Walther P38

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Walther P38 Gun Stats

Walther P38

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The Walther P38 (originally written Walther P.38) is a 9 mm semi-automatic pistol that was developed by Carl Walther GmbH as the service pistol of the Wehrmacht at the beginning of World War II. It was intended to replace the costly Luger P08, the production of which was scheduled to end in 1942. The first designs submitted to the German Army featured a locked breech and a hidden hammer, but the Heer (German Army) requested that it be redesigned with an external hammer. The P38 concept was accepted by the German military in 1938 but production of prototype ("Test") pistols did not begin until late 1939. Walther began manufacture at their plant in Zella-Mehlis and produced three series of "Test" pistols, designated by a "0" prefix to the serial number. The third series pistols satisfactorily solved the previous problems for the Heer and mass production began in mid-1940, using Walther's military production identification code "480".

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Walther P38 Specs

1 Brand

2 Category

Technical Data

Gun Type

Semi-Automatic Pistol

Barrel Length

4.9 Inches


8 + 1




1.35 Inches


30 oz


8.5 Inches

Walther P38 Features

The Walther P-38 is a steel-framed semi-automatic pistol chambered in 9x19mm and was the first double-action / single-action fired pistol to employ a locked breech in its short-recoil action. This pistol has an exposed 4.9 inch barrel topped with windage-adjustable sights and features a slide-mounted safety and decocker.

Walther P38 Ballistics

Walther P38 Capacity

The Walther P38 is chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum and feeds from proprietary single-stack magazines with 8 round capacities.  

Walther P38 Ergonomics

The Walther P38 features many of the ergonomic features of modern pistols, though its fine slide serrations and its magazine release located on the bottom of the grip are far from current design theory.  Its slide-mounted safety is easy to reach even with smaller hands and its trigger pull is rather decent in earlier models.  Towards the end of WWII, manufacturing quality definitely dropped in an effort to increase production.

Walther P38 Fit & Finish

The Walther P38 is available with black or brown polymer grip panels and was originally blued on its steel components.  Later examples show rough machining marks though their function is still just as good as the nicer, earlier examples.

Fit and Finish

How much is a Walther P38 worth?

In 2024 a new or used Walther P38 value varies depending on supply and demand. In the last 12 months there is great demand for a Walther P38 and most handguns. The Price for a Walther P38 has increased in cost by $0.00 in 2024 compared to 2023.

Estimated New and Used Values for a Walther P38 Values are based on a basic model with no options or colors.

Condition Trade-In Private Party Dealer
New In box $747.49 $977.49 $1,149.99
Excellent $689.99 $919.99 $1,034.99
Very Good $632.49 $919.99 $1,034.99
Good $575.00 $862.49 $977.49
Fair $402.50 $747.49 $919.99
Poor $287.50 $575.00 N/A

Gun Value Conditions explained:

New in box - 100% condition in unopened box. Excellent - 95%+ condition with or without box.

Very Good - 90% - 95% condition (all parts/finish should be original).

Good - 80-90% condition (all parts/finish should be original).

Fair - 30% - 80% condition, parts, and finish may or may not be original. Must function properly and shoot.

Poor - under 30% condition. Firearm has severe wear and tear, does not function, or is damaged.

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