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Scarce & Fine WWII Walther P.38 ac45 Code

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Scarce WWII Walther P.38 ac45

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This is an excellent condition and all matching Walther P.38 in the last code manufactured during WWII, ac45.

This P.38 is the First Variation of the ac45 Code, Standard Issue P.38. It is unknown how many ac45 P.38s were manufactured by the Germans in the closing days of WWII, with the highest possible number under ideal conditions being 33,000, but as Buxton points out in his definitive work on the Walther P.38 (The P.38 Pistol, The Walther Pistols 1930-1945, Volume One, by Warren H. Buxton, Taylor Publishing Co, Dallas Texas, 1999), far less than this number were actually manufactured because the of the rapidly collapsing Third Reich and the frantic demands for weapons. Based on this, Buxton estimates possibly only 5000 to 10000 being manufactured in this period. The ac-45 First Variation was the last standard P.38 produced by Walther. The Walther Factory was located in Zella-Mehlis, Thuringia, and was captured by U.S. troops from the 11th Armored Division and 90th Infantry Division on April 3, 1945. At this point, it is estimated that Walther had begun production of the "c" suffix, but it is unclear how far they made it into this serial number grouping and it is generally understood that early to mid "c" suffix ac45 P.38s are the last Third Reich produced Walther P.38s.

This particular P.38 is serial number 3082 with no suffix, indicating it was manufactured in either January or early February 1945. At that point, the forces that would eventually capture the Walther Plant, in General George Patton's Third U.S. Army, were attacking out of Luxembourg into the German Seventh Army under General Brandenberger and were only about 273 miles away from the Walther Plant.

This pistol retains the vast majority of its original dull blue finish and functions perfectly. The Slide retains 98% of its original blued finish with minimal wear noted on the high points. The left side of the Slide is marked "P.38" forward with the serial number "3082," and "ac45" stamped on the centerline just above the slide release. The "ac 45" stamp is characteristically light as Walther was unable to continue to remanufacture stamping dies as the war wound down. The Firing Pin Cover retains 98% of its original blue finish. The original Rear Sight retains the majority of its original blued finish. The Safety works perfectly and the "F" and "S" stamps have their original red and white paint, respectively, with the red remaining vibrant and the white paint beginning to yellow from age. The firing pin recess retains the vast majority of its original blue finish.

The right side of the slide has the correct three stamps indicating inspection and acceptance by the Wehrmacht. The ac 45 P.38 only kept all three stamps until early in the "c" suffix range, when those stamps began to be left off. The first stamp is the Waffenamt for Walther, which is an eagle over "359," Walther's wartime code. The next stamp is the eagle over swastika, which is an acceptance stamp, and the third and last stamp is the eagle over "359" Walther final inspection stamp. The Slide retains the milling lines characteristic of late Walther produced P.38s. The bottom, internal portion of the slide exhibits the vast majority of its original blued finish and shows minimal wear.

The matching Barrel retains 98% of its original dull blue finish. The front sight post is a size "4" and is so marked on the left side. The Front Sight post is staked in place at the front and both stake marks (on the front sight post and front sight base) line up perfectly. The muzzle shows minimal wear. The front, left Barrel Lug has the correct eagle/359 Waffenamt for Walther. The rear, left Lug has the Nazi acceptance stamp of an eagle over Swastika. The Locking Block Retainer Spring retains the majority of its original blued finish. The Locking Block Operating Pin remains in the white and moves smoothly. The front face of the barrel extension has the full matching serial number "3082." The right side lugs are devoid of acceptance stamps, which is correct, and there is a round punch mark on the front, right Lug. The bore on this P.38 has very strong rifling and has a mirror finish with only minor frosting in the grooves. The Locking Block is correctly in the white and has the last three digits of the serial number, "846" stamped on the top. The left side of the Locking Block has the inverted Walther Waffenamt eagle/359 stamp and the right side has the Nazi Acceptance Stamp eagle/Swastika stamp.

The Frame has the matching serial number "3082" on the left side above the trigger guard with the Walther Waffenamt eagle/359 just to the right. The Hold Open Lever or Slide Stop is the correct, later version that was introduced in late 1944. This later type has a completely smooth and un-dished spur that retains the vast majority of its original blued finish. The Sear remains correctly in the white as do the Slide Stop Return Spring and Trigger Bar Spring. The Hammer Strut retains the majority of its original blued finish and the Magazine Catch still retains considerable original finish with no pitting. The Hammer Spring remains in the white.

The Hammer is the original and earlier type with eight shallow grooves, which was gradually being replaced at this time with the three deep groove type hammer. The Hammer retains the majority of its original blued finish. The Takedown Lever retains most of its original finish and operates smoothly. The Frame internals retain the majority of its original blued finish and the bullet ramp exhibits almost no wear. The Recoil Springs remain in the white and the Spring Guides exhibit a plum finish from heat treatment and finishing. The Trigger Spring is in the white with no corrosion noted. The Ejector, Safety Hammer Lowering Lever and Firing Pin Lock Lifter all show the majority of their original blued finish with minimal wear noted. The Trigger Bar retains the majority of its original blue finish with wear noted where it rubs under the right grip panel. The Trigger retains the majority of its original blue finish. The Frame retains overall approximately 95% of its original blued finish over the milling lines with wear noted on the high/sharp points and the frame exhibits a slight plum patina, which is a characteristic of late-war Walther P.38s as they did not have the same quality controls during bluing as they did earlier in the war. There is no discoloration on the Frame under the areas covered by the Grip Panels, indicating this weapon was kept very clean and oiled during its life.

The original Grip Panels are the standard phenolic resin type that are reddish-brown in color and both panels are in exceptional condition. There are no chips or cracks noted and the front sections of both panels still have vivid color. The interior of both panels are appropriately marked with one of the circles stamped with the "MD" logo and “P/1529/2” material classification code on the left panel and “P/1529/3” on the right panel. Both Panels fit securely onto the frame. The Grip Panel Screw retains the vast majority of its original blued finish.

This pistol comes with an original Walther manufactured Magazine that retains the vast majority of its original blued finish. The lower left side of the Magazine has the "P.38v" stamp, which was correct for earlier ac 44 P.38s and was also interspersed with later ac 44 and ac 45 Pistols. The Spine of the Magazine has the correct Walther Waffenamt of an eagle/359 stamp. The Follower is in excellent condition retaining almost all of its original blued finish with wear noted on the upper right lip. The Magazine Spring is still in the white. The Magazine Base retains almost all of its original blued finish that exhibits a slight plum finish, indicating this was a very late war manufactured magazine. The magazine fits securely into the magazine well of the pistol. This is a beautiful and near fine example of a rare ac 45 P.38 from the last weeks of WWII. There are no import marks on this pistol. This P.38 functions perfectly and locks up tightly in battery.

This pistol is C&R eligible and will come shipped in a new Plano pistol hard case. This pistol will also come with an historic writeup and a CD containing all of the photos in the listing. I accept Visa and MasterCard and charge NO FEES. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you would like additional photos posted.

 

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