Walther P38 file photo

Walther P38 Handgun

Country of OriginGermany
Caliber9.000 mm
Capacity8 rounds
Length216 mm
Barrel Length125 mm
Weight0.960 kg
Range50 m
Muzzle Velocity365 m/s
Explosive Charge


The Walther P38 semi-automatic pistols were accepted by the German Army in 1938, thus the designation of P38, but prototype testing did not start until late 1939. Production began at the Zella-Mehlis, Thuringia, Germany plant in 1939, and deployment of the Walther P38 pistols as the new standard German Army service pistols began in mid 1940. Production of these pistols ended at the Walther plant in late 1942, and the Mauser plant in Oberndorf, Baden-Württemberg, Germany and the Spreewerk plant in Nisou, Bohemia, Czechoslovakia picked up the production, and both continued to manufacture these weapons until 1945. More than 1,200,000 Walther P38 pistols were made between 1940 and 1945.

After the war, the French captured machines and parts of the Walther P38 pistols; kept as war reparations, the French firm Manurhin manufactured these pistols between Jun 1945 and 1946. In 1958, the Walther P38 design was modernized with an aluminum frame and redesignated the Walther P1, which entered production for police and military use. The last civilian Walther P38 pistol commercially available for purchase was made in 2000.

Source: Wikipedia.


Soviet and US officers near Elbe River, Germany, 28 Apr 1945; note left Soviet officer

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Visitor Submitted Comments

  1. Anonymous says:
    8 Feb 2009 09:26:28 AM

    Are there any existing records that could be used to trace the history and idenity of the German soldier that was issued a particular P38 with serial number 6730c?
  2. Anonymous says:
    30 Mar 2009 05:55:29 PM

    What does the letter after the serial number denote.
  3. Anonymous says:
    6 Jul 2009 03:39:52 AM

    Are there any records of the p-38 Military version that you can trace if so were would that be thanks
  4. rs wyatt says:
    2 Feb 2010 07:40:07 AM

    I would like to know the value of 2 waltres pistols I have .On left side p38 5127jac44 and on trigger housing a pair of crossed paddles and german eagle plus 5127j.On right side there are 3 eagle stamps. One in middle has swostica and other two have number 358 . Gun is in good shape.Other gun has p38 ac43 5300g on slide same on trigger housing plus a eagle with 259 under it.Right sede has 3 eagles plus 359 and swostica it has wooden handles and a different number under the barrel whitch is 7924.Could you give me some help? Also firse pistol has a import mark
  5. Anonymous says:
    26 Feb 2010 11:19:08 AM

    I have a Walther P38 with matching mags, nice holster AC, serial # 8449,serial #'s Match , 41 on slide with AC on left trigger guard, blueing excellent.
  6. Anonymous says:
    23 Mar 2010 05:34:14 PM

    Were any P 38s nickle plated ? I have a BYF 44 that is . Any help will be appreciated .
  7. Anonymous says:
    20 Aug 2010 02:05:06 PM

    Are there any existing records that could be used to trace the history and idenity of the German soldier that was issued a particular P38 with serial number 6115?
  8. Anonymous says:
    25 Apr 2011 03:05:47 PM

    I have a P38 that is nickle plated. Clip included. It is an ac45
  9. Anonymous says:
    10 Jun 2011 06:33:05 PM

    I have one with the number 3020 c. Can you give me the history on this weapon?
  10. Anonymous says:
    31 Aug 2011 05:30:56 AM

    My P-38 and holster were brought back from France by my father after WWII. Serial numbers on it's parts is 8457. Can I find a history for it / approx. estimate of value (excellent condition)?
  11. dale says:
    13 Aug 2012 07:28:44 PM

    i have a p-38 serial 640 w/two clips one matching serial # of pistol and holster where could you find out who was assigned this in the war my uncle brought back from italy
  12. Anonymous says:
    5 Dec 2012 09:47:05 PM

    My cousin has a p-38 serial number,3541d then a symbol not sure what it is with 359 under it, beside the p38 a letter c then under it 42? was this used in the war? any info would be good who owned it etc. value?thanks
  13. Anonymous says:
    26 Jan 2013 10:06:57 PM

    Have a P38 byf 44, serial number 7398a. All the serial numbers match. Is there any info available on this? Thanks
  14. Anonymous says:
    28 Jan 2013 02:51:02 PM

    Hello. I have a Walther p38 (serial number #3980 d) with matching holster. It has the same stamped emblems (eagles and swastikas mentioned by others).

    It was brought back from Europe by my grandfather after WWII. What does the single letter after the numbers mean?)

    Can you help me trace its origin? Thx.
  15. Anonymous says:
    6 Feb 2013 07:22:20 PM

    I have enjoyed reading abt the p38 then other pistols I have. I have a Walther p38 AC42 sn
    9196h I believe this puts in in the second variation.
    I have a magazine with #s matching the pistol.I am sure the mag and sn are original, purchased from the estate of an army off. Articles say that they discontinued the sn mags in the second var.
    any help would be appreciated, thank youq
  16. Alan Chanter says:
    14 May 2013 06:32:23 AM

    Although the Walther M1938,(more usually known as the P38) was intended as a service replacement to the Luger P08, a sentimental affection for the Luger extended its effective life until 1942 when the Walther was officially adopted as it replacement. Even in that year another 400,000 P08s were made, despite it being an inferior weapon to the Walther, and typically after 1942, the Walther was usually issued to conscripts while the Officer Corps were permitted to retain their beloved Lugers. It would not be until 1944 that the Walther came into general use throughout the German Army, and thereafter it would become the standard German Army pistol.
  17. Ray says:
    12 Sep 2013 05:36:17 AM

    Are there any existing records that could be used to trace the history and idenity of the German soldier that was issued a particular P38 with serial number AC 41 SERIAL 6096B
  18. Shawn Farley says:
    7 Oct 2013 03:43:07 PM

    I was wondering if there were any records to trace my p38 to the soldier it was issued. Or at least the rank and location of soldier. All numbers match. Has the same markings as many of the others have listed. With ac44. 217f on three pleces and 358 and or 359 under some of the stamps.any info would be greatly appretiated
  19. Dee says:
    10 Dec 2013 12:02:13 PM

    Are there any records to trace the German soldier to whom the following P38, stacked ac 43, serial # 3399g was issued to?

    Other markings include:
    # 4646g near the trigger with a 359 Eagle stamp to the right
    # 5921 with a "C" below it under the barrel
    3 Eagle stamps on the other side, two with 359 under them, and the center Eagle has a round area where perhaps a swastika is but too small to visualize.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated as I would love to learn the history and human side of this fine weapon.
  20. Anonymous says:
    27 Jan 2014 11:20:35 AM

    The serial no of any weapon even a baynet is recorded on page 8a of a Soldbuch.
  21. Anonymous says:
    6 Jun 2014 09:06:47 PM

    My Dad brought back a P38 from World War II numbered 3345. Would love to see if it is possible to trace this back to the German soldier it was issued to.
  22. Anonymous says:
    9 Jun 2014 10:48:09 AM

    How can I obtain the history of who was assigned Walther P-38, Serial # 166866? I have traced that it would have been manufactured in January of 1942. I'm just curious as to who would have had possession of it during WWII.
  23. Anonymous says:
    6 Aug 2014 05:54:30 PM

    Thank you for helping me find a history, relateing to my P-38. To me, history is as importent as the object.

    the Serial number is P-38 ac/41,#1795F
  24. Anonymous says:
    2 Nov 2014 06:19:12 AM

    what is the letter indicative of after serial number ?
  25. Anonymous says:
    20 Nov 2014 06:26:26 AM

    I think this gun is really cool. im using it in my reasearch:)
  26. Anonymous says:
    20 Dec 2014 05:52:02 PM

    I have a Lugar all matching serial numbers and matching mag also have I believe to be the original holster and I want to match it to the soldier it was issued , how can I do this please
  27. Anonymous says:
    4 Jan 2015 04:25:37 PM

    Does anyone knows what year is the P-38 with SN 6373a
    Thank you!
  28. Anonymous says:
    28 Feb 2015 03:37:24 AM

    I have a Walther P38. Stamped made in West Germany on the right side of slide.The left side is stamped with Walther banner P38 Cal9mm and stamp 154. Beneath the left slide is a mark 201154 and on the metal in front of the trigger is 68 an unknown symblo and the Nazi stamp with a "N" beneath that. Any info is appreciated!
  29. David Stubblebine says:
    28 Feb 2015 10:56:52 AM

    To Anonymous Comment #28:
    If the weapon is stamped “Made in West Germany” it was obviously manufactured post-war since there was no “West” Germany before that. If it is also stamped with some Nazi emblem, I would suspect fraud on someone’s part. Also, if the weapon is stamped in English, it was likely produced for the American market, making it even farther removed from bearing any legitimate Nazi markings.
  30. Anonymous says:
    20 Mar 2015 11:09:10 AM

    I have A Walther P38. AC45 "a" and as i understood it was made on Feb. 1945 Acording to the suffix "a". there wher 2571 made of 10000.the one i have Ser.#8285"A'stamped on the trigger housing only with the remaining matching Serial number with a small"a'and with proof marking of twoE359' The magazine only has P-38 and no Holster
  31. Anonymous says:
    6 Jun 2015 07:07:50 PM

    I have a P38, serial # 5321 J AC 44 in excellent condition with brown grips, 2 mags and holster. Approximate value?
  32. Lance says:
    21 Jun 2015 06:50:34 PM

    I have a p38 marked
    byf 43. 5995 either an (a or c)
    On left and right side has eagle over 135

    Just trying to locate the name and rank of the soldier who this was issued to...comes with clip and holster
    holster marked frost jahnel breslau 1938
  33. Anonymous says:
    22 Jul 2015 12:59:58 PM

    I have a Walther P-38 serial# 26397 Is there any way to find out when, where and who it was issued to?
  34. Anonymous says:
    24 Sep 2015 02:08:29 PM

    I' m looking for S/n 3724. It was brought back after the war by my father, I still have the paperwork signed by his commander.

    How can I trace it?

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Soviet and US officers near Elbe River, Germany, 28 Apr 1945; note left Soviet officer

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