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Old 01-07-2017, 09:32 PM
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Default My first German P08 Luger

1916 DWM P08 Luger
I purchased this Luger 12/24/16 from my wife's uncle Dale. He would stop by a pawn shop on the way home from school several times during the week in Elberton, Ga. One day in 1955 he found this 1916 Luger and a long barreled Artilley Luger. He asked his dad to go with him to purchase it and he left with the Luger, 1917 dated holster, tool, and two magazines and $25 less in his account. He shot it a few times after that, and in 1970 he and his wife took a firearms course in Cobb County, Ga and used this Luger. The instructor told him it was the most accurate gun in the class. After that he stored it away in the holster, tool, and both magazines loaded, never to be shot again. Around 1996 he put it in his banks safety deposit box, again stored in the holster with the tool and two mags loaded with 8 rounds each. He emailed me about 3-4 weeks before Christmas saying he knew I collected guns and would I be interested in this one. I collect old S&W revolvers but have been wanting a nice Luger for awhile. I, of course, said I would be interested. He nor I knew much about them. He asked me to post some pics on some forums and see what the value was. I also sent him pages of completed auctions on Gunbrokers. Some Luger forum members were able to help me with a ballpark figure and and I passed on their stated value and input to him. We meet on Christmas Eve at a family get together and after looking it over I made him an offer that I felt was fair, and an offer that he apparently felt was fair, as he was a little shocked. He said he was more than happy with the price and I was too. After my research I've found that it is a 1916 DWM Luger, with what appears to be the correct markings on the right side of receiver. Numbers are all matching (per chart showing which parts are marked), including grips (but not magazines), several of the numbers appear to have the correct "halos" that go along with an original finish, and all edges and lettering appear to be sharp. The serial number is 4691 M, and it has unit markings on the front grip frame as follows- 2.M.C or possibly G. R.158. I was told this was a Unit marking, 2nd Machine Gun Company, Infantry Regiment 158. I've pictured the tool and an up close pic of the markings but I can't tell what the marking is. The gun, holster (dated 1917) tool and magazines are all as they were since 1955. It's unknown if the tool or holster is original to the gun before that time. It appears one mag is WWI era, but the wood is broken on one side, and the other from WWII. My wife's uncle was very happy to hear that it would stay in the family and since it's all matching it will probably remain unfired since 1970. I'm shocked it's in the condition that it is in (90%+) since it's been stored in the holster at least since 1955 along the the tool. But the tool with now be stored in a small plastic baggie, and the holster also in a plastic baggie. Thanks for letting me show it off.





























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Old 01-07-2017, 09:48 PM
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That is beautiful. You gotta put a few rounds thru it. But don't listen to me. The only thing I know about Lugers is I wish I had one.
Congrat's and keep it in the family.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:53 PM
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Very nice. Even after all these years, Lugers still have that mistique about them that Glocks and their counterparts will never experience.
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Old 01-07-2017, 09:57 PM
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NICE GUN YOU HAVE .Their really nice to shoot. The only problem with Lugers , no matter what year they all look alike .
I've had one laying in the safe for years, but the novelty wore off, guess I didn't get the collector bug .
1922 30 caliber .
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:08 PM
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I'm SO JEALOUS! Those old Lugers are very sexy pistols.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:31 PM
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If there was going to be damage done to this gun, it would have happened in the holster. Putting a few rounds downrange with it isn't going to hurt anything.
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by epj View Post
If there was going to be damage done to this gun, it would have happened in the holster. Putting a few rounds downrange with it isn't going to hurt anything.
The only problem is if one of the numbered parts (numbered to the Guns serial number) break the value of the gun drops significantly. Reading a list of the most common parts to break, some of the top listed parts were the numbered ones. The Luger collectors recommend getting a non matching one to shoot. The chance of replacing a part with the number 91 on it is slim. Hate to take that chance. Below is a list of the numbered parts.
Frame
Barrel
Receiver
Front Toggle Link
Rear Toggle Link
Firing pin
Side plate
Grips
Extractor
Trigger
Takedown knob
Safety lever
Safety slide
Hold open latch
Sear
Breechblock
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Old 01-07-2017, 10:59 PM
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Extremely nice. I would like one someday - even a good 9mm reproduction. Congratulations on getting that piece of history.
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Old 01-07-2017, 11:19 PM
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Some pics with some of my WWII stuff.



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Old 01-08-2017, 09:38 AM
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Very nice. I always break this one out for a Luger thread.

A 1936 Mauser and a Weimar era simson

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Old 01-08-2017, 10:21 AM
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I was offered one from -42 in "Like New" condition
Tried it at the range, and the holes touched each other.

Had the gunlaws here been different i would have bought it.
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Old 01-08-2017, 11:23 AM
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I too have a 1916 DWM that was left to me by my father. It is also all matching except for the two WWII magazines. It came with a 1937 Hans Romer Nazi marked holster with tool. Back when I was a kid my dad and I shot it in the backyard all the time. I remember it being very accurate. Well I always said that the day I retired I was going to put a magazine full through it. I retired Jan 1 but Memphis weather just won't cooperate. Looks like Monday might be pretty decent, fingers crossed.

No pistol sits in your hand quite like a Luger and they really were meant to be shot to be enjoyed.
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:01 PM
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I've had the pleasure of shooting a German friend's P08 Luger. It was his grandfather's pistol that he had used in WWI. It too was very accurate even though the bore didn't look good. It felt great in the hand, I would certainly like to have one given the opportunity.
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:19 PM
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For my wife's birthday last year I got her this 1937 S/42 Luger since it's her birth year.
Sorry for the poor photo's. Put it in a box that look's like a book.
Mink fur lined.

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She shot it once, that's it. Just sits in it's new home....
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Old 01-08-2017, 12:29 PM
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Beautiful Luger & rig and great story to go with it!
Those grip strap markings are a neat piece of WW1 history.
There are many variations and as many interpretations at times as the field armorers that applied them didn't always follow a set pattern of characters.

Yours could be 2nd Machine Gun Co., 15th Regiment., Weapon #8
..or another interpretation.
Maybe 1st Regiment Weapon #58....or....
Issue handguns in the field usually had a 'Weapon #' at the end of the stamping,,and not always clearly separated from a Co, Squadron, Battery, ect number.
The Germans were very meticulous about numbering and keeping track of things.
Figuring out what unit it is can lead to some interesting historical info on the group sometimes thru research.

Looks like an original marking was removed under the '158',,then 158 applied.
You can see some crosswise file/polishing marks and a few bump up marks from the inside of the grip strap just below it.

It looks to me like the 158 numbers have been hand engraved, probably hammer & chisel, rather than stamped into the metal. Maybe they didn't have stamps available in the field and a decent gun mechanic can make a simple graver easily enough and cut numbers like this. The 5 and 8 are deffinetly not stamped,,neither is the bottom serif on the '1'. Just an observation..


Not uncommon to have these markings changed in service as the pistol got around. Many simply had the old marking struck out with a single line or X's and a new marking added.
Some had the old marking or part of it more tastefully removed and new digits restamped.
The grip strap is very thin in the front and seeing the metal collapsed a bit is not uncommon either from the unsupported hammer strikes of the stamps.

Great pics of all the Lugers on the thread! A favorite of mine for sure..

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Old 01-08-2017, 02:14 PM
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Great historical value with this P08 and fine example from WWI. Wonder what the wording under the safety lever looks like and whether it's colored in white lettering. Always amazed at the detail and many parts built into these pistols. Agree that the black magazine dates from WWII.

Seems to me that the Luger's accuracy beyond 7 yards isn't so good due to the toggle action moving the muzzle upward, at least in the shorter barrelled version of these handguns, but the trigger pull is great.
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Old 01-08-2017, 02:52 PM
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There is a small dealer at a local monthly gun show who has a pretty decent collection of Luger's for sale, all with prices ranging between 2495.00 and 4495.00. Not one single one of those Lugers look even remotely as good as what you have shown here. IMO your are underrating that condition by at least 5 percentage points. I'm inclined to agree with your decision to not shoot this example but do advise you keep it well oiled. BTW, prefer Mobil 1, on a freshly machined cast iron engine block it will prevent any hint of rusting for at least 6 months during the most humid summer on record.
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Old 01-08-2017, 03:19 PM
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That is a very nice Luger!!! I've owned several over the years a 1937 S42, BYF 1941, Interarms American Eagle .30 cal.,Erfurt 1917/21 double stamp and the only one left is my DWM 1915.

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Old 01-08-2017, 03:36 PM
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I hate you guys with all those Lugers
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:11 PM
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Congratulations on the purchase as that is a beauty. I always wanted a Luger but I have never been fortunate enough to find one in good condition at a reasonable price.
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Old 01-08-2017, 04:17 PM
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I finally found one a few years ago for a decent price ($795 OTD).

Its a plain jane 1920 commercial in .30 caliber, but everything matches and it hasn't been through Billy Bobs Bumper Chrome and Downhome Bar-B-Cue Emporium. The 9mms always seemed to be way too pricey.



.30 Luger ammo is still widely available, and I have a stash that will last me a while. This isn't really a daily driver type of gun.

I do shoot it, though. Its a joy.

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Old 01-08-2017, 05:19 PM
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Nice looking gun. Posted a picture of My shooter. It's a 1916 DWM, number matching except mag, unit marked 174th regiment gun#23. No holster or anything. Pictures of two targets shot at a military pistol match at Our gun club. I only shoot American Eagle 124 gr ball. Cycles perfectly, never jams like some of the other guys who shoot hot 115 gr loads. These targets were shot at 20 meters off hand. First target is 16 shots, second is 17 shots. Lugers are accurate.
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:03 AM
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The color under the safety lever is an off white. It might have been white at one time. The wife's uncle said this one was very accurate. When the Toggle bends at the joint, the barrel and receiver doesn't rise (other than from recoil), it slides straight back in groves located on each side of the receiver. Here's a side shot of how it functions.
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Great historical value with this P08 and fine example from WWI. Wonder what the wording under the safety lever looks like and whether it's colored in white lettering. Always amazed at the detail and many parts built into these pistols. Agree that the black magazine dates from WWII.

Seems to me that the Luger's accuracy beyond 7 yards isn't so good due to the toggle action moving the muzzle upward, at least in the shorter barrelled version of these handguns, but the trigger pull is great.
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:15 AM
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The easiest thing you can do to take care of a Luger is keep a snap cap in the magazine that is in the gun. The most delicate and most common part to break on a Luger is the toggle hold open lever. Keeping a snap cap in the mag keeps the pressure of the follower off the lever.

She isn't as sexy as a numbers matching, with finely strawed parts, pre WWII gun, but I shoot it any time I feel like it, and never feel guilty about it.


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Old 01-09-2017, 09:20 AM
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Neighbor across the street brought one over last week, says he bought it about 40 years ago and has never taken it apart to clean. Wanted to know if I knew how, well, I told him I never had taken one apart but haven't found one yet I couldn't figure out. Long story short, they are a little tricky to get back together but I can say his is now very clean and together again. Very nice pistols, over built and made to last. Glad he brought it over.
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Old 01-09-2017, 09:44 AM
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Congrats!
Beautiful pictures too! Nice work!
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Old 01-09-2017, 06:27 PM
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Congrats on your find! I've always been a fan of the Luger and always wanted one. The shooter grade ones have climbed up in price, but I'm not giving up. They're like a fine timepiece to me.

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Old 01-09-2017, 07:12 PM
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Very cool. Congratulations. I enjoy the thought of being in the 1950s and being able to buy these at your local pawn shop. Wow. In many respects, the 1950s, sound to me like one of the best decades. Great cars...practically artwork. Origins of rock'n'roll. Smaller communities (mostly except the larger cities obviously) where folks knew one another. A silver dollar was, in fact, a silver dollar. Enjoy your heirloom.

Hopefully in the next few years I can add a shooter grade one for the collection and to simply enjoy. Best, TH
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Old 01-09-2017, 08:19 PM
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Interesting that it was found in a pawnshop in Elberton, Ga. My sister has been living there for about 15 years. I'll have to have my Bro-in-law check maybe there are a few more hanging around there!
Lots of Granite quarries there it's billed as the "Granite Capital of the World". It's a pretty, little Southern Town
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Old 01-10-2017, 12:45 AM
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I have a Luger and a Mauser Broomhandle that I inherited from my brother. Both appear to be pieced together as no matching numbers. It has been years since I shot the Luger but it was a very nice shooting gun and as stated by most it was very accurate even with the marginal sights. Several years ago I was at my local gun shop when a couple came in wanting to know the value on several guns that had been her fathers collection. We all muttered Holy S#*t about the same time when she placed what appeared to be a brand new in the box Luger on the counter for us to look at. It was a teens production, all matching numbers, hard to tell if it had ever been shot thing of beauty. It would have looked so nice in my safe but it was not to be...the one that got away.
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Old 01-10-2017, 03:42 AM
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Interesting that it was found in a pawnshop in Elberton, Ga. My sister has been living there for about 15 years. I'll have to have my Bro-in-law check maybe there are a few more hanging around there!
Lots of Granite quarries there it's billed as the "Granite Capital of the World". It's a pretty, little Southern Town
Steve W
It was found at the pawn shop in 1955.
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Old 01-10-2017, 05:43 PM
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I'm a fan of Lugers and have been since childhood. Still have a modest collection.

Several years ago I bought one of the Russian captured Lugers that came on the market. It mostly matches but has one or two small parts that are forced matched. It shoots flawlessly. I have no qualms about shooting it. That's the fun of a 'shooter grade' Luger. Meanwhile, my beauty queens stay in the safe.

I posted several of my Lugers here over the years. Have a look:

Luger for Variety - DWM 1900 American Eagle 7.65mm

Luger - DWM 1906 Commercial - 9mm

Luger - 1941 Mauser Banner Police "Eagle L" - 9mm

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Old 01-11-2017, 12:21 PM
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Beautiful gun but I would not load the magazines and put it away. The springs will weaken after a long period of time and have to be replaced.
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Old 01-11-2017, 01:02 PM
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Beautiful gun but I would not load the magazines and put it away. The springs will weaken after a long period of time and have to be replaced.

That is not exactly true. It has been discussed over and over and proven it is the compression/decompression of the springs that weaken them. We have seen examples of magazines that have been loaded 50+ years that still work just fine.




OP, Lugers are fairly resilient. Go shoot it and at least be able to say you did. Who knows what will happen to it after you're gone?
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:05 PM
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Beautiful gun but I would not load the magazines and put it away. The springs will weaken after a long period of time and have to be replaced.
This is what my wife's uncle did, not me. When it became mine I unloaded the (corroded) ammo from the mags, cleaned and oiled them. He didn't know any better. He also has a German 7.65 (possibly an Ortgies 7.65) that his dad brought back from WWII and it had a loaded mag and stored in holster. I told him that neither was wise.
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Old 01-11-2017, 02:53 PM
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I've had the pleasure of shooting a German friend's P08 Luger. It was his grandfather's pistol that he had used in WWI. It too was very accurate even though the bore didn't look good. It felt great in the hand, I would certainly like to have one given the opportunity.

Did he maybe fight in SW Africa, or under von Lettow-Vorbeck in German East Africa?


Germans in Germany were required to give up their guns after WWII, but if he stayed in Africa, maybe not. Many still remain in what is now Namibia. A German ship was trapped up the Zambezi in 1914 and the crew abandoned ship, taking what weapons they could. There are probably some Naval Lugers still in what is now Tanzania. And others probably captured by South Africans. Do you see many for sale there? Some may have been captured by your troops in North Africa and Italy, too, in WWII.

Last edited by Texas Star; 01-11-2017 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 01-11-2017, 03:18 PM
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I finally found one a few years ago for a decent price ($795 OTD).

Its a plain jane 1920 commercial in .30 caliber, but everything matches and it hasn't been through Billy Bobs Bumper Chrome and Downhome Bar-B-Cue Emporium. The 9mms always seemed to be way too pricey.



.30 Luger ammo is still widely available, and I have a stash that will last me a while. This isn't really a daily driver type of gun.

I do shoot it, though. Its a joy.




I loved your witty post!


Have you shot any jackrabbits or coyotes with that? Can you buy JHP .30 Luger ammo? If available, it should be effective on bobcats and coyotes. Prob. okay for raccoons, too. Don't think I'd stretch it further.

Last edited by Texas Star; 01-12-2017 at 01:17 AM.
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Old 01-12-2017, 06:10 AM
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Very nice pistol,i've always liked the looks of them but never see them in the gun stores in go too.
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Old 01-14-2017, 10:38 AM
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What a great looking pistol! Very good condition for a military pistol that old and with holster and accessories too! The real pudding on the cake is your historical knowledge of how it was acquired, etc. I haven't a clue as to its value but it doesn't matter-Keep that one in the family forever!
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