Walther Armee Pistol Prototype with COVID-19 UPDATE
Prototype of P.38
Hey guys and welcome to one of my educational videos which I decided to do because I had a very rare gun come in this week and it's about to be sold. And I wanted to show it to you before it leaves the office.
I am Wearing Gloves. You’re Welcome! COVID-19 Commentary
It is a prototype for the P38. You can see it here, as it showed up on our website and it is the Army Pistol or Model AP. I'm going to talk a little bit about that, but before I do let's take a look at some obvious changes.
You see this, I'm wearing gloves. I'm wearing gloves for two reasons. First of all I want you to know I heard your feedback and I paid attention. Since I've been doing these videos, I've gotten a number of comments saying why aren't you wearing gloves? Now I've been doing this for 30 years, I've never had a thumb print on my finish, I've never had corrosion due to handling; because every time I handle a gun I wipe it down with oil, lots of oil. I handle oil all day long and I go home with the softest hands in town. But I've noticed on those comments I had 95 people give a thumbs up on wear gloves.
So I decided to listen to you on these expensive prototypes, I'm wearing gloves today. But second, I'm wearing gloves because we are in the middle of the Coronavirus panic. We've been told to quarantine, keep your distance, no public gatherings, so it's a scary time. If you're watching this concurrent to us releasing it then you know how I'm feeling right now and that's one of the other reasons I'm wearing gloves. But if you're watching this maybe six months or a year from now, and everything turned out fine please let me know because I'm a little bit worried.
Stay Tuned for Industry Update on COVID-19 and this Industry
Okay, so for this video I'm going to show you a very rare gun, give you some lead up, up to the production of the gun and the P.38. But also at the very end, if you stay to the end, I'm going to give you an industry update in light of the Coronavirus. What I've noticed has changed about the industry already and where I see all this going. So stay tuned if you want to hear my commentary on the Coronavirus and this industry.
“Armee Pistol”/Model AP. Quite Rare Indeed!
So this is the gun that you've all been waiting for. I'm going to get close up, so I'm actually going to take it apart, side by side with this zero series. You can see that this zero series is numbered 268, which means it's the 268th one made. This AP Army Pistol is number 44. This is a prototype that led to the production of the P.38. So quite an exciting gun. Very few of these known and I'm going to take it apart in front of you, a close-up so you can see the developmental differences. But let's first lead-up to the development of the P.38.
Development of P.38
So Walther of course was wanting to get military contracts during World War I and generally German soldiers were using the Luger. The Luger had a lot of fans. I don't want to bad-mouth the Luger because I'll get a lot of nasty emails from you guys saying don't badmouth the Luger. But the truth is it had a lot of moving parts and it was very expensive. So Walther was making smaller pistols like the Model 4. And one very rare gun, they only made 1,000 of these and this is kind of a prototype which never really took off, never went into full production. They were made in 9-millimeter which is important.
Trying to get Military Contracts
So again they were trying to get military contracts. This never took off, I’m not sure why but what I've heard is the blowback feature on a 9-millimeter was not consistently reliable. And so this in 9-millimeter never was accepted and this is number 1007 and they went up to about a 1030, so there was actually a 1030 made.
Made in Early 20th Century
They were all considered prototypes but these were made in the 1915-1917 range. If you know Model 6s you never see them this beautiful. This is an actually beautiful gun, glad I have my gloves on. One feature just as an aside, they used horn grips. And interestingly I see little holes, you can see them on the side and on the bottom, tiny holes which are bore holes. So there are bores that eat the horn grips and this is…I guess a common problem back then, that if you store them in the attic for a while they will get bores and make little holes in them. But other than that it's a beautiful gun. I just mentioned it because I find it as an interesting aside.
Bigger Version of Model Four
And in looking at this gun, it looks a bit like a Model 4. You see here, here's a model 4. This is just like…which was in 32 caliber.This is a bigger version of the Model 4, it comes in 9-millimeter, it was hopefully going to be accepted by the military, it never was. So the reason that's important to note is because that was Walther’s first attempt at making a bigger pistol in 9-millimeter. The same thing happened in World War II.
Luger Not Worth the Headaches?
They were commonly using the Luger, and the Luger was well accepted by most people. But they were expensive, a lot of moving parts. I'm told if you drop it in the mud they tend to not function properly. So they needed a sturdier gun. Other countries such as the United States were using the 1911 Colt which was more reliable in difficult conditions.
Walther Takes a Run at Military Contracts
So Walther again trying to get, they’re businessmen, they're trying to get contracts, so they of course they had the Walther PP. This is actually a very early PP, its number 137. So this was the 137th gun made, it's got some early features but it comes in 7.65, made in 1929. So in 1929 they had a very successful run at the PP and later the PPK. So then Walther said what can we do to get a military contract? They wanted to make a 9-millimeter. They actually blew this up a little bit, made it a little bit bigger, about the size of the Model 6. They blew one up and there's a prototype, I don't have one to show you, but it came in 9-millimeter but again the blowback feature didn't work consistently. So it didn't work. But they had to come up with a whole new design to take the PP and make it into a 9-millimeter that could be used by the military. And that's where they began production of the P.38. And you can see right away how different the design is from the PP and the PPK.
I’m Ready for my Close Up
So let's just focus in on this Army Pistol and take some close-ups. Before the Army Pistol by the way, there was a Model MP for Military Pistol. It was in 9-millimeter, is was very similar, it had reinforced slide like this one does, but there was no bridge here, there was a couple other features that made it unreliable. So this AP was an improvement over the MP and let's take a few minutes to take this apart and compare it to the gun that we all know more universally as the P.38.
Prototype vs Early P.38
Okay let's take a look at this prototype Army Pistol versus the very early P38. The Army Pistols made in around 1935, between ‘35 and ’37. I think there is only about 50 of these made and they were all prototypes. There's only a couple known to still exist. There are a couple of them featured on Forgotten Weapons mostly from Rock Island Auction and this actually is one that came…it didn't come to me from Rock Island but originally came from Rock Island, and Ian did a video with this gun in it, number 44. Versus the very early P.38 which this is probably early 1940 and was issued to the military as you can see by the Waffen stamps which are all over the place.
People ask me all the time about the little white stuff in there that was added later. These were painted originally from what I understand, I wasn't in the factory at the time but my understanding is these are factory original, this marking the red and the white. But the rest of this white was added by collectors. I tend not to add it or take it out I just leave it alone but some collectors will put that in there to highlight the markings. So this is a zero series.
Front Sight Comparison to Start
So let's start from one end and go to the other. Let's start at the front sight. You can see, first of all both of these come in 9-millimeter and you can see the front sights are slightly different. One has a crown and the other one is more straight cut. The MP did not have the bridge and this one does have the bridge. You can see that's this piece right here to hold the barrel steady. The MP didn't have that, so this was an improvement. The AP added the bridge.
Takedown Levers and Company: A Closer Look
You can also see one of the takedown lever, slightly different. This takedown lever versus this takedown lever, but the slide stop is relatively the same. The safety is relatively the same, they don't have the SNF but it's relatively the same and the rear sight, the rear sight is relatively the same just a slight difference on the rear sight. But the biggest difference that you'll notice is this had the hidden hammer. Now the Luger had the hidden hammer, Walther - most of their semi-automatics all had the hidden hammer, I'm not sure why they decided to…add the hammer, other than this is single action, it doesn't fire in double action and this of course is an improvement for the military because it does have the hammer and it does work in double action. So it'll work by cocking it or not cocking it.So that probably was a change that the military appreciated and an improvement in the P.38.
So let me begin to take these apart for you guys. The first thing I want to do is pull the magazine out. You'll see that this…the zero series magazines were numbered on the side. This one is not matching but it is an early zero series you can see that. And also the grips were Waffen stamped and numbered. You'll just have to trust me on that but there's a Waffen stamp and a small crudely numbered. So I'm going to set these aside but both grips…these are made of bakelite as a castanet kind of sound. You can see that they're both numbered to the gun and Waffen stamped.
Internal Aspects Examined
Let me get that out of the way, so you can see some of the internals. Here's the AP. Now I mentioned the bore…first of all, you can see that is the number, I don't know what 87 is but this is number 44, so this is a matching mag and the grips are not made of bakelite but are made of wood.
How are the Grips?
Now these grips are made of wood and they are also numbered not Waffen stamped because again these were never issued, they were just prototypes probably went out for a series of trials. But you can see these are number 44. Also remember I mentioned the bore, not the bore of the gun but the horn bore. This also has little circular holes, very tiny circular holes, I'm going to see if we can get that. Very tiny circular holes which we all know about wood bores. So again interestingly these probably you sat in an attic and were eaten by some kind of insect, very tiny, otherwise a pristine gun.
And now we can begin to see the internals, the sears are about the same, so that design is the same. Also the trigger bar is very much the same, the writing on this pistol it says Walther Patent, let me get that, writing here says Walther Patent and the serial number you can see 044, and the serial number on the magazine is matching. And then on this side, you can see the Walther banner, you can see Army Pistol and 9-millimeter and that's as opposed to this one, as opposed to this gun. You can see very clearly P.38 and the Walther banner and then of course, this one has three Waffen stamps, one of them is very light, but there are three Waffen stamps there.
You see that little dot there, that is a bluing drip and if a gun is original finish they…most often these early guns will have blueing drip, just an interesting feature. Let me go ahead and do the takedown lever and take this down. So after I do the takedown lever, then you have to put it on safe and then this bar pops up. This takes the place of the hammer. And if we look at the internals it has a locking block just like the P.38 and interestingly, you probably can't see it but down inside there, let's get this, down inside there is the rectangular firing pin and the internal hammer. Also there is no extractor. The extractor is internal and if we look at the early P.38, we take this one down, drop the hammer, it slides off, you can see the locking block. A little bit of difference but generally the same locking block, barrel the AP barrel is not numbered, the zero series is. The locking block on the zero series is numbered and Waffen stamped. And again this is a first variation P.38. It does have the rectangular firing pin, as does the Model AP. So these are very similar, only slight changes.
First Variation Zero Series
Now let me remind you, we call this a first variation zero series because very quickly I can show you, this is just a standard World War II P.38 that most of you are pretty familiar with that has an external extractor whereas both of these guns do not have the external extractor. So that had an internal extractor which I assume when they moved it externally, it was a better design because they did that really quickly.
Also the firing pin, if you look in here, the firing pin is round. If you look in here the firing pin is round as opposed to the early variations, they were rectangular. No idea why that improved it but it was clearly a change that was made very quickly in early 1940. Now let's look inside the frame. I mentioned the sear trigger bar this has a different feature here. I apologize I don't know what that is but there is a different feature there. Take down I just saw that, the take down lever here is number 44. So the takedown lever was numbered to the gun. Let's look at the internals.
Internal vs External Hammer
You can see the internal hammer versus the external hammer. Other than that I see only slight differences. You see the trigger spring here versus the AP the trigger spring is elsewhere down inside there I can't even see…I can see it but it would be hard to show, the trigger spring is down inside there. And then also the frame right here is numbered 44.
So those are the differences you do see the springs are a little bit different and then of course the back is different. So those are the differences between these two pistols the AP and a very early zero series. These are the differences in the internal design. Hey I hope you enjoyed that overview of a very rare pistol, the Army Pistol Prototype of the P38. For some of you is a lot of minutia, maybe not that interesting but for me it's such a rare gun, I just had to share it with you.
Coronavirus Update for Gun Industry
Now I started off by saying I wanted to talk about my thoughts on the Coronavirus not…I don't want to talk about nationally. I think we need to support our leaders who are trying to do everything they can to keep us safe but here's what's going on in the gun industry.
People are Buying A Ton of Guns Right Now
Just like any panic what we're seeing is people are buying more and more guns, and more and more ammunition. We are not a store, we're an internet store, so actually this month, month of March 2020, we're having our best month ever in terms of sales because people are buying high-end guns. Now I can't figure that out because the stock market is down 30%, my portfolio has been crushed, but people are buying guns at this time when there's generally…people are concerned about the future. So that's an interesting sidelight. Also, they're cancelling all gun shows.
All the Gun Shows are Canceled for Now
So all the gun shows this month and next month have pretty much all been cancelled. So the only way we're getting guns, we can't go to shows anymore, a lot of the auctions are not allowing live auction but you can do internet. So I think that's probably one of the reasons we have seen increased sales, is people can't…they can't get their fix. They can't go to a gun show, they can't sell things or pick up things. So we're getting a lot of guns in the mail, a lot of people are sending us guns because they want to turn it into cash. They're raising cash, which is wise and then other people are just saying this is a great opportunity to buy guns and we're selling more guns than any month in the history of the company.
Are Gun Shows Waning? Are you Becoming More Comfortable Buying Online?
So this might be a wave of the future. I do think in general gun shows were beginning to die off, meaning every year I go the attendance gets lower and lower and vendors are less and less. This Coronavirus I think is going to take a huge hit on gun shows and I do believe that more and more people are going to be buying through the internet. So, when you buy guns make sure you go something to somebody you trust obviously we highly recommend Legacy Collectibles. If you want to sell guns contact us. If you want to buy guns go to our website and check out some of our offerings.
Thanks for Watching!
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Keep us in Mind for Your Next Purchase!
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Dehumidifiers work and are Necessary for your Guns
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10 years for $30! Great Deal!
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Check out our Dehumidifiers
I highly recommend these dehumidifiers. It comes in two sizes, this is for a larger safe, this is for a smaller area. And also if you're like me I have air conditioning in my home but in my closet where I keep my clothes and stuff, it sometimes gets a little musty in there. This is great for any small space and there's no need to plug it in. You don't need the electrical outlet, until you get to the place where you have to dry it out. Check it out on our website and thank you for supporting our channel.