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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all,
My Dad served in WWII (Utah Beach and Battle of Bulge) as an infantry combat medic. After his 4-year hitch he had a several years break in service, but then re-enliisted and completed a 20 year career.

Sometime back in the 60's he was in Germany and met a former German soldier who had fought on the German side in the Battle of the Bulge. My Dad actually formed a friendship with this man, who presented Dad with his personal 1943 Walther P38 which has been in the family ever since. When Dad died in '84 I inherited this gun, which has a leather holster that the German soldier signed and personalized to my Dad on the inside flap.

I have shot it at a range and at that time it shot very nicely. I have not shot it in several years, but now that I'm retired and have more free time, I plan to take it to a local gunsmith just to have it properly cleaned and checked out, then I plan to start going to a local indoor range and start enjoying this gun again.

All the numbers match on this gun and it has a "byf" stamp, which I think indicates it was a version made by Mauser. It has 1943 stamped on it with a serial number 1984 b. Was this gun made in Germany or at another factory? What can I tell from the serial number and the "b" ?
 

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Very cool provenance. Sure beats the proverbial "from a dead German". You gun was made in Germany and the SNs were done in blocks ie: 9999a-1b and so on.

PS I hope your son's sons enjoy the pistol when it's their turn to take ownership.
 

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Your P.38 is a BYF43 made by Mauser in late February or early March of 1943.
Your serial indicates a March 1943 manufactured date. If you shoot it only use Winchester White box target ammo. These guns were not designed for today’s hot ammo.


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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your P.38 is a BYF43 made by Mauser in late February or early March of 1943.
Your serial indicates a March 1943 manufactured date. If you shoot it only use Winchester White box target ammo. These guns were not designed for today’s hot ammo.


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Thanks for the advice on the Ammo. A coincidence that just occurred to me. The serial number 1984 also happens to be the year my Dad passed and I inherited the gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Then the grips are not black. Just a dark brown. AEG didn't make black grips.
Well, I'm not enough of an expert to argue that point, but if they are brown they sure don't look brown. Even on the inside they look black and have the markings that, according to this reference, suggest they were AEG grips:

P38 Grips

It has the 3 circles on both sized with all the marking described for AEG grips. But they sure don't look brown to me.



 

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They are AEG grips. The black polyamid grips seen on Walther and Mauser are more common from 1944 onward and we’re made by a different manufacturer. If you take some warm soap and water and a toothbrush and scrub the grips that will bring out the color and improve their overall appearance.


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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
They are AEG grips. The black polyamid grips seen on Walther and Mauser are more common from 1944 onward and we’re made by a different manufacturer. If you take some warm soap and water and a toothbrush and scrub the grips that will bring out the color and improve their overall appearance.


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Thanks, I'll try that to clean them.
 
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