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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi All,

First "real" forum post. I've done a lot of research on this one and I think I'm at the end of the internet.

What I know:
1. Backstory: gun was taken off of a German officer at the end of the war by a US flyboy, who carved his name in the grip. My dad got it from one of the flyboy's relatives in the early 70's. That's all the story I know.
2. SN 829983 has a 1935 "born on" date
3. Slide has matching SN
4. No muzzle SN
5. RZM emblem, but not as clean/clear as the other lettering
6. I don't know if it's special order nickel, verchromt (not satin enough?), or post-war plated.

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Cheers - Bill







 

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Nice pistol with a cool history. It was chromed postwar, as that was not a factory option and it was popular for US GIs to do so. The initials carved in the grips don’t help in terms of collector value, but neither does the chrome refinish. After this many years, it is what it is and I wouldn’t mess with it. I’d consider it a shooter piece but take care of it nonetheless. You may want to get some aftermarket grips if you’re going to shoot it.


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If you do want to have it restored, I’d recommend Ted Green. He did a 1940 vintage P38 in high gloss blue for me and his work was outstanding. He is the best I’ve found at restoring old prewar pistols with a high gloss bluing just as they left the factory. Note that he only takes in new work from time to time (be patient and get in line) and you can contact him by email at [email protected]

As for new grips, I found a set for my 1937 PPK by posting a want to buy ad over at the P38 forum www.p38forum.com. Note that original grips without cracks don’t come cheap, but you can occasionally find them.

I found a brown finger grip extension original mag on eBay but it took some persistence to find it and win the auction.


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Nobody knows everything about these pistols. The slide and serial number markings look awfully sharp for a buffed and refinished pistol. Only a very particular restorer would re-color the red safety dot. The finish looks to me more like old slightly degraded nickel than chrome. I would do a lot more research before assuming this finish is not original.
 
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