Norwegian Military Surplus P.38

Norway was one of the early post-war adopters of the P38. They began purchasing spare parts for their well-worn wartime pistols almost as soon as Walther commenced post-war production in the late 1950's, and would later purchase complete pistols. Despite some early problems, the P38 served Norway throughout the Cold War and beyond. At the end of their service life, a small quantity were made available to collectors in Norway. The number offered is though to be about 500, with between 200 and 250 purchased. Of those, a very few were imported into the United States, making the Norwegian P38 one of the rarer post-war variations. This particular pistol, though not dated, is from a lot imported into Norway in 1975 [1].

Collectors interested in obtaining a specific Norwegian P38 would be well advised to verify the serial number is an actual pistol purchased by Norway from Walther and not a "parts gun," as some Norwegian pistols were reported to have been parted out - their slides (the only differentiating piece) mated to another post-war frame. The book referenced below in an excellent source, as it contains an exhaustive list of Norwegian P38s by serial number, taken directly from government records.

Updated 19 January 2010: The BATFE has granted my request to classify this pistol as a Curio and Relic. In addition to this specific pistol, they have classified the serial number range of 396001 to 397000 with the Norwegian crest to be C&R as well. Note that a P38 in this serial number range without the Norwegian crest would NOT be classified as C&R.

Read the approval letter.

[1] Source: "Walthers P.38 Pistol in Norway and The Norwegian Ulm Contract" by Per Mathisen, ISBN 82994456-3-9

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