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Hi, I recently obtained a P38 SVW 45..it has a chrome finish with black plastic handles..It has matching markings of the serial # on all parts..has eagle above WaA135. Ser# is 725* e...I know little of this piece. It has wear on the finish and looks to have one hell of a story behind it..any info out there ?..potential value ? Thank you. CESAR
 

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Made early 1945 at the Mauser plant with their new armament code. It might have had the all-blued finish which made it a desirable piece (within the right serial number range) but with chrome it is now moot. Black grips could be postwar but could also be late war Polyamid grips (if they are softer than bakelit grips). Magazine markings or any other accessories?

Many vets and buyers of these in the postwar period thought chrome finishes were cool, and it was a way to 'clean up' a poor condition finish, so they went into the tank. Some were scrubbed mercilessly and others show chrome (or copper base flash) over pitting. It certainly did not leave the factory in 1945 in that way. Today to remove the chrome or nickel finish is generally more expensive and hazardous (esp chrome) than the pistol would ever be worth, especially as the original finish is gone and if the underlying conditions were poor to begin with. A 'shooter' quality, but as always have it checked by a Walther-competent gunsmith before shooting.

Of course this is conjecture, with no pictures. The grips may be the most important part of they are in fact late war.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sheesh...what a bummer...thank you for your reply and information. Really appreciate you sharing.
 

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There's a chromed P38 in an LGS that caught my eye and made me wonder last year, it made me do the research and so I am happy to share. But these may still be good shooters, as some people prefer the steel frame mated with a modern heavy slide and barrel for a recreational shooter. You'd want to check for slide clearance anyway as the chrome and underlaying base flashing adds a minor amount to the original tolerances.
 

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These are often called "cigarette" guns because GIs in post war Germany could often have a weapon refinished by a German craftsman for about the price of a carton of smokes.
In the past these were only considered "shooters" but more recently certain collectors have become interested in them as they are a part of the history of the era.
While they won't command the prices that a factory finished weapon will a well finished cigarette gun can have some collector value.
 
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