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Discussion Starter #1
I'm interested in getting a P38. I'd like to get one from the WWII era. I just have no idea to tell if it is post war or not, and I know they made the gun for a long while after WWII. Can someone please help me?

Like take these here. How can I tell if they are post or during war?
Walther P38 9MM with Holster : Semi Auto Pistols at GunBroker.com

Excellent German Walther P1 P38 Pistol 9mm : Semi Auto Pistols at GunBroker.com

they don't have dates on them. Is it a serial number thing? Like under a certain number was pre 1944?
 

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nates,
Welcome to the Forum.
A couple added thoughts to milspec. 1. If you are planning to do a lot of range time with your find, you might look for a hexkey P1, import marked, Russian capture, or a mixmaster wartime P.38. That way if a part is broken or needs replaced, it does not deflate the value of a matched wartime P.38. 2. A wartime P.38 will have four #s matching parts: locking block, slide, frame and barrel. These are the parts that make one a collector P.38. I have no qualm about shooting a wartime P.38, you have to decide that; but, if you pay a collector price (say a $1000), go to the range and one of the four parts break, it is now becomes a mixmaster shooter (say $400) value. If a rare variation, it is worse. Added things to think about, but that goes with any type of collecting or buying. Hope this helps and good luck. art.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Many thanks for the help! I think I'd like to get one of those mixed ones. I don't mind if the whole thing went to war. I really just want a cool looking pistol that has a little history to it. I'm hoping to pay max 500 so I might be bidding for a while. :) If I find one to bid on I'll probably post it here to get ok or no go. :p
 

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nates,
Sounds like you may be in no hurry to acquire one. If that is the fact, you can find a mixmaster here on the Forum or the P38 Forum. Forum posting will have a fixed price with quality photos and honest descriptions. You setting the limit at $500 may astound you as to what you can find, and for a couple hundred more you might find a matching shooter. Just a thought to consider and good luck on your search. Post and describe your find after you acquire one. art
 

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Something else to look for: The WWII pistols are marked with secret codes that the Germany Army gave to the manufacturing plants so that the Allies couldn't tell where the pistols were made and then destroy the factories. Walthers were marked with an ac code. The P.38s produced at the Mauser plant were stamped with byf throughout most of the war. The Spreewerk pistols were stamped with a cyq code. If, in your search for a pistol, you stumble on these codes, you'll know what they mean and where the P.38s came from.
 

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So folks post their walthers to sell on this forum sometimes?
Check out the Trading Post section of the forum; just scroll down towards the bottom of the screen, past the pistols and rifles and General Discussion and Free Range Time, et al. Be sure to read the rules of engagement before you post.
 

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Discussion Starter #9

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nates,
You might just cruise for a while. Visit some gun shows, watch gb, follow the for sale threads here on the Forum and also on the P38 Forum. Over the last couple of months the gb start $$ seem to have dropped some. At gun shows, you have a hands on opportunity to see different finishes, mixmasters, manufacturers, conditions, etc. This gives you pause to consider your options, not what you might end up from the mail. art.
 

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I just bought a mismatched P.38 at Cabela's for $399.
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Frame: Walther 8659f
Slide: Mauser byf 44 763 v
Barrel: Mauser 5913
Grips: Bakelite, red
Magazine: P38v w/o Waffenamt

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The frame is original finish but the slide and barrel are refinished black. I swapped the red Bakelite grips with the black plastic ones on my byf 44 (both are correct).
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So what is it? Maybe an early Austrian rework but who knows? In any case it's very well fitted, has a perfect bore, and should be a great shooter.
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Well, it has an HP type mag and it's very nicely built...maybe Interarmco... ;)
Maybe from Abercrombie & Fitch, too.

However, the likely source is Billybob's stray parts box. I've assembled a few of those myself years ago. Many others did also, when the parts were cheap.

IF everything fits and works like it should, it'll be okay. The problems arise when they don't. One needs to understand what he's looking at; just because it goes together and shoots doesn't necessarily mean that all is right.

M
 
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