New to me German 1943 byf P.38 with holster

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  • Trepang

    Active Member
    Dec 10, 2015
    1,897
    Calvert County, MD
    I came across a numbers matching 1943 P.38 made by Mauser that I thought would go well with my WWII Allied & Axis collection.

    It's marked "byf" and "1943". It also has fairly clear "135" waffenamts which makes it an early to mid 1943 production gun. About Mid-1943 they switched to "WA135" waffenamts.
    By this point in the war, the magazines were not serialized.
    Holster is also marked 1943 with proof markings.

    I am afraid this will lead to a Japanese Nambo Type 14 ....

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    Jul 1, 2012
    5,201
    Congrats, it looks like a nice clean rig!
    Late "e" block was made in June, 1943.
    You should be more afraid it will lead to more P.38's. First, one from each manufacturer.
    Then from each year, then police guns etc etc :)

    Did you get a spare magazine?
    It's hard to tell in the pics, but is the slide finish "different", looks almost like a light sand-blasted metal?
    If so that's desirable "dusty blue" and not commonly found in the late "e" block.

    A couple of noticeable things are different on an early 1943:
    - "straight" frame where the trigger pin goes through
    - extended cut behind the extractor

    The Waffenamt changed over from E/135 to E/WaA135 when they transitioned from 1943 to 1944 date codes (in the p and q block).
    Mauser never put serial numbers on their magazines (neither did Spreewerk), only Walther did (up to the ac/42 c block).

    The holster is fairly common but pretty nice shape... that company only made holsters in 1942 and 1943 (Otto Reichel, Lengefeld).




    byf43.png


    Late BYF43 (P-block) showing the later, shorter extractor cut and the "humped" frame.
    This one dates to Feb 1944, note it still has E/135 proofs and BYF43 slide.
    The rare one is a BYF43 with all E/WaA135 proofs.
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    Trepang

    Active Member
    Dec 10, 2015
    1,897
    Calvert County, MD
    Thanks guys and a big thanks to somd_mustangs for the additional information.

    Learning more about these pieces of history is a big part of why I enjoy collecting them.

    somd_mustangs, do you have any books on WWII rifles/handguns you would recommend? I'd much rather read a book than look around on line for information. I have a pretty good collection of Garand and .30 Carbine books but I have had a hard time finding anything on others that don't cost >$300.
     

    mawkie

    C&R Whisperer
    Sep 28, 2007
    3,965
    Catonsville
    A solid start to P38s and German pistols in general! Follow somd_mustang's advice when it comes to P38s and you'll never go wrong. He's a true guru on the subject, my go-to guy when I have doubts or questions on anything P38.
    As to books, are you looking for something a bit more general in nature or specific to a subject, like P38s? Between somd_mustang and me I think we have reference books covered as we're both old school and appreciate being able to dive deep into a subject.
     

    Trepang

    Active Member
    Dec 10, 2015
    1,897
    Calvert County, MD
    A solid start to P38s and German pistols in general! Follow somd_mustang's advice when it comes to P38s and you'll never go wrong. He's a true guru on the subject, my go-to guy when I have doubts or questions on anything P38.
    As to books, are you looking for something a bit more general in nature or specific to a subject, like P38s? Between somd_mustang and me I think we have reference books covered as we're both old school and appreciate being able to dive deep into a subject.

    My general interest is in WWII small arms, primarily US, Brit, German and Japanese. To a lesser extent Italian and French. Not really looking to collect museum pieces, I really just want one solid representative of each of the major allied & axis powers infantry weapons including bayonets if applicable.
     

    KH195

    Active Member
    Jan 10, 2013
    1,481
    Virginia
    Great P38! Axis Pistols by Jan Still is a great book to have, although it may push your limit at $300-350. It’s sent me way down the rabbit hole of hunting down the numerous pistols used by the Germans during the war.
     
    Jul 1, 2012
    5,201
    It's probably no coincidence that the better the book (both content and accuracy) the more expensive it will be :)
    The "Commemorative Anniversary" edition (the one you want) of the Jan Still Axis Pistols is $400+ now, it's a tough nut to swallow... make sure it has this printing on the front. It's an expanded version.
    img_0094_8_1.jpg

    I usually check out shootinggallerybooks on ePay, he has best prices and good stuff from specific things to general things, including Alex Krutzek's new P38 book.
    Bruce Canfield has written a number of books, both general and specific, they're all good.
     

    Trepang

    Active Member
    Dec 10, 2015
    1,897
    Calvert County, MD
    It's probably no coincidence that the better the book (both content and accuracy) the more expensive it will be :)
    The "Commemorative Anniversary" edition (the one you want) of the Jan Still Axis Pistols is $400+ now, it's a tough nut to swallow... make sure it has this printing on the front. It's an expanded version.

    I usually check out shootinggallerybooks on ePay, he has best prices and good stuff from specific things to general things, including Alex Krutzek's new P38 book.
    Bruce Canfield has written a number of books, both general and specific, they're all good.

    Thanks. Ill look into shootinggallerybooks. I do have a lot of Bruce Canfield's stuff which I do look.
     

    Trepang

    Active Member
    Dec 10, 2015
    1,897
    Calvert County, MD
    After the seller being out of town, then my trip to Tennessee plus the MD 7-day wait, I finally got it home. Pretty happy with it. I probably paid too much but I also found a "correct" spare magazine for it.

    Today I plan to go over the holster with some Bickmore Leather Conditioner.

    Now on the hunt for a Japanese Nambu Type 14 with original holster. I really don't care if it's numbers matching or not.

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    Jul 1, 2012
    5,201
    I wouldn't use that on a hard-shell holster -> "softening your leather..." is one of their claims to fame. It looks like it's really designed to keep boots, tack, etc soft and pliable, which isn't what you want here :) In general if it ain't broke don't mess with it kind of thing when it comes to these holsters. Anything petroleum based is no bueno for collectible holsters, I can't see if it is or not.

    In the nice condition it is in, you probably didn't pay too much, and if so, it was really just "too soon" LOL.
     

    Trepang

    Active Member
    Dec 10, 2015
    1,897
    Calvert County, MD
    I wouldn't use that on a hard-shell holster -> "softening your leather..." is one of their claims to fame. It looks like it's really designed to keep boots, tack, etc soft and pliable, which isn't what you want here :) In general if it ain't broke don't mess with it kind of thing when it comes to these holsters. Anything petroleum based is no bueno for collectible holsters, I can't see if it is or not.

    In the nice condition it is in, you probably didn't pay too much, and if so, it was really just "too soon" LOL.
    Gotcha. Once again I appreciate your help.

    What do you think of the spare magazine in the pics above - in hindsight, I should have checked with you before buying it but based on my research, its the right one for this P38
     

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