Norwegian Walther P38

Walther P38 Norwegian Contract

The Norwegian army decided to change to a new pistol in 1961 and after testing different pistols they decided to adopt the Walther P38 under the name m/38. The first order was placed in 1962. A Norwegian crest is stamped on the slide between the P38 and Cal. 9mm markings. The serial number of this pistol is 198253 and the last 3 digits of the serial number were also stamped on the slide next to the safety lever. The pistol below is fitted with a rare Norwegian lanyard.

Walther P38 Norwegian Contract lanyard
Walther P38 Norwegian Contract crown

This pistol was manufactured in January 1963 as can be seen on the right side of the slide. Two Walther acceptance stamps are also found on the right side of the slide, right side of the frame and under the barrel.

Walther P38 Norwegian contract
Inspection stamps on barrel of Norwegian P38

During the years of service different problems were observed with these pistols and thirty years after its introduction the Norwegian army decided to phase out the P38 and replace it by the Glock pistol. Most of the Norwegian P38 pistols were destroyed but a few (less than 500 pieces) were offered to Norwegian shooters and collectors. Due to a lack of interest in these pistols it is estimated that only 250 were bought by private persons, and a majority of these were deactivated. It is estimated that less than 100 functional pistols still exist up to today. The above picture shows one of these. Around 25 pistols are in the possession of American collectors. The rarity of these pistols makes these pistols desired among collectors and prices are extremely high ($2500, March 2010). The Norwegian P38 is classified in the USA as a C&R (curious and relic) pistol and this already indicates the special status/rarity of this variation.

Special vinyl/rubber holsters were made for the Norwegian army that can be seen in the picture below. Nowadays, these holsters are just like pistols and lanyards very difficult to find. The holsters came in two colors; green and blue/grey. Two Norwegian manual were printed for the P.38 (m/38), the first one dating from 1948 and the second one from 1963.

Walther P38 Norwegian contract holster