The Walther-P38 was first produced by the Carl Walther Waffenfabrik in 1937 (and originally named the Heeres Pistole), marking the company's introduction to the manufacture of parabellum weapons. It was adopted in the next year by the German army as the standard officer's sidearm. Production stopped in 1945, and resumed in 1957 for use by the Bundeswehr.

The P38 takes 9mm parabellum rounds, with a standard magazine capacity of 8. It has an overall length of 216mm, with a barrel length of 129mm, and an unloaded weight of about 27 ounces, loaded of a little over 2 lbs. It fires at a single-shot rate of 24 rounds per minute.

One of the niftiest features is the cartridge indicator pin, which protrudes from the back of the slide when a round is in the chamber; if I remember correctly, this was the first handgun to have this.

It has proven itself to be one of the most reliable handguns of the 20th century, and is highly recommended, if you can still get your hands on one. A used World War II model should run you anywhere from $300-500 dollars, though this will be considerably more if you can find one of the rare Model P38s.

The mentioned "rare model" P 38 pistols would have a swastika or other Nazi proof marks as the P 38 served in the SS along with the Luger for the better part of WWII.

One way to find out if your P 38 is one of these highly collectible cruffle waffens is to look at the serial number of the gun and of the magazines, even if it does not have Nazi proof marks as long as the pistol and magazine have the same serial number it is a WWII era P 38 and is highly collectible.

The Nazi proofed specimens command even a higher price as there is a huge demand for Nazi memorabilia out there. And it's not even Nazis who collect these stuff, just WWII buffs and other gun nuts.

Btw, the gun is properly known as P.38, P-38 is an airplane and P38 is a can openner.

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