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Thread: RFI: Walther P38 AC41

  1. #21
    Wag more, Bark less RJ's Avatar
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    I took a few pictures of the proof marks...most all of which are WA 359 with the stylized Eagle above.

    There's an interesting "Circle B" with a "57", then what looks like an incompletely stamped "WA 359" on the side of the barrel near the front, right:

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    This is typical of the WA 359 marks, on the slide, right hand side:

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    And the mysterious "acht comma drei und achtsich"

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    "Don't f*** with it" seems to prevent the vast majority of reported issues." --BehindBlueI's

  2. #22
    Member gato naranja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJ View Post
    I wanted to ask a few questions about the holster, let me get these posted:
    Included in a small leather pouch in the interior is this curious little tool:
    That's a typical P-08 hardshell holster. Some of the older German holsters will have makers' names stamped on the back (such as "Karl Akva, AG" or some such thing), but as time went on German leather gear got more "mysterious" by having either the maker's code or an "RB" ID number... or no maker's identification at all.

    That little tool is a combination magazine loader (put the P-08 magazine follower button in the hole with the little 90-degree "wing" outward and below, and press the follower down with your thumb via the "wing") and "takedown tool" (the screwdriver fits the grip screws on a P-08). Almost all P-08 holsters I saw seemed to still have them, and some of them must have done some traveling to end up where they did, because I would occasionally run across ones that had marks consistent with WWI manufacture.

    My favorite uncle had a small batch of souvenirs he brought back, and when he'd trot them out at my request, the leather gear had a unique smell that I still recall after all these years (it was not the "Ballistol" scent). I would not apply anything to try and preserve the leather, although a little neutral wax leather polish generally won't hurt things. The best thing a person can do is keep a holster in a stable environment that is neither too hot nor too cold, and not where the leather will dry out too much.

    (And if you value the pistol, don't keep it in the holster.)
    gn

    (un VIEJO gato naranja... and still skeptical about humans)

  3. #23
    Member gato naranja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJ View Post

    And the mysterious "acht comma drei und achtsich"

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    IIRC, the three digit numbers on major components were generally the last three digits of the firearm's serial number.
    gn

    (un VIEJO gato naranja... and still skeptical about humans)

  4. #24
    Wag more, Bark less RJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gato naranja View Post
    That's a typical P-08 hardshell holster. Some of the older German holsters will have makers' names stamped on the back (such as "Karl Akva, AG" or some such thing), but as time went on German leather gear got more "mysterious" by having either the maker's code or an "RB" ID number... or no maker's identification at all.

    That little tool is a combination magazine loader (put the P-08 magazine follower button in the hole with the little 90-degree "wing" outward and below, and press the follower down with your thumb via the "wing") and "takedown tool" (the screwdriver fits the grip screws on a P-08). Almost all P-08 holsters I saw seemed to still have them, and some of them must have done some traveling to end up where they did, because I would occasionally run across ones that had marks consistent with WWI manufacture.

    My favorite uncle had a small batch of souvenirs he brought back, and when he'd trot them out at my request, the leather gear had a unique smell that I still recall after all these years (it was not the "Ballistol" scent). I would not apply anything to try and preserve the leather, although a little neutral wax leather polish generally won't hurt things. The best thing a person can do is keep a holster in a stable environment that is neither too hot nor too cold, and not where the leather will dry out too much.

    (And if you value the pistol, don't keep it in the holster.)
    Thanks a bunch.

    I can vouch for “the smell”. I thought it WAS Ballistol but it’s not quite, but very ah pungent. I have it in a zip loc so as not to be noticed by Mrs. RJ’s rather sensitive olfactory sense. I’ll leave it be.
    "Don't f*** with it" seems to prevent the vast majority of reported issues." --BehindBlueI's

  5. #25
    Wag more, Bark less RJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gato naranja View Post
    IIRC, the three digit numbers on major components were generally the last three digits of the firearm's serial number.
    I can confirm the locking block is marked this way. Makes sense.
    "Don't f*** with it" seems to prevent the vast majority of reported issues." --BehindBlueI's

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by RJ View Post
    The most common one I see is Waffen Amt (my German is rusty but I believe the translates to “Weapons Office”) (paging @P30) 359. This appears to be German WW-II Heerswaffenamt (Army Weapons Office) inspector's mark from Walther, Zella-Mehlis, Germany.
    The term "Waffenamt" is new to me. I looked it up:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waffenamt:
    Waffenamt (WaA) was the German Army Weapons Agency.
    tague.at/pistolen/index.htm?/pistolen/pages/p38.htm:
    There "WaA 359" is called "Abnahmestempel" (approval stamp?).

    "Waffenamt = Weapons Office" would be the 1:1 translation. So I agree to your translation. But, OK, wikipedia translates it as "Weapons Agency".

    "Abnahme" is a German business term in this chain:
    "Angebot -> Auftrag/Bestellung -> Lieferung -> Abnahme -> Rechnung"
    I suppose it translates to:
    offer(?) -> purchase order -> delivery -> approval(?) -> invoice

    Today we have "Beschussämter" (proof houses). They fire the weapon - only once I think - and put a tiny stamp on it (proof mark). This confirms at least that the weapon does not explode into your face when you pull the trigger. As far as I know, they also (should) measure head space.

    You asked about caring the leather holster. I have a leather suit for motorcycle riding. It's produced by the company "Schwabenleder" (Swabian leather), probably the best here in Germany for motorcycle leather suits. About 20 years ago I asked them which leather care they recommend. I remember, the answer was: "Combi-Pflegeschaum der Marke Solitaire". It's this stuff:
    google.de/search?q=solitaire+pflegeschaum
    solitaire-mainz.de/index.php?id=247&L=1

    I bought it and it worked fine (don't have it anymore, should buy a new bottle). So this is the best German product I can tell for caring/maintaining the outside of the leather holster.

    Quote Originally Posted by RJ View Post
    Zella-Mehlis is about 340 km from where I was born.
    Cool. I came into this world about 260 km from Zella-Mehlis.
    Last edited by P30; 03-31-2021 at 04:41 AM.

  7. #27
    As far as I remember the point with the "Solitaire Pflegeschaum" was: It does not clog the fine pores of the leather, the leather can still "breathe". Grease would clog the fine pores.

  8. #28
    Member gato naranja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJ View Post
    I have it in a zip loc so as not to be noticed by Mrs. RJ’s rather sensitive olfactory sense. I’ll leave it be.
    I can understand Mrs. RJ's objection! Gata naranja feels similarly. Just don't leave it in the ziploc bag too long, as you don't want any moisture inside condensing and mildewing it. This old leather gear is kind of like Goldilocks- you want to store it in a place that's not too hot or too cold, not too dry or too damp, and one that is dust-free; getting the right environment and then maintaining it does wonders. Think of a climate-controlled museum display as the yardstick to measure by.

    A lot of bringback pistols have been seriously degraded because the holsters they were put away in promoted rusting/corrosion, yet others kind of shrug it off... luck of the draw, I guess. You hate to see it when it happens, and storing the two separately is cheap insurance.

    One of the more common WWII bringbacks is the dress fire police (Feuerschutzpolizei) dagger, which looks like a nickle-plated Kar. 98K bayonet without a mounting slot/catch. These were attached to the belt via a leather frog, and a lot of these daggers are still very nice except for areas of the handle that had lain against the frog and now display rust pinholes in the plating.
    gn

    (un VIEJO gato naranja... and still skeptical about humans)

  9. #29
    Lowly Production C-Class olstyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by P30 View Post
    Today we have "Beschussämter" (proof houses). They fire the weapon - only once I think - and put a tiny stamp on it (proof mark). This confirms at least that the weapon does not explode into your face when you pull the trigger. As far as I know, they also (should) measure head space.
    My understanding is that the single round fired at the proof house is significantly over spec max pressure for whatever caliber the firearm is, so it's really a test of what happens in an extreme scenario - I.E. if it doesn't blow up with that, it should never ever blow up with normal ammo that the end user would put through it.

  10. #30
    Wag more, Bark less RJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olstyn View Post
    My understanding is that the single round fired at the proof house is significantly over spec max pressure for whatever caliber the firearm is, so it's really a test of what happens in an extreme scenario - I.E. if it doesn't blow up with that, it should never ever blow up with normal ammo that the end user would put through it.
    That seems to line up with further research today.

    Re: the three proof marks, I’m understanding the left hand WA359 is applied to the slide in white, the right hand stamp is for “Pistole, komplete” und ze Center vun ist für die proofmark ven Test-Schüssen gefinished ist. *

    * Hey most of my German came from watching Hogan’s Heros on AFN.
    Last edited by RJ; 03-31-2021 at 01:34 PM.
    "Don't f*** with it" seems to prevent the vast majority of reported issues." --BehindBlueI's

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