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Hello, my brother received this 1921 dated DWM p08 that appears to be a Weimar police model with the "peace dove" stamps. Upon opening it up I was surprised to see a dark finish on all internal components which I assume is due to a refinish. I was wondering if anyone has any insight on likely origin of this gun, whether this would have been factory refinished for police use, or if it had been refinished at a later date. What would the assumed value of this gun be in this state?
 

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Hopefully someone else will chime in but my opinion is, it's been refinished with proofs added to the right side. The barrel looks like it was originally numbered 169 and they tried to make it look like 159.
If it was police marked they usually marked them on the grip straps.
 

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Refinished - for sure.
Rebarrled - no.
You can see at one of the pics that the original whitness mark is corresponding between the barrel and the barrel extension. The proofs on the right side are not sharp, deep and clear.
An indication for the reworking of the gun. Apropos you can see slight traces of former pitting... maybe the reason for reworking and reblueing?

But,
A very pretty gun and worth of collecting as a collectable...
I like it...
 

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Many 1921 and 1920 dated DWMs in serial number suffix a, b and NS were issued directly to the military. On first glance, this appears to be the case for this luger because it lacks a sear safety or police unit marks that would indicate police use/issue. The dove stamps on the reciever would be proper Weimar stamps for a 1921 dated luger.

However, it seems this luger is a possible frankenluger or perhaps reworked. The barrel and breach have commercial C/N proofs. The barrel also looks replaced with different blueing compared to the frame, and a #6 instead of a #5. The C/N stamp on barrel looks odd.
 

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I missed that detail, thanks for pointing it out. Yes, the crossed line stamping (not an X) is an indication that the pistol was assembled in East Germany for shipment to a Soviet client state. "Russian capture" is erroneous conventional wisdom. There was a discussion explaining this in the not too recent past, I don't have time to search back for it right now. Search on the user name "Kyrie".

--Dwight
 

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--Dwight
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Dwight,

Thank you for forwarding over the post you were referring to, the discussion was rather insightful! While I'm not doubting that my brother's Luger was assembled/refurbished in East Germany, I do have two follow-up questions that I was hoping you or another poster may be able to shed light on:

The first being that the cross you were referring to was seemingly to either strike out previous serial numbers to force match, or otherwise was featured as a circled X . The "X" on my brother's example is off yo the right of the serial number, just below where the slide fits into the frame, with no evidence of striking a previous mark or being circled. Would you still suppose this serves as a similar marking?

The second being all examples within that thread show all typically strawed parts featuring a uniform dark blued finish, while my brother's retains the straw finish that would be typical of a 1921 example. Were the East Germans usually consistent in refinishing all parts uniformly, or were practices dependent on what needed to be reworked, rather than doing extra work?

Thanks Again,

Sam
 

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Yes, the crossed line stamping (not an X) is an indication that the pistol was assembled in East Germany for shipment to a Soviet client state. "Russian capture" is erroneous conventional wisdom.
Huh? Never heard that before. I read the thread you linked and don't see anything definitive but it certainly is not East German. As far as I know, most of the 'X' marked K98k (and P38s) imported into the US were coming out of Ukraine, workmanship and condition was generally poor, and the K98k stocks were all slathered in cheap Soviet VK1 lacquer. The DDR never used that crap. East German K98k reworks, even the stuff they exported, were also of significantly higher quality and often include new made replacement barrels as well as DDR commercial proofing.

The 'X' is probably the Soviet repair depot (probably somewhere in Ukraine, but who knows) that reworked all of these in the 1940s/1950s. The Soviets had dozens (if not hundreds) of these repair depots and they all used a different symbol or geometric shape to indicate which depot did the work. Some were handed back over to the Germans for arming the DVP.
 

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Please document this assertion.

--Dwight

Also see "Model 1891/30 Rifle and it's Variations", Alexander Yuschenko (2018)


"Russian capture" as conventionally understood is a mis-attribution. The facts are much more complex (and interesting).

--Dwight
Maybe I have misunderstood. Can you clarify what you mean?
 

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A common collector understanding of "Russian Capture" Lugers seems to be: the Russians actively "captured" the pistols during wartime, purposefully carted them off to Russia and refurbished them (some would say they were stripped of their grips and stored in barrels of oil, no kidding!) after which they were eventually collected.

--Dwight
 

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The repair documentation is interesting. I observe that:

1. The information deals exclusively with rifles (the first paragraph disclaimer notwithstanding);
2. The armory repairs are of current inventory arms;
3. The single cross mark pictured is not deemed significant enough to warrant comment or description;
4. None of the variety of marks are found (reported) on collected eastern-bloc sourced Lugers.

--Dwight
 

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A common collector understanding of "Russian Capture" Lugers seems to be: the Russians actively "captured" the pistols during wartime, purposefully carted them off to Russia and refurbished them (some would say they were stripped of their grips and stored in barrels of oil, no kidding!) after which they were eventually collected.

--Dwight
I agree with you on this. I have never liked the term "Russian Capture" either, but we are stuck with it. It gives people the idea these were captured in combat, but in reality there is no way to know if RCs were "captured" during the war or after the end of hostilities. Well, in most cases.

However, the Russians did police up captured German weapons during the war and even reworked them for reissue. I have attached a pic of a byf41 K98k captured in 1941/42 and reworked in 1942 by ABV No.38 ("MO") near Moscow. I have also seen a few RC K98kswith Mobile Artillery Workshop (ПАМ) rework stamps in the stocks. These were usually handed out to Militia Divisions, but some regular divisions received some also.

Pistols, on the other hand, are of almost no use in combat and generally saw little use. RC P38s, even early ones, are almost always original matching and in decent shape. Im sure the Russians reworked some during the war, though unless it is dated like the ABV No.38 K98K, I don't think there would be anyway to tell.
 

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