Which years was the P38/P1 factory polished? - WaltherForums
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Old 05-28-2019, 11:21 PM   #1
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NotEnoughP38s .22
Which years was the P38/P1 factory polished?

I just got a '67 in high-polish (poliert?). Picking her up Thursday.


Just wondering which years of production offered this as an option?


I have a '65 police issue, matte finish P1 (range toy), a '68 matte finish P38 commercial only fired at the factory (safe queen), and a '67 high-polished commercial P38 in nearly new (but not unfired) condition (as mentioned above)...


Any thoughts?


-NE
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Old 05-30-2019, 01:06 AM   #2
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mike9905 .22
Good question. In 1970 when I bought my matte finish alloy frame P38 the dealer also had a steel frame high polish P38. I would have loved to buy the steel framed pistol but it sold for $160 versus $106, big money then. How often did they manufacture steel frame P38s and were any alloy frames high polish? I don't have a clue.
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Old 05-30-2019, 04:01 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotEnoughP38s View Post
I just got a '67 in high-polish (poliert?). Picking her up Thursday.

Just wondering which years of production offered this as an option?
According to Marschall the P38 with a polished finish was available from 1957 to 1972 with no specific serial number block assigned.

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How often did they manufacture steel frame P38s and were any alloy frames high polish?
There were only about 1,540 steel framed P38's produced from 1957 to 1989. An unknown number did have a high polish finish so those are quite rare today.
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Old 06-01-2019, 11:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike9905 View Post
Good question. In 1970 when I bought my matte finish alloy frame P38 the dealer also had a steel frame high polish P38. I would have loved to buy the steel framed pistol but it sold for $160 versus $106, big money then. How often did they manufacture steel frame P38s and were any alloy frames high polish? I don't have a clue.
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According to Marschall the P38 with a polished finish was available from 1957 to 1972 with no specific serial number block assigned.

There were only about 1,540 steel framed P38's produced from 1957 to 1989. An unknown number did have a high polish finish so those are quite rare today.

You guys like pictures? I like pictures...Let me figure out how to post some...


In the meantime, here are images from the auction: https://www.gunbroker.com/item/813380484



Someone on these forums said the high-polished P38 looks much better in person...photos do it no justice. I would stand to agree.


A new, or close to it, high-polished, numbers-matching P38 with walnut grips is one of my unicorns, so it feels great to finally have one.


What we have here, from top top bottom: matte P38 commercial version, high-polished commercial P38, and finally my range plinker, a police issue P1. Also, a Ruger Mk I stainless, just because...



I just love the P38 platform so much. Some guys love the 1911. I love the P38.


Saving my pennies for a P5 Lang...should have the funds by August 2387 or so. I cannot wait.



Let me get on posting some images...
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Old 06-02-2019, 02:49 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike9905 View Post
Good question. In 1970 when I bought my matte finish alloy frame P38 the dealer also had a steel frame high polish P38. I would have loved to buy the steel framed pistol but it sold for $160 versus $106, big money then. How often did they manufacture steel frame P38s and were any alloy frames high polish? I don't have a clue.

Just realized: 106 then/698 today vs 160 then/1053 today, according to inflation calculator...big money indeed!


700-1000 buys you a lot of pistol today.
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Old 06-02-2019, 09:42 AM   #6
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Nice buy. That factory polish gives the P38 a "doll factor"


I would have bid that if I saw the auction, an unusual P38 will enter my collection eventually.


Your comment on price adjustment for inflation is spot on.
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Old 06-03-2019, 08:58 PM   #7
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bakersfieldkelley .22
Hi polish P.38s

Don't forget the early guns.They were all high polish from the beginning (HPs), till mid 1941. Last time I checked, Earl had steel P.38s for around $2,000. My problem in Calif. was that these did not qualify for my C&R license so I had to pass. I managed to pick up a new polished late model (alloy) at a gun show for $1000 about three years ago. The real work is on the slide, which is like a mirror.
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Old 06-03-2019, 10:45 PM   #8
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Don't forget the early guns.They were all high polish from the beginning (HPs), till mid 1941. Last time I checked, Earl had steel P.38s for around $2,000. My problem in Calif. was that these did not qualify for my C&R license so I had to pass. I managed to pick up a new polished late model (alloy) at a gun show for $1000 about three years ago. The real work is on the slide, which is like a mirror.

So very true. The polished P38 slide is clearly finely machined, versus the contemporary matte P38, which under the finish, appears rougher.


They do not make firearms with such attention to detail any longer, exceptions being Holland & Holland, and other boutique firearms of similar price.


I stole this for 750.00. Gotta love those no reserve auctions!








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Old 06-22-2019, 11:28 PM   #9
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Geo99 .22
I have a 'Mod P38' made in1945 that has a high polished slide. The rest of it is the same dull military finish you see on all later wartime P38's.
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