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Discussion Starter #1
Could someone give me the consensus of opinion on current values for P38 pistols marked svw 45 with the French five pointed star marking? I picked one up recently, that I will comment on later, but wanted to know about what these are these days. Thanks.
 

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Michael, I have no idea, but wanted to welcome you to this forum. I have read "your" forum, off and on with other gunboards and just wanted to say welcome!

Ed


1914_DWM.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Ed,
Wow, thanks for the warm welcome. I have been with the Tuco group since he first came online in 1996 and have been a reader/admirer of the work of Jan Still since the mid 80s. Sorry to say I am not in the same class of collecting as many here (due to low teacher pay in Florida)but I can still nibble on the edges!
 

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I think some here on the forum (not me ~~grinning~~), have lots of dolalrs, but many just use their meager dollars for nice items, or every now and then crazy ones, such as my 1922 nickle that I bought in Reno. There are some great, REAL collectors on this forum, and the knowledge base is high, I think more people sit back and watch here, and let others "talk", but that is okay, as this forum caters to the experts (me withstanding, as I am a student to these gentlemen).

Anyway, I sent Orv a note asking him his opinion, or maybe others will post here,

Ed
 

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There are numerous subtle differences in this French pistols that can add/detract from their values.

How about a complete description, including marks under the grips, if any?

Full SN Please and describe the type and % of finish on it..Grips, too.

Orv

If you are hesitant to post such complete info, you may email me?

Orvel L. "Orv" Reichert
P O Box 67
Vader WA 98593
360-245-3492
360-245-3702 Fax
[email protected]

quote........Where facts are few, experts are many. ,,Donald R. Gannon
 

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Discussion Starter #6
P38 svw 45 Serial Number 4421h

This pistol was purchased 20 September 2003 at the Lakeland Rifle & Pistol Club show in Lakeland, Florida. Upon initial observation the pistol appeared not to be anything special as it was placed next to a number of P1 pistols on a large table. The metallic grips drew my eyes to it. Although I am not a dedicated P38 collector, I know enough to know that this piece warranted a closer look. A deal was negotiated, and the pistol was purchased for what I feel is a nominal sum. Following is a report of P38 serial number 4421h marked svw 45 on the slide.

1. Slide: The phosphate finish on the slide is mostly intact with some wear present along some of the leading edges and some surface marring present on the phosphate. Metal finish on the slide is 95%. The slide is marked on the left side; P38 svw 45 and the serial number 4421h. On the right side is the five pointed French proof marking. The Interarms import marking is extremely lightly marked on the bottom of the slide. This marking is almost unreadable and would have been missed by myself if I had not known where to look for it. I wonder if this marking may have been lightly struck or obliterated on purpose.
2. Barrel/Wedge Group: The barrel has some active rust present in the bore that will have to be cleaned first before a true indicator of bore condition can be determined. The present rust is small but and the bore looks OK but may be pitted. The barrel is marked on the front with the serial number 4421h. It is also marked with the WaffenAmt marking on the left front lug (number WaA 135). The barrel is also marked with the French proof star on the left rear lug. The length of the barrel is grooved on the outside in a very similar fashion to my other svw 45 pistol. I suppose these are lathe marks that were not polished off. The phosphate finish is mostly intact with some wear present on the very top of the rear portion of the barrel. Again some marring of the phosphate is also present. Metal finish on barrel is 95%. The wedge is marked on the bottom with the number 421 and on the side with the French proof star. There is also a punch mark present on one of the legs that is similar to those found on German production pieces.
3. Frame: The frame exhibits 95+% phosphate finish with some minor wear and marring of that finish. There is an unusual marking I have not observed on the left side of the frame under the grips. It appears to be three stars in a pyramidal formation and a wedge/triangle located in the middle of the circles. It appears to look somewhat like a tree with the circles forming the canopy and the wedge forming the trunk. The frame is marked with the serial number 4421h. Observing the remaining finish on the slide rails and magazine race it appears this pistol has seen very little use.
4. Grips: The metal grips on this pistol are undented and clean. The outsides have a black or charcoal gray rubber/paint like finish applied. It is not tacky like rubber but is not as slick as paint. The inside of the grips are dark charcoal phosphated. The right grip has a small amount of the outside paint worn or flaked off to bare metal on portions of its front leading edge. There appears to be a base color of red under the black paint. The left grip has less wear and only has very small amounts of paint off on the leading edge on front. The left grip is marked on a small metal tag welded to the top of the inside of the grip with the numbers 727. The right grip is marked in the same place and fashion with the numbers 272.

This pistol came with a P1 magazine this is obviously incorrect. The overall appearance is clean . I would judge this pistol with a critical and conservative eye to be about 95% finish present with perhaps a bit more in some others eyes.
 

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Thanks for the very complete description:

Your gun is one of about 35,000 that were imported from France about 20 years ago. They had been produced by Mauser under French control at the plant being occupied by the French.

The gun sounds about typical. The 'cloverleaf' is a bit unusual and we don't have a clue as to it's meaning?

The grips should be gray/black metal finish. Some were quite 'red' in color for some reason and many Americans painted them over to make them look more like the WW-2 Mauser guns. I would try to remove the paint finish if I were you. I would prefer the original grip color even if it were red/pink?

Value would be in the $450 range in today's market. Most collectors prefer them NIB.

Orvel L. "Orv" Reichert
P O Box 67
Vader WA 98593
360-245-3492
360-245-3702 Fax
[email protected]

quote........There are only two ways of telling the complete truth - anonymously and posthumously. ~~~~Thomas Sowell
 

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Thanks Orv, good to hear Mr. P38 on this, appreciate the information,

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Orv,
Thanks for the information. I do not suspect the grips to have been repainted in the US as the wear is consistent with the rest of the pistol. The finish on them is a dark black/charcoal gray color but is not a phosphate on the outside. I will try to set up a series of photos of this pistol and post them here in the future. I paid $250 for this piece so I am guessing I did OK on the price but like you said the non-mint pieces bring what they bring and not what anyone feels they are worth. Again, as usual, thanks for the advice and information. I hope the serial number is an addition to your accumulation of these numbers.
 

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My French proofed SVW's all have jvd mags although I suspect an unmarked mag would also be correct. Unmarked mags with oval weld spots were made by jvd.

By the way, you got a great deal on that pistol!
 

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AT $250, I would have snapped that puppy up, too!

Orv

Orvel L. "Orv" Reichert
P O Box 67
Vader WA 98593
360-245-3492
360-245-3702 Fax
[email protected]

quote........Always tell the truth. Even if you have to make it up. ~Author Unknown
 

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Here is a photo of the 'cloverleaf' discussed above.

Orv

Orvel L. "Orv" Reichert
P O Box 67
Vader WA 98593
360-245-3492
360-245-3702 Fax
[email protected]

quote........Get your facts first, and then you can distort them as much as you please. ..Mark Twain

Download Attachment: 1194-i-cloverleaf.jpg
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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the help. I am sure I will be back some time in the future on this one. I was hoping I did well on the price but just wanted to read an unbiased opinion on the matter. As a side note to this my WaA P38 svw45 is serial numbered 7432e. This new purchase is serial numbered 4421h. This puts these two pistols in my collection pretty much on both sides of the German/French break point on these which I understand occured in the f serial number suffix. I am into these two pistols under $500 for the pair. I am walking proof that with a moderate amount of education on P38s and some beating of the bushes you can turn up some real bargains out there. I am an VERY underpaid teacher and have hit some real hard times in the last few years but I knew these were bargains that I would rue the day if I passed them up at these prices.
 
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