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P38 ac41 anomaly
Old 08-18-2019, 12:03 PM   #1
TP Alexander
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Default P38 ac41 anomaly

I have a P38 ac41 pistol that is a little strange, somewhat different.
I may be wrong but my supposition is that it was a mistake out of the Walther plant.
Somehow the barrel group for a pistol nine numbers further along got put on to the frame of an earlier pistol and got out of the factory and since it was mechanically sound, the inspector let it go.
The serial number on the frame is, as you will see, 4335e.
The number on the barrel group is 4344e.
The serial number of the magazine matches up to the frame, 4335e.

I may be wrong.
It was a proposal of what I thought.
I am open to other interpretations of what happened.
Thanx,
Tim
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Last edited by TP Alexander; 08-18-2019 at 12:23 PM.
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:04 PM   #2
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:04 PM   #3
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:05 PM   #4
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:06 PM   #5
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:06 PM   #6
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:29 PM   #7
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Greatly doubt if factory mistake! A mismatch either way!

Bob
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:38 PM   #8
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They wouldn't have gone to the trouble of numbering everything if they were going to allow mismatches to go through.

Once saw a Mauser Luger in beautiful condition except upper was all one number and lower was all another number. Just didn't come from Mauser that way.
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Old 08-19-2019, 06:36 AM   #9
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Spot on. Some time ago I sold a first variation ac 41 in almost pristine condition that all matched except the mag. Years later I saw the same pistol being offered on a forum as a "factory mistake" with the proper magazine added somewhere along the way which was correct as to type and letter block, but the serial number was in reverse order. At least this one hasn't had numbers re-stamped which unfortunately, is becoming a more frequent occurrence with the availability of repro dies coming out of eastern Europe.
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:08 AM   #10
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I believe someone swapped the barrel and locking block on this one at some time for whatever reason.
What are the proof markings on the barrel and locking block?

Matt
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:28 AM   #11
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Just wondering: is it normal for the font used for the SN's on the slides + barrels to be different from the SN font used on the frames of these early-production P.38's made by Walther?


Look at the font of the number "3" as used in the slide; it is distinctly different from the font of the "3" used on the frame. The (mis-matched) barrel SN then appears to use the same "3" font as found on the slide. Also, the font used on the magazine SN is the same as the "3" on the barrel and slide. ?????


When I first studied the mis-matched numbers on the barrel, I thought that the "3" was actually a poorly-struck "8". However, on the locking block, it does look more like a "3" and, again, using the same font as found on the slide and magazine SN's . . . but differing markedly from the font used for the SN on the frame.


The differing SN fonts used on this gun are really interesting to me . . .but I'm certainly not an expert on early Walther production P.38's, so this mixed-use of fonts may be 100% normal and not noteworthy.


IMO the barrel mis-match occurred in military service, likely when a group of brand-new P.38's (that had all come from the Walther factory in the same shipment of sequential . . . or very closely grouped SN's) got issued to a German Army unit. The parts then got mis-matched in service during the cleaning of weapons . . . which was often a communal-type activity with soldiers sharing cleaning gear and related supplies. Just look at the photos in the "Propaganda" series of books . . . there are plenty of photos showing the "communal" cleaning of weapons and you can easily see how parts could get mis-matched.
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Old 08-19-2019, 12:45 PM   #12
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Highly doubt this was a "Factory" error.
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:26 AM   #13
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Circling back to the issue of different font types being used for different components of the early Walther production P.38's, here are a couple of photos of a similar P.38 in my collection. My gun is an "f" SN block; the OP's gun is an "e" letter SN block. Interestingly, my gun shares the same "mixed" font characteristics as the OP's gun.


Any P.38 experts out there who can tell us about Walther serial numbering fonts and patterns?
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:24 PM   #14
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I didn’t notice this before but on the right side of the locking block is a ‘35’.
‘4344’ and a ‘35’ on the side.
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Old 08-20-2019, 12:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TP Alexander View Post
I didn’t notice this before but on the right side of the locking block is a ‘35’.
‘4344’ and a ‘35’ on the side.
The '35' is a batch number for the barrel (also preceded by 'B' in a circle) and has no relationship with weapon serializing. Just a coincidence in this case.
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