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Walther P38 byf 43 Pistol

Article about: A pistol added to my collectors licence last year-it's a reasonably good example of the iconic weapon, all matching serial numbers and still live (though I won't be shooting it). Made by Mau

  1. #1

    Default Walther P38 byf 43 Pistol

    A pistol added to my collectors licence last year-it's a reasonably good example of the iconic weapon, all matching serial numbers and still live (though I won't be shooting it). Made by Mauser Oberndorf 1943 and now matched with a gcx 1942 hard shell holster. The finish of the pistol was still to a high standard at that stage, certainly compared to my late war 'cyq' example!
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  2. #2
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    Very nice friend.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for sharing. One I would like to add soon. Prices here vary quite a bit depending on several factors but usually cheaper than P-O8s

  4. #4

    Default

    I seen an X above the the slide serial number, and also the very dark shiny "jelly bean" finish indicates a "Russian Capture" pistol, as opposed to a WWII era "vet bringback". Different history, still valid as a collectible. Do they "import Mark" these down under, as they do here in the US?

    Nice holster!

    Spare mag?

    Mag stampings?

  5. #5

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    I shoot my 1942 P-38 and it fires like a dream. Keep it cleaned and lubed and it still looks great works flawlessly. One of my favorite pistols too shoot.

  6. #6

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    No import markings in Oz, other than those added in the US if reimported from there. The colour is closer to the 2nd pic, the others are darker in dull natural light and it has a coat of ballistol on it-rear spine of the mag is marked 'eagle'135.
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    Last edited by lithgow; 01-10-2016 at 12:50 PM.

  7. #7

    Lightbulb

    IMPO, FWIW etc but this is a very nice-looking example of a P.38 and seems a little too clean and 'crisp' to be a Russian capture.

    It looks very similar to my own all-matching byf43 (below) , which really was a 'bringback' by a British army officer from NW Europe. It remained in his family under a legal FAC until British law was changed when it had to be deactivated and I was able to buy it in the 1990s. The proof house markings can be clearly seen in the photo.


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    I'm glad that you can keep yours 'live' !


  8. #8

    Default

    Here's a thread where a similar pistol is discussed on the forum, Russian capture P38, this one has the X on the frame.

    Pick Up: Byf 43 Walther P-38 All Matching

    Several things stand out instantly as a Russian "dip" refinish.

    The finish is all wrong, it's way too black, it's way too shiny. There is no wear anywhere on the gun, at the end of the muzzle from holstering, on the upper and lower corners and rear of the slide from holstering, there is no grip wear from handling, or any normal wear on the edges of the safety, rear sight, etc.

    A surefire (pun intended) telltale sign is the white and red paint in the S and F letters are blacked over.

    Here's a pic of another Russian capture, in this case numbers stamped over but the same shiny "jelly bean" finish, and the white paint of the S (for Safe) above the safety lever is blacked over.

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    Here is the slide of an original byf43, observe the matte finish, the average wear and commonly seen light age pitting, and the red paint on the F below the safety lever.

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  9. #9

    Lightbulb

    Interesting point about the red paint - just checked mine ( which looked black ) until I realised the 'F' was full of dried gun oil

  10. #10

    Default

    You have a very nice example of the P38. I have had a couple over the years but sold them for some forgotten reason. I still own a Radom VIS P35 with German markings and the same black finish you describe above. I know my pistol came from Russia in the 1990's to the USA where I purchased it from Inter-Ordnance, Monroe, NC. Their import mark is on the bottom of trigger guard and hard to see. I wondered about the finish being so new looking and not having holster wear marks and now I'm convinced the Soviets must have refinished it and then packed it away for future issue in case of a major war. I'm glad they did save so many of these old relics instead of melting them down for tractor parts.

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