SOLD FOR: $1125
Serial Number: 3747b
Year of Manufacture: 1943
Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Action Type: Single or Double Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine. This pistol has a de-cocker safety.
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “P.38”, “ac / 43”, and “3747b”, the right is marked with two eagle over “359” waffenamts, one to each side of an eagle clutching swastika proof. The left of the frame is marked “3747” and with eagle over “359” waffenamt above the trigger guard. The front face of the barrel assembly is marked “3747 / b”, the left is marked with eagle over “359” waffenamt at the front and at the rear with eagle clutching swastika. The right of the locking block is marked with eagle over “359” waffenamt, the left with eagle clutching swastika proof and “2”, the bottom with “747 / B”.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetailed to a boss at the front of the barrel. The rear sight is a “U”-notch dovetailed to the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are AEG two-piece serrated panels. The grips show light handling wear with some scattered light scuffing and handling marks. The serrations are well defined. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in about Fine condition.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original to the parts, the slide/barrel assembly may not be original to the frame (see Overall Condition, Our Assessment).
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling. There is no erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 80% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The finish on the barrel and slide is generally strong with a few scattered minor marks. The frame’s finish is thinning throughout, most notable in the handling areas. The area around the frame’s serial marking is bright and the serial marking has a different type-face with no letter suffix, indicating that the marking was re-struck or possibly force-matched. The action shows operational wear. The screw head is tool marked with a strong slot. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. It has a decocker safety on the left side of the slide. The slide has light play to the frame. We did not fire this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes in a brown leather flap holster with a total of two 8-round magazines. One magazine is marked “P.38v” on the left and eagle over “135” on the spine (Mauser), showing light operational wear, intact feed lips and a strong spring, in Very Good condition. The other magazine has post-war (1958) NSN-marked Walther magazine showing minor wear, in Fine condition. The holster is marked “jWa / 41”, eagle over swastika and “P.38” on the rear. The inside of the flap has hand-written “I TOOK THIS FROM A KRAUT / APRIL 3 ^1945 OUTSIDE KASSEL”, and there appears to be more handwriting, but it is not legible. The holster hsows scattered wear, scuffs, cracking on the surface and intact stitching, in Good condition.
Our Assessment: The P38 occupies a significant place in history. It was the first locked breech pistol to have a single action/double action trigger. After the start of WWII, Walther could not keep up with the production required, and production was ordered to commence at both Mauser and Spreewerke in 1940. By the end of the war, Walther had only produced about 580,000 of the 1.2 million produced. This is a mid-production model made in 1943. All serialized parts match with most parts having the Walther code waffenamt, though the frame appears to have its serial marking re-cut or force-matched. The grips are from AEG, one of the suppliers to Walther. Complete with a holster and a pair of magazines, this pistol should make for a nice example of a mid-war production P.38 with a very shootable bore. No collection of WWII small arms would be complete without a P38 made by each of the three manufacturers, and many collectors have one from each year that they were made by each of the three manufactures, in addition to most of the common variants. This pistol would make a nice addition to a collection, but could also make for a fun shooter. The holster has a neat note written on the inside of the flap. We have no provenance to verify the marking, but Kassel was taken by 1st Army on April 3, 1945 and the pistol has no import markings, so who knows? Please see our photos and good luck!