This is a very scarce and very fine condition, all matching, WWII CZ Model vz.38, which was called the Model 39(t) by the Germans, which was manufactured in 1939, and which was used by the German armed forces during WWII.
The VZ.38 Pistol was developed by Ceska Zerojovka, in Strakonice, known simply as CZ in Czechoslovakia, as a replacement for the vz.24 pistol. The pistol was designed by Frantisek Myska. After a prototype was produced, CZ sent the weapon to the Czech Ministry of National Defense’s armament commission for evaluation. The commission’s evaluation report, dated April 30, 1938, was very favorable. Shortly thereafter, the decision was made on June 1, 1938, to adopt the new pistol as the standard side arm for the Czech Army. The new model was designated the “pistole vz. 38.” A few weeks later, on June 14, 1938, order number 25 151 V/3. Oddel, was sent to the CZ factory at Strakonice for the purchase of 41,000 vz.38 Pistols. The price was set at 270 Czechoslovakian Koruns per pistol, which was half the cost of the earlier vz.24 pistol.
The timing of the order was inauspicious. After the Anschluss of Austria into Nazi Germany in March 1938, the Munich Agreement was signed in September 1938. This led immediately to the incorporation of the Czech Sudetenland into German on October 1, 1938, with the German occupation completed by October 10, 1938. This ultimately led to the creation of the Nazi Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, which was infamously led by SS-Obergruppenfuhrer Reinhard Heydrich until his assassination in Prague in 1942. The CZ factory at Strakonice was located in the Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, which is located about 50 miles southwest of Prague.
Production of the CZ.38 began at serial number 250,000, but the German occupation meant that none of the new pistols would ever see service with the Czech Army. The Germans, in perpetual need for small arms, ordered the CZ factory to continue production. By the end of September 1939, under German occupation, 16,115 pistols were completed. The Germans designated the pistol the Pistole 39(t). The “t” in the designation identifies the firearm as manufactured in Czechoslovakia as Czech in German is “Tschechisch.” In October 1939, 8,000 pistols were completed, and another 8,000 were completed by the end of November 1939. The German occupation authorities accepted the final 8,885 pistols by the end of December 1939.
The CZ vz.38 / 39(t) was used during WWII by the German Wehrmach, the Reich Labor Service (reichsarbeitsdienst), Organization Todt, and the German Luftwaffe. Approximately 1,731 pistols were sent to Finland and are marked “SA,” which stands for Suomen Areija, or Finnish Army.
All vz.38 / 39(t) pistols are marked on the left side of the slide with “CESKA ZEROJOVKA AKC. SPOL. V PRAZE.” The serial number is stamped on the left, front of the slide, and just below that on the front, left of the frame, followed by the acceptance marking “E7,” which was arms technical office number 7, which was located at the Strakonice factory, followed by the Czech rampant lion symbol, and the last two digits of the year of acceptance. The rampant lion is also found on top of the slide.
The vz.38, which is a simple blowback operation pistol, is unique in that the barrel is attached to the frame by a hinge. The pistol was chambered in the .380 ACP round, designated the 9mm x 17mm Browning Short Round in Europe. The barrel is 4.625” in length with an overall pistol length of 8.125”. The pistol weighs 32 ounces, and it has a detachable magazine holding 9 rounds. The function of this pistol is double-action only, which is why there is no manual safety.
As noted, this particular pistol is in mint condition throughout. Based on the serial number, it was in the first block of pistols delivered and was probably manufactured in September or October 1939. The Frame on this pistol is in mint condition, retaining 99% of its original, high quality blued finish throughout with wear noted on the sharp edges. The barrel pivot pin retains all of its straw finish. The left, front of the frame has the serial number “255648” stamp. There is a “2” stamp on the left side of the frame and a “5” assembly stamp on the bottom of the trigger well. The disassembly lever retains 99% of its original blued finish and the serrations remain crisp. The Magazine Catch retains 95% of its original blued finish with wear at the front from contact with the magazine. The Lanyard Ring retains 90% plus of its original blued finish with wear on the outer edge and it rotates correctly. The Main Spring remains correctly in the white, and the Main Spring Screw retains 100% of its original straw finish. The Trigger retains 90% plus of its original straw finish. The hammer spring remains in the white. The Sear and disconnector both remain in the white in fine condition. The Hammer retains 90% of its original straw finish with wear noted on the strike face. The Recoil Spring Guide retains the majority of its original straw finish, and the recoil spring remains strong. The slide catch boss on the recoil spring guide exhibits very minimal wear. The Ejector retains 98% of its original plum finish. The right side of the frame retains the correct “CZ” in a circle stamp, followed by the “E7” ordnance inspection stamp, the Czech rampant lion stamp, and the “39” year of production stamp. The original Side Plate retains 98% of its original high quality blued finish on both sides and it is serial number matching to the pistol with “55658” stamped on the interior.
The Barrel retains 98% of its original blued finish with some light frictional wear on the barrel and some storage wear at the sharp edges of the muzzle. The front slope of the front sight is stippled to reduce reflection. The rear third of the barrel is in the white. The bore is in mint condition with a mirror finish and strong rifling. The top of the barrel has the correct Czech rampant lion stamp.
The Slide is in mint condition and retains 98% of its original, high quality blued finish with wear noted on the sharp edges. The left, front of the slide has the pistol serial number “255648” stamp, and the “CESKA ZEROJOVKA AKC. SPOL. V PRAZE.” stamp on the left, middle of the slide. The machined serrations on the left and right rear of the slide remain crisp. The Rear Sight retains 98% of its original blued finish, and its witness line aligns perfectly with the corresponding witness line on the top of the slide. Just forward of the rear sight is the Czech rampant lion stamp. The Extractor retains considerable original straw finish and remains strong. The breech face is very clean. The Firing Pin Retaining Plate retains 95% of its original straw finish. The Firing Pin remains in the white, and the firing pin spring retains the majority of its original straw finish.
The original one-piece, wraparound grip is in mint condition. Made of dark brown Bakelite, both sides have crisp checkering and the correct “CZ” in a circle stamp below the screw boss. Both grip screws retain the vast majority of their original straw finish and have unmarred slots. There are no cracks or chips noted on the grip.
The original Magazine is present and is in very fine condition. The external surface of the magazine body retains 99% of its original blued finish with minor friction wear. The Follower remains in the white and is very clean. The original Follower Spring retains the majority of its original straw finish and remains very strong. The Floor Plate retains 90% of its original blued finish with wear noted on the sharp edges and at the rear where it rides over the magazine catch.
This is a very rare, mint condition, and unique CZ sidearm that had the misfortune to be designed just before the Germans seized the CZ factory and the rest of the Sudetenland in 1938. The small production run was then used by the Germans for military and political use. This particular pistol was undoubtedly used very little given its very high condition. Most surviving CZ.38 / vz.39(t) pistols exhibit hard use, so this is a very scarce example. This pistol still functions perfectly.