WWII German Mauser byf-42 P.38 9mm Military Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1942 C&R

SOLD FOR: $2500

LSB#: 230524RL013

Make: Mauser (byf)

Model: P.38

Serial#: 9305

Year of Manufacture: 1942, C&R

Caliber: 9mm Luger

Action Type: Single/Double-Action Semi-Automatic Pistol fed by a Detachable 8-round Magazine

Markings: The front of the barrel assembly is marked with the serial number “9305”. The left side of the barrel assembly is marked with an eagle above “135” Waffenamt ahead of the locking block and has a eagle clutching a swastika behind the locking block (a Heer test proof; Heer is the German term for Army), the left side of the locking block has a eagle clutching a swastika (a Heer test proof), the bottom of the locking block is marked “305” and finally the right side of the locking block is marked with the Mauser Waffenamt. The left side of the slide is marked “P.38”, “byf / 42” and “9305”. The left side of the frame is marked “9305” and has the same Waffenamt as the barrel assembly. The right side of the slide is marked with two “E / 135” Waffenamts and the Heer test proof mark.

Barrel Length: 4.9”

Sights/ Optics: There is a blade dovetailed to a banded base by the muzzle and a “U”-notch dovetailed to the slide.

Stock Configuration & Condition/ Grip: The grips are two-piece serrated brown synthetic panels. The grips show light discoloration throughout. The grips have light handling wear with some scuffs and scratches. The serrations are generally sharp. There are no chips or cracks. Overall, the grips are in Very Good condition.

Type of Finish: Blue

Finish Originality: Original

Bore Condition: The bore is gray. The rifling is sharp. There is scattered erosion throughout. On a scale of 1-10, this bore, as a C&R, would rate in as a 6. Many military and C&R eligible weapons have bores that will show erosion. This is not only due to age but to the fact that corrosive primers were commonly used in ammunition worldwide until the 1960s.

Overall Condition: The pistol retains about 87% of its original metal finish. The finish is faintly thinning at most edges. There is some surface erosion on the bottom of the frame at the front. There are some sparse little nicks and scratches throughout and faint pores on the receiver flats. The action shows operational wear. The markings are clear. The screwhead is sharp. Overall, the pistol is in Very Good-Plus condition.

Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this pistol. As with all used firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance requirements.

Box Paperwork and Accessories: The gun comes with a single 8-round magazine and a brown cardboard box.

Our Assessment: The Parabellum Pistole Modell 1908 (the Luger in lay terms) was showing its age by the early 1930s and the German Army began to seek out a new handgun. The design which most impressed the German Army was the AP (Armee Pistole or Military Pistol) designed by Carl Walther Waffenfabrik, but the gun’s concealed hammer design was considered inefficient and the gun was reworked to accommodate an external hammer. The resulting handgun was named the Heerespistole (translates to Army Pistol; Heer translates to Army or land component of the armed forces and Armee better translates to military in a broad sense) and it featured an external hammer that allowed the gun to function as both a single or double-action. This improved design impressed the German Army which opted to adopt the handgun as its new standard issue sidearm in 1938. There are only a few minor dimensional changes between the P.38 and HP, they were done to facilitate mass production. The gun would remain the standard issue sidearm of the Heer until its ultimate defeat at the end of WWII. The stalwart design remains in service with a number of military and police formations to this day.

This particular specimen is a WWII-era P.38 that was made by Mauser in 1942 in which approximately 700 were manufactured by Mauser. Mauser had taken over the production of Luger P.08 semi-automatic handguns in the 1930s and produced the gun until mid-1941, the firm then took up production of the P.38 with mass production of the more modern handgun beginning in 1942 and continuing until the end of WWII. This specimen retains about 87% of its original finish and has strong mechanics. This would be a neat piece for a collection. Please see our photos and good luck!


WWII German Mauser byf-42 P.38 9mm Military Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1942 C&R
WWII German Mauser byf-42 P.38 9mm Military Semi-Automatic Pistol, 1942 C&R