German Walther Serial Numbers

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The Luger was supposed to be replaced by the Walther P38. When you think the.

The 0 series of Walther made P. Winky D 2013 Songs Free Download. 38's were used as troop trials in the field and modifications on the design were done in conjuction with performance reports. This experimental series was made to meet strict German military requirements. First variation guns are in the 01-035 serial number range and will have the.

German Walther Serial Numbers

The thing is, the Germans themselves wanted something better and came up with one of the great-unsung handguns of all time. You may call it the and its influence has been felt far and wide. Why was it needed? In the 1930s, the German military was quietly rebuilding. Even before came to power, the tiny Reichswehr had done extensive research into rearming their nation with the most modern of equipment. After Hitler came to power, this process got louder. One of the things the army wanted was a new handgun to replace the 1900-vintage Luger.

While the Luger was a beautiful weapon, its toggle-action was prone to clogging, especially when dirty. It was also expensive, and every army in history had a budget. Carl Walther, an up and coming firearms manufacturer who had just won a contract to supply his innovative to the German police, threw a design from his workshop into the ring.

Walter P38 action., a Hungarian firearms wonk living at the time in exile in Switzerland came up with a novel handgun he referred to as KD Danuvia. His gun was a short recoil auto-loader with a swinging lock under the barrel. The thing was, Kiraly introduced the design in 1929 at the beginning of the Depression and, with money drying up everywhere, it was never put into production. Walther borrowed from Kiraly’s unproduced design, changed the delayed blowback bolt and controls, added the same type of trigger used on their PP series pistols, and came up with an entirely new gun. The Walther fired from a locked-breech with a double-action trigger, and was the first to use this arrangement, which is now almost standard on modern hammer-fired combat handguns. Twin recoil springs were located on either side of the frame top to keep the breech locked until the moment of firing.

The P38 has twin recoil springs that run along the top of the frame. It debuted with several features that take for granted today such as a decocker safety lever, loaded chamber indicator, a slide release, a rebounding hammer, a floating 4.9-inch barrel and a static takedown lever that did not leave the frame. Each of these are important, but the decocker placed it in a category above the popular military semi-autos of its day such as the, the, and the, all of which often had to be carried on an empty chamber by soldiers for safety’s sake. Made from inexpensive sheet steel stampings, four of the new Walthers could be made for the cost of three milled steel Lugers. Further, with the solid action, innovative features, and huge ejection port, the Walther was many times as reliable.

It was also slightly lighter, at 28-ounces, and shorter, at 8.5-inces over the 31-ounce, 8.74-inch Luger. Chambered in German military standard 9x19mm Parabellum ammunition, it had a single stack 8-shot magazine held in by a heel release. Even though this type of release seems foreign to us. The original Armee pistole prototype for the P38. Today, it has long been the standard in Europe and can be worked rapidly with a little practice. Further, it’s easier to manipulate while wearing heavy gloves, which is a good idea when you consider just how fierce winters can get in the Old World.

Even before the German army could adopt it, Walther was already making sales to Sweden and entertaining interested parties from other countries. Walther submitted their pistol to the German army for tests and it was adopted in 1938 as Pistole 38. As it would happen, this was but a year before World War 2. Walther P38 WWII issue. Note the brown grips with horizontal lines. Pushed into production in quantity by Walther at their Zella-Mehlis factory, when the war broke out the Germans urgently needed more than the company could ever produce.

This led to subcontracting the gun out to Mauser (maker of the Luger!) and Spreewerk. In all over 1.2-million P38s were made for the Germans by the three plants from 1938-1946 when the end of the war halted production. They proved themselves so reliable in German service that whenever P-38s fell into Allied hands, they were pressed into frontline service against their former owners. The Luger was a collectable if captured, the Walther was a shooter. Portuguese army dragoon in Angola in the 1970s with a WWII P38. With so many out there, these surplus guns were often used by cash strapped countries like France and Czechoslovakia until they were replaced in the 1960s.

The Portuguese used WWII vintage pistols in their two decades long colonial wars in Angola and Mozambique (some claim the gun Rhodesian mercenary used in the original Mozambique drill was a Walther). Many a US serviceman carried personally owned or in Vietnam. The South African police, never known for carrying junk weapons, issued variants of the P38 until just a few years ago. The German Army issued the P38 as late as 1994. When the West German government reestablished their Army in the 1950s, the call went out to Walther to put the P-38 back into immediate production.

Since Carl’s old factory was now in Soviet-occupied East Germany, he built a new one in Ulm and went to work making pistols for both the military and police. From 1957-2000 nearly 600,000 more P-38s came off Walther’s line. Heck, the German military continued to issue the P38 (P1) as late as 1994—the old gun still had what it took to be the standard for the largest land army in Western Europe for over 50 years, comparable though not equivalent to the US reign of the 1911. Variants Besides the WWII guns, Walther switched to an aluminum framed gun designated the P-1 when they started production in their new factory.

It was the standard P-38 on the line and remained in production as late as the 1990s. Besides sales in their homeland, Norway, Chile, Finland, and others also adopted the gun. The P38SD was designed as a suppressed 9mm from the ground up. Notice the special ported barrel and wipeless can. In the 1960s, Walther engineer Siegfried Huebner developed a suppressed variant for use by NATO militaries on “special occasions”. Dubbed the P38-SD, its barrel was extensively ported and threaded to accept a large wipeless suppressor.

The ‘can’ was so wide that it had its own set of sights at the front and rear of it. Used with subsonic ammunition it was quiet for its generation. An oversized slidelock prevented the weapon from cycling, further eliminating sound. The short barreled P38K was Walthers CCW version of the old warhorse.

In 1974 the company came out with a chopped down version called the Kurz model (German for ‘short’) to compete for concealed carry sales. These were not very popular and only a small number of these P38-K variants were made before the line shut down a few years later. Legacy The P38 was so influential in modern combat handgun design that it’s almost impossible to talk about the subject without mentioning it. If you have only ever handled the Berettas, SIGs, and S&W’s and Rugers of today, then get introduced to a P38, chances are great that it will seem uncannily familiar, natural and comfortable. The byf code on this wartime P38 identifies it as a Mauser made gun. The science of is very subtle and fascinating.

Keep in mind that WWII serial numbers are all alphanumeric with Walther production starting with an ‘ac’, Mauser made guns starting with ‘byf’ or ‘svw’, and Spreewerk pieces coded ‘cyq’. After World War 2 in 1957, Walther started fresh with all numeric serial numbers that ran from 00. Remember, more than 584,500 P-38s pistols were produced by Walther alone during the war at their Zella-Mehlis factory, making these guns common on the collectors market. You can still find nice shooter grade WWII-era Zella marked Walthers.

The big money goes for minty pistols with all matching serial numbers and the correct grips/leather, reaching. Spreewerk and Mauser made P38s have of collectors. Markings on post war Police issue guns will include West Germany and an Eagle. For the next best thing (and a good thing at that), look for the aluminum framed P1, P4, and P5 series pistols made by Walther at the Ulm factory since 1957. Many parts interchange (especially the magazines, holsters, etc.) on these guns and the workmanship on most is better than WWII-era rush production pistols anyway.

These are bargain shooters for $300-$400, and many have the bonus of being C&R eligible. But the real prizes among Walther collectors are the post war commercial P38 pistols, including the P38 MKIV and the P38-K. These guns run as much as someone is willing to pay for them and as such the number of snub-nosed fake K-guns far surpasses the small number (2600) of the real thing. For a quick lesson, lads, real P38Ks will have a serial number between 500. The company also made deluxe models with factory polished and engraved slides and frames in even smaller numbers.

I just inherited a Walther PPK (380) from my father. The gun was acquired around 1975 and has been sitting dormant with my mother since his death in 1978. I have read some of the history and I know they were manufactured by many different companies over the years. This one is I believe an actual Walther made gun since it was purchased around 1975 and they were not made in the US until 1978. (Alabama) This is the best information I have come up with so far. I guess I would question y'all who have great gun knowledge for better information or just point me in the right direction.

I also want to know if this one if indeed was made by Walther suffers the same issues as later ones I have read such horrendous tales about? Also I wonder what are the chances it will do well with a HP bullet?

Right now it seems like I will have to take whatever I can get my hands on, but I still want to know more about this gun. Thanks for any help from this community. Sounds like you have one of the 'good' Walthers. I just tracked down the background on mine through these two forums.

You can check the manufacturing info of your gun by using the markings on the frame and slide. For example, here are the ones on mine: Made in W. Germany Imported by Interarms Eagle over N on slide (German manufacturing mark) Eagle over N, HI, Antler on frame (German manufacturing mark, HI=1978 Date concersion chart: A = 0 B = 1 C = 2 D = 3 E = 4 F = 5 G = 6 H = 7 I = 8 K = 9 A gun marked AE, for example, would have a born-on date of 2004; a gun with a GF stamp would have been made in 1965. (Note that the J is not used.) Proofmarks: As far as FMJ va JHP bullets, I have had some issues with JHPs hanging when chambering. With that being said, I might need to have the feed ramp polished on mine. Your really need to fire both types of ammo & not just a few rounds to see what is dependable in your gun.

Pc Italia Shop. I only use FMJs in mine because I have never had a problem with them. Also do not use +p ammo in your gun (too much power for it's construction, in my opinion).

Hope this helps. Vincent, first thank you very much for the informative post and the links. I will be following up on them. I do have Interarms stamped on the slide with what looks like a snowflake stamped in the middle. There is an Eagle on the grip, but I see nothing else. The serial number on the slide is 6 numbers.

The serial numbe on the frame (grip area) is the same 6 numbers and has an S or a 5 stamped at the end of the numbers but looks like it is not contiguous with the serial.perhaps done after mfg? The other side of the slide has the Carl Walther Stamp and then Waffenfabrik and it looks like Um / Da (sorry, older eyes these days) It also says Modell PPK/S Cal. 9mm kurz (380 or course.) Thanks again.going to read more.