Appraisal Luger P38 from WWII


Sarah Free Flower
August 22, 2006, 12:07 AM
I would like to know the value, based on all various factors, of the gun my granfather brought back from WWII. Here are the details as I can see:

Serial # 7019 a

markings left side: P.38 byf 44 on chamber, 7019 a with airplane WaA135 safety, etc still have their colors!!!

markings right side: airplane symbol, underneath is WaA135 and german SWASTICA and EAGLE

Grip is brown.

The gun fires beautifully, has not even had a full round ever fired through it, and has been maintained over the years.

with Original leather holster and with an extra magazine.

Safety lever, the S has browncreme paint and the F has red paint, still totally intact.


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August 22, 2006, 12:16 AM
a P.38 and a Luger are two different pistols... sounds like a P-38 made by Mauser to me.

this should be in auto pistols or research, so I'm going to move it... I'll leave a re-direct here.

PS welcome to THR!


August 22, 2006, 12:25 AM
Here's what information I can offer.

First, this is NOT a "Luger" it's a P-38 pistol, which replaced the Luger as the German service pistol.
Developed by the Walther company, they were made by several different companies during the war.

"byf" was a wartime code used to identify the Mauser company during 1944.

"44" indicates that it was made in 1944, and the serial number of "7019 a", indicates that it was made very early in 1944.
The "a" is part of the serial number, and was used to identify production blocks of guns.
This would have been gun number 7019 of the "a'" block.

"Wa135" was the acceptance stamp of the German military inspector working at the Mauser plant.

August 22, 2006, 01:17 AM
The best place to ask about this gun is at:

They should be able to tell you all about it and give you an idea on what it is worth. If you can post pictures, that would help greatly. Does the gun have the original "Capture papers" that were issued to your father when he brought it back?

As a guess, I'd estimate the value as between $500 to $800. That's large range which reflects how much of a guess this is. We'd really need good pictures and more detailed info to give a better idea.

Btw, be prepared for people to offer to buy the gun from you. There is some collector interest in P 38 pistols. If you sell it to a dealer, you would only get about 30% to 40% of it's estimated value. That's because the dealer would have to leave room to mark it up to the going market rate so he could make a profit on the pistol.

August 22, 2006, 02:13 AM
The byf is the German Arsenal code for the Mauser werke, located in oberndorf am neckar Germany. German ARsenal codes 1936-1945


Cap n Ball
August 22, 2006, 09:58 AM
" has not even had a full round ever fired through it"


Jim K
August 22, 2006, 12:21 PM
I believe the lady means a full magazine.


August 9, 2010, 05:24 PM
I have a p-38 my father brought back along with a Hitler youth knife. The serial # 5687s is visible in three places, slide ,body and block. P-38 , cyq and 5687s are stamped on the safty side .One clip has p-38 and the other has jvd stamped. It has a black grooved plastic wrap around handle with a metal ring for a tether. Holster has an extra clip that runs parallel to the barrel and on the same side as the strap. My father got it from a group of tired German soldiers at the end of the war. Curious about the manufacturer and value. It has been under his bed since the war. Great condition and no rust. Barrel is perfect.

Jim Watson
August 9, 2010, 06:05 PM
cyq is the German manufacturer's wartime code for Spreewerke in Berlin. They were the third contractor for P38s after Walther and Mauser.

A magazine marked p 38 was probably made by Mauser, the one with jvd is from Nordbohmismiche Metallwarenfabrik (North Bohemian metal ware factory, I think.)

I won't guess a dollar value, nobody else will without seeing good close clear pictures.

August 9, 2010, 08:56 PM
Saw your post, and I have a question. My great uncle brought back a Luger from WWII. The pistol is a 9mm, dated 1913. It is in firing condition, numbers match, and it's original holster (although not in perfect shape) came with it. I'm wondering what it may be worth. I fired the gun about 25 years ago. It's been cleaned and in storage ever since. If you send me a cell phone number, I can take any pictures to help identify barrell markings.

Jim K
August 9, 2010, 10:12 PM
A nitpick, but it is P.38 (with a period signifying the abbreviation for Pistole), not P-38.

On Lugers and P.38's each maker ran its own serial number series, and most started over each year.

They started with 1, went to 9999, then 1a to 9999a, 1b to 9999b and so on. The point is that if the letter is ignored, there are many guns numbered, say, 1234. A full identification of a Luger or P.38 will read something like "P.38, made by Mauser, marked byf, dated 1944, serial number 7019a."

Also FWIW, those marks are not "airplanes"; they are another form of Nazi eagle, but with the number of the Waffenamt (WaA) inspector rather than a swastika.


August 9, 2010, 10:45 PM (

picked this up many years ago--nice shape outside--
The grooves are badly corroded.
It still is a good shooter........................

I took it down one year to register the gun so I could take it to the range.
It took the cops about 30 minutes & then they finally registered it----one cop said" looks like a Walther" none of the young ones knew what it was.

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