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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Jan
For your next book- A P08 collector friend in Germany reports his examination of a 1916 Navy P08 serial 64a. This represents a significant extension of the highest serial number ( 7856) as published in Imperial Lugers page 159. Have you received reports of other 1916 Navys above 7856?
John
 

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John
I havent been actively tracking Navy Luger serial numbers for some time. Since Imperial Lugers was published, a significant number of fake 1916/1917 Navy Lugers were manufactured and sold in the US(duffle bags full according to one dealer). A few of these may have made their way to Europe.

I would want a complete description of the 1916 or 1917 dated Navy Luger before I would accept the serial number as valid. These US fakes were reportedly manufactured from 1920 commercial Lugers and initally had a small flange main toggle pin. The barrels and rear sight were new US manufacture.
Jan
For more information see: IMPERIAL NAVY PROOFS AND SN. Jan C Still http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=421
Authenticating Model 1914 Navy's Dan Clemons http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=438
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Jan,
Thanks, I will relay your information on the fake Navys. I would assume that the makers would know the correct serial range, and number their products accordingly. What is observed?
John
 

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John
Below is a post describing how to detect a fake 1916 or 1917 dated Navy. A few years back several new collectors(now forum members) were burned with these fake Navy Lugers. I have not recorded serial ranges of these fake Navy Lugers.
Jan

Harry
As there has not been a response, I will attempt a partial response. Please fill in the blanks that I leave.

According to Brad Simpson significant quantities of 1916 and 1917 dated Navy Lugers were replicated in recent times. The most common donor gun was the 1920 commercial Luger. New 6 inch barrels and a new rear toggle link with Navy sight were added. The original proofs were removed and new Navy proofs were added. According to Brad, these Lugers have been widley distributed

How can these replica 1916 and 1917 dated Navy Lugers be identified?

1. The replicas Navy Lugers look like they are brand new. The original Navy Luger should look like it is older than 85 years.
Rust blue produces a little rust on its surface as it ages. There should be some patina (rust) on the aged Luger. As the wood grips absorb moisture there is usually a little rust under the grips. Take a white cleaning patch with a little WD-40 and rub the area under the grips. There should be a little rust color on the patch (Unless the previous owner has thoroughly cleaned the pistol). Straw parts most often age faster than the rest of the Luger and show tiny black or dark brown aging spots.
2. The replica main axle pin has a small flange. Original 1916 and 1917 dated Navy Lugers have a large flange. (Note: almost all other Lugers have a small flange) However, these replica small flange Navy Lugers can easily be made into large flange Navy Lugers with a little machining.
3. The replica barrel is new and the bore is mint. As I recall the twist and rifling may not be correct. Note: Mint bores are very rare on original Imperial Navy Lugers
4. The replica Navy C/M proofs have the crown slightly floating above the M. The original Navy proofs have the crown tight to the M. See IMPERIAL NAVY LUGERS AND SERIAL NUMBERS for a comparison of original and replica Navy proofs.
5. The replica Navy rear sight is not exactly the same as the original Navy rear sight. (Added 10/23/04. A comparson of these fake Navy Luger sites compared to original sites has been posted.)
6. On original Navy Lugers the barrel serial number digits will most often have a halo around them.
I am sure that the Navy Luger experts know of additional ways to detect these replica 1916 and 1917 dated Navy Lugers.
Jan
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again Jan. There is indeed a gold mine of information on the forum about the fake navys and identification of these is certainly critical for the collector who doesn’t have a navy expert at hand. And I certainly share Garfields skepticism of the expertise demonstrated on some of the fake products. However making a fake navy requires some research and attention to detail, i.e. creation of a complicated rear sight plus new barrel, C/M stamps, axle pin etc. Using a serial number within the correct range would be a no-brainer.
John
 
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A couple of questions regarding the fake Navy Luger for a newbie...
1) Where in the country are most of the Lugers found?
2) Any idea who manufacturued the fakes?
3) If find one, what is fair price to offer?

This one appears to be a fake to me. Just too pristine for a 90 year old gun. Am I right? http://gunbroker.com/auction/ViewItem.asp?Item=24702930
To me, the fact that there is no closeup on the the proofs on the left side is very telling.

4) For an otherwise genuine Navy with some restoration work, what is the value?
 
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