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Thanks for the proofs Searcher451

Wish mine was there. My P38 appears to have an Eagle but with the wings held out horizontally, not tipping down like some of the proofs. Mine isn't among those listed. Wonder why?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A fine question. Is it an Eagle/N proof? Post a photo or two, if you would (or have the capability); perhaps we can determine what it is, exactly.
 

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Thanks for being willing to help. Boy, the thing is small. Not sure I can take a picture of it that would be especially helpful. On either side of it, are three horizontal lines with a V in the middle, with the number below- 359. There does not appear to be an "N" below the bird, which looks like an eagle with spread wings. It sort of looks something like a ball shape below the eagle. And, I'm looking at this thing with a strong magnifying glass and I still can't tell what the heck it is! The serial numbers are 9748 g. Next to P.38 is an ac with 42 below it.
 

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My friend, you have a Nazi pistol, made during the war at the Walther plant (thus the ac code). The proof you are looking at is the Nazi swastika, with two german Army acceptance stamps, one on either side. All of this would be on the right side of the slide.

You'd be well-served to check in at the P.38 Forum, where the folks who wrote the book on the subject hang out. Speaking of books, Dieter Marschall's "Walther Pistols Models 1 Through P99" does a nice job of detailing the various proof marks on the P.38 pistols of this era. You can get it for under $20 online from Ucross Books in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Every Walther fan should have one.
 

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Main: According to the production code charts, your pistol was made in August of 1942. Check out the Sticky notices on the P.38 Forum regarding the production codes for the various P.38s made by Walther, Mauser, and Spreewerk, as well as the Waffenamt (Weapons Office) stamps; it'll give you a good understanding of what you have.
 

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THANK YOU! I appreciate your help and will definitely take your advice and check out the P38 forum! I wondered if this was a Nazi gun. I have the original holster too. Thanks again!
 

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Question about a Walther P38

I am with the Commemorative Air Force (a group restoring and flying WWII aircraft) and we have a fairly good WWII museum in our Houston hangar that is open to the public and school groups.

Someone just donated a P38 pistol that someone in his family captured in Germany in 1945. I am trying to find some place to further identify this pistol from the markings on it so it can be properly identified when on display in the museum.

The serial number appears to be: 1537 d ac (on left side of slide) the 1537 d also appears on the left side of trigger frame, along with a marking (three horizontal lines of different lengths with 358 under them).

On the right side of the slide are three marks. (three lines with 359 under them, an eagle with what may be a swastika under it and then another three lines with 356 under it.)

Under the slide on the right side is another mark with three lines and 359 under it.

The magazine is also marked. It has P38 stamped near the bottom. On the rear edge it has three markings, upside down.
1. Three lines with 359 under them.
2. An elongated box with the following under it (Wa [? middle symbol not clear] 706)
3. The lettere jvd (arranged vertically)

I would appreciate any help you could give me in identifying this pistol better.

Sam Hoynes
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Hi, Sam, and welcome to the forum. We trust that you'll enjoy your time here.

Here is some information to at least get you started:

The pistol in question (and a hearty congratulations on the museum's acquisition, by the way) was made at the Walther plant in Zella-Mehlis. The ac was Walther's secret military ID to keep the Allies from knowing where the plants were located so that they wouldn't be able to drop bombs on the buildings and put the munitions operations out of business. If you look more closely, you are likely to find a couple of numbers after the ac: a 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, or 45. That would indicate the year that the pistol was made. If not, and all you find is the ac code, your P.38 might be a rare (and valuable) 0-series pistol. If you post some photos, we'd be able to tell you more.

Charts that provide an exact month that the pistol was made can be found on the P.38 Forum, but you'll need to know the year that it was made first:

www.p38forum.com

It will be well worth your efforts to visit there. Be sure to spend some time with Ron Clarin's report on the capture of the Walther plant in 1945 by Patton's 3rd Army. You'll find it in the Sticky at the top of the war-time pistols sub-section. That's also where the monthly production charts are located, as well as the information on the Nazi secret codes and Waffenamt information.

The stamps on the right-hand side of the slide are Army acceptance proofs (Waffenamts). And yes, the middle stamp has a Nazi swastika under the eagle.

I suspect that the magazine that was found with the pistol is not original to it; jvd-marked magazines are generally found in the Spreewerk pistols, and sometimes in the Mauser pistols, IIRC. Additional materials about the magazines and the codes/stamps that accompanied them also can be found on the P.38 Forum. This is the place where the experts for these pistols reside, by the way, so don't hesitate to migrate there. Information about the magazines also can be found in Ron Clarin's excellent book on the Spreewerk pistols, and you'll find Ron on the P38 website as well.

In all, the Walther plant turned out more than 584,000 P.38s for the German war machine.

Hope that helps a bit. Your museum sounds interesting. Do you have a website? Any links to share?
 

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