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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone

I bought a mismatched CYQ Spreewerke P38 as an entry into these interesting pistols. I was hoping to learn more about it from the knowledge people have here.

It was sold to me as a 1940 mismatched CYQ with no obvious refurbishment. I am happy with the price I paid here in Canada regardless of what it turns out to be, this is more for my knowledge and interest.

I believe the serial codes indicate this could be later, but in a mismatched gun like this which do you go off anyway?

The blueing looks too uniform to be original, is there any chance it’s been refurbed?

Is there anything else interesting people could share about this pistol? Please let me know if more or clearer photos are needed.
 

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The slide was manufactured by Spreewerk, recognizable by cyq on the left and the Waffenamt mark 88 under the eagle on the right.
The frame was made by Mauser / Oberndorf, recognizable by the Waffenamt mark 135 under the eagle on the left side of the frame above the trigger guard.

I can't see any mark of who put the two pieces together or when that might have happened.

All information comes from the book by Dieter Marschall.
 

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Can’t help with dating, but I see no reason to doubt the finish’s originality. All stampings appear crisp and the overall somewhat rough condition would match a pistol of that wartime vintage. As might be expected from where they were originally made, the frame appears finished to a slightly higher standard than the slide.
 

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Slide:
I interpret the last character after 5371 as g. Accordingly, the slide belongs to the third version, serial numbers range from approx. 9101d to approx. 5000z, manufactured July 1943 to February 1945, so this slide probably 1943. This is only an estimate based on the manufacturing period mentioned above.
Frame:
According to the number 6382e (e in Latin pen) it belongs to the production period January 1945 to April 1945, because Dieter Marschall specifies for this period the serial number range 5001d to 2200f.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Slide:
I interpret the last character after 5371 as g. Accordingly, the slide belongs to the third version, serial numbers range from approx. 9101d to approx. 5000z, manufactured July 1943 to February 1945, so this slide probably 1943. This is only an estimate based on the manufacturing period mentioned above.
Frame:
According to the number 6382e (e in Latin pen) it belongs to the production period January 1945 to April 1945, because Dieter Marschall specifies for this period the serial number range 5001d to 2200f.
That’s very interesting thank you. Do you think that the interpretation of the frame serial being a 9 would have been why it may have been misidentified as a 1940?

I’ve attached two more pictures of the slide serial and it’s not much clearer in person. I read it as a 9 also but I don’t know much about P38s. In person it looks more like an upside down capital than a correctly orientated lower case. The circle part of the letter is not quite connected together but that could also just be the stamp.

Do the reference books identify if upper or lower case letters were used and can they rule out incorrectly orientated letter stamps?
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I also read the letter as a g.

Serial number 5371g manufactured by Spreewerk was made in September, 1943. The g block was made in August and September with August production from 1g ~ 1300g and September from 1300g ~ 10,000g.

My reference is "THE P.38 PISTOL SPREEWERK PRODUCTION" by Jan Balcar and Ron Clarin.
 

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That’s very interesting thank you. Do you think that the interpretation of the frame serial being a 9 would have been why it may have been misidentified as a 1940?

I’ve attached two more pictures of the slide serial and it’s not much clearer in person. I read it as a 9 also but I don’t know much about P38s. In person it looks more like an upside down capital than a correctly orientated lower case. The circle part of the letter is not quite connected together but that could also just be the stamp.

Do the reference books identify if upper or lower case letters were used and can they rule out incorrectly orientated letter stamps? View attachment 99108 View attachment 99109
The year of production cannot be 1940, as the Spreewerke (cyq) only started production of the P38 in July / August 1942. In addition, there were no five-digit serial numbers beyond 10000 at the Spreewerke.
 

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Ahem … Metallwarenfabrik Spreewerk Gmbh, kein e am Ende … ;)
Of course you are right. The company's official name was Spreewerk.
In the literature you can also find the name Spreewerke, probably caused by the fact that there were two plants, (two "Werke" in German language) in Spandau and Grottau.
The P38 was only manufactured in Grottau.
 

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Indeed. I just felt a bit nitpickish :)

I’ve always suspected “Spreewerke” has become so common because quite a few other German companies, most relevant for German guns “Mauser-Werke A.G.” (changed from “Waffenfabrik Mauser”) did indeed use the plural form.
 

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Walther PPK, P38, P99, TPH, CCP, PPQ, Q5 Match & PDP Compact 5"
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This book is a great resource for the Spreewerk P38 pistols....

 
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Charlie Justmann is the only source for this excellent reference. Co-author Ron Clarin has stated that it will probably not be reprinted. Get it now while you still can. This book also contains information that pertains to the Walther, Mauser, and FN production.

I've owned my copy for over a year now. Like many collector books, this one will only increase in value as time passes so I second the suggestion to buy it now if you have any interest in the P.38 pistols.
 

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I especially enjoy the "Broken Die Theory" chapter. I own a very late Spreewerk P.38. It has one of the cyq markings stamped with the broken die so it appears to read cvq.
 
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