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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just purchased an AC42 P-38 today. It is a non import. Waffenamt 359 found (from quick inspection) on left side of pistol frame next to serial number, 2 on the right side of the slide on either side of a stamped eagle. Left side of slide has AC over 42 and P.38. Serial number is 376h The gun has a good deal of finish and nice patina to it, but nice wear to it too. The piece right in front of the rear sight looks phosphated, the barrel and frame have a blued light burgundy look in the sun, and the slide is just blued color. When the barrel is removed there is a waffenamt on the left side and an eagle like the one on the right side of the slide on the rear left of the barrel assemble and on the non blued piece on the barrel assembly. The non blued piece also has a serial number on the top of it. Black worn grips. Where I started to get worried was with the serial numbers. The number on the slide, frame, under the barrel area and on the unblued piece on the barrel assembly are different fonts. Basically the serial number on the slide and under the barrel are similar in font, but the one under the barrel area looks like it was lightly struck, then restruck harder. The serial number on the frame is a different font altogether from the other two. First thing that came to mind is that some bastard restamped the gun to match, but looking at the stamps, the finish and the mill marks, the stamps do not have sharp or reflective edges, they look like they were that way from the factory. They didn’t overstamp any different serial numbers as the mill marks are undisturbed and consistent with all the surrounding areas, and lastly the finish is not damaged or altered in these areas. Did they sometimes use different type of stamps on the same guns for serial numbers?

· Administrator
17,214 Posts
Andreas, I am unsure, wanted to welcome you to the forum! I am sure there will be someone who is an expert in this field who can assist.


· Registered
572 Posts
Your P38 is probably right...the Germans did not pay as much attention to such stuff as 'fonts' and styles of numbers [open-closed 4's...round-flattop 3's...etc]...but, of course, we collectors do!

The reddish cast to some of the parts is called 'plum' by most. It is the result of bluing problems and becomes increasingly obvious as the war drags on.

sounds like a good-honest piece.....congratulations!


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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am new in respect to having pieces worth keeping rather than shooting. Is a piece still considered collector grade if it has small areas of rust on an edge or two, or a spec on the slide? This pistol, unless you look really hard, looks to be in the best of conditions, upon closer inspection there is light speckling or rust under the blue in a small area of the barrel, a small bit of rust on a small part of the trigger guard and tiny specs on areas of the slide...all needing you to move the pistol around under the light to see. Or is this normal and expected of pieces of this age and fully collectors grade?
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