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  #1  
Old 06-18-2016, 10:55 PM
policerevolvercollector policerevolvercollector is offline
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Default Questions for Luger owners.... I got my 1st Luger!!! PICS ADDED

I've recently become infatuated with the idea of owning my 1st P-08. What are the key things to look for? I want one to shoot am an not looking to start a Luger collection. But, I do want one in "original" condition. Would the real ones be made by DWM or Mauser or both? What should I expect to pay?

Please educate me!

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Old 06-18-2016, 11:23 PM
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DWM and Erfurt in WW I. Simson, Krieghoff, DWM (I think) and Mauser in the 1930s and WW II.
Oops: forgot the Swiss Lugers and those asembled by Vickers.
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Old 06-18-2016, 11:40 PM
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I prefer the pistols that were made by Mauser because of their improved metallurgy. Mauser made pistols from 1930 to 1945/46 and used frames supplied by DWM together with the machinery for the first few years. You can identify a reinforced Mauser made frame by the "hump" at the end of the frame, or the 1937 version by dimples on the stock lug rail.

I had a number of Mauser made P.08s but have only two left that were the most accurate and best shooting ones and they are both reissued VOPO guns.

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Old 06-18-2016, 11:41 PM
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The DWMs are a little nicer than the Erfurts. I'd want to take any Luger I was buying apart and check around the firing pin and the spring guide, definitely look down the bore as I've seen a few sewer pipes. Kinda would like to check the magazines cause Lugers can be finicky. Taking one apart is really simple, you need to learn how before jumping in.


1916 DWM

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Old 06-19-2016, 12:11 AM
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If you want to shoot your Luger when you get it I would advise getting one that is shooter quality. These usually will not have matching numbers among other imperfections. They will also be considerably less expensive. Shooters will start around 800 and go up from there. Matching ones will get you into the 1700 and up range. None of them are really cheap. If you have an all matching number Luger and break one of the numbered parts you will lower the collector value greatly. You will never get the cost of the gun back should you decide to sell. Collecting Lugers can be very addictive because they have such an interesting history and have so many variations. I would search the web and read up before buying. There are some great Luger sites out there. Good Luck.
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:21 AM
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What do you mean by original condition? All matching numbers and no refinish? That will get real expensive real quick.

I got a 1938 Erfurt earlier this year and enjoy shooting it. It's been refinished and has a couple of mismatched parts but that just means I don't feel bad about shooting it.
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Old 06-19-2016, 12:29 AM
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Hello!
Best first Luger advice: don't just buy the first one you see!

I would strongly recommend joining up at the Luger forum. LOTS of very valuable information! The classified ads there are a good way to buy a Luger as the members are very honest and will help guide you for your first purchase.
Also, I would recommend buying a few books on the Luger history and variations. I read several books over the course of a year before making my first Luger buy. I'm glad I did it that way!

For German made ones, I like the DWM ones best. They are very nicely made, and were made in enough numbers that can get the best ratio of "dollar spent to condition received".
But, my overall favorites are the Swiss made ones. They tend to be in very fine condition, and they tend to shoot very, very well.
But, they will almost all be in 7.65mm. So, your preference might well be different.

Lugers are very fascinating! Enjoy the process of researching the subject, and you are bound to get a bigger thrill and appreciation when you make that first score!

Best Regards,
Jim
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Old 06-19-2016, 05:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reddog81 View Post
What do you mean by original condition? All matching numbers and no refinish? That will get real expensive real quick.
I got a 1938 Erfurt earlier this year and enjoy shooting it. It's been refinished and has a couple of mismatched parts but that just means I don't feel bad about shooting it.
1918 was the last year of production in Erfurt.
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Old 06-19-2016, 06:45 AM
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I'm not a Luger expert by any means but I do own a couple of shooter
grade Lugers and can offer some opinions. Both of mine are WW2 era
9mms made by Mauser. Overall I would prefer one made in the late
30s to early 40s because of improved metallurgy as mentioned above.
If by original condition you mean all matching numbers and original
finish then you better have deep pockets. Both of mine came from the
net auction sites several years ago when prices were more reasonable.
Both are original, meaning not refinished, but are not completely
matching. If you expect to shoot your Luger I would suggest again
that you look for a WW2 era gun in 9mm. Many of the early DWM guns
are in 7.65mm cal and ammo is scarce and expensive. My two. The
bottom gun has fine pitting overall, came from an estate and has
matching numbers except for one part. It must have been a
battlefield pickup by a vet who brought it home with him.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:25 AM
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Default price guide...

I have purchased P-38's from Simpsons Ltd... still can't afford a Luger... but they have always been honest in their descriptions of the firearms offered... a nice place to window shop and figure out what it is you might want... or can afford...
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:45 AM
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If you just want a shooter, I recommend you look at the Mausers made in the 1970s. Sure they do not have the collector value of a vintage gun, but they are very well made, beautiful pistols. Mauser made these on Swiss tooling they re-imported back to Germany. They come in all kinds of interesting variations, and are still reasonably priced. I have several lugers, but the Mauser is my range gun.

Purists may scoff, but I think this is a neat configuration: Swiss style grip, grip safety, navy type barrel (not navy sights unfortunately).

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Old 06-19-2016, 08:09 AM
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This is payback for starting the "what is your favorite single stack 9 mm" thread .

Your cost will vary depending on your definition of "original". Complete, worn and non-matching numbered parts will be very different from less worn to pristine and all matching, especially the magazine. dstephns has the good price ranges above in my observations.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:24 AM
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Lugers were manufactured by seven different companies in three different countries. DWM, Mauser, Simson, Erfurt, & Krieghoff, Germany, the Swiss built their own style, & the Vickers built in England for the Dutch.
In the 70's Mauser built several models, Swiss, Cartridge Counter, Standard (?? can not remember), and the Carbine complete with stock all imported by Interarms. 90's-2000's time frame Krieghoff produced a limited production model at mega bucks. Other than the add photos the only Interarms model I actually held and fired was the Swiss style.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:26 AM
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A good solid choice would be an all matching late 30's Mauser imo for a first Luger.

Here's a '36 Mauser and an uncommonly found simson. The simson was the only authorized mfg in Germany in the wake of the Versailles treaty. They produced guns for the reichswehr and German police.

The simson tooling was later acquired by krieghoff who in turn produced p08's for the Luftwaffe.

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Old 06-19-2016, 08:47 AM
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I am also no expert on Lugers. But I think they are cool, futuristic looking, and downright sexy.

In 1976 my mother gave me a 1918 DWM for my 21st birthday. It was stolen in 1985 and I found another 1918 DWM to replace it (like that could be done). This one was stamped for the Wolfsberg Police Department. As I understand it there is some sort of safety modification made to the police guns to prevent them from firing during disassembly. Since you are a collector of police weapons you might want to seek one of those. Sellers will usually mention this feature in the ads.

The difference in price between a mismatched shooter and more complete and original shooter isn't all that much. I would look for a nice (but not pristine) example with the police safety and often they have departmental stampings like mine and that should appeal to you.

Mine is all matching and in pretty decent shape. Very reliable (Lugers can malfunction with low powered ammo as they were designed for full power military loads) and pretty accurate. I used it in a service pistol match about 20 years ago for fun.

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Old 06-19-2016, 08:53 AM
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You won't regret owning a Luger. That toggle link action fascinates me. Mine isn't a collector, but you'd be amazed how well it shoots.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:31 AM
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What Consummate 9mm collection would be complete without a Luger ?

Lots of good info posted, I would only add that if you are looking for a neat shooter also keep an eye out for the Stainless steel copies made by Mitchell Arms, IIRC I paid around $600 for mine new sometime back in the 90's but they have probably gone up since then.


Later versions can be identified by the "Luger" stamp applied once the legalities got sorted out with Stoeger.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:33 AM
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Iíve only owned three Lugers, the one I have now is a 1923 Finnish contract in .30 caliber (great shooter). But a late friend had a seemingly endless series Lugers all of which we shot. From that shooting Iíll go out on a limb and say if you are going to shoot them Ďhotterí ammo seems to make them function better. Iíve seen several that wouldnít go thru a magazine of American-made commercial hardball style ammo without 2 malfunctions.

Like others have said become familiar with the market before jumping in. Things such as a correct holster or one or two matching magazines can make a pricy difference.

As robvious said Simpsons keeps a large and varied inventory of Lugers. If you are interested in any of their offerings spend some time on the phone with their salesperson and cover the condition thoroughly and donít be afraid to return the pistol if you donít believe it was what you thought you were buying. Return shipping will be at your expense but you will get a prompt refund.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:40 AM
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Btw, it may be worth noting that only Americans refer to these as "Lugers"

The Luger has a very stiff mainspring that was designed to function with the hot 30's era 9mm loads that were shared with the the mp38 and mp40 submachine guns.

The modern NATO ammo approximates that load.
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Old 06-19-2016, 07:58 PM
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I've had many over the years, still have a few.
You pay for condition and originality (parts, finish, ect) just like any other collectible firearm.
But a mismatched and/or refinished pistol can be an excellent shooter.

One of my best shooters as far as reliability is a mismatched upper & lower unit 1908 commercial in 9mm. Someone tinkered a bit with the trigger link in the sideplate so it could be the longest trigger-pull Luger around.
But 100% reliability w/nothing more than Rem/UMC 115FMJ ammo and a MecGar (sp?) repop magazine.
A Mauser BYF41 all matching including magazines and in 95% condition struggles to get thru a full magazine no matter what it eats.
Looks nice though.

Various DWM mfg pistols incl a 1917 Artillery all feed and function just fine with the above ammo. An occasional bobble, but they are range toys after all.
The Artillery's like to throw the rear sight tangent bar forward on recoil if the spring or detent is a bit weak. Wondering what happened to your superb pistolmanship untill you see the rear sight setting on 800m..

Magazines cause more problems in Luger pistols than anything else including ammo. The best replacements I've found are the MecGar. Fairly inexpensive and they work.

Originals are nice to have but some are hitting the century mark in age, most are 70 and 80 y/o and have been bounced around, adjusted and just plain abused over time and conflicts. They are pricey too.

WW1 pistols often have unit markings on the grip strap(s). Sometimes more than one and an old one XX'd out.
Collectors generally pay more for WW1 and WW2 issue and marked pistols.
So some of the better buys, if there are any, are the between the wars (Weimar Era) pistols. That includes those with the police sear-safety mentioned above.

The imports from Russia and former Soviet states that came into the US in the 90's are some decent shooters. So called EG VOPO Lugers among them, most are refinished and many have replacement parts including bbls that are 'force-matched' as the collectors say.

Foreign contract Luger pistols will generally be high priced collectibles. There is a wide variety, some true raritys. They were ser#'d and marked as Commercial pistols with the Country's Crest on the ring. Beautifully made pistols.

You won't find much for under $600 or $700, though occasionally a gunshow special appears for under that yet. It usually has a problem or two that can be fixed if you are so inclined.
Parts are still generally available if you search around w/FleaBay being a good source.

Some parts vary a bit from era to era. The Old Model (flat mainspring & gripsafety) and New Model (coil spring) have some very big differences obviously.

New (coil) springs from Wolff last I knew. Changing the recoil/main spring takes some thought, a bench vise and simple tools so you don't have to fight with it.

Decent wood Repro grips are avail now along with the wooden magazine bases.
The grips & mag base are not easy or quick to make if you want to make a set. But it's a good exercise for the fledging stockmaker.

Parts are not a drop-in tinkertoy type of fix for this firearm, so be prepared to be a gunsmith.

I'd stick to a 9mmLuger cal pistol if you are just wanting a range toy shooter to blast a few boxes of ammo once in a while.
The 30calLuger pistols are very nice Commercial guns for the most part. and very often priced a little less than the 9mm counterpart.
The Finn contract pistols probably being an exception in the pricing.

The only contact I've had with the stainless steel Mitchell Arms/Houston mfg pistols is through repair.
Mitchell Arms was started by a group of x-HighStandard employees. The factory doing the pistol making was Aimco in Houston.

The earlier guns seemed quite nice and little problem. When the firm was bought out by Stoeger, they started applying their TradeMark 'Luger' stamping on them as a marketing tool.

The quality seemed to start downward not long after that with the metal polish and fit being the most noticable changes. Broken small parts,,the TD and the safety levers most commonly seen with voids in the castings.
All of the parts except the pins,springs and a very few other parts were investment cast stainless on those from the start. Investment cast in itself is not a bad thing, it's just the QC over the operation that defines it.

The 70's InterArms Mauser/Luger,,to tell you the truth I can't ever remember seeing one in for a repair other than refinishing.
Some shooters had the same 'Luger' complaints at times,,FTfeed,,FT eject,,ect. But they looked like a well built pistol and some nice variations were made. I personally have never owned one but have shot a few of them w/no complaints.
Find the right ammo and magazine and most any of them will function for you.

The I/A Luger appearance rankled the collectors all up and were bad mouthed up and down as not being a 'real' Luger. That's for the collectors to settle with themselves.
We're interested in a shooter for the most part and I'm just throwing out some observations and opinions.


Everybody needs a Luger.
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Old 06-19-2016, 08:50 PM
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I currently own one Luger, a 1920 commercial, which is about the most dirt-common Luger you can own. I have in the past owned a Mitchell 6" (which I had a LOT of trouble with) and a mismatched 9mm with a very dark bore which shot well and which I wish I had kept. They are really cool guns that will do pretty much nothing but go UP in price. If you do get a .30 cal you will either spend a lot for ammo or have to start reloading.
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Old 06-19-2016, 09:25 PM
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Are there any decent Luger 9mm reproductions?
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Old 06-21-2016, 12:29 AM
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My search has begun in earnest..... as stated earlier ,there is a LOT of info available. I am going to some serious research before I decide which one. The late '30s /early '40s Mausers sound like I what want at least for now.

Thanks for the advice & suggestions!

Charles
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOUSTON RICK View Post
Are there any decent Luger 9mm reproductions?
The stainless Mitchell/AIMCO guns. A lot of Luger collectors refer to the Interarms Mausers as reproductions.

I have one of the AIMCO guns, 4 inch. It's nicely finished and a good looking gun, as all Lugers are. I haven't shot it yet. I wanted one I could shoot without damaging any collector value if a part broke. I'm going to thin out my herd soon, and it will probably go on the block, so I may never shoot it.
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Old 06-21-2016, 01:46 AM
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VOPO and Russian captured guns are still cheaper and usually good shooters. The parts have often been force matched after fitting, which is more important for a shooter than matching numbers.

Most VOPO guns have been fitted with Czech made barrels and I was told that those came from the same factory that made P.38 barrels during WWII. I have one of my VOPO P.08s with such a replacement barrel and the spend brass has a nice "Mauser ring" impressed on it, just as it should be. Since I shoot my Lugers, I have been buying small spare parts for them, as I have for most of my guns.

That 1942-made Luger pistol that has only been dipped and the barrel replaced is one of my best shooting handguns, in performance very close to my P210-4.
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Old 06-21-2016, 06:38 AM
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I've gotten some pretty good deals at Cabelas, this is one of them. It showed up at my local store and was priced reasonably cheap because of the missing sideplate. I found a sideplate on ebay that closely matched the finish of the gun and now have an excellent shooter. It's a Mauser BYF42 that is all matching other than the replaced sideplate.







This all matching 23 DWM was also found at Cabelas, I had this one shipped to my local store so that I could take a closer look at it. It was worth the 25 bucks to take a peek.



Don't discount the Interarms Mausers, I have 5 of them and this one is my favorite. It apparently came back over here via a returning serviceman from Germany as evidenced by the lack of Interarms markings and the American Eagle over the chamber. It is known as the 06/73 version and is dated '86.


There are a lot to choose from, just do your homework first.

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Old 06-22-2016, 08:41 PM
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I have a 1939 Mauser with all matching numbers, except for the magazine. Finish is about 90%. It also came with a WWI black leather holster and an extra magazine. I have shot it some since I bought it some 25 years ago, but not a lot. I have also never had any problems with FTF or FTE with any of the ammo I have used over the years. The only thing I have encountered is that sometimes on the last shot, the toggle does not stay open because of the less powerful ammo.

I would agree with robertrwalsh that the 1920 commercial models might be the most inexpensive Lugers around. They don't have all the markings of WWI or 1930s WWII Lugers, but they do work just fine and can be a good starting point.

Good luck!
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Old 06-22-2016, 09:50 PM
policerevolvercollector policerevolvercollector is offline
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What is the significance of a double date stamp? I saw a nice shooter grade DWM marked w/ the date 1918 & 1920. Would $900 be overpriced?
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:21 PM
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It's a ww1 gun that had been refurbished in 1920.

Value... I dunno.
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Old 06-22-2016, 10:30 PM
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Gun was made in 1918 and register so to speak in 1920,something to do with too many floating around after the war.

Here a quote from Edward Tinker of Luger forum fame.
"In short, a 'double date' almost always means that it received the 1920 'date' as a gov't acceptance marking, to show it belonged to the gov't and was to keep them from being stolen and resold."
At 900.00 I would be asking why? mismatched, Russian capture (has an X mark). Poor finish, rust pits, barrel shoot out or pitted,converted to 30 cal (very unlikely).

In my experience a 900.00 luger will be re-bluded and have some non matching serial numbers and perhaps replacement grips.
or be a nicer or rarer Russian capture,these are almost always re-dipped over the original finish. or just beat to hell.
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Old 06-23-2016, 12:22 AM
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The '1920' marking was the property mark of the new post WW1 German Weimar Republic. The Versailles Treaty allowed them only a limited number of small arms for internal security, police, ect.
They were designated to be marked '1920' as a way of keeping track of the number allowed by the treaty.
Most of the Luger pistols were simply battlefield recycled arms that underwent a rebuilding process and others were new, near new arms that were simply stamped with the additional yr/date.
A '1920' marked pistol is one that was property of the German Post WW1 govt (Weimar Gov't)
It could have been issued to anyone from town, city, German States police depts, border security, railway police, postal police, ect, ect.
Some are marked as such as well as the holsters.
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  #32  
Old 06-23-2016, 08:15 AM
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Another question.....

What does the marking "S/42" represent on a later (1936) Mauser Luger?
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Old 06-23-2016, 09:17 AM
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S/42 is the code for "mauser" . they used these codes to conceal the manufacturers identity
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Old 06-23-2016, 07:33 PM
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Coded chamber dates:
K=1934
G=1935
Toggle Markings for 1934 and up:
S/42=Mauser
42=Mauser
byf=Mauser
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Old 06-23-2016, 08:59 PM
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My 1939 Luger is marked S/42 on the toggle.

I have seen what is called a 1923 Commercial Luger. They have no date stamp and the toggle has just the DWM cursive mark. The front part of the frame is the only place that carries the full serial number. I have read that these were assembled with left over or newly manufactured parts and were for sale in both Europe and the U.S.A.

They are also on the lower end of the Luger price range.
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  #36  
Old 07-05-2016, 11:20 PM
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I just got this 9mm :





It is a DWM pistol with the double date 1918/1920 and mismatched numbers. At just under $1000, I think I did OK. The trigger is very nice. Reminds me of my HK P7.

Best ,
Charles

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Old 07-06-2016, 12:03 AM
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Is there a stock attachment lug on the rear grip strap? It doesn't appear to be one from the picture.
If not, and if the ser# on the front of the frame is a 5 digit # w/o a letter suffix, the frame is from a Commercial or perhaps a Contract sale Luger.
Makes no difference really, just an observation. Mixed serial #'d pieces end up with just that,,mixed assortment of parts.
That they function and shoot well is what we are after for a 'shooter Luger'. Some of my best shooter Lugers have been mismatched #'d guns.

The double date on the recv'r ring ,,1918 is the yr of mfg of the original upper component. The 1920 marking was added when the pistol was accepted into the post WW1 German Weimar Republic arms stockpile under the Treaty of Versailles limitations quotas.

I had an Erfurt 1918/1920 at one time about the same condition and mismatched. The stock lug had been crudely ground off, or nearly so. MAny were done like that as people thought it was illegal to own the pistol w/a stock lug in place.
I finished off the crude grinding and restored the pistol, leaving only the frame ser# and Erfurt markings and proofs in place. A rust blue & straw coloring completed the job.
I gave the pistol to my brother who always wanted a Luger.
Still shoots it regularly and it functions just fine as a mismatched #'d gun,,even with his questionable quality cast bullet reloads!
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HARDWARE View Post
Btw, it may be worth noting that only Americans refer to these as "Lugers"

The Luger has a very stiff mainspring that was designed to function with the hot 30's era 9mm loads that were shared with the the mp38 and mp40 submachine guns.

The modern NATO ammo approximates that load.
There are many unsubstantiated rumors of 9mm Parabellum having been loaded hotter for subguns but there is no proof that the Wehrmacht used special subgun ammo. Fact is that the old Deutsche Waffen- und Munitionsfabriken, Berlin, manual lists the velocity of the 9mm at 310 m/sec with an 8 gram projectile. That is a 124 gr bullet at 1017 fps.

My remaining Lugers work very reliable with reloads that are in that power range and slightly below. They also shoot very well with 124 gr TC hard cast lead.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:03 PM
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am I spreading disinformation again?

that's interesting. I have not seen actual load velocity listed anywhere for wermacht ammo.

that's not far below NATO is it,... 1,100 fps or so.

that being said, ive used cheap Remington 115 gr. range ammo without malfunction.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:25 PM
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Here is my 1936 and 1918......

Last edited by moralem; 07-06-2016 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:40 PM
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I am no expert, but I have owned 2 1916 DWMs; one had mis-matched #s, had been re-blued and re-barreled. The other has matching #s and the original finish.

Both were a lot of fun to shoot and surprisingly accurate (if you can see the tiny sights!).

I sold the shooter-grade gun and I'd like to have it back.

Someone else has already said it, but every collection ought to have at least one Luger.
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Old 07-07-2016, 03:31 PM
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I like it, Charles!

I'm down to one Luger, this 1920 commercial DWM:



Its all matching, but since it was a .30 caliber it was pretty cheap.



I have a retired cop friend who spends all his time cruising gun shows. He picks up .30 Luger ammo when he sees it, and I think I have a lifetime supply now.

My gun is very reliable, accurate, and fun to shoot.
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  #43  
Old 07-08-2016, 01:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigp220.45 View Post
I like it, Charles!

I'm down to one Luger, this 1920 commercial DWM:



Its all matching, but since it was a .30 caliber it was pretty cheap.



I have a retired cop friend who spends all his time cruising gun shows. He picks up .30 Luger ammo when he sees it, and I think I have a lifetime supply now.

My gun is very reliable, accurate, and fun to shoot.
No wonder that it is accurate, the .30 Luger, or 7,65 Para, is inherently more accurate than the 9mm Parabellum.
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Old 07-08-2016, 10:16 PM
policerevolvercollector policerevolvercollector is offline
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Brad,
Now that I've seen those pics, I might NEED a .30 caliber... Oh no! Here we go again! Thanks!!!

Charles
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