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Thread: Luger Inspection?

  1. #1
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    Luger Inspection?

    I'm going to check out a Luger this weekend. Are there any "What-to-Look-For" or "How-to-Inspect" sites, listings, or postings out there for Lugers? If not, can someone post a listing of tips?
    Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I've owned several dozen over the years and my first two were uneducated blunders. You should spend some time with a person familiar with them with hands on experience. It can save you some money (and a little embarrassment).

    But here goes:

    Assuming it's a military gun:

    1. Look for matching numbers on all parts (including firing pin and inside of grips). The full ser# will be on the Frame, Barrel, Battery, the last 2 digits on most every other part. pay particular attention for overstrikes or differences in die size and style.
    2. There are hash marks that should line up on the under side of the barrel and on the front site base
    3. Sharp edges and no refinish. Sometimes it's hard to tell if it's been refinished or not, but look at the markings on the top of the toggle and to the right side of the receiver, they should have a slight "halo" effect around the edges.

    You may want to spend some serious time over at lugerforum.com before you go out and buy a Luger. There is a wide gap between a $350.00 "shooter" and a $1,000 entry level collector grade. In my experience there is a large gap between what a collector will buy or sell a Luger for and what the general gun owning public will do (pedestrian lugers in the collector market are lower, while rare examples are frequently higher). Purchasing a Luger from a member in long standing on that forum is recommended. Your best deal for a quality item will probably be found there. They do not tolerate rascals on that site. I've bought and sold many on that forum.


  3. #3
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    Thanks for the info.
    It is a mis-matched "shooter", as I have been looking for. I'm meeting a friend, so I'm not really worried about getting taken, especially since the asking price is $475. Where, pray tell, are you seeing $350 Lugers??? I've been hunting for a while and this is the first under $500 I've found.

  4. #4
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    As gcrookston indicates, it's all about: what are you looking for, and what are they charging?

    If you're just looking to "own a Luger," get a "shooter." Condition is not critical (but it should look nice) and matching numbers/refinishing (as long as it's well done) don't matter. Don't pay too much, as the resale value will not increase a lot--but still, no one's making any new Lugers. It needs to function, so don't take anything with a rough/non-working action.

    If you're looking for something a little more: the next grade up is a functioning, all-matching (except, perhaps, magazine) "1914 Military" (chamber dated 1913 to 1918), DWM or Erfurt manufacture. This was the most common WWI model, so prices are fairly low--as is collector interest. Fit and finish during war-time production were not fine.

    There's a little book, the Luger Handbook by Aaron Davis (Krause Publications). Mine's from 1997, with 1996 prices given. But it gives you the handle on what all those little proofmarks mean, and which models and variations are most valuable.

    That's important to collectors and investors. For me: does it work, does it look nice.

    (The 1997 Luger Handbook lists the 1914 Military at $500 in "good" condition with common 4 inch barrel. Probably translates to upward of $800 today, but that's for all matching, including magazine.)

  5. #5
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    I am/have been mostly concerned with mid to high end lugers, though I admit I am now more of broker than an owner. Parts guns and mismatches remain of little value in this realm ($350 to $500).

    Personally I believe any luger that will go bang and isn't too badly rusted is worth $350.00 for parts, or as a shooter.

    BTW, the luger pictured above was captured on D-Day by a member of the 101st A/B. Fully documented, Although a rather common example of a 1937 s/42 type 1, the documentation put the value 4x to 5x of normal values for a 90% gun

  6. #6
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    Go here; excellent site:

    http://www.gunsworld.com/p08/p08_home_us.html

    I have an all-matching DWM.
    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.".......John F. Kennedy

  7. #7
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    I bought a Vopo shooter. Mostly matching #s but it's a lot of fun and beautiful. If you're going $1,000.00+ I think you need to know what you're doing but are you going to really take a Luger that expensive and rare to the range?
    "Reason obeys itself; and ignorance does whatever is dictated to it."
    --Thomas Paine, Rights of Man

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