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Walther P-38 values

woodchuckjohnwoodchuckjohn Member Posts: 207 ✭✭✭
edited August 2014 in Ask the Experts
Someone please explain to me the wide range of values placed on WW 2 Walther P-38's. I understand pre war commercial models are more valuable. Today I placed a deposit on a WW2 model, matching numbers, sharp rifling in the bore, but with milling marks on the slide indicating late war production, not a drawback for me, it shows its era and character. Less than $500. I have seen P-1's post war P-38's issued to police. They have alloy frames, but not a draw back either. Most guys will shoot them occasionally. $339.00 on another auction site. But how about WW2 models priced in the thousands of dollars?

Comments

  • fordsixfordsix Member Posts: 8,722
    edited November -1
    early 38/39 models $ late war matched $ the rest are common due to high war production and of course hitlers personal gun[;)]
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,421 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Some variations were made in very small quantities. Years ago I was fortunate enough to acquire. A early Walther P 38, made in 1940. Known to collectors. As a "AC No Date". Supposedly less than 3,000 were made. Nowadays the pistol I owned would probably be worth at least $5000, maybe more?
  • p3skykingp3skyking Member Posts: 25,750
    edited November -1
    A '42 byf is expensive, so are the HP's, any Kriegsmarine guns run high.
  • gary wraygary wray Member Posts: 4,663
    edited November -1
    I have been selling some of my p38's off lately and they are bringing strong prices at local gunshows. Just sold a matching AC42 for $1k with holster. Early ones and 1945 models bring strong prices....they are a cottage industry that you can go to school on and see the diff in prices...for example the early 0 series.
  • nmyersnmyers Member Posts: 16,246 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    It's usually best to research what you are looking at, before you buy. At the very least, you should have a copy of the Blue Book of Gun Values by S. Fjestad. At no cost, you can SEARCH previous posts on this forum.

    If you are buying WW2 P38's, you have to know the manufacturer codes, if nothing else. It sounds like you bought a Spreewerke, which has a cyq code; these have coarse machining marks in the finish, but are functionally as reliable as those by other makers. Most WW2 P38's with importer markings are not collectible, as many unmutilated guns are available.

    Post-war police/military surplus are a good buy for shooters, but only the variation with the hex nut in the frame. (Earlier guns without the hex nut will eventually experience frame cracking.)

    Neal
  • woodchuckjohnwoodchuckjohn Member Posts: 207 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks gentlemen for your input. A very knowledgeable bunch of experts you are indeed. I got what I paid for, it is a WW2 piece. I am satisfied. I was not allowed by my battalion commander in 1955 in Germany to purchase one my CO offered for sale for $40.00 and a beauty it was. He said it was a dangerous gun to have. This satisfies that disappointment.
  • competentonecompetentone Member Posts: 4,651 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by nmyers

    Post-war police/military surplus are a good buy for shooters, but only the variation with the hex nut in the frame. (Earlier guns without the hex nut will eventually experience frame cracking.)


    I've never read anywhere that without the reinforcing pin (it is hex-shaped, but is a pin not a "nut") the frame is so weak that it is "guaranteed" to crack (as your comment would seem to imply).

    My understanding is that with hotter ammunition the frames without the pin can be prone to cracking.

    Specific to the original question about "why" there are such a wide range of values: Generally speaking, it can be about the nuances of "collectables" -- which isn't always completely "rational" (such as the reason you give for wanting one), but putting aside the many personal drives moving collectable markets, a lot can be explained with ordinary "supply and demand" issues.

    Few of something with a lot of people wanting it = high price

    A lot of something with few people wanting it = low price

    Few of something with few people wanting it = "medium" price

    A lot of something with a lot of people wanting it = "medium" price
  • BergtrefferBergtreffer Member Posts: 629 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I have often wondered what one of my P-38s is worth. Got it from the Minnesota veteran who brought it back from Germany. He picked it off of a dead German officer in a sidecar of a motorcycle. It is in the original holster also. I have a one page, single space typed history of the veteran's unit, where he was when he acquired the P-38. He was totally debriefed about this pistol, and he and signed the written description. He also provided (and I have) the official U.S. Army paper work that transferred to P-38 to him by make, model, serial number, his unit, and his name. It is a very nice historical package, and I have no idea what it is worth.

    I also have a German Model 98K that the same Minnesota veteran picked up. When asked how he acquired the rifle he said they were moving up when they marched past a pile of rifles. He said he just picked it off the pile. It was made in 1938, has no bluing left on it at all, but it is all matching numbers. It is actually in very good serviceable condition even though all the bluing was worn off during the war.

    I also have a German P-08 9mm Luger in original holster that a Maryland veteran acquired in North Africa, presumable from some Africa Korp officer. He scribbled on a piece of paper the various places and campaigns he was in from North Africa, through France and into Germany.
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,421 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    quote:Originally posted by Bergtreffer
    I have often wondered what one of my P-38s is worth. Got it from the Minnesota veteran who brought it back from Germany. He picked it off of a dead German officer in a sidecar of a motorcycle. It is in the original holster also. I have a one page, single space typed history of the veteran's unit, where he was when he acquired the P-38. He was totally debriefed about this pistol, and he and signed the written description. He also provided (and I have) the official U.S. Army paper work that transferred to P-38 to him by make, model, serial number, his unit, and his name. It is a very nice historical package, and I have no idea what it is worth

    I also have a German Model 98K that the same Minnesota veteran picked up. When asked how he acquired the rifle he said they were moving up when they marched past a pile of rifles. He said he just picked it off the pile. It was made in 1938, has no bluing left on it at all, but it is all matching numbers. It is actually in very good serviceable condition even though all the bluing was worn off during the war.

    I also have a German P-08 9mm Luger in original holster that a Maryland veteran acquired in North Africa, presumable from some Africa Korp officer. He scribbled on a piece of paper the various places and campaigns he was in from North Africa, through France and into Germany.



    Open another thread, and post quality photos of the guns and associated paperwork. For identification/valuation from our members.
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