I can assure the buyer of this gun, that it is the original #1 serial numbered gun made by the Carl Walther gun manufacturing company in 1943, for the German Military.
The Carl Walther company began development of a new military pistol in the mid-1930's, for the German's Military, to replace the WWI Luger design. In 1938, the Werhmacht adopted the Walther MP model experimental pistol, called the "Pistole 38." Three gun manufactures made eight different models of this gun. (each model starting with the #1 serial number). Carl Walther made 5 models, Mauser-Werke made 2 models and Spree-Werke made 1 model. By the end of the war in 1945 over 1 million of these guns had been produced.
It is believed that each of the #1 serial numbered guns, along with dozens of other presentations and fully engraved and electroplated finished guns, were given to Adolf Hitler. However, it's impossible to prove beyond a doubt that any gun was given to Adolf Hitler, because all of the records prior to 1946 were destroyed at the end of the war.
I can't guarantee that it's got a factory finish, as the gun was made during war time. The nickel, chrome and gold electroplated finishes were supposed to be done by jewelers as were the fully engraved guns. On the war time guns, such as this one, you can see in the pictures, heavy tool markings. (See pictures inside of frame and around the slide mounted decocker). Guns weren't perfectly finished like today's Kimber's, Ruger's, Smith's, Colt's, Glock's and even today's Walther's. The surface scratches on both sides of the frame are just from 66 years of ware, in and out of the holster. You don't notice the scratches as much in person, the pictures were taken at 400x zoom and under heavy lighting.
I took the advice of museum curators and a couple of people that authenticated this gun years ago (I've owned it about 11 or 12 years.) They told me that to remove all doubt about the gun's authenticity, I needed to have the gun x-rayed. I located a major University that was capable of doing the recommended tests. The University of Arkansas, in Fayetteville, Arkansas, was able to do these tests. The physics department administered several energy-dispersive x-ray spectroscopy tests. (see authenticity for laboratory results) The tests were to prove the finish, Nickel/Chrome and 24k gold and the gun is made of Iron, manganese and carbon. The x-rays were taken around serial numbers, proofs and stamps. No other fillers were detected. This means this gun has never been re-stamped. This gun is the original #1.
Another way to show this gun is an original, war time, Walther (see pictures) is that there are 5 places stamped #1, notice each one is different. This means it was stamped in different parts of the factory with different stamps. None are exactly the same stamp. There are 6 Walther Acceptance stamps and each is different. Some are deeper, some are clearer, showing that it wasn't done with the same stamp. There are 3 Nazi proofs as well, none the same depth or exactly the same.
The Walther P.38 is still in use today and it's classic design is still imitated by numerous firearms companies. I think the Beretta 92 9mm is the closest to the same design. The Beretta 92 is widely used in America law enforcement and military. I believe the 1943 Walther P.38 was the first gun to have a slide mounted decocker as well.
Over the last several years I've seen and read about quite a few guns that were suppose to have belonged to Adolf Hitler, most were either fully engraved and/or nickel, chrome and gold electroplated. I've seen some on the Internet that belonged to private collectors and some to museums. Some were for sale from over 3 million dollars to around 5 million, several are considered priceless. There have also been several guns over the years for sale that were suppose to have belonged to Hermann Goring, Josef Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, Martin Bormann, Eva Braun, Emmy Goring, Alfred Jodl and Wilhelm Keitel, each for sale for well more than a million dollars.
I've only heard of one other #1 serial numbered P.38 being found and sold. I don't know it for a fact, because I was reading it in a WWII chat room, but the gun was suppose to have sold to a private collector, through a broker, for around 2 million, about 10 years or so ago.
This opportunity may never come around again. If you have the financial resources, you could own the world's most infamous person's personal firearm. Whereas most are either in a very private collection, never to be sold again, or in museums. The buyer of this gun will remain strictly confidential.