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1943 P38 Heerespistole (Army Pistol)
P38 Heerespistole (Army Pistol)
(Mfg in 1943 by Mauser Oberndorf [byf])

Caliber: ........................ 9mm Parabellum
Rifling & Twist: .............. 6 groove, right hand twist.
Barrel Length: ............... 4.9 in. (125 mm)
Overall Length: .............. 8.5 in. (216 mm)
Weight: ........................ 1.77 ilbs. (800 grams)
Magazine Capacity: ........ 8 rounds
Qty Mfg: ....................... 380,000 manufactured by Mauser between 1942 and 1946

Source: .... "Guns Review" Volume 26 No. 8 August 1986 by J. Schonebeck

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Album by Claven2. Photos by Claven2. 1 - 21 of 21 Total. 3487 Visits.
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Enlarge photo 1
pistol, spare mag, and soft-shell holster

Enlarge photo 2
slide serial number.  Also note the early pattern extractor cut with the narrow milled slot at the back - this cut was eliminated on later production p38's.

Enlarge photo 3
Left side view of pistol.

Enlarge photo 4
Note the pattern around the screw escutcheon.  In this case, six lines are interrupted by the screw - correct for byf (Mauser) and ac (Walther) made P38's.  cyq (Spreewerke) guns have only 5 lines interrupted.  This gun has black bakelite grips, late-war black grips were often made of a softer plastic.  Both brown and black grips were used interchangeably on these pistols.

Enlarge photo 5
Note serial number below the barrel.  Some 1943-vintage byf guns look to have been hand-filed in this area, while others were lathe turned.  This example was hand-filed when assembled.

Enlarge photo 6
Note the last 3 digits of the serial number and the suffix on the locking block.  Oddly, it is not uncommon for different suffix letter fonts to appear on the pistols - it is likely these bits were serial numbers at different workstations during production.

Enlarge photo 7
Another view of the barrel serial number.  Again, note that the barrel was finished by hand.  Some guns show rough lathe marks instead, though no patterns seems evident.

Enlarge photo 8
Note the WaA 135 at the left and two firing proofs, one on the locking block and the other on the back edge of the barrel to the extreme right.

Enlarge photo 9
View of the chamber area of the barrel.

Enlarge photo 10
View of the muzzle.

Enlarge photo 11
View of the bore.

Enlarge photo 12
Note the P38 marking on the back of this late-war holster.  It is also marked jwa4 and bears no waffenampt, typical of late 1944 made holsters.

Enlarge photo 13
View of pistol frame with slide removed.

Enlarge photo 14
Note the take-down latch is milled.  On later guns, this was a hollow stamping.

Enlarge photo 15
jwa 4 marking - jwa = Mortiz Stecher Lederwarenfabrik KG. The 4 represents 1944.

Enlarge photo 16
Inside of holster flap.  These softshell holsters are also sometimes referred to as "breakaway" holsters because of how they unfold.

Enlarge photo 17
View of pistol in holster.

Enlarge photo 18
View of pistol and spare mag in the holster.

Enlarge photo 19
Note the markings on the identical magazines, both made by jvd (Erste Nordböhmische Metall.w.f.), inspected by WaA708.

Enlarge photo 20
Inspection and firing proofs on the slide, WaA135.

Enlarge photo 21
Slide and frame markings.  note that the frame, slide and barrel (see earlier picture) all are stamped in different fonts.  This is typical of mid-war Mauser P38 production and does not represent renumbering.  byf43 = Mauser, 1943.

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