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Need help dating a Walther P38

CRMausr7

Member
Greetings everyone. I have a Walther P38 that I picked up a few months ago at my local gunshop. It came to me as a chromed mixmaster, with a mismatched Walther frame & barrel, and a Mauser slide and magazine. I've since replaced the slide with an unmarked blued example I bought off eBay, and the magazine with a Walther-marked postwar example. I'm trying to get an idea of when this pistol may have been built, since the original slide is long gone. Any thoughts?
 

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fishermankw

Senior Member
Greetings everyone. I have a Walther P38 that I picked up a few months ago at my local gunshop. It came to me as a chromed mixmaster, with a mismatched Walther frame & barrel, and a Mauser slide and magazine. I've since replaced the slide with an unmarked blued example I bought off eBay, and the magazine with a Walther-marked postwar example. I'm trying to get an idea of when this pistol may have been built, since the original slide is long gone. Any thoughts?
After mid 1942 as all the small parts are not waffen’ed
 

CRMausr7

Member
None that I am aware of
I was afraid you were going to say that. Is it possible this could be one of those 1945 "C-block" P38s I've heard about? The serial number on my example has a "C" suffix. The barrel is also serialized with a C suffix, but as I mentioned, isn't matching.
 

fishermankw

Senior Member
I was afraid you were going to say that. Is it possible this could be one of those 1945 "C-block" P38s I've heard about? The serial number on my example has a "C" suffix. The barrel is also serialized with a C suffix, but as I mentioned, isn't matching.
I was afraid you were going to say that. Is it possible this could be one of those 1945 "C-block" P38s I've heard about? The serial number on my example has a "C" suffix. The barrel is also serialized with a C suffix, but as I mentioned, isn't matching.
No, you have a Waffen/359 above your trigger, most GI pickups m right from the factory would not have gotten the waffen in the C block.
 

Tiger 2 Tank

Senior Member
What does the other side look like? Any markings on the barrel and locking block? It’s a later frame and earlier slide. Looks like a phosphate finished extractor. Wonder if it’s a GI ‘45 pick up?
 

CRMausr7

Member
What does the other side look like? Any markings on the barrel and locking block? It’s a later frame and earlier slide. Looks like a phosphate finished extractor. Wonder if it’s a GI ‘45 pick up?
This is what the other side looks like. Most of the parts on the pistol are chromed, including the extractor. I don't have pictures of the barrel, but it has an eagle 359 on the left side just in front of the locking block. The barrel is numbered 5062C, and the locking block is marked 062. I can post pictures of the markings tomorrow if it'd help.
 

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mrfarb

No War Eagles For You!
Staff member
With such a high C block serial on the barrel with the matching locking block I’d guess the barrel isn’t from a late mismatched C block pistol, would have had unnumbered locking block. Frame is nearly impossible to know, but I’d guess 43-44.
 

CRMausr7

Member
With such a high C block serial on the barrel with the matching locking block I’d guess the barrel isn’t from a late mismatched C block pistol, would have had unnumbered locking block. Frame is nearly impossible to know, but I’d guess 43-44.
Okay. That fits with the prevailing theory of it being made in 1943 or 44.
 

mrfarb

No War Eagles For You!
Staff member
I'm going to help narrow it down - the ac43 "c:" block still had the straight frame at the trigger pin, your frame has the "hump" reinforcement at the trigger pin, so it will be a 44 frame most likely - but could still be an ac45 I guess if the slide catch is replaced - the statement that the mismatched ac45 C blocks didn't have the frame waffenamt is incorrect, they do. Based on the slide stop lever, I'd guess 1944 for sure, the late ac45 C blocks have a simplified slide lock as shown below.
 

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CRMausr7

Member
I'm going to help narrow it down - the ac43 "c:" block still had the straight frame at the trigger pin, your frame has the "hump" reinforcement at the trigger pin, so it will be a 44 frame most likely - but could still be an ac45 I guess if the slide catch is replaced - the statement that the mismatched ac45 C blocks didn't have the frame waffenamt is incorrect, they do. Based on the slide stop lever, I'd guess 1944 for sure, the late ac45 C blocks have a simplified slide lock as shown below.
Okay, so most likely 1944. Thanks so much for the info.
 

swjXE

Senior Member
I'm going to help narrow it down - the ac43 "c:" block still had the straight frame at the trigger pin, your frame has the "hump" reinforcement at the trigger pin, so it will be a 44 frame most likely - but could still be an ac45 I guess if the slide catch is replaced - the statement that the mismatched ac45 C blocks didn't have the frame waffenamt is incorrect, they do. Based on the slide stop lever, I'd guess 1944 for sure, the late ac45 C blocks have a simplified slide lock as shown below.
Wow! I didn't know there was as simplified slide lock or a hump reinforcement at the trigger pin. Nice to know! Thanks! :) (y)
 

CRMausr7

Member
Also, I'm considering having the replacement slide I bought laser engraved with many of the gun's world war II era markings, but I haven't firmly decided, nor have I found someone to perform the work. However, I wouldn't have waffenamts or the serial number engraved, as I do take issue with counterfeit "matching numbered" guns. Would my pistol, given its placement in the later part of the AC 44 C-block production, have had the stacked "AC/44" marks just behind the "P.38," or the linear "AC 44" marking just ahead of where the slide serial number would have been?
 

fishermankw

Senior Member
I'm going to help narrow it down - the ac43 "c:" block still had the straight frame at the trigger pin, your frame has the "hump" reinforcement at the trigger pin, so it will be a 44 frame most likely - but could still be an ac45 I guess if the slide catch is replaced - the statement that the mismatched ac45 C blocks didn't have the frame waffenamt is incorrect, they do. Based on the slide stop lever, I'd guess 1944 for sure, the late ac45 C blocks have a simplified slide lock as shown below.
Thanks for the info on the C block, I thought the C blocks were all GI capture mix masters before the inspection stamps were applied. I’m going to have to crack open one of my P38 books and do a bit more reading.
 

fishermankw

Senior Member
Also, I'm considering having the replacement slide I bought laser engraved with many of the gun's world war II era markings, but I haven't firmly decided, nor have I found someone to perform the work. However, I wouldn't have waffenamts or the serial number engraved, as I do take issue with counterfeit "matching numbered" guns. Would my pistol, given its placement in the later part of the AC 44 C-block production, have had the stacked "AC/44" marks just behind the "P.38," or the linear "AC 44" marking just ahead of where the slide serial number would have been?
Me personally, I wouldn’t take issue with engraving the dirty birds, it’s a laser engraver which will look different than original stamps. If you’re keeping it for yourself and not trying to pass off as original I don’t think there’s much harm in it. Just my $0.02
 

CRMausr7

Member
Me personally, I wouldn’t take issue with engraving the dirty birds, it’s a laser engraver which will look different than original stamps. If you’re keeping it for yourself and not trying to pass off as original I don’t think there’s much harm in it. Just my $0.02
I'm not planning to sell it. And again, just planning to have the "P.38" and "AC 44" markings applied, nothing more. I love this pistol, and it's currently the only WWII service pistol I own. Any recommendations for someone to do the engraving?
 

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