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P.38 Serial Question

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Stope Rat, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Stope Rat

    Stope Rat Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Recently ran up on a Mauser P.38 with mismatched numbers, and wanted some assistance.

    Left side of slide shows "P.38" and "byf 43" - so far so good.

    But the serial number on the slide seems to be short to me. It's only two numbers, followed by a script "a". Same two numbers and script "a" on the frame, along with the eagle over 135 acceptance stamp.

    The barrel shows four numbers followed by a script "b", and the locking block shows three numbers and a script "b".

    So the big question: Were there ever 3-digit serial numbers? My understanding was that it was always four numbers, followed by a letter code. Is this a normal marking for the start of a block? (Did they just leave off the leading zeros?) Is it a mistake?

    I welcome the opinions of you P.38 experts.
     
  2. JT-AR-MG42

    JT-AR-MG42 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Messages:
    449
    All three WWII manufacturers used numbers 1 to 10,000 per letter suffix in 1943.
    No use of zeros preceding the first 999 pistols of a block during that year either.

    JT
     
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  3. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    15,850
    Location:
    Centennial, CO
    I've seen two and three digit P38's before.
     
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  4. Stope Rat

    Stope Rat Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    81
    Thank you gentlemen. I appreciate the fast answers.
     
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