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I have a co-worker who inherited a 1938 S/42 Luger from his father in law. Unfortunately, he does not know anything about its provenance. He has been selling off some of the other guns he inherited and was wondering if I was interested in buying this Luger as well. Unfortunately, I have not found a similar one on gunbroker or in Rock Island's auction history.

I believe it may have been refinished, as the finish is quite dark and complete and the markers are not filled in white. The extractor is also red/plum colored, which I have read is a side effect of hot dipping a previously straw blued part. The finish is also a little lighter around the stamped S/42 markings, I assume because the steel is harder there from the stamping and the hot dip blue did not absorb as well?

I can ask for more images if needed, however these are the ones he sent me a while back. It has two magazines with the wooden bases and non matching serials, however all the visible serial numbers seem to match.

Additional opinions on if it had been refinished, as well as value estimates would be appreciated. I don't want to rip him off accidentally and I don't want to accidentally rip myself off if I buy it.

 

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From what I see, the upper (barrel, receiver & toggle train) may be original finish. The extractor's plum color is due to the steel used and the heat treatment... not at all uncommon.

The frame, however, looks to have been refinished and the grips have been replaced. Not sure about the magazine.
 

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The finish does not look original to me. The take down lever looks renumbered as I see a second number on it. The safety bar does not look like it has been numbered correctly. I think the gun is in the shooter category.
 

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A '38 would have been hot blued from the get go; but this one has been refinished and the grips are aftermarket.
About an $800 pistol- if it shoots well. JMHO.
 
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It is definitely not the original frame...has no 2mm Mauser "hump"...not legit for a '38 example...and I have a hunch this frame is "rust-blued"...it seems to hold a greyish tint...personally, I would pass on this Parabellum...
 

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To me that Luger looks a bit like a put together piece, like some sort of an interesting conglomeration of parts that could be assembled into a good shooter.
I don't think it's a collectible it's worth what ever someone will pay.
IMHO
 
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