Rare WWII Walther P.38 ac44 Experimental Finish
Used Condition
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8/8/2017 9:55 AM
Item 676732006
Location Tyrone, GA 30290
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Five Days from the date the item is received, including the cost of shipping

The seller of this item assumes all responsibility for this listing. You must contact the seller to resolve any questions or concerns before placing a bid. Payment must be made using U.S. dollars ($) unless otherwise stated in the listing. Firearms may only be shipped to a licensed dealer (FFL Holder). Some listed items may not be legal in every state. Complete your purchase within the law.

Rare WWII German Walther P.38 ac44 with Experimental Finish

Please visit my website at: New Market Arms


This is a rare WWII Walther manufactured P.38 that is ac44 coded and all matching with the serial number 227d. This particular P.38 is rare because it has the very seldom seen “Experimental Finish” that Walther experimented with for only a few months in 1944 before abandoning it.

The "d" suffix Walther P.38s were manufactured in April 1944. Of the Walther P.38s, there is only one basic variation of the ac44, which is called the Standard Issue and it was identical to the previous year production ac43 P.38 except for the code change and the restarting of the serial numbers in 1944 back to 1. There were approximately 129,990 ac44 P.38s manufactured during WWII and production ran from January to the end of December 1944.

The Frame has portions, particularly high up and internally, that exhibit the copper color and wearing of the metal that is indicative of Walther’s failed “Experimental Finish.” As Warren Buxton notes in his definitive work on Walther P.38s, The P.38 Pistol, The Walther Pistols 1930-1945, Volume One, Taylor Publishing Company, Dallas Texas, 1999, Walther experimented with its Experimental Finish in the “d,” “e” and “f” suffix ranges. According to Buxton, Walther was looking for a new finish to replace the dull blue finish used previously that would be easier, quicker and cheaper to produce. While Mauser was experimenting with phosphate finishes during this period, Walther chose an alteration of the bluing process whereby the formula was changed and the time the parts were immersed in the bluing solution was shortened.

Walther conducted preliminary tests with the new finish in the ac43 block and then began production with the new finish in the “d’ block. Although there were numerous parts on hand with the dull blue finish, Walther tried to have all of the major components finished with the Experimental Finish and then assembled together although this was inconsistently done.

Although the Experimental Finish was cheap, easy and quick to produce, it became quickly apparent that it was not able to do what it was designed to do. The new Experimental Finish was simply not durable enough and moisture could easily penetrate the finish. In addition, routine handling wore the finish off down to the white relatively easily. Early in the “f” range the Experimental Finish was dropped and Walther resumed using the dull blue finish for P.38 production.

As Buxton also notes, the Experimental Finish has a thin, light and shiny copper color in places. This is different from the later plumb/reddish color seen on Walther P.38s that resulted from a combination of poor chemicals in the dull blue finish process as well as inconsistent duration in the immersion tanks. In any event, the Experimental Finish is a scarce variant that occurred for only about one month during Walther’s P.38 production and they are considered scarce.

The left front of the Frame, above the trigger guard, is the full serial number "227 d" followed by the Walther Waffenamt code, Eagle/359. The Sear remains correctly in the white. The Frame retains approximately 90% of the original Experimental Finish with wear noted on the high points and along the sides at the front. The copper color is most pronounced on the sides, around the trigger guard, and inside the magazine well and bullet ramp area. The loss of finish, typical of the Experimental Finish, is pronounced on the right side adjacent to the take down lever pin. This particular P.38 has the earlier grooved and dished out Hold Open Lever. Walther changed its design for the lever to a smooth spur without grooves a few months later.

Both Recoil Spring Guides and Recoil Springs remain in the white. The Hammer Spring remains in the white and the Hammer Spring Strut retains virtually all of its original dull blue finish. The Magazine Catch retains the majority of its original dull blue finish with wear noted on the sharp edges. The Trigger Bar retains the majority of its original dull blue finish with wear noted in one spot towards the top of the bar.

The Ejector, Safety Hammer Lowering Lever and Firing Pin Lock Lifter all retain the majority of their original dull blue finish. The Hammer is the correct type with the eight fine grooves along the thumb piece and it retains the majority of its original finish with wear noted on the strike face. The original lanyard ring is present and it remains secure to the frame. The Trigger retains the majority of its original finish.

The Slide retains 90% of its Experimental Finish. The left side of the Slide has the "P.38" model stamp forward, followed by the full serial number "227 d," followed by the code "ac 44." The "F" stamp in the thumb safety recess still retains its red paint and the "S" stamp still retains all of its white paint.

The Extractor retains the majority of its original bluing and the Extractor Plunger remains in the white. The Right Side of the Frame has the correct Walther Waffenamts, Eagle/359, on either side of the Nazi Military Acceptance Stamp. There is some loss to the finish to the rear of the right side Waffenamts as well as just above on the top, right side of the slide to the rear of the ejection port and on the forward ring just in front of the ejection port, the same type of finish loss that is consistent with the Experimental Finish. The front face of the Slide also exhibits the copper color consistent with the Experimental Finish. The standard Rear Sight is present and remains tightly affixed to the slide and it retains the majority of its finish.

The Firing Pin Indicator Cover retains 95% of its original dull military blued finish. The Firing Pin recess at the rear of the Slide is clean without pitting and retaining the majority of its original blued finish.

The Barrel retains 90% of its Experimental Finish with wear noted at the muzzle, around the front sight ring, in a few areas on the barrel, in one spot over the chamber and on the front barrel extension face. The barrel extension face has the copper color consistent with wear on the Experimental Finish.

The front of the Barrel has the full matching serial number "227/d." The Front Sight Post, which is a #3 marked type, is correctly pinned at the front, with the witness mark on the sight post aligning perfectly with the line on the front sight itself. The front left lug has the Walther Waffenamt Eagle/359 with the Nazi Military Acceptance Stamp (eagle over Swastika) on the left rear lug. The bore is clean with a mirror finish and strong rifling present.

The Locking Block is still correctly in the white with the matching serial number "227/D" on the bottom. The left side of the Locking Block has the inverted Walther Waffenamt Eagle/359 and the right side has the inverted Nazi Military Acceptance Stamp along with a serif “S” stamped horizontally.

The original brown phenolic resin grip panels are present and are in fine condition with no cracks or chips noted. Both grip panels are correctly manufactured by the Allegemeine Electricitats-Gesellschaft (“AEG”) firm of Henningsdorf in Osthavelland for Walther. The left grip panel has the correct AEG marking in the bottom circle “P/1529/4,” which is the mold and grip panel position number used by AEG. The right grip panel has the correct and corresponding AEG marking in the bottom circle “P/1528/3,” indicating that panel’s place in the mold. The Grip Panel Screw retains the majority of its original dull blue military finish and the single slot is unmarred. Both panels fit securely to the frame.

This P.38 comes with an original Walther P.38 Magazine that is marked "P.38" on the lower left side with the two Walther Waffenamt Eagle/359 stamps on the spine. This is probably a magazine that was originally manufactured by Walther during the early ac42 production but it nonetheless correct for a WWII ac44 P.38.

This particular P.38 functions perfectly and is a superb example of a very scarce variant of a WWII Walther P.38 with their Experimental Finish.

This Pistol is C&R eligible and will come shipped in a new Plano pistol hard case. It will also come with a historical writeup and a CD of all photos in the listing. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like additional photographs posted. Please also check my other listings for antique military weapons. I accept Visa and MasterCard in charge no fee. Thanks for looking!

Please see photos at: PHOTOS

Please see my website for other weapons and military items at: New Market Arms


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