Ah, yes. I missed that angle.My unicorn comment was relating to the prior owner. For a collector of his books, one of his PERSONAL P38s would be a unicorn....
Ah, yes. I missed that angle.
I’m still intrigued by the inconsistencies of the gun, though. I’m aware of Mr. Buxton’s books, although I’m not familiar with them since I was under the impression they dealt mostly with the wartime P38, not a particular interest of mine. Did he write about newer guns like this one?
Volume One of Buxton covers the development of the MP, AP, and HP into the P.38 and its wartime production at Walther. Volume Two covers wartime production at Spreewerk and Mauser. Volume Three is subtitled "International Distribution Post 1945 and Addendum to Volumes 1 and 2".I was under the impression they dealt mostly with the wartime P38, not a particular interest of mine. Did he write about newer guns like this one?
Warren had written enough of the manuscript for Volume 4 that he had reached discussion of the P5, and sent me some draft pages to review. But I don't believe he ever completed it. I last spoke to him about a year before his death; at that time he was sidetracked on some other project--I think a book on Olympia pistols (memory fuzzy now). He cheerfully conceded that his writing style was lodged in the spectrum from Mired in Minutiae to Utterly Impenetrable, but he stubbornly resisted finding an editor to help him finish them.In the preface to Volume Three he discusses the possibility of two more volumes : one on the postwar Ulm P38 and one on holsters and accessories. These two proposed volumes were never published and I don't know if he had even begun work on them.
I heard back from Dieter. He says Walther’s company records only support what’s in the book: 452 pistols for Interarms with the P38 IV slide from September 1981, 606968 to 607419. He says that he may have to correct that.
This thread illustrates that even factory records are rarely 100% complete or 100% correct.
By now it should be obvious that some of the P4 pistols produced beginning in 1975 were diverted by Walther to commercial sale. By 1977 Interarms was importing them in small quantities. It's unclear how these were marked, but at least some (Buxton's is typical) were marked "P.38IV". There were not many, but they are hardly "unicorns".
It is noteworthy (and was mentioned here on the forum some years ago) that the last deliveries of P.38IV to Interarms (in the 607xxx range) inexplicably lacked a serial number on the frame. This was not immediately discovered, and some guns went out the door with serial numbers only on the slide and barrel. Those remaining were bundled off to a local engraver with a pantograph machine to have the number added.
The numerals were cut through the black anodize; the result looked neat, so they were left "in the white" -- which is a tip-off to collectors of this tidbit of history.
It's also a good reason NOT to mindlessly fill in markings with white paint.