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My new old P38

Article about: Another great piece of history; a P38 with german eagles and police mark on it.

  1. #11


    Quote by geotan View Post
    The pictures that I posted above (With the marks labelled ) were provided by the german seller of this P38 so he was the one who said that the "star" mark is a police mark. Also, I searched the net for possible serious problems of the p38's manufactured in spreewerke and found none. But it seems than in America p38's manufactured my Mauser or Walther were seen as "best". Anyways, Im perfectly happy with my P38! Can't wait to shoot it, possibly this friday
    I dont have a preference for neither Walther nor Mauser and I have seen some horrible and rough examples of Spree manufactured P-38s over the years
    Some Spree P-38s are of very late war manufacture and with their rough finish and machine marks, they have the look of handguns being thrown out the back window of the Spree factory with the Russians entering the front door. Abominable or no finish.
    Goes without saying, that rough or no finish and a multitude of machine marks might mean equally shoddy QC.
    Your Spree P-38 looks to be one of the better examples.
    Personally, I couldnt give a hoot whether its a Mauser, Walther or a Spree - as long as its a nice P-38.
    Of course you are happy with it - you should be; its looks to be a nice gun.

    I must stress, that I did not mean to put down your fine handgun (see above). Mine was only a safety concern.

    On another note; Its difficult to tell from your pics, but does your grips have five or six lines interrupted by the screw hole in the grip?

    Spree P-38s first run guns had grip slabs by Walther but switched to Julius Posselt in the middle of 1943.
    Julius Posselt grips have five lines interrupted by the grip screw hole.
    Walther/AEG grips have six interrupted lines.

    Some Spree P-38 general info.
    Spreewerke did not use a two digit year code hence dating them can be a chore.

    During Spreewerk's first year of production, about 7,000 pistols left the factory. This means the year ended with guns that still did not have a suffix. The first 500 cyq pistols were built with a mix of some small parts supplied by Walther. thus some early Spreewerks might have the 'e/359' proof mark on some minor parts.

    In 1943, Spreewerk produced 108,000 pistols; more than Walther, but less than Mauser. These pistols were of good quality, but were still not as nice as the P.38s from the other factorys. The final pistols for this year ended in the 'k' block.

    In 1944, the factory built about 127,000 pistols, with the final ones for the year in the 'y' block. There are no CYQ pistols in the 'q' block This year marked a sharp decline in the fit and finish found on all P.38s, but most of all with Spreewerke examples. Some pistols made during this year were built using frames supplied by FN of Belgium. Many 'fnh' marked barrels were also used. In the autumn, some cyq pistols were assembled with what are called 'cog' hammers today. These hammers were also used some by Walther in 1945, and they had a simplified style of grooving from the original hammers. The 'cog' hammers were manufactured by an unknown subcontractor and are unmarked. Mauser never used this part. By the W or X block, unpolished machine markings were common place on Spreewerke P.38s.

    In 1945, Spreewerk used up all the alphabet and started over by adding an 'a' prefix rather than suffix. This was continued witha 'b' prefix block, and then a '0' was used rather than a letter for the next batch. Finally a '00' prefix was used in May on about 100-200 pistols, produced under communist occupation. As enemy troops were pressing in and about to overrun the factory, the 'WAA88' proof marking was abandoned in favour of a faster and simpler 'u' single digit stamp. There is no evidence that the code was changed from 'cyq' to 'cvq.' On the contrary, all of it points to this marking being a damaged stamp. Spreewerke managed to assemble 41,000 pistols before the factory was captured in early April. Some pistols made during this time had FN slides with the 'ac43' code on them.

    Ozark Bear Arms Blog: The Walther P.38 Pistol Series

    Last words of caution:
    -Dont use ammo also loaded for cycling SMGs in these - slides have been known to crack.
    -Dont trust the decocking mechanism. They have been known to fail.

  2. #12


    Thanx Octavian for your appreciation words. Scout-I don't know what you mean by "lines interrupted by screw holes" but mine has 8 LINES , then they are interrupted by the srew holes in the middle. Also, my p38's serial number is 477 V, probably one of the early ones by Spreeworks. I will post pictures with the grip lines for you later today or tmrw. Thanx everyone for your input
    PS" I never trust the decoking mechanism on any of my pieces. Its simply too risky.

  3. #13


    I mean the screw holding the grip halves together. How many lines are interrupted i.e. run through the hole for the grip screw?

    Look forward to close-ups of the grips and the lines running through the grip screw hole.

    We are on the same page in regards to the decocking mechanism

    I look forward to a range report as well - dont forget eyes & ears (or rather protection for same)

  4. #14


    Oh, now i get it. 5 lines are interrupted by the screw...

  5. #15


    Quote by geotan View Post
    Oh, now i get it. 5 lines are interrupted by the screw...
    Your P-38 has Julius Posselt grip slabs then

  6. #16


    How is that? Good, bad, rare..??

  7. #17


    That is just fine.

    It means, that your gun was most likely originally equipped with these grip slabs and not retrofitted.

    It seems that Posselt made grips slabs for Spree handguns only, so the slabs most likely were made for a Spree P-38 for sure and not for a Walther or Mauser.

    The company of Julius Posselt in Gablonz produced the grips for the Spreewerk-made P38s from the end of 1943 until the end of WWII.

    Just for kicks, you could yank the grips on the handgun and check the markings on the inside of the grip halves.

    The inside of the grips shows three circles. In the supervision mark of the MPBD the company code of Posselt, 1W, and the classification marking of the material, 31 and later 41. The middle circle is always empty. In the bottom circle of the left-side grips, the numbers 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, and 9 are found. On the right-side grips, the numbers 4, 5, 6, 10, and 12 are found.

    Julius Posselt originally worked with a compound consisting of phenolic resin with sawdust, which was renamed to 31 in the beginning of 1943. From mid-1943 on, a new recepy with less resin was introduced. This compound was classified as 41. The 31 and 41 compounds were not manufactured parallel to each other. This means that during the first months of production of Posselt grips, 31 was engraved in the MPBD mark, and from mid-1943 on the classification was 41.
    It remains uncertain how many thousands of grips with the 31 marking still were in stock when the production of grips with the 41 classification began. That’s why even after August of 1943, grips can be found with 31 and 41 on the same Spreewerk P38. Julius Posselt grips were never marked by a serial number or with a Waffenamt.

    P38 Grips |

  8. #18


    Not a police proof but a rejection mark as stated. Cyq are German made pistols nothing to do with Czeh. timothy

  9. #19


    The Spree factory is a German factory/company (HQ was in Berlin-Spandau), but there was a P-38 manufacturing satellite factory in Grottau, Czechoslovakia .

  10. #20


    Speaking of the different factories not necessarily in Germany supplying parts for the Spree P-38:
    Via Jan Balcar (P-38 author/expert):

    Mit der Produktion der Bakelit Griffschalen befasste sich die Firma Julius Posselt in Gablonz / Neisse (Jablonec nad Nisou), die unterschiedlich zu den anderen deutschen Herstellern der Griffschalen nur dem Spreewerk Grottau lieferte. Magazine für die meisten Pistolen lieferte die Firma Erste Nordböhmische Metallwarenfabrik, Niedereinsiedel (Dolní Poustevna). Die Federn wurden angeblich aus der Fabrik für Waagen in Georgenthal (Jiříkov).

    (Q and D translation not verbatim)
    Julius Posselt in Gablonz / Neisse (Jablonec nad Nisou) made mags specifically for the Spree P-38 guns manufactured in Grottau (Gródek nad nysą - Scout).
    Mags were manufactured by the company Erste Nordböhmische Metallwarenfabrik, Niedereinsiedel (Dolní Poustevna).
    Springs for the Spree P-38s were supposedly made by the Fabrik für Waagen in Georgenthal (Jiříkov) factory.

    JB: Bei der Montage der Pistolen wurden in Grottau auch Teile benutzt, produziert in der belgischen FN.
    FN (Belgium) at some point supplied parts for the Spree P-38.

    JB: Das Halbprodukt des Laufes wurde geschmiedet von der Firma Melichar & Umrath in Brandys nad Labem
    A step in the production of Spree P-38 barrels were made the company Melichar & Umrath in Brandys nad Labem

    JB: Das Halbprodukt des Griffstücks wurde im Pilsner Skoda-Werk geschmiedet. Das Werk hatte ab Februar 1941 den Kode bxb zugeteilt.
    A step in the production of the frame were manufactured in Pilsen by the Skoda Factory (Code bxb from feb 1941).

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