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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just acquired a WWI P38 from my wife's uncle. He is 98, and says he took it from a battlefield in mid 1945. It was in his closet for about 20 years and his safe since then. He has never shot it or showed it to anyone until he gave it to me last week. He never talks about the war and did not give me any more info. It has P38 9027a ac 45 on the slide, and 9027A on the frame. From the attached pictures, can someone give me some additional info on the gun?
Sleeve Wood Gun accessory Personal protective equipment Pattern
Wood Material property Gas Automotive exterior Kitchen utensil
Water Liquid Fluid Eyelash Gas
It looks almost new, and the riffling looks like it could not have been fired much if any.
Waist Material property Bag Beige Denim
Motor vehicle Wood Automotive tire Bumper Automotive exterior
Waist Material property Bag Beige Denim
Air gun Trigger Line Gun barrel Gun accessory
 

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Welcome to the forum.

Your P.38 was among the last 10,000 to be made at the Walther factory in Zella-Mehlis before the end of the war. I would estimate the pistol on its own at $1000-1200, the holster $300-500, and $125 per magazine.

Your holster was made by Karl Budischovsky & Söhne Österreichische Lederindustrie AG of Vienna. If it was mine I'd treat it with a leather conditioner. I like the Weiman brand but Ballistol is also a good choice.
 

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The pistol, holster and two mags comprise a "rig" and as such it would likely command $2,000 or a little more. Prices for P.38 pistols in that condition and with the holster and mags have gotten quite high. If, by any chance, the capture papers can be found among your wife's Uncle's belongings, the value would be even greater.
 

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Would concur with the above on value of the “rig”, I apologize my 8-1200 was based solely on the value of the pistol.

Your leather still looks supple, I would personally avoid “treating” it as it can remove color and lead to eventual leather drying out. Treatment is a mixed topic. My recommendation would be gently stuffing with a clean cloth to hold it’s shape and storing in a clean cardboard box in a temperature controlled area of your home. Not too hot to avoid drying out and not too damp to avoid moisture and molding. It’s a nice rig and a pistol any would be proud to own!


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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you guys for the info and advice. I really appreciate it! It is something I will treasure, and pass on to someone who will appreciate it someday. Very difficult to resist the temptation to shoot it, but so far so good:).
 

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"......Very difficult to resist the temptation to shoot it......"

Simple solution, grab a later production P38/P1/P4, and go scratch that itch.
Some members here have double examples of numerous firearms, one remains in current condition, the other gets shot.
My thing is P5s. I have four NIB P5s, and three shooter P5s. Including twin barrel examples in 30 Luger and 9mm, even a 6" barrel Lang.
This is how you can have your cake and eat it too.
 
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Would concur with the above on value of the “rig”, I apologize my 8-1200 was based solely on the value of the pistol.

Your leather still looks supple, I would personally avoid “treating” it as it can remove color and lead to eventual leather drying out. Treatment is a mixed topic. My recommendation would be gently stuffing with a clean cloth to hold it’s shape and storing in a clean cardboard box in a temperature controlled area of your home. Not too hot to avoid drying out and not too damp to avoid moisture and molding. It’s a nice rig and a pistol any would be proud to own!


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That is a beautiful P38! I have to agree about the treatment of the holster shown here. I provide photo support for a museum warehouse that has a lot of leather items dating back to the early 1800s. The curators I work with would take unbuffered tissue paper and gently but firmly stuff the interior to maintain the shape without stressing the leather and then wrap it in the same tissue. If you have the belt and can store it laying flat that is the optimum way to do that as well. I've been doing the photo support for quite a few years now and I can only recall a handful of occasions that any form of conditioner was used.
 

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What an awesome gift from wife's uncle. So awesome these firearms are Still being "discovered" !!

I have shot the 2 P38s ( and the PP ) my dad brought home from the war off and on since late '70's.
( I wonder what I paid for a box of wwb 9mm back in 1976'ish lol)

Break that baby down and give it a good once over and oiling and at the Very Least pop off a few rounds of 125gr practice rounds and have fun and Then 'retire' it..
( NO +P or any 'hot' rounds naturally - but you already knew that ;)🍺 )
 
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