Have a smith check it out. Some of the p38's were sabatoged in the factory near the end of the war.
While it could fit in the self defense role (after having a smith check it out), there are other handguns that can fit the self defense role better in that price range.
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."
Life Member NRA
Life Member NAHC
Former President of the ECPT (Eifel Combat Pistol Team)