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Old 09-22-2018, 06:55 PM
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Default shooter grade Luger

I am interested in getting a shooter grade Luger. Like the 3d Reich one although I don't know which model that was. I just like the looks of it.

what to watch for?
were similar guns made after/before war by others?
Likely approximately cost?

any info would be appreciated.

thanks
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:02 PM
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We have something in common. I've wanted one since I was a kid.
I picked this one up yesterday. It is a 9mm built in the period between WWI and WWII that has had a non-factory refinish in nickel.
Haven't shot it yet, but it s just the kind of shooter-grade pistol that I love. I got it for $400, but from the feedback I'm getting that appears to be a pretty low price, even for shooter grade.
Good luck with your search. There is lots of good info on Lugers out there on the internet.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:27 PM
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I can recommend the book by Hallock and van de Kamp " The Mauser Parabellum from 1930 to 1946". This book contains a wealth of accurate information on the Luger pistols that were built during that period. The first ones built at Mauser from 1930 on used 3,650 receivers left over from the old DWM factory that are metalurgically inferior to the later frames made at Mauser. These later frames can also be identified by the Mauser hump, the little extension at the upper rear end.

Of all the P.08s that I have owned I kept a 42 marked VOPO P.08 with matching numbers but a new barrel that was made in Czechoslovakia in the same factory that made the Spreewerke barrels for the P.38 during WWII and installed by East German Armourers. This gun is accurate and works very reliably with different magazines and different ammo, even 125 gr truncated cone lead reloads. VOPO guns did not only see service with the police but were usually turned over to Betriebskampfgruppen and the GST, paramilitary groups, when the Makarov became the standard sidearm for the VOPOs. They were routinely reblued by dipping, whether in need or not and inspected by qualified EG armourers. The mags were made in the old Haenel factory and marked 1001 and work like a charm usually.
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Old 09-22-2018, 07:59 PM
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Probably the best thing to do is join the Luger forum and start learning. They tend to go for a premium, and there are many out there that people claim are " numbers matching " , which translates to more money generally. Much better to have an idea of what you're looking at before starting to shop for one.
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:03 PM
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FWIW, I have a mostly numbers matching German Luger that was a vet bring back. Last weekend, I went to my FIL's farm and we shot it...barrel looks like new. Amazing the condition of it being so old. Anyways, we put about 100 rounds through it and by the end of it, my fingers were numb from the toggle switch.

I need to get a few more magazines. Had loading issues, but its an old timer and that can be expected. Interesting gun to shoot.

I wouldn't mind getting an artillery version at some point but they tend to be a bit more expensive...
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Old 09-23-2018, 02:05 PM
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I only loaded 4-5 rounds at a time. Then switched over to a WW1 1911. Also fun to shoot once in a while. I feel that some of these guns are obviously collectible, but its good to periodically shoot them. YMMV.
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Old 09-23-2018, 03:20 PM
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Are you aware of the fact, that the little screwdriver that comes with the guns also works as a reloading help?
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Old 09-23-2018, 04:04 PM
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Default Two things about the Luger..

I can tell identify one from a mile away (and my eyes are terrible)

The inertial toggle bolt delay is ingenious. Maybe not the 'best' way to do things, but still ingenious. It's so different from Browning tilting barrel and other designs.
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:22 PM
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started doing a little research today. this is a lot more confusing than I expected! thanks for info.
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:37 PM
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I will be on the same quest once the funds are available. In my experience the .30 is a lot easier to find than a 9mm. If price is no object, Mitchell sells newly manufactured Lugers for around $8,000. An inexpensive reference is "Luger Tips" revised edition by Michael Reese. The Luger masters may come along and recommend slightly better (and more expensive) references. My only partly informed take is that a Stuhl Luger is often the best bet for the price, as you know many, if not most, types of Luger are too valuable to shoot. In the end, I think, if you find a Luger for around $1,000, with differently numbered, functioning parts in good condition that is your shooter Luger.
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Old 09-23-2018, 06:58 PM
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A functioning mismatched P08 will be somewhere in the high three figure range. Careful shopping will get you a major assembly matched gun in nice condition in the low four figures, but plan on a full matched gun (the magazine in particular) to be at least in the teens (of hundreds) and up. Homework is essential . Good luck in your search.
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Old 09-23-2018, 07:23 PM
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I learned a lot from the Luger forum before purchasing mine from the wife’s uncle. When you find one they will be more than glad to help you with it. They also have a “For sale” section where you may locate the one your looking for. Here’s the link to the forum-
Jan C Still Luger Pistols Central Powers Axis Pistols Discussion Boards From Gunboards.com
Here’s my all “numbers matching” 1916 DWM- It was issued to 2.M.C. R.158 during WWI, 2nd Machine Gun Company, Regiment No. 158.





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Old 09-24-2018, 10:55 AM
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This is an all matching parts DWM made 1914 pattern 1918 dated P.08 I paid $900 for it a couple years ago. It's worth about $1000 and the holster itself will bring about $300.

I consider it a "shooter" because while DWM made very high quality Lugers, they made a lot of them and the DWM 1914 military P.08 is by far the most common Luger out there.



In general, for any Luger, if the parts don't match the value drops by half. That said $400-$500 is about the floor for a functional Luger as they are very iconic, and they hold that value as a shooter pistol even if they have little or no collector value.

-----

P.08s have an undeserved reputation as weak pistols due to the toggle link action. The action isn't weak at all, but it does need to have the springs replaced when they get old or worn out.

After market springs are available from Wolff. Do not get the "extra power" recoil spring.

The P.08 was not designed for 9mm +P ammo and it should never be shot with +P ammo. However it was made for a full power 115-124 grain load and most standard pressure factory loads (or hand load equivalents) in that weight range should work fine - once you put new springs in it.

Once you've re-sprung it, put strips of masking tape on the shoulders of the receiver and test fire a few rounds. If the tape is being cut by the toggles, the load is too strong for the pistol and springs. If the pistol cycles and the tape isn't getting cut, the load is good to go.

I also recommend you pick up some aftermarket magazines for it. Original, period correct Luger mags in functioning condition will sell for over $100 each and are needed to get full price for the pistol. There's no sense breaking one while shooting it, when you can get a perfectly functioning Mec-gar magazine for $25. You can also get wood bases if you want an original looking magazine for a pre-Mauser/pre-Nazi era Luger.
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:37 AM
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I have a 1916 DWM numbers matching unit marked Luger in 9MM. Got it cheap cause someone sanded on the barrel to remove pits. I only shoot 124 grain bullets (American Eagle) as the luger was designed for a 121 Gr bullet. Most 115's are too hot for a luger. I shoot mine once a month at the military pistol match and seldom loose.
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:43 AM
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Try Simpson's Ltd, Galesburg IL. One of the Largest importers and dealer of Lugers in the US. Simpson Ltd | Firearms, Guns, Lugers for Collectors Military Antique Firearms
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Old 09-24-2018, 11:53 AM
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Default Look for a Vopo

I sold my Vopo Luger a couple of years ago at the Tulsa show for $750. It was a byf 42, all matching numbers, good bore, perfect mechanics, and a mag loading key, but butt-ugly black plastic grips. Vopo's (Volks Polizei, or something in German) are considerably less valuable due to the clumsy East German "gunsmith" refinishing work. All the waffenamps were visible but overstamping of other markings was clumsy. A Luger collector had a look at it and passed, but confirmed its worth as a shooter. Paid $175 for it in the mid-80's. They were very common.
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave1918a2 View Post
I have a 1916 DWM numbers matching unit marked Luger in 9MM. Got it cheap cause someone sanded on the barrel to remove pits. I only shoot 124 grain bullets (American Eagle) as the luger was designed for a 121 Gr bullet. Most 115's are too hot for a luger. I shoot mine once a month at the military pistol match and seldom loose.
124 gr WWI or WII era loads are just as likely to be warmer than modern factory loads as 115 grain loads.

The data I have found for 9mm / P.08 Luger velocities with WWI and WWII military loads are as follows:

PP08 (lead core) 8 gram (124 grain) bullet 312 mps (1023 fps)

PP08 (lead core) 7.45 gram (115 grain) bullet 330 mps (1082 fps)

PP08 mE (for mit Eisenkern, or “with
iron core”) 6.35 gram (98 grain) bullet 395-410 mps (1295-1345 fps)

PP08 SE (Sintered Eisen or "solid Iron") 5.80 gram (89 grain)bullet 400 mps (1312 fps)

The lighter 115 gr lead core bullet was introduced to reduce the amount of lead required. The British did the same thing with their 9mm Parabellum loads. A 9 grain reduction doesn't sound like a lot but it saves 1286 pounds (583 kg) of lead per million rounds and it wasn't any less effective

However, since it only saved 1286 pounds (583 kg) of lead per MILLION rounds, the iron cored gilding metal jacketed PP08 mE load was developed early in the war, again to reduce the use of strategic metals. It was initially identified by a black jacket, but when it became the standard ball round in 1944, the black jacket was dropped.

The PPO8 SE was introduced in 1943 as a substitute standard round. it eliminated the use of lead entirely and was identified by the gray sintered iron bullet. These were pretty hard on barrels, but barrel life wasn't high on the Reich's list of problems from 1943 onward.

-----

In comparison:

115 gr standard pressure factory ammo available in the US falls in four ranges:

Lower than average - 1030 to 1050 fps:

Hornady and SIG

Average - 1130 to 1155 fps:

Back Hills Ammuniton, Hornady, Blazer, Magtech, PRVI Partisan, Remington, US Ammunition, PMC, TulAmmo and Wolf


(The 115 gr loads above are probably not going to beat up a P.08 with new springs, but do the masking tape test anyway. I would however not use any of the 115 gr loads below)


Higher than average - 1180 to 1185 fps.

Winchester, Federal, Browning, and SIG

Hot for standard pressure (probably closer to +P) - 1200 to 1250 fps

Aquila, BHA, Fiocchi, S&B, Speer, Winchester and Wolf.


In terms of 124 grain loads the ranges are:


Below average - 1090 to 1110 fps

Blazer, Hornady, Magtec, PMC, and Remington

(These are all 70 fps or so faster than the original military loads, but they are still the best 124 gr option in factory ammo)


Average - 1125 to 1150 fps

Aquila, BHA, Federal, Speer, US Ammunition, Winchester

(This are all at least 100 fps faster than the original 124 gr military load, and are not mu first choice, but should not beat up a properly sprung P.08. Again, you'll want to do the masking tape test to make sure the load isn't battering the pistol. And, again I'd avoid the loads below)

Above average - 1180 to 1200 fps

Fiocchi, S&B, and Winchester


An obvious issue is that a few of the companies that make Luger acceptable loads also make some hotter loads that are still claimed to be standard pressure, so be sure to read the box.

-----

The early P.08 124 gr loads used a 124gr truncated cone bullet and I've never had any (non magazine related) feed issues with that bullet shape in my P.08. I generally use a 124 gr truncated cone cast bullet in my P.08 loaded to the same 1025 fps range as the early standard 124 gr PPO8 load.

If you handload, that's my recommendation if you plan to shoot a P.08 a lot.
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:16 PM
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I borrowed a shooter grade Erfurt Luger from my boss at work many years ago - it had belonged to her father. It had a few mismatched parts and had been re-blued at some point but it shot wonderfully. I think I kept it for around 3 years - it became a running joke at work. I would ask her if she wanted it back and she would always answer that she knew I was taking care of it!
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Old 09-24-2018, 01:45 PM
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I agree with most all remarks made by above posters. For sure please do some homework before getting any Luger. The bast way to do some quick research is to get on Jan Still's Axis Powers Forum. I'm still a member there but have been inactive for several years since getting out of collectible Lugers.

It has been said that there are many, many fake Lugers out and about than the real things, so your best defense is knowledge, and it is even free (like this Forum).

Below is my last Luger which was a 41byf. the code letters byf stood for the Mauser werks in Oberhausen Germany during WWII. Mine was what Luger Collectors called the "Black Widow" which is only a collector term denoting the black plastic (actually a form of Bakelite) grips, and the bottom piece of the original magazines, as well as the original salt bath deep dark blue (almost black on a good specimen).

As for the term in the above post "butt ugly black plastic grips" I would hope that those grips were not original Luger grips like mine were as they have considerable worth on their own (somewhat like S&W genuine "cokes) if they have been checked and authenticated by experts over on the Luger Forum. Mine were authenticated as original, Type 6 by D.T., the black plastic expert over there.

The Luger game can get very expensive, and real fast if you get bit by that particular bug. The variations are almost endless, and the Navies and Swiss add up fast as well as Kreigsmarine.

The Black Widow was only cranked out from January 1941 to Feb 1942 when they switched over to P-38 manufacture.

I did shoot mine because it was a "natural pointer" for me and I had some repop grips, MecGar mags and gentle ammo so always a fun time shooting, but put all the original parts back on and sold for $2k + to another collector some years ago.

If you do get into the Luger game, do NOT listen to any of the "stories". The Black Widows were NOT issued to SS troops, they were NOT Adolph's senior staff. If you are looking at a vet bring back from Uncle John or such, the best proof is the GI bring back papers, and not much else unless it is your own Uncle John.

Lack of any import marks is always worth a premium (at least was on mine), original finish can usually be detected by looking for the "halo" surrounding the markings (see my top strap photo).

There are so many other tips and the above posters are pretty much right on the money. The real thing will run you at least a $1,000 in mismatched working condition, and the real thing all correct I think will start at $2,000 and head on a Northerly compass heading.

It truly is a fun shooter, but I don't miss mine cause there are so many S & W's yet to be attained and shot!
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shooter grade Luger-left-side-w-mag-out-jpg   shooter grade Luger-luger-left-side-jpg   shooter grade Luger-luger-right-side-jpg   shooter grade Luger-luger-lh-rh-grip-panels-jpg   shooter grade Luger-left-side-toggle-up-jpg  

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Old 09-24-2018, 01:52 PM
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Sorry..........told you look at my top strap photo for the "halo" then promptly forgot to add it!

Herewith attached for your viewing pleasure.
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