SOLD FOR:$ 1,860.00
Model: P38 ac-40 1st Variation Standard Issue
Serial Number: 7374a
Year of Manufacture: November-Early December 1940 “P.38 Pistols” by Braxton pg. 176)
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”, “ac / 40” and “7374a“, which identifies this pistol as a Walther 1940 1st Variation Standard Issue pistol. The left side of frame is marked “7374” and an “Eagle / 359” Waffenamt as used at Walther. The left front of the trigger guard is marked “ac’. The underside of the takedown lever, the left side of the slide release, the left side of the trigger and the hammer, and the right side of the trigger bar are also marked “Eagle / 359”. The top of the extractor is unmarked. The right side of the slide is marked with two “Eagle over 359” Waffenamts with an eagle holding a globe with Swastika in the center. The front barrel flat is marked “7374 / a” and the left barrel flat is marked “8,83”. The right barrel flat is marked with an “Eagle / 359”. The center bottom flat of the locking block is marked “374 / a”. The left side of the block is marked with an Eagle holding a globe with Swastika and “5”. The right side of the block and the flat on the underside of the slide are marked with “Eagle / 359” (the mark on the block is upside down). The flat on the underside of the barrel just in front of the locking block is marked “ac”. The left rear of the barrel is stamped with an Eagle holding a globe with Swastika. The left side of the front sight is marked “-“. The insides of the grips are marked with an “Eagle / 359” acceptance stamp.
Barrel Length: 5”
Sights / Optics: The pistol is mounted with a flat topped “U” notched rear sight dovetailed into the slide and a blade front sight with a slightly ramped rear face dovetailed into a banded base on the barrel.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The grips are dark red plastic with a slight thumbrest on the left side that enclose the backstrap. A lanyard ring protrudes through a slot molded into the bottom of the left grip. Both grip exhibit a mottled dull/shiny finish from normal handling. The smooth areas of the grips show a few light handling marks. There a few tiny nicks in the serrations along the back edges of both grips. The grips rate in about Fine overall condition.
Type of Finish: The entire pistol has a polished blue finish.
Finish Originality: We think the finish is original except for on the extractor. The extractor shows tiny pitting under its finish and the top surface is slightly uneven. Also, there should be an acceptance stamp on the extractors, which was probably removed by sanding or grinding prior to the extractor being refinished.
Bore Condition: The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion.
Overall Condition: This pistol retains about 99% of its metal finish. There is light thinning on the front edges of the slide and trigger bar and the outside edges of the slide release and takedown lever. There a very few light marks in the underside of the frame and trigger guard. As previously indicated, there is light pitting under the finish on the extractor. The serrations on the slide, safety, hammer, slide release and takedown lever are sharp. The grip screw is sharp and the markings are clear. Overall, this pistol rates in about Fine Plus condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. The double action trigger pull is a little stiff, and the single action pull is crisp. The slide is tight to the frame and the inside edges of the slide and frame are SHARP. We did not fire this pistol.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: This pistol comes with one 8 round single stack magazine. The body of the magazine has a black matte finish while the floorplate is blued. The left side of the magazine is marked with “P.38” and there are two “Eagle / 359” Waffenamts on the rear spine: one near the top, and one at the bottom. The floorplate is marked “8875a”. The body shows minimal wear. The floorplate shows thinning on its edges, a few small dings on its front lip, handling marks on its bottom surface and two spots of surface loss from the magazine latch. The magazine is in about Fine Plus 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 pistol was in the First Series of Standard Issue pistols built by Walther in November of 1940. The short span over which this variant was made makes it very rare, but unfortunately the magazine is from a different pistol and the extractor has been refinished and is missing the acceptance stamp it should have. The pistol is in about Fine condition with about 99% of its finish remaining. There is thinning on the front edges of the slide and the outer edges of the slide release and takedown lever, along with a few light marks in the underside of the frame and trigger guard. There is also light pitting under the finish of the extractor. The serrated dark red plastic grips show a mottled dull/shiny finish with a few light handling marks in the smooth sections and a few tiny dings in the serrations. The bore is bright with sharp rifling and no erosion. This variation pistol was only made for one month, making it extremely rare. Balancing its rarity and extremely nice finish are the magazine, which is not numbered to the gun, and the refinished extractor, which is missing its inspection mark. This pistol is in such nice condition that it will still be of interest to collectors of WWII and German weaponry.