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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last issue of Shotgun News has an article by P.Kokalis which mentioned that a SVW 45 Fench issue was a "desirable" P38. I have one, all matching VG+ condition, Nazi inspection mark on the barrel, Fench star on frame, late/post war stamped steel grips (just like the ones in Kokalis's photos). Picked it up as a shooter for $350. My impression was that collectors look down on this variation compared to a war time nazi issue. It does have the Interarms name on the bottom of the slide rail which I'm sure knocks it down some as a collectable. So? Is it a collectable or strictly a shooter?
 

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The French assembled an even smaller number of SVW 46 P38s. These are the more collectable of the the two, but again, purist P38 collectors don't hold either variation in high regard. That makes them both collectable and shootable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
... That makes them both collectable and shootable.
Great...it is a nice shooter. I wasn't too happy at first with the metal grips and I bought a P1 parts kit for the later black grips. Unfortunately, I don't like the black plastic grips as much....not as hand filling or as comfortable. I also started to thinking that on a matching French issue they were actually correct so I'll let them in place.

In the Shotgun News article, he mentioned these were issued to French Foreign Legion? Any truth to that, or were they just standard French Army issue?
 

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The French were critically short of guns to use in Indo-China (Vietnam) and Algeria, having given all their guns to some German tourists in 1940.
The post-war Mauser assembled P-38 was issued to many French troops, but since the Foreign Legion saw more combat than the typical French army unit, they got a lot of P-38 pistols.
Then too, a lot of the post-war Foreign Legion troops were the same German tourists who'd passed through in 1940, and were quite familiar with the P-38.

As far as I can remember, only the last batches of the French P-38's were importer stamped. The earlier guns were brought in before the Federal law requiring a import stamp.
Since the French P-38's were not produced in huge numbers and are an interesting variation, I'd call them collectible.
I suspect one day soon the collectors will suddenly discover how collectible these guns are and will stat grabbing them.
 

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The Phosfate (parkerized) finish guns went to the military. The blued ones went to the police.
I have always considered the frog made P.38s to be collectable, course I've only been collecting P.38s since about 1954 so what do I know?
Sarge
 
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