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Discussion Starter #1
Hello.... I've been searching online about my uncles gun( he was an interpreter in France during ww2) that was left me and has very unusual serial number 100 followed by a hand stamped cursive a. Anyone have a clue what's going on with this gun?....photos inc.
 

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It appears to be that you have a very early P38, as Walther was transitioning from the code of ac to ac with date. The 'a' indicates the second run of 1940 serials (up to four digits without a suffix, then next run with 'a', followed by 'b',...) These are some of the finest finishes made for them and you have a desireable weapon. Much depends on condition and better pictures may help, do not shoot it until inspected (if at all, due to risk of damage).
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks matt......I've only fired it a few times decades ago when my dad gave it to me, it's about 96% with mint like rifeling. I'm still wondering why Walther would stamp over a typical a with a unusual cursive a, the barrel is also stamped with the cursive a. The only other time I've seen this cursive a is on a prototype barrel.
 

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That's a mysterious gun, worthy of some research.

The "40" was apparently pantograph-engraved or machine-stamped, very neatly. A cursory search of Buxton Vol. 1 discloses that this was done at the Walther factory after the original slide inscription had been applied, the result of a later directive from the Army to date the guns (in 1941 the serial numbers would start over again) received while they were still in process. Note the off-center placement of the "40"; subsequently the ac-over-40 marking would be vertically repositioned on the centerline of the slide. Contrary to my initial impression, during this period "ac" often appears twice, both on the frame and on the slide.

Still, I think the slide is almost surely a replacement. This slide's s/n suffix was originally a block letter "A", which is most unusual; its significance is unknown to me. This was then overstamped with a cursive "a", a font not then in use on P38s. The overstamp should have been a block-letter lower-case "a"-- exactly matching the one on the frame.

That's the mystery here.

A good picture of the proofs on right side of the slide would be illuminating.

M
 

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Hello MG Mike......thanks for your expertise, (and your Buxton Vol) lol. I knew nothing about p38's until yesterday when I spent all day online. I'll take some detail pics of proof stamps and post. This online auction pic is the only other time I've ever seen that cursive a stamp and it was on a prototype.
 

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Very nice photos.

Somebody who has available for examination a good selection of very early P38s is going to have to opine further on this. I'm out of my depth.

I can't figure out why slide was originally marked with a block letter capital "A" suffix, then overstamped, or why the entire upper --slide, barrel and locking block--has lower case cursive "a" suffixes, while the frame is conventionally marked with block letter lower case "a" suffixes. My suspicion is that it was factory work, possibly to salvage an earlier slide, but not in the normal course of production; however, that's only speculation.

What early P38s had capital letter suffixes?

M
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I just found this pic on a terrific site yesterday.....it's a gun made 45 guns after mine with the same cursive over stamp. My p38 is #100a, this pic is #145a, so I know it wasn't just a one off mistake. It's getting more interesting. 2020-04-12 09_1586710692017.52.15.png
 
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