Walther P38 file photo [14242]

Walther P38 Handgun

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


ww2dbaseThe 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. ww2dbase

Last Major Revision: Oct 2008


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. Commenter identity confirmed 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. Commenter identity confirmed 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?
35. Anonymous says:
27 Dec 2015 06:03:25 PM

I have a Walther P38 stamped with ac42, eagle 359, Circled "B" 98

Can anyone tell me something about this pistol, I would really appreciate it.

36. Anonymous says:
10 Jan 2016 02:24:42 PM

I have a p38 I received from a in-law (now deceased) who did serve in WWll (Austria). It was made in Czechoslovakia due to the 'cyq' stamp on the slide. The question I have is, their is a '46' stamp on the right side trigger guard. This seems to be a little different than others. All the serial #'s match (2695) and no suffix can be found. Anyone?
37. Anonymous says:
1 Jul 2016 09:57:27 AM

Are there any records on who was issued a P-38 in WW2
38. Anonymous says:
4 Jul 2016 10:28:12 AM

Did all WWII P-38's originally have magazines serialized to the firearm?? Other then the manufactures code that is?
39. Anonymous says:
22 Jul 2016 11:53:38 AM

Is there any history available on the 1938 Mauser S/42 Luger serial number 3378, it has three stamps on it two of eagles above the number 63 and one larger eagle.
40. Gorseks says:
31 Jul 2016 08:27:30 AM

Purchased a very nice working P38 with serial number 5091c. ac 44. No import marks, matching #'s through out and matching #s on pistol / mag.

Can you tell me anything about it. If you do have the soldier issued this pistol that would be great; I'm quite the german wwii history buff. If you need more info or photos I am happy to send them

41. Anonymous says:
17 Oct 2016 06:34:04 PM

I have a nice old P38 ac41, SN 4044...would love to know who may have owned it; any help would be appreciated.
42. tatjana says:
24 Feb 2017 05:32:34 AM

I have a Walter P38 handgun, SN 3997. and I would like to sell it. Can you help me?
43. MP says:
19 Mar 2017 07:58:44 PM

I have a Walther P38 that my father brought home from WWll. Looking for history on it.
5057 m
Eagle over88
Any info or point me in the right direction I'd appreciate it.
44. Anonymous says:
26 Mar 2017 08:38:53 AM

The CYQ would mean that it was manufactured by Spreewerke, the serial number would indicate that it was number 5057 of block M. They produced these guns in blocks of 10,000 and suffixed them with a letter. Your particular gun would have been made in March of 1944
45. Anonymous says:
6 Apr 2017 11:06:06 PM

what does ac 43 mean on a p-38 pistol. What would it be worth?...in very good condition
46. New collector says:
9 Jun 2017 02:09:33 PM

My father gave me a Walther P-38:
CYQ 5782R, all matching parts.
I know it was from the Spreewerke factory, but I am curious to when it may have been produced. I have not located any source that breaks down dates by the block and letter stamp (5782R). I have not found any import marks. Would these be found on the barrel? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
47. Peaky says:
27 Jul 2017 12:50:05 AM

I have managed to get a P38 pistol from a Nazi officer, been handed down through a few generations. It is fully stamped with serial numbers. Is there anyway to trace the history of the pistol and who it was issued to?
48. Anonymous says:
10 Aug 2017 01:25:46 PM

Date of mtg p38 sn 211291
49. Anonymous says:
13 Aug 2017 11:12:05 AM

Have p38 9 mil.sn# 211291, what yesr was it mfg.?
50. Anonymous says:
24 Oct 2017 07:06:48 AM

I own a P-38 # 529d Matching numbers on frame and slide. Is it of value? It is a Mauser. 135 under eagle.Holster,2 clips,very good condition.
51. New collector says:
1 Nov 2017 12:20:19 PM

I found a great reference for production codes/dates of manufacture. I hope this helps others.
52. Anonymous says:
27 Sep 2018 10:56:25 AM

Looking for possible issue info for a 0 series p38 with military grips sn 09742. Family heirloom. Wondering who carried it during the war. My G dad drove a Jeep for general. He served in Africa Italy and Philippines. He never said where or when he got it..
53. Anonymous says:
13 Mar 2019 08:45:36 PM

My family currently owns a Gun taken from a German soldier during WWII...Serial # 6734. Then it has P38 byf 44.

Can you please advise if it is possible to find out more information about this gun and if the name of the German soldier it was issued to could be found. Did the Germans keep these kinds of records?

Is there any other information to be gleaned from the serial number and other markings?

Thanks for any insight provided!
54. Anonymous says:
23 Jun 2019 06:54:59 AM

I have Walther P-38 with serial number 2994 and am trying to date it. Is there an easy way to date its manufacture date?
55. Anonymous says:
12 Jul 2019 01:32:16 PM

Walter P38 ser.number 9916
56. Kenneth M Brickett says:
12 Aug 2019 10:32:06 AM

Many of the WW2 Walthers will have a reference code stamed on the left side of the slide as to where it was manufactured, then a two digit number indicating the year. The serial number is often only 4 digits and is separate from the date and manufacturer code. For example, mine is stamped AC 42 the a 4 digit S/N. The AC indicates it was made in Belgium somehow, so I've read. The Germans might have had code letters for the various plants. 42 indicates it was made in 1942. An interesting year to have, as I understand this was the first year the P-38 completely replaced the Luger as the officer's sidearm. I have not been able to verify any of this info, but gleaned it from an article in an old NRA publication, written by a reputable individual who knows a lot more that I do on the subject.
57. Kendall says:
8 Jun 2020 07:43:10 PM

Could someone tell me the date of my spreewerk p38. The serial number is 3243a
58. Ken Rihanek says:
28 Jul 2020 08:56:09 PM

Spreewerk 521 through 1580d is 1942/43. This range includes 40,480 serial numbers/guns produced. My guess is 3243a is late 1942.
59. Einar Tyvela says:
9 Aug 2020 07:26:56 AM

I have a P38 BYF 43 matching numbers and has the BH stamp and a Austrian proof mark , but it's over german inspector mark 135 the pistol has no import marks , I had the pistol since 1990. It just has holster ware, shoots great.Is itworth anything? thanks Einar
60. MJD II says:
20 Aug 2020 09:07:17 AM

I have a P38 Walther from an officer of the Germany army. I have the holster too, with the Natzi symbol. I have the serial number on the gun. I am looking for history of this particular gun from the office who used it. Is this feasible?
61. Steven Russell says:
31 Aug 2020 01:28:49 PM

I have a spreewerk P38 SS finish with serial number 17XX
How do I get the manufacture date
62. rich liebler says:
2 Sep 2020 08:38:12 AM

P38 - markings 7464 byf 43 what can I tell from these markings, thnx
63. Ramon Zubrod says:
10 Sep 2020 01:08:21 PM

can someone tell me more and how much could sell my pistol for it is a p-38 9mm serial number is 7902 and locking number is cyq
64. Eric says:
7 Oct 2020 04:50:30 PM

I’ve got a P 38 with no markings on the slide. The barrel and the lower both have the same number 9517_(i or l) then the eagle symbol with a 359 below it. Does anyone have any ideas on the manufacturing history of this number? Most sites have that upper slide with a number on it this one has nothing.
65. Anonymous says:
16 Nov 2020 06:31:01 PM

German unit marking 111/St Grrr? Does anyone know about these markings?
66. Anonymousjames key jr says:
17 Nov 2020 06:20:07 PM

I have a pristine P.38 AC 41 Military 9mm with 8 Roland clip my serial# is 7177b and it is a Nazi pistol. Has the 359 stamped on it and the trigger also recoil slider is shiny chrome. This piece is none like the others.. I would like to know the worth value of this.
67. Brendan W Bellamy says:
28 Nov 2020 02:24:50 PM

P38 6199 c AC 45
68. Anonymous says:
30 Nov 2020 09:08:13 AM

I have Walther P-38 cyq with serial number 8302 p and am trying to date it. Can you halp me what date its manufacture and value?
69. Gary says:
9 Jan 2021 05:45:51 PM

I'm trying to date my Walther P-38 .The serial number is 6124
70. clint murphy says:
19 Feb 2021 01:50:50 PM

I have a Walther P-38 Serial No.
4831dac44 . Can youguys date it ?
Thanks Clint
71. Anonymous says:
2 Mar 2021 03:37:53 AM

I’m looking at purchasing a Walter p38 ac43. S/n 4761L. Any idea year?
72. HF says:
20 Mar 2021 07:13:34 AM

Good morning:
I have a matched P38 serial number 9188b ac44 in excellent nra condition. Can you tell me its country of origin and manufacturer?
Many thanks
73. kevin Corcoran says:
28 Mar 2021 02:18:05 PM

74. Leon Hood says:
5 Apr 2021 10:12:21 AM

i have a P38, matching serial numbers, on the left side of slide it has stamped P38, cyq, and serial # of 7463, followed by the letter p. what year was this pistol manufactured.
75. Anonymous says:
24 May 2021 02:46:41 PM

i have p38 with serial number 1836 cyq so 1940 to 1950 i am trying to fin with untie this was issued to
76. Johnny Mark Crumbley says:
18 Jun 2021 11:15:28 AM

I'm trying to find history on this P38 pistol the serial number is 9086 year it was made AC 43 it's all matching numbers I'm just trying to find history on this gun
77. Anonymous says:
10 Aug 2021 03:47:56 PM

I have a P38 ac42 with serial number 5067e. I'd like to more know about it. its in great condition. Where it was made, when was it made, what would it be worth, etc.
78. Anonymous says:
26 Aug 2021 11:18:37 AM

Trying to find out information on a P38 byf 44. The S/N is 8276 with the letter u behind the S/N.
79. Anonymous says:
20 Oct 2021 08:26:08 PM

Have a p38 serial number 9782y cyq chrome plated
80. Anonymous says:
21 Oct 2021 01:25:21 PM

Bought a walther p-38 ac42a. Sn 4201a. Looking for info.
81. Kane says:
18 Jan 2022 11:17:57 PM

P 38/ byf 44 / WaA135 with eagle above/ 9739 r
Wondering exact year month...ive looked online but I cannot find this cereal number with the (r) marking after
82. Jimmy Herring says:
8 Feb 2022 07:11:53 AM

Ihave a p 38 dated 1966 snF44155y any value?

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