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Is this really a P38 SVW??

Posted: Sun Nov 25, 2018 10:48 am
by indy1919a4
Saw this auction coming up.. without the box, I never would have called this a SVW pistol. It is not marked with a star or anything.

But the box from interarms clearly has this pistols serial number on the side.. And the box called it a SVW.. So I ask, could it be..???

Or is this something that interarms would have done in the day and mislabel a firearm??

https://christys.hibid.com/lot/46234552 ... ip?cpage=2

Re: Is this really a P38 SVW??

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 1:15 am
by vandle
I thought AC was Walther, Zella-Mehlis
SVW was MauserWerke AG, Oberndorf
formally BYF

Re: Is this really a P38 SVW??

Posted: Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:03 am
by RWS
As Vandle correctly stated, Mauser was initially assigned byf as its Nazi manufacturing code. In January, 1945 Mauser's manufacturing code was changed to svw. Mauser svw 45 P.38's with Nazi markings on the frame, slide, & barrel (but no import markings) are the valuable collector pieces.

It is known that the occupied Belgian FN plant produced ac43-marked slides with 459 inspector codes for Walther but many were shipped to the Mauser factory. It is speculated that by 1945 the Walther plant had suffered fairly severe bombing damage and that Mauser could more effectively make use of those slides. The French captured the Mauser factory in April of 1945 and soon after began assembling P.38's, allegedly for French security forces, in violation of allied occupation agreements. The Soviets protested and so in 1946 the French had to take all their P.38 footballs and go back home to France.

French-made examples of svw45 frames with ac43 slides are known to exist and will not necessarily have the 4-point star on the slide, but will likely have the star on the barrel and/or locking block. Bottom line is that the P.38 in question is almost certainly a post-war French pistol, but the Walther-marked slide makes it a fairly rare variant. This also means that putting an actual value on these pistols is tough to do.

Interarms bought thousands of these post-war pistols and gave them the name of Gray Ghost to provide some intrigue. They also made up a fanciful story about them being found in abandoned WW2 submarine pens, but in reality they're just a post-war footnote.

I have one of the French svw45 pistols (but no Walther slide). I paid $500 for it over 10 years ago and that's about all it is worth today. I think its greatest appeal for most is that it is a real steel-framed P.38 with a mint barrel.

-Bob

Re: Is this really a P38 SVW??

Posted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 12:44 pm
by indy1919a4
Many Many Many thanks for your insites.. They must have made a lot of those AC43 slides if they were still around after the war for the French to use.

Per the gun in question, I did look at it in person and there was no star on the barrel or locking block

By the way I do like the Interarms Gray Ghost name and the submarine pens story.. on another note, I think these were imported in the late 60s.. Look at the price of extra Magazines from Interarms.. I think that is a tad high..

Image

Any Idea what Interarms sold these p38s for in the day???

Re: Is this really a P38 SVW??

Posted: Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:39 pm
by indy1919a4
RWS wrote:
Mon Nov 26, 2018 10:03 am

French-made examples of svw45 frames with ac43 slides are known to exist and will not necessarily have the 4-point star on the slide, but will likely have the star on the barrel and/or locking block. Bottom line is that the P.38 in question is almost certainly a post-war French pistol, but the Walther-marked slide makes it a fairly rare variant. This also means that putting an actual value on these pistols is tough to do.


-Bob
Did finally get to see the pistol stripped down and did see the Star in the Locking block and barrel back area

Re: Is this really a P38 SVW??

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 7:55 am
by RWS
Indy:

I went to Christie's web site via the link you provided in your initial post and noted that this post-war P.38 sold for $625. I was guessing it was worth about $650 with ONE mag. Add in the minimum 10% buyer's premium and sales tax and that will pay for the extra mag (assuming it had the correct E/135 marking). So, it went for less money than a highly desirable collection specimen. Should make a great shooter though.

I guess the French-built pistols with AC43 slides are even more common than I thought.

-Bob

Re: Is this really a P38 SVW??

Posted: Sun Dec 09, 2018 11:04 am
by indy1919a4
Desirability depends I guess on the owner, this one went to a guy they call Frenchie... He wears a Beret, he smokes only Gauloises cigarettes, he has a thick French accent and he will buy all French guns like this... So price is no object for his.. to him this is desirable.. Go figure..