The Walther P38 was in production from 1938 to 1963. From 1945 to 1957, no P38s were produced for the German military. Slowly over time, West Germany desired to rebuild its military so that it could shoulder some of the burden for its own defence. Walther retooled for new P38 production since no military firearms produc¬tion had occurred in West Germany since the end of the war, knowing that the military would again seek Walther firearms. When the Bundeswehr announced it wanted the P38 for its official service pistol, Walther readily resumed P38 production within just two years, using wartime pistols as models and new engineering drawings and machine tools. The first of the new P38s were delivered to the West German military in June 1957, some 17 years and two months after the pistol had initially seen action in World War II, and from 1957 to 1963 the P38 was again the standard sidearm.
In late 1963 the post war military model P1 was adopted for use by the German military, identifiable by the P1 stamping on the slide. The post war pistols, whether marked as P38 or P1, have an aluminium frame rather than the steel frame of the original design. The aluminium frame was later reinforced with a hex bolt above the trigger guard. During the 1990s the German military started replacing the P1 with the P8 pistol and finally phased out the P1 in 2004.
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