Manurhin/Walther P1/P38


March 18, 2009, 01:09 PM
Does anyone know how to determine the manufacture date of a Manurhin P1/P38 pistol? It doesn't have a date code like the Walther manufactured ones and it's not date stamped. I assume one would need to know the date for the serial number ranges...if so, anyone know where to find them?

I have this much from another post, but no details on each year:

Production started in 1963 and ran into 1987; the serial numbers range from 200000 to 450000.

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March 18, 2009, 01:28 PM
I could be wrong, but I don't think Manurhin ever made P38.
On the date I think you out of luck, since the French proof stamps don't have a date.
Did you try to write to Manurhin.

March 18, 2009, 01:43 PM
True, technically it's a P1, but it has zero P1 features...all P38 features(no pin, narrow slide, short serrations, small sights, etc.). I wanted to pin the manufacture down to the year at minimum.

March 18, 2009, 04:54 PM
Go Here the P1/P38 Forum there's a guy named Orv that can tell you. Its a great sorce of information on the P1's & P38's.

March 18, 2009, 06:31 PM
Manuhrin did turn out a number of fine P1s; they can be spotted on some of the auction sites or at places like Simpson's Ltd., from time to time.

Walther keeps records on all of its post-war guns, including the Manuhrin models (sadly, the pre-war and war-time records were destroyed), and they will answer email inquiries:

It generally takes them a day or two to get back in touch.

Dieter Marschall's book "Walther Pistols Models 1 Through P99" also is an excellent resource for you. You can get it through Ucross Books in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

Orv Reichert and some of the other folks on the P.38 Forum are excellent resources, as Zebra... correctly pointed out. Author Dieter Marschall also hangs his hat at this site.

March 18, 2009, 07:10 PM
Thanks! I didn't know I could inquire with Walther on it. I posted over on P38 forum, but got no answer on the approximate manufacture date. I was also asking about what the 3 over 34 means that's part of the Portuguese contract cartouche...nothing on that either...I guess anything post-war isn't too interesting to anyone.

March 19, 2009, 01:09 PM
Bird: Give the guys time over at the P.38 Forum. Someone will get to it.

Meanwhile, you might want to check this source on the proofmarks used by European firearms makers and see if you can find anything that makes sense to your specific gun:

There's also lots of information in the Marschall book, which is highly recommended. To wit:

The Manurhin guns were produced from 1963 to 1987, with the serial number range running from 200,000 to 450,000. All parts were made by Walther and shipped to Manurhin in France, where they were marked, assembled, and proof-tested. They were made largely for the West Berlin police force, although other police agencies used them as well (the Four Powers Agreement required that no German weapons could be used by the West Berlin police, and the Manuhrin P1 was technically a French weapon, not German).

"To some extent, these West Berlin pistols were made from parts originally manufactured to fulfill a Portugese contract. Some slides, therefore, carry a 'crossed cannon barrel' mark."

When the slides on these pistols failed because of use and age, they were replaced with the so-called fat slides; these had the Berlin proof mark: the "Berlin Bear" (left-facing, rampant).

Hope some of that helps.

March 20, 2009, 04:42 PM
blkbrd666 You say these pistols were manufactured between 1963 and 1987, I believe and the serial no's are from 200000 to 450000. WOW I think I got a winner here. LOL Actually I have a P1 it's serial number is.... 9415...... I'm brand new to this site so I hope I can obtain some good information.
I read the Manurhin and the Walther web sites but there was no way to contact anyone there. ........ So if these pistols were manufactured there in France then could it be the one I possess was made in the German factory before Mr Walther left? If you know or could direct me to somewhere I can find out I'd be grateful. Thanks a bunch!

March 21, 2009, 07:46 PM
According to Walther's post-war records, the P1s with alloy slides in the serial number range of 001001 to 299707 were made from May of 1957 to July of 1966.

Also keep in mind that many of the P1s were refurbished through the years, with new slides added to replace damaged ones. Many of them also are stamped with NATO numbers, which can be confusing.

The surest bet to figuring out exactly what you have is to email Walther and ask them for the details they possess on your gun. They are generally quite good at answering quickly.

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