The stainless lugers were made by Aimco in Houston. Mitchel Arms was the first company to market the pistols,,they used 'Mitchel' as a trade name on them in doing so. That was 1990 or '91.
A few years later, Stoeger Industries bought the rights to market the pistols.
They were still made at the same place,,Aimco in Houston Tx.
Stoeger has owned the rights (don't know the exact legal term) to the name 'Luger' in the USA since the 1920's when they were an importer of the pistols from post-War Germany.
When they took over marketing the Aimco Luger, they changed the markings on these stainless steel pistols to include a 'Luger' making/logo on the left side flat along with the Stoeger name. The Aimco manf name is still there too above the left grip.
The Michell marked guns usually bring better money than the Stoeger guns. Michell marked guns were only made for a couple, maybe 3 years. Not that it makes them a highly collectable pistol, but it does separate them from the more common Stoeger product.
The Mitchell pistols have a reputation for better fit and finish than the Stoeger marked pistols.
Of the ones I've seen,,I'd agree with that. Some of the Stoeger marked pistols are very poor quality polish w/ severe rounded corners and poor fit. Others not as bad.
As to the 'soft metal',,many owners will say they have experienced excessive battering of the toggle into the rear of the frame and some other areas of wear from shooting.
I don't know what ammo was used and I will say that original Luger pistols will show some battering at the rear outside of the frame also from the rear toggle section if excessive loads are used.
A couple I've seen looked pretty well beaten up. The stainless isn't 'hard' by any file test, but neither is an original Luger frame.
Early Luger toggle assemblies are glass hard, later are very tough through hardened steel. These stainless assemblies appear to be the same as the frames.
All very unscientific I know,,but it's a comparison I can give you.
With that, I don't know if the parts are as-cast,,or if they did in fact receive some sort of heat treatment after machining and finishing.
Might be a case of a little of both during the course of manufacture when such excesses in wear show up. Just a guess of course.
It's still a 130 y/o design. Just because it's made of stainless doesn't make it any stronger.
I do know that the stainless pistols, regardless of who's name is on them are investment cast parts and there is some problem with cracks and parts breakage mostly on the smaller parts.
Not a condemnation of investment casting for gun parts in general,,just what I have seen with these pistols.
Last edited by 2152hq; 02-01-2013 at 09:30 PM.