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I have a PPK in 7,65mm serial number 389339 k on the slide, frame and one of the magazines ( a “1” is underneath the serial number on the mag ), an Eagle N proof on the slide, chamber and tip of the barrel, no other markings.

This from the serial number pistol was made in 1942 and could be either a Commercial or SS contract pistol. So how can I determine which? Is it simply by having a magazine with a matching serial number?

I saw somewhere someone stating a month range on a manufacture date, how is this obtained?

Would Steve Stepan’s “Gold Book” contain any information pertaining to this serial number?

Thanks and regards
 

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I saw somewhere someone stating a month range on a manufacture date, how is this obtained?
I go by the changes during the running production run. Change X was introduced in month1/year1 with serial number NNNN; Change Y came about in month2/year2, with serial number N111, and the serial asked about is somewhere in between, closer to this date or that.

And most of my info comes from Dieter Marschall's book "Walther Verteidigungspistolen, Model 1 through PPX"
 

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I don't see your serial number close to any other confirmed RHSA pistol in Stepan's book. How about some pictures of this marked magazine to help move things along. The mags are the key and are sometimes faked and are to be scrutinized.
 

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The magazine number doesn't appear to be factory applied to me. The serial number yes, but the mag number no. So no RSHA.
 

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Thanks for your expert opinion Joe W, I am disappointed in hearing this.

What is your opinion on the non-matching serial number magazine?

In comparing the numbers with pictures of other magazines I found on other sites I do not see anything different in the style of the numbers being used or placement of the characters. Perhaps the depth is a bit shallow many likely caused by someone roughing up the base when trying to remove some rust. What did you see?

I wish the hand writing on the inside flap of the holster wasn’t scratched off.
 

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Your mags look factory numbered to me. They are way beyond amatuer for sure. But I am no expert on Walther Mags. Ask again on one of the other Luger or P-38 forums. You will get a correct answer.
 

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If Joe thinks the mags are not real there is a very good possibility they aren't.

That being said, I'd be very interested in his reasoning. I'm always willing to get educated.
 

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For me the placement of the magazine numbers as well as the strike of the numbers itself is highly suspicious. They do not appear to be done with the same dies. Also the placement of the 1 is off to the side and not in the normally found location. The other one (if that is a 1) is placed in the correct location but it isn't centered and also appears to be done with a different die.
 
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Thanks for your expert opinion Joe W, I am disappointed in hearing this.

What is your opinion on the non-matching serial number magazine?

In comparing the numbers with pictures of other magazines I found on other sites I do not see anything different in the style of the numbers being used or placement of the characters. Perhaps the depth is a bit shallow many likely caused by someone roughing up the base when trying to remove some rust. What did you see?

I wish the hand writing on the inside flap of the holster wasn’t scratched off.
If Joe thinks the mags are not real there is a very good possibility they aren't.

That being said, I'd be very interested in his reasoning. I'm always willing to get educated.

I wrote that the "magazine number" on this magazine does not look factory applied. I wrote "The serial number yes, but the magazine number no." That means I think the serial number is factory applied.
 
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Here's a further observation. Do the serial numbers on the slide appear to be off centered compared to the one stamped on the frame?
 

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Thanks for your expert opinion Joe W, I am disappointed in hearing this.
Wayne, I don't consider myself an expert. As it says below my signature, "This hobby is a continuing education." I believe that whole heartedly. Until a few years ago, I always thought gold finished Walthers were originally nickel plated before the gold was applied. But then an Austrian collector showed up with one with a copper base coat. Bam. Learned something new.

One should realize that the entire subject of RSHA pistols is based on circumstantial evidence. The Marschall and Görtz published their Red Book over fifteen years ago. A collector happened to have one with a serial number of one in the book. Pearson who maintains meticulous data base lists noticed the correlation of the particular serial number placement on that pistol and others that were reported and produced several articles on the theory of the RSHA contract. In Stepan's book, there is documentation that certain pistols were issued to members of the SIPO/RSHA from the mid 1930s to the later war years. And that other pistols bear the same style serial numbering. But there is no documentation of a contract for the SS/RSHA to purchase pistols from Walther nor is there any documentation that the SIPO/RSHA arsenal established certain ways to mark pistols with serial numbers.

On RSHA pistols, serial numbers were applied to the slide and the back/spine of the magazines in a precise manner. The magazine had the full serial number, suffix and magazine number. But late PPKs displayed serial numbers on the base plate. Now that is contradictory to all previous RSHA Walther examples. But these pistols have been accepted as RSHA. We have no documentation of the change, but it was accepted by collectors.

Perhaps the documentation is still out there. Either a great deal was left un-filmed by the archivists in Germany and the US, or it was destroyed. There is a small notation on the bottom of the arsenal cards G.St.529 and G.St.529a. The notation points out that another card file list was maintained by the RSHA arsenal that was arranged by pistol serial number. Don't we wish that had been filmed instead of the few name file cards that we have.

Sorry to get on a soap box.
 
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