The Walther P38 is a semi-automatic pistol chambered in 9x19mm Parabellum that was developed by Walther arms in 1938 as the service pistol of the Nazi German Wehrmacht at the beginning of World War II.
It was intended to replace the costly and complicated Luger P08, the production of which was scheduled to end in 1942. Although it is similar in design and name to the P08 and was designed as a replacement for it, the P38 was actually developed from the Walther AP. In addition to a single-stack 8 round 9mm magazine, some P38s were also chambered in 7.65x21mm Parabellum and some .22 Long Rifle versions were also manufactured and sold. The P38 was the first locked-breech pistol to use a double-action/single-action (DA/SA) trigger. Upwards of 1,000,000 P38s were produced. Initial production P38 pistols were fitted with walnut grips, but these were later supplanted by Bakelite grips. In late 1963 the postwar military model P1 was adopted for use by the German military, identifiable by the P1 stamping on the slide. The postwar pistols, whether marked as P38 or P1, have an aluminum frame rather than the steel frame of the original design. The aluminum 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.
The design of the P38 would go on to inspire the famous Italian Beretta 92FS pistol.
When John Rambo is transporting the missionaries from the Christ Church of Colorado down the Salween river, he tells everyone to get down and don't make a sound when they pass a Burmese Tatmadaw Army pirate hut. They look to be safe, but a pirate boat turns on its floodlights and speeds towards them. Rambo says not to look them in the eye or they will kill them, but the pirates respond by shooting into the water. Rambo stops the boat and the pirates drop their anchor onto Rambo's boat. The head pirate pulls a Walther P38 and asks what they are doing in their part of the river. Rambo responds that they are bringing medicine to the sick, and the pirate demands him to turn on the lights. Rambo obliges and the pirate notices Sarah Miller. He demands Sarah in exchange for passage, but Rambo attempts to negotiate, knowing that the pirates would certainly rape her dozens of times and then kill her. The pirates refuse to negotiate and despite Rambo's repeated attempts at persisted negotiation, they still demand Sarah. When all possible attempts at negotiation fail, Rambo is forced to pull his 1911 pistol and shoot all of the pirates to death, shocking the missionaries and angering Michael Burnett.
The pirates here also carry TT pistols and a deck-mounted M2HB machine gun.