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My first German weapon- P38 pistol

Article about: I'll see what I can do Terry, haha. They do accept returns, so there should be no problem, but I'd rather they supply a correct mag- I'd have to cover the cost of postage and insurance to re

  1. #31
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    Default Re: My first German weapon- P38 pistol

    Mat,

    I took a look at Buxton's book on Walther P.38s.....I did not find it an easy read.
    However, it seems like the early ac42s had two numbered magazines.
    Yours is an early ac42 "a" Block.

    My P.38 expert got back to me saying;

    An 'a' block ac42 would have a matched mag along the seam of the base plate.

    P.38 no "v" with e/359 on the spine would be correct for ac42 2nd variation.

    Numbered mags run around $150.00, the P38 no v mag with e/359 on the spine is $100.00 USD.

    I don't know if it makes a difference as yours is an ac42 First Variation.

    I may hear more from him. If I do I wll let you know.

    David

    I went through this exercise years ago, and my memory is a bit foggy.
    I think if you check on the P.38 Forum you will find your answers.

  2. #32

    Default Re: My first German weapon- P38 pistol

    David, thank you very much for going to this effort for me. You'll have to forgive my ignorance with most of this terminology, as I've not previously had to look into this stuff (and shouldn't have had to, had the seller described things properly!). When you say 'matched mag', do you mean that it would have originally come with a magazine featuring the same unique code as the weapon (In my case- 5515a)? Also, what does ' no v mag' mean? Thanks once again.

    Mat

  3. #33
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    Default Re: My first German weapon- P38 pistol

    Mat,

    This is further feedback from the P.38 expert that I referred to.

    An "a" block is a first variation and typically they had two e/359's on the spine but that is not always the case. After 1941 the factory stopped numbering all the small parts e/359 but there were plenty of left over parts in the bins. I've seen a "d" block with an e/359 safety lever.

    The gun would have two matched numbered mags.

    As shown below in the link below.

    This ac42 "a" block pistol is probably as good as it gets.
    It belongs to one of the moderators on the P.38 Forum.....a very knowledgeable fellow on many guns....including P.38s.

    Page 277

    It shows the serial number with the “a” because it is an “a” block pistol like yours.
    (See the photo below.)

    ac42s with two matching magazines are very rare.
    It is tough enough finding one matching mag.

    The “v” marking on a P.38 magazine is for a later P.38.
    (See the photo below)

    One of the things that I learned looking at Buxton’s book is that the ac42s went from the “a” block to the “k” block.

    So your ac42 is and early ac42 and mine is a late “k” block ac42.

    Mat if you found a mag with two e/359 spine markings, I think you would be fine.
    (The bottom two mags shown in the last photo below.)

    David

    Mat,

    According to Buxton’s book.

    The ac42 First Variation ran from serial number 1-5000b.
    Number produced approx-25,000.
    Dates of production-January into March 1942.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by drm3m; 04-22-2012 at 02:08 AM.

  4. #34
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    Default Re: My first German weapon- P38 pistol

    Mat,

    I think you were very fortunate in getting an “a” block early ac42.
    Don’t be too hard on the dealer that sold you the pistol regarding the incorrect magazine.

    He obviously did not have a mag that was serial numbered to this “a” block pistol and perhaps he did not know what might be second best….a double spine e/359 marked magazine.

    The subject of P.38 magazines is a study by itself ….as they changed during the course of the war.

    Anyone that has a P.38 and is looking for a correct magazine has to do his homework,
    if he wants a correct mag for his specific P.38.

    Mauser, Walther and Spreewerk all manufactured P.38s and they each had their own codes that appeared on their magazines.

    “One shoe does not fit all.”

    David

    I don't know if you can find a nicer "a" block ac42 than the one shown below.

    The last three photo shows what Mauser was doing with their matched 1938 S/42 Luger magazines.

    There was no + on the spare magazine for the "a" block P.38 ac42 magazines.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by drm3m; 04-22-2012 at 05:18 AM.

  5. #35

    Default Re: My first German weapon- P38 pistol

    Sorry for the delayed response- thanks for the clarification and further information, I understand now. My next issue is probably finding a dealer that A) has P38 magazines and B) Lists the specific markings... but at least I know what I'm looking for! I greatly appreciate the help.

    Mat

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