When Hitler became the full power in the Germany in 1933, he'd began the preparations for the war. The development of the new pistole, to replace aging Lugers was one of such preparations. Carl Walther company began development of the new military pistole in mid-1930's, and in 1938 the Werhmacht (German Army) adopted Walther MP model experimental pistole as "Pistole 38".
|The P38 featured a recoil-operated, locked breech design with verticlally tilting blocking bar that connectet the short moving barrel and the slide. It also featured short, top-open slide and, first of the full-power military handguns in the world - the Double action trigger. It also featured manual safety, mounted on the left side of the slide, and loaded chamber indicator at the rear side of the slide. The gun was equipped with the slide catch at the left side of the frame. The frame and slide were all-steel, with blued or polished finish. The grip plates were plastic. The magazine catch was located at the bottom of the grip.|
After the WW2, the restored Carl Walther Sportwaffen company introduced an aluminium-frame variant of P38, called the P1, that served as a standart issue sidearm of the Bundeswehr (West German Army). A variant with the shorter barrel, called P4, was developed for police use. The Walther company still manufactured the P38s for commercial market.
Besides the Walther company, the Mauser firm played a major role in the manufacture of this weapon during World War II. Between 1942 and 1946, Mauser produced approximately 380,000 pistols of this type. Walther manufactured approximately 580,000 between 1940 and 1945. Mauser stopped production of the Luger pistol at the end of 1942. The last lot of P.08s, though proofed by the Heereswaffenampt, were not even accepted by the military and instead sold to Portugal (P.08, code byf42 Ser. No. 685n-5253n). P.38 production at the Mauser factory began in November 1942. All Mauser made P.38s either went to the military or the police forces. There were no commercial sales.
|Walther P4 - shortened post-WW2 version of P38 with acessories|
|Calibre:||9mm Pist Patr 08 (9mm Parabellum)|
|Barrel:||127mm, 6 groove, right-hand twist|
|Rate of Fire:||semi automatic|
|Magazine:||8 round detachable box|