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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I am new to this form, you were highly recommended and I look forward to following the many topics.
I have a 1908 Navy Luger that I am trying to get more information about; I will post pictures very soon. I have some reference books and have spent some time researching but still don’t really understand what it is that I have or the value. I hope you can help me out.
This Luger has the standard 6 inch barrel, two position rear sight, DWM on toggle, stock attachment. Serial numbers match on all parts, serial number 3002a, 2 Crown over M proof marks plus inspector mark on left side of frame( this is the standard Navy Proof), Navy inspector mark on left side of breach block. Crown over N right side of breach block, on right side of frame and under barrel just above serial number. There is no chamber date or markings. The bluing is the same depth all over, all markings are very sharp and I do not believe the gun has been re-blued. The number 2 in the serial number is unique and shows the same on each part.
So is this a 1920 Commercial Navy, made from a 1908 Navy? The serial number on the barrel is the same as the frame with the same interesting number 2.
If this gun has been re-barreled it is a perfect job. Is it possible that a 1908 Navy was simply stamped with commercial proofs and sold as is?
Any help would be appreciated.
 

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Vern... Welcome to the forum and it's good to see another Navy. Thanks for the excellent discription of your Navy. I can't really answer your question on the C/N stamps but I will tell you that pictures will help somebody figure it out. I can tell you that my 1908 Navy #5747b is marked just like yours except for the C/N stamps. My 1920 Commercial Navy #7757 has only one C/M under the barrel and no C/N stamps. You can see where the C/Ms were ground off the L/H side of the receiver. I think the barrel was replaced as the witness marks do not line up quite right. Very interesting question...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

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Tracy is absolutely right in my humble opinion. It looks more like a 1917 Navy with the short frame. Maybe it was made up in the Weimar period. Would like a closer look at the proofs on the right side of the frame....they do look a bit unusual.
 

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Vern.... Thanks for the pictures. I'm afraid that I have to agree with the last two posts. I don't like the finish on the sideplate either. It sure looks like a reblue and restraw from the pictures. Probably not what you wanted to hear....
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here is a better view of the right proof.
Very good comments:
I would debate the re-bluing comment, if you take a very close look at the edges of all surfaces they are very sharp, there is no sign of rounding that I can see even under a magnifying glass, it is virtually impossible to do a complete re-bluing without rounding some surfaces. It is always nice to have a comparison to look at so I have included some pics of the left side of an 1908,,1916 and 1917 Navy, all of these are in the 95 to 97 percent range. You can see that the edges and proofs are rounded on the other guns even from normal ware, this gun does not show even the normal rounding ware let alone that of high polishing required to re blue a gun.
I do not have a good reference on the long frame vice short how can you tell the difference? Can I take a measurement?
As far as re stamping what is your criteria for your statement? I cannot see any over stamping, if you mean that it contains both Navy and commercial stamps that’s obvious and one of the reasons I posted this topic.


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Download Attachment: 1908C5160D.jpg
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Download Attachment: 1916D5157F.jpg
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Download Attachment: 1917C5164E.jpg
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Vern.. I think if you put the 1908 in question next to your 1916 or 1917 you will see the difference. First picture is of my 1908:

Download Attachment: MVC-154S.JPG
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This is my 1916:

Download Attachment: MVC-155S.JPG
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For lack of a better discription the front of the short frame is more "chopped off" where the long frame is more round or sweeping .
Better yet, compare the two 1908 you have. I think you will be able to see what we are talking about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you on the description of long frame vice short frame, I never really understood the difference, obvious when you know what to look for.
Yes, this Navy has a short frame,
There is a reference in Kenyons Luger At Random that crown M proofs and the Crown N proofs may be present on 1920 commercials that were made from 1908 Navy’s. Is it sure that all 1908’s were long framed? When did the short frame come into being?
 

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Vern..... If I were a betting man, I would bet that all 1908 Navy Lugers had long frames. I don't really know the answer to your second question but I would refer you to Jan's IMPERIAL LUGERS which has some good info on the subject.
 

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Does the shape of the "a" under the "3002" serial number look right to anyone...???

Shape seems all wrong and its placement too closely underneath the "3002" on the front of the frame seems odd...

Hi Vern,

Could you take and post a photos of the rear toggle pin/flange ? Might shed some more info. about your Luger...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thanks Pete, Thanks Ron!

Pete what specifically are you looking for, I want to make sure I get a good pic.

I am still not willing to give up and call this a fake, it was in a collection for 50 years before I got hold of it and that person thought he had something special.

If it is a fake, lets pick it a part thoroughly; it would be a good lesson for everyone. I welcome all comments that are back up with facts.

I worked as a gun smith for several years, making a fake is not all that hard if you set your mind out to do it, that’s what bothers me about this gun. This gun had to be hand finished to keep all the edges so sharp, your talking hundreds of man hours, the bluing is the old style not any of the newer methods. If you spend that much time on a gun, you don’t mess up and double stamp it with commercial and Navy proofs and why use an improper “a” stamp, just leave the ”a” off, why mess up a good thing?
 

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Hi Vern,

The rear toggle pin size (size of flange and recessed hole in the frame) should be a bit larger in diameter than the regular real toggle pin/flange.

If you do a "search" in the Navy section here on the GunBoard you should see other discussions and photos of the differences.

http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2639&SearchTerms=Navy,toggle,pin

Jan Still had started a very educational discussion thread in the Navy section titled "Navy Proofs & Serial Numbers" back on 10-5-2003 that you might want to visit. Several M1908 Navy's with their proofs were shown :

http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=421&SearchTerms=Navy,proofs

I am not near my reference library, but if the "accpeted" serial number range for a 1908 Navy runs in the a-suffix block, that might be a reason one would add an "a" to a gun if one was to try to make-up a M1908 Navy that fit into the accepted range...

p.s. Unless a seller or previous owner can show me a capture document or dated sales receipt, I would not be inclinded to buy a story that a Luger has been in some collection for the past 50 years. Such a story is sometimes floated by a seller to give a buyer the false security that the luger could not possibly have been reworked by luger boosters over the past 25-30 years...i.e. going out 50 years assumes no boosters were in business then...

It is hard to tell for certain from your photos, but the finish does not, in my opinion, looks like one that has aged and gained patina for the past 50 years...but I am, by no means, an expert...a little Simi-chrome and a q-tip rubbed along your gun's finish should bring up some rust/brown color...on the white q-tip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I will take a picture tonight of the rear flange and pin hole, I went to the link you provided but did not see the examples, did I go to the wrong link? I would really like to see the examples.

Yes the finnish on the gun is "too" perfect this was my first thought on seeing the gun and I agree there is little patina. There is some brown color by the way. All I am saying is that alot of time was spent on refinnishing. It could be that a new or like new frame was used. A trick I use is to convert pictures to negatives, since we are picking this gun apart I will do my part and show you what I mean. I have attached an example of what can be seen using negatives.

Please note the shine and lack of machine marks and normal ware marks on the gun in question. Before bluing a gun I use to do this to see if I had missed a spot

I also noted that the left inspector mark is not like the others pictured. I need help though in determining if this could be an actual inspector mark, I just dont have access to the information some of you have. The right marks may also be subject but I will need to take more pictures tonight and verify.

Download Attachment: NavyProofnegatives.jpg
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Both of these links had a lot of navy info in them:

If you do a "search" in the Navy section here on the GunBoard you should see other discussions and photos of the differences.

http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=2639&SearchTerms=Navy,toggle,pin

Jan Still had started a very educational discussion thread in the Navy section titled "Navy Proofs & Serial Numbers" back on 10-5-2003 that you might want to visit. Several M1908 Navy's with their proofs were shown :

http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=421&SearchTerms=Navy,proofs
 

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The gun is dead wrong. There are SOOO many things wrong that it could serve as a textbook example of how "Not" to fake a Navy. The first dead give away should be the sandblasted appearance of the finish; following in close second is the poorly executed markings..that SN suffix (REALLY, gimme a break!) and it keeps getting worse.

This gun is a 100% fraud. I would be very curious to know where it came from.

Sorry for the bad news.

Tom A
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok Toma, if you think a highly polished professional finish looks sand blasted that’s fine , yes the side plate is a little rough but the smoothness of this guns finish is far better than most newly manufactured guns . If my picture taking ability is bad, well then OK –SOOOO.

Anyone can be critical of this gun, that is exactly why I posted it, we are using this as an example of what to look for. You do not have to apologize I have no money in this gun; it was given to me through an estate. When this is done I may part it out or build something from the parts I have in the basement. The fact that eventually this gun or parts of it will no doubt end up back in the marketplace is reason enough to help with this project.

Again I welcome any comments backed up with facts, we have already had some very good comments. A gun like this is a great training ground, how many things do you see wrong, how many positive things?

I know the pictures are not perfect and it would be better if everyone could hold the gun and look at it through a magnifying glass but that’s not possible.

This gun is not all wrong, all parts match, all parts have a very unique “2” that is deeper at one point. The barrel alignment marks are a single stroke and perfectly aligned., that means this gun was put together at a single sitting. This gun may have been a test gun for a forger beginning his trade. Which is why it’s a mess of contradictions. You know you have to test those proof stamps to make sure they can mark harden steal, getting the hardening just right is a little tricky .

No one makes just one forgery; the odds are, every proof stamp got used again.
 

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Vern, I apprecaite your attitude of sharing, as that is exactly what this forum is all about!

So, thanks a lot for being willing to put up with all the questions and comments!

Shame to part it out, I bet it would make a hell of a shooter.


Ed
 
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