SOLD FOR: $1025
Serial Number: 5205s
Year of Manufacture: 1944
Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Action Type: Single or Double Action Semi-Auto with Removable Magazine. This pistol has a de-cocker lever.
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “P.38”, “byf / 44” and “5205s”. The left side of the frame is marked “5205s” and with an “Eagle / WaA135” Waffenamt. (The 135 Waffenamt was the code for Mauserwerke Oberndorf used from 1941-1945). The right side of the slide is marked with two “Eagle / WaA135” Waffenamts with an Eagle holding a globe with Swastika in the center. The left barrel flat is marked with an “Eagle / WaA135” Waffenamt and the front barrel flat is marked “5205/ z”. The bottom of the barrel stop is marked “205 / s”. The left side of the lug on the bottom of the barrel stop is marked with an Eagle Holding a Globe with Swastika and the right side is marked with a faint “Eagle / WaA135” Waffenamt (upside down). The left side of the barrel at the rear is also marked with an Eagle holding a globe with Swastika.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a blade dovetailed to a boss at the muzzle (marked “4” on the left). The rear sight is a “U”-notch dovetailed to the rear of the slide.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are Polyamid-6 two-piece serrated black panels. The grips have some scattered light nicks, scuffs and scratches. There is more notable wear along their front edges which may be from rough shaping. There is a gap between the panels at the rear edge. The left panel has a crack at the top-rear. Overall, the grips are in Good-plus condition as possibly not original to the gun.
Type of Finish: Blued
Finish Originality: Original
Bore Condition: The bore is semi-bright with sharp rifling. There is some scattered light erosion in the bore.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 85% of its metal finish. The finish is thinning at all edges. The grip areas show handling wear and there is some scattered light wear in the frame. The barrel and slide have generally strong finish. There are some light nicks and scratches. The action shows operational wear. The screw head is sharp. The markings are clear. Overall, this pistol is in Good condition (see Mechanics).
Mechanics: The trigger doesn’t properly return all the way forward when operated in double-action, but does reset for single action. If the gun is shaken gently, the trigger will finish returning forward. This appears to be due to some interaction between the slide and frame assemblies as the problem does not occur when the slide is removed from the frame. Otherwise, the action functions correctly. The double action trigger pull is smooth, the single action pull has a smooth takeup followed by a crisp break. The slide has minor 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 with a single 8-round magazine marked “P.38v” on the left and eagle over “WaA135” on the spine. The magazine has minor operational wear, some scattered minor oxidation and minor dents at the bottom of the spine with intact feed lips and a strong spring.
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 rate required, and production was ordered to commence at both Mauser and Spreewerke in 1940. Mauser was busy building Lugers at the time, and their conversion to P38s took quite a while, possibly because they didn’t want to make the P38 in the first place. Production didn’t really get started until October of 1942, and completed pistols were not assembled until early 1943. This P38 pistol is a Mauer byf-44 which has fairly high quality finish for the time, showing only a little of the rougher finish seen as the tides began to turn and the Nazi war machine cut corners to both speed up and reduce the cost of production. It has the correct markings, matching serial numbers, and about 85% of its original finish remaining. The bore has some light erosion but retains strong rifling. There’s a bit of a hitch in the double-action trigger reset, but otherwise the mechanics are strong. This is a nice example of the byf44 series of P.38 pistols and with a little work will make a great shooter or addition to a collection. Please see our photos and good luck!