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A mint WWII Walther AC 42 P-38 Pistol with an extremely early serial number and plum colored frame

Article about: Here is another centerpiece of my WWII pistol collection that I bought many years ago from a collector who was liquidating his collection. It is a mint, AC-42 Walther P-38 pistol, with a plu

  1. #1
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    Default A mint WWII Walther AC 42 P-38 Pistol with an extremely early serial number and plum colored frame

    Here is another centerpiece of my WWII pistol collection that I bought many years ago from a collector who was liquidating his collection. It is a mint, AC-42 Walther P-38 pistol, with a plum colored frame. The serial number is 453 without a letter suffix which, means it was the 453rd pistol produced by Walther in 1942. It is early enough in the production that all of the smaller parts all have the E/359 acceptance stamps on them. I do not have a matching magazine for the pistol, but I do have two correct serial numbered mags for it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by rambob; 08-16-2011 at 05:36 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: A mint WWII Walther AC 42 P-38 Pistol with an extremely early serial number and plum colored frame

    Nice P-38

  3. #3

    Default Re: A mint WWII Walther AC 42 P-38 Pistol with an extremely early serial number and plum colored frame

    Top notch example.

  4. #4

    Default Re: A mint WWII Walther AC 42 P-38 Pistol with an extremely early serial number and plum colored frame

    very nice example good buy

    tom

  5. #5

    Default Re: A mint WWII Walther AC 42 P-38 Pistol with an extremely early serial number and plum colored frame

    does it have a importer's stamp? lots of these were imported from Russia / Ukraine back in 1993

    is this a WWII GI bring back?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: A mint WWII Walther AC 42 P-38 Pistol with an extremely early serial number and plum colored frame

    Battle gear, Definitely no import marks. I would say a vet bring back, but absolutely no hint of any wear on it, holster or otherwise.

  7. #7

    Default Re: A mint WWII Walther AC 42 P-38 Pistol with an extremely early serial number and plum colored frame

    Never saw any active service but then the best examples never do.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: A mint WWII Walther AC 42 P-38 Pistol with an extremely early serial number and plum colored frame

    Everyone, before someone notices and gets too excited, the lanyard that you see in the one picture with the holster is NOT original, German WWII manufacture. It is something I made myself out of leather. I am a pretty good leather worker as a hobby and a long time ago I saw a bad photograph of a WWII P-38 lanyard in a book. You know the web lanyards you see for sale on EBay occassionally. So I decided to replicate it, but did not realize that the lanyard was made out of web, not leather. I also did not know that the fitting in the middle of the lanyard was not a buckle, but a ring on the original. So the result is what you see and even though a fantasy item, I think it still looks great with the pistol.

  9. #9

    Default Re: A mint WWII Walther AC 42 P-38 Pistol with an extremely early serial number and plum colored frame

    Here is an interesting explanation about what caused the blueing of some of these weapons to become 'plum coloured'. I quote it directly from 'Die Selbstladepistole Parabellum'.

    The subject of the "plum color" has been a good subject for many years and the reason is quality control.
    The real reason this plum color happens is that the bluing solution is set to a certain temperature, with a
    certain concentration of bluing salts, and a certain type steel and steel hardness. If any of these variables
    change, there will be changes in the bluing color. What happened on Lugers and P.38s that exhibit the
    plum color is due to the "work hardening" of the steel during the manufacturing process. A piece of steel
    when machined, should maintain a certain speed and feed for the cutter, which do not overheat the piece
    of steel being machined.

    During the war, the machine operators were trying to produce the parts as fast as possible, and still make
    sure they passed inspection. If you will look at a P.38 frame near the rails, the machining marks normally
    are very evident, and you may see the plum color there, and not on the lower half of the frame. When fast
    feed rates are used in cutting the metal, and you have a coolant flow on the steel, it will do what is called
    "work harden". This is the same as if it were heat treated. This change in hardness of the steel will not blue
    the same as the rest of the steel that is not as hard. In a manufacturing operation for wartime, this would not
    be reason enough to make changes in the time, temperature, and salt concentration for the bluing bath, so
    they set these parameters for a "middle of the road" approach to bluing.

    The protection to the steel is almost as good as a high quality blue, so the pistol passes all inspections. As
    with any waring country, even the US, the quality of finish deteriorated as the war progressed.

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

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