1942 John Martz "Baby" P-38

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This is a pristine Walther ac42 code dated 1942 P-38 converted into a 2" Baby P-38 by the Master Gunsmith John Martz. This Parabellum is 9mm with a 2" (50mm) barrel that is fully functional in the manner of the original P38.  Serial number placement is in the military ("exposed") style with all the original proofs.. The thumb safety is marked "S" and it comes with two magazines (both numbered). (1365)


NOTE: Photographs taken today with the high mega-pixel camera show more than we sometimes can see with the human eye. Magnified close-ups show us tool marks and natural surface conditions that one normally doesn't see in the ordinary handling of the weapon.  Photographs are copyrighted, all rights reserved, any extraction, reproduction or display of gun pictures without the express consent of the Phoenix Investment Arms is strictly prohibited. Thank you for your cooperation.


John V. Martz of Lincoln, CA has converted WWII P.38s and WWI / WWII Lugers into various configurations since 1968 in very limited numbers. These conversions are known for their quality workmanship and functional accuracy. Extreme rarity (and not for sale status) precludes accurate price evaluation.

These guns are a delight to hold; solid with the original steel frame and very comfortable.  This P-38 does not appear to have been fired as it was a one owner gun and the former owner relays that it was on display since the early 70's. Note how the magazines were cut down and both numbed.
This was gun #47 in the series of 50 and the JVM markings are the initials of John V. Martz.


Mr. Martz has retained the German Eagle 359 military acceptance proofs of the Walther AC series and re-polished the gun to remove the usual war time tool marks before it was re-blued in the same manner as the commercial Walther's with the deep blue color.

These guns were handmade in limited numbers by John Martz. This example is in like new condition and has been well preserved since it was made. The frame and magazine have Martz' initials and Martz has added the number "47" on the frame.

This is an example of seamless quality as the gun is proportionately reduced but maintains all the characteristics of the original. Above the hammer is the loaded indicated which lets the shoot know the gun is loaded both visually and by feel at night.


The P38 uses a double action trigger design similar to that of the earlier Walther PPKs, and a loaded chamber indicator is also incorporated. The P38 was the first locked-breech pistol to use a double-action trigger (the earlier double-action PPK was an unlocked blowback design, but the more powerful 9x19mm Parabellum round used in the P38 mandated a locked breech design..

The shooter could load a round into the chamber, use the de-cocking lever to safely lower the hammer without firing the round, and carry the weapon loaded with the hammer down. A pull of the trigger, with the hammer down, fired the first shot and the operation of the pistol ejected the fired round and reloaded a fresh round into the chamber, all features found in many modern day handguns.

Grips are beautiful high grade walnut, highly checkered and cut to reflect the size of the gun.  The magazine has also be reduced to fit the re-sided P-38 and will carry seven rounds.


It is entirely subjective to give any gun a rating of excellent or fine, just as it is to declare it xx% blued or strawed. This gun, while not acquired on the battlefield can be considered new by the work of John Martz.  Bluing percentages is like Beauty, in the eye of the beholder.   We strive to provide pictures so you can judge for yourself if the gun meets your criteria.

This is a magnificent example of the master gunsmith John Martz in an everlasting product conversion of a Walther ac42 to the "Baby" reduced sized model Pistole 38 as it was officially designated by the German Army. The all matching gun comes with two original magazines and custom walnut grips to form a highly crafted and very sought after "Baby" edition. With Mr. Martz in retirement there are no more of these unique guns to be had.