SOLD FOR: $1,055
Serial Number: 2743k
Year of Manufacture: 1944 (http://www.wehrmacht-awards.com/uniforms_firearms/firearms/p38/p38index.htm)
Caliber: 9mm Parabellum
Action Type: Traditional Double Action Semi-Automatic (DA/SA) with Decocker and Removable Magazine
Markings: The left side of the slide is marked “P.38”, “2743 k“ and “ac 44”, which identifies this pistol as Walther made in 1942. The left side of frame is marked “2743k” and with an Eagle over “359” mark. The right side of the slide is marked with two Eagle over “359” Waffenamts with an Eagle holding a Nazi marked Globe in the center. The left barrel flat is marked with an Eagle over “359” mark and the front barrel flat is marked “2743 / k”. The bottom of the locking block is marked “743 / K” and the right side of the block is marked with an Eagle over “359”. The left ear at the rear of the barrel is marked with an Eagle holding a Nazi marked Globe. The left side of the front sight is marked with a “3”.
Barrel Length: 4.9”
Sights / Optics: The pistol is mounted with a flat topped “U” notched rear sight dovetail set to the slide and a Patridge style blade front sight dovetailed into banded base on the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are reddish brown serrated plastic that enclose the backstrap and with a slight thumbrest on the left side. The left grip shows a long scratch through the serrations and abrasions around the grip screw and lanyard ring. The right grip shows minor marks. The grips rate in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: Blue, with the frame starting to develop a plum colored patina from age.
Finish Originality: All Original
Bore Condition: The bore is bright and the rifling is sharp and deep. There is no erosion in the barrel.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 94% of its metal finish. The front edge of the barrel, front sight band and slide, and the top edges of the front and rear sights all show thinning. There is also minor thinning on the edges of the trigger guard and the front strap. There are several tiny spots of surface loss on the left side of the barrel and a scratch at the front of the slide on both sides. There is a tiny compression mark in the front strap, another in the bottom of the trigger guard and two compression marks in the lower left edge of the frame above the front of the trigger guard. There is thinning on the edges of the safety/decocker and the magazine release, which also shows a few tiny marks. The grip screw is sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this pistol rates in about Fine condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The double action trigger pull is a very stiff, and the single action pull has a small amount of creep. The slide is tight to the frame. We did not fire this pistol.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with two 8-round single stack blued magazines, a black leather holster and paperwork. The magazine in the pistol is marked with “P.38.” on its lower left side. It shows light wear and a few spots of pinprick surface erosion. The floorplate shows thinning on its front edge, two compression marks and marks through the finish at the rear from the magazine release. The spare magazine is marked “jvd” on its left side and shows thinning and light handling marks. The floorplate shows light marks and a scratch through the finish. It is in about Fine overall condition. It was made by a Czechoslovakian sheet metal producer named Erste Nordbohmische Metallwarenfabrik and was intended to supplement the supply made for Walther (AC) and Mauser (byf) P38 pistols at the height of the war effort. The holster has a black pebbled finish with a top flap sewn to the back of the holster and secured at its bottom with a leather strap that hooks over a steel stud on another flap sewn to the back of the holster and folded over the rear edge. The back surface of the holster is marked “CXB / 4” and “P38”, indicating it was made by Joseph Moll in Goch in about 1944. It also has a magazine pouch sewn to the forward edge (front as worn) and two 1” belt loops sewn to the back. The leather of the top flap hinge has no cracks and the stitching is intact. The flap shows surface loss and handling marks through the finish. The flap which folds around the rear edge of the holster shows surface cracks. There are three lines running down the magazine pouch where the leather is abraded. There is also finish loss at the muzzle and a scratch in the leather on the back side at the muzzle. Altogether, the holster is in Good condition. The paperwork consists of a signed letter from our consignor that this pistol once belonged to Army 1st Lt. Raymond Gordon Harris, and papers from his service records showing he served in the 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion in Germany in 1945, and won a Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster (showing the second award of the medal) on April 15, 1945. Lt. Harris brought this pistol back with him. He entered the active duty on March 25, 1943 as a 2nd Lieutenant and his Reserve appointment as a 1st Lt. was terminated on April 1, 1953. Provided with the paperwork is a cloth unit shoulder patch from the 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion.
Our Assessment: The P38 occupies a significant place in history. It was the first locked breech pistol to have a double action/single 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 Walther built 1944 P38 retains about 94% of its original finish with thinning on its edges and a few light marks. The bore is fantastic, and it has all the appropriate markings and matching numbers. This pistol was brought home from Germany after WWII by 1st Lieutenant Raymond Harris, a recipient of the Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster (signifying the second award of the Bronze medal.) He earned the medal for his heroic conduct while serving with the 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion in Germany on April 15, 1945. Included with the pistol is paperwork showing Lt. Harris’s citation and a letter from our consignor stating how she acquired the pistol. This will make a great addition to a P38 collection or collection of German weaponry. It isn’t every day that you find a P38 with an original finish, all matching numbers and a period correct (late war) holster, especially one that was brought back from a war theater by a Bronze Star with Oak Cluster recipient. There is even a cloth unit shoulder patch provided from the 811th Tank Destroyer Battalion that can be displayed alongside the pistol.
SOLD FOR: $1,055