on at the end of its travel. The "W 9.93" stamp on your frame indicates it went through the Bundeswehr repair facility at St. Wendel in September, 1993. The "Dot in Circle" is an internal Walther factory QA stamp indicating the marked parts were inspected to military/police standards. The "Bw" stamp is a late type Bundeswehr property marking.
.
Your original P38 "thin" slide was replaced with a new type P1 reinforced slide. The "11/77" stamp is the date the slide was manufactured...not the date the pistol was manufactured or reworked.
.
The dual eagles with the number between the wings are combination military test/proof and acceptance stamps. You also may find a single eagle stamp on various parts such as the locking block, frame, slide, and magazine.
.
The four pointed star that you'll find on some parts (such as the slide and take down lever) indicates that the part is a modification/update from the original drawing. You may find a combination of old and new parts on a reworked P38/P1 depending on what parts needed replacement and when/where the work was done. The same goes for the type and placement of the markings....these changed over time.
.
Your Bundeswehr surplus P1 was imported several years ago by SSME Deutsche Waffen, Inc. The P38 you saw with the Interarms importer stamp on the slide was most likely a post 1968 commercial model.
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Last edited by Milspec; 02-24-2015 at 08:56 PM. Reason: Clarification
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Old 02-24-2015, 11:22 AM   #9
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Thanks Milspec for all the information about that gun! It would appear that it has all the latest parts. Does that mean that I can shoot most any 9mm ammo through it without worry?
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Old 02-24-2015, 02:40 PM   #10
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I'd recommend sticking to 115 - 124 grain standard velocity ammo. There's no reason to stress the gun by firing 9mm NATO or +P. I'd give you the same advice on a Walther P99 for that matter.
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