P38 AC41 value

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by RedMtn13, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. RedMtn13

    RedMtn13 New Member

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    I inherited a WW2 P38 and would like to get a estimate of it’s value. I know very little about WW2 hand guns so I thought I’d ask the experts.

    The gun has been in a display case for 60 years and the holster just thrown in a box in the basement. The holster is stamped P.08 so it’s not correct for the gun, but it did have a spare clip in it.

    The gun is an AC41 with all matching 829f S/Ns, even the clip. What makes this interesting is what I found in the holster. The clip did not fit well in the holster so while investigating I could see a wadded up piece of paper in the bottom. I’ve attached a picture of the paper. It looks to be an issuing receipt. It has the S/N 829F and maybe 16 rounds?

    Now for the fun part, look at the date on the bottom. July 21 1944, that’s the day Hitler broadcasts his radio message “I’m still alive” after the failed von Stauffenberg assassination attempt.

    Don’t know if this adds to the value but it sure makes your imagination run wild about what was going on at the time this was written.

    Attached Files:

  2. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

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    I don't know current values on these but I know someone will. All I can say is DON"T SHOOT IT.;) I had a customer with a all matching one like yours go out and shoot his and a big chunk of the slide broke off about 5 rounds in. Devastated he called me to fix it. I did, Laser welded the slide, refinished it and then painstakingly worn down the finish so it match the rest of the gun. Big price tag came with that. Collect-ability was ruined but He wanted it back the way it was. I got it back to him fully assembled. Warned him, never shoot, don't dry fire it, don't rack the slide and slam it home. Not even a hour later he calls. He racked the slide to look at my work. It slipped out of his hands and "crack". Right next to my weld. So long in short, Don't shoot it.;) The older slides are not the best metal in the world.
  3. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    What a beauty!!!! NICE original P-38. Just thought I'd chime-in and also beg you not to ever fire it, but not quite for the same reason as Helix FR. I also have a war time P-38, but not even close to being as nice as yours. Mine was a war trophy bring back, but no papers, and a CYQ, so not a Mauser or Walther like yours. Mine was a nice shooter.

    Then one COLD Colorado winter day at the range the extractor broke. Being a 40+ year weekend warrior pistolsmith, I started a quest to find a plunger, extractor and extractor spring that would properly repair my pistol. After 2 years, 2 professional pistolsmiths and lots of parts, I finally got it working again. I shoot it about once a year, and only a few rounds at that. (The last time was at a coyote who was wanting to eat my dog)

    Bottom line - maybe the later P1 versions are OK to shoot, but just retire the old war vets.
  4. Jim Hauff

    Jim Hauff New Member

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    Beautiful piece - great set - AND the paper receipt has to add a couple K to the value.
    I'd estimate, to a collector, your kit would start rolling at around $3500 and go up from there.
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    I have no doubt about the value, given the accompanying paper, and with that kind of money involved, shooting it may not be wise.

    But it is puzzling to read that there is some kind of inherent weakness in the metal of "older" P.38 slides. I don't say breakage can't happen, but those guns were well made of the best steel, by highly skilled workmen, in what were essentially peacetime conditions.

    I have fired hundreds of rounds from an ac 41, as well as many rounds from an ac 40 and ac 42, plus later guns by all three makers. The two main failure areas of the P.38 were the extractor and the top cover, either or both of which can depart due to a pierced or leaking primer. Early extractors can break, but it is not common and they are easy to replace. One failure, a safety breakage that results in full auto fire, has been highly publicized, but is very rare, and is as much or more the result of machining error as of improper heat treatment.

    Jim
  6. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    This is a really nice example of a 1941 P38. Most pistols of that year ended up in the Russian campaign and not many survived in this condition. With a matching mag the value would be around $1900. The inventory slip you have with it is extremely rare. In 50 years of collecting P38 pistols, I have never seen one. I feel it adds about $300 to the value. You show two magazines. If the second one matches as well, that adds about another $500 to the value. Let's see a picture of the P08 holster, so we can figure out what it's worth. Luger holsters in good condition can be worth a considerable amount.
  7. RedMtn13

    RedMtn13 New Member

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    Thanks for the info. and I don't think this gun had been fired since it left Germany and as long as I own it, it wont be. :)

    I don't plan on selling it. But was forced into an early retirement 14 mouths ago and while I'm still doing OK, you never know.
  8. RedMtn13

    RedMtn13 New Member

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    Bummer, one clip doesn't match, it's S/N 8249e.

    Attached Files:

  9. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    That is a beautiful Luger holster; I can hear the Luger folks drooling from here.

    Jim
  10. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

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    I thought the same thing. But after welding this piece together and the problems with the weld there were many voids in the steel. I had a lot of carbon pitting which is rare for a laser welder to develop due to the high heat in a very concentrated area. It may have just been this one, who knows.:rolleyes::D I bought the guy a completed slide for 50 bucks and it was way beefier (it was a post war slide). Not finished as well but way more stout.
    RedMtn's is a very very nice piece. hate the same thing to happen to him.

    Jim is right too: CDNN has many many parts for the P38. Extractors are only like 9 bucks.
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  11. RedMtn13

    RedMtn13 New Member

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    Ok as far as Luger go, here's the second part of the collection:

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  12. RedMtn13

    RedMtn13 New Member

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    and before anyone asks, the two clips don't match.

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    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  13. jim brady

    jim brady Well-Known Member

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    I agree that the extractors are not expensive and relatively easy to find. My particular pistol went thru 5 or 6 before I managed to have one stay put. I had the best gunsmith in my region even attempt to do this easy fix - but that extractor flew out after about 20 rounds (Winchester factory 115 grain practice ammo).

    Of course, every time the extractor flew away, the extractor spring and plunger went with it. I finally found one that stays put - but it wasn't as easy as it should have been. Was it beacsue mine was a CYQ? Don't know, just as Sgt Friday always said, "Just the facts". The hard fixes don't bother me, but I shudder at the easy ones.......
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2010
  14. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    Both of those Luger holsters are outstanding. They are each worth about $400 and could even top out near $500.
  15. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Hi, Helix,

    I am not going to section any of my P.38 slides to see if they have voids, but that one sounds like it might have been welded before. Voids usually show up in casting, and I know that no part of the P.38 was cast.

    I saw one P.38 slide that looked odd and asked the owner about it. He told me that the blue had been worn, so, following the advice in some old book, he had stuck the slide in the coals of his furnace to reblue it. I told him not to fire the gun. I have no idea what that "reblue" had done to the steel, but it was surely not good!

    Jim
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