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1940 42 CODE LUGER GRIP VARIATIONS, WALNUT, BROWN PLASTIC, AND BLACK BAKELITE
Photographs showing markings and grip details.
Figure 1. 1940 42 code Luger grip variations. Top to bottom: serial number 3369h walnut, 74i brown plastic, and 2237m black bakelite. Breech block has LTP. (Does not show in photograph.)
Figure 2. Tops 1940 42 code Lugers, top to botom: serial number 3368h, 74i and 2237m. E/655 shows on left barrel.
Figure 3. 1940 42 code, barrel and frame serial number. Barrel gauges: 8,81 8,82 8,81
 

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Figure 4a. 1940 42 code right receiver, serial number 3369h, E/655 E/655 LTP acceptance stamps and test proof. Note: These markings were stamped under the blue and often appear partly washed out.
Figure 4b. 1940 42 code right receiver, serial number 74i, E/655 E/655 LTP acceptance stamps and test proof.
Figure 4c. 1940 42 code right receiver, serial number 2237m, E/655 E/655 LTP acceptance stamps and test proof.
Figure 5. 1940 42 code matching magazines, (all E/37 122 code E/37). Left to right: 3369/h, 74/i and 2237/m.
 

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Figure 6a.
Left slant 1940 42 code, serial number 3369h, walnut grips.
Figure 6b. Left slant 1940 42 code, serial number 74i, brown plastic grips.
Figure 6c. Left slant 1940 42 code, serial number 2237m, black bakelite grips.
 

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Figure 7. Underside grips, left to right, serial number 3369h walnut, 74i brown plastic, and 2237m black bakelite.
Figure 8a. Details 1940 42 code, serial number 3368h, underside wood grips.
Figure 8b. Details 1940 42 code, serial number 74i, underside brown plastic grips.
Figure 8c. Details 1940 42 code, serial number 2237m, underside black bakelite grips. There is a small half moon imperfection located on the inside of the right grip along the magazine recess. This is also present on the brown plastic grip above indicating both came from the same mold (Molchen).
Figure 9. Right side: 1940 dated 42 code Lugers showing grip variations. Top to bottom serial number 3368h walnut grips, serial number 74i brown plastic grips and serial number 2237m black bakelite grips.


 

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Note: The Mauser Parabellum by Hallock and Kant (page 220) list the SE/63-SE/63 or SE63-SE/83 as the only acceptance stamp used on the right receiver of the 1940 42 Code Lugers. This is incorrect ! The Mauser Parabellum books text indicates only the SE/655 is used. However, a 1940 42 Code Luger with what appears to be a SE/83 SE/63 LTP is shown on page 221. A mixed up photograph? Perhaps the authors Hallock and Kant will clear this up. If such a E/83 E/63 LTP Luger is discovered by a fellow collector please post a detailed description and photographs!


All observed 1940 42 code Lugers are stamped with the same array of acceptance stamps and test proof. The right receiver is stamped E/655- E/655- LTP. Its barrel is stamped with a LTP on its right side and E/655 on its left side; the bottom has a barrel gauge and the full serial number without suffix (see note above). The left breech block has a LTP. (http://luger.gunboards.com/showthread.php?3695-1940-1941-DATES-MILITARY-CODES-42-and-byf-DATA) As all 1940 42 code Lugers are accepted and proofed the same, the only distinctions between them are the factory installed grips. Almost all have walnut grips. A very few have brown plastic grips or black bakelite grips. The Mauser Factory installation of wood grips and brown plastic grips on 1940 dated military Lugers is not controversial.

The factory installation of black plastic grips is very controversial; Hallock and Kant contend in the Mauser Parabellum (2010) page 228 that “In the event a 1940 42 code Luger is found with black plastic (Bakelite) grips they are not original to the pistol or the time frame. This situation only indicates that the original wood grips were replaced with black plastic grips sometime after mid-1941.” Hallock and Kant do not explain the basis of this statement and they were not at the Mauser Factory in 1940 observing the factory application of grips. Oddly, they consider the brown plastic grips found only on 1940 42 code Mauser (and some Krieghoff) Lugers as proper.

According to a 1939 German Army directive wood grips could be replaced by black plastic (bakelite) grips when wood grips were not available (Third Reich Lugers (1988) page 65). A drawing (blueprint) was approved for the black grips on 1 December 1939 and approved for the black magazine bottom on 1 March 1940 (Goertz 2002)


Randall Gibson on page 43 of The Krieghoff Parabellum (1980) reports that black bakelite grips appear on Mauser military Lugers intermittently during 1940 (on Lugers dated 1940). Gibson was an outstanding early Luger collector, researcher and author.

DAVE MOLCHENS BLACK PLASTIC LUGER GRIP TABLES. Only 1940 42 code Lugers posted below from Dave Molchens tables. From The German Luger Central Powers and Axis Pistols Forum. See complete table at this link:
http://luger.gunboards.com/showthread.php?8859-BLACK-GRIPS-DATA-REQUEST

Dave Molchens black Luger grip research listed in the table below gives added insight into the use of black bakelite grips on 1940 42 code Lugers.


TYPE 1: Exactly like coarse brown Krieghoff (HK) grips: 2 holes on each side. Detailed inside grip marks indicate the coarse brown HK grips came from the same mold as the Type 1 black grips.
Found on:
1940 42 2520f
1940 42 3099h
1940 42 3615h
1940 42 4478h
1940 42 4992h
1940 42 5946h
1940 42 577L

1940 42 2237m JS
1940 42 9433m
1940 42 2046n
1940 42 2049n

Note: Dave Molchen who has studied the type 1 grips in detail reports that common small markings and defects found on the inside of these grips indicate that the coarse brown plastic grips were made in the same mold as the type 1 black plastic grips.

TYPE 5: One hole each side. L/H low-- R/H high. R/H lug on R/H grip narrow.
Found on:
1940 42 6410d
1940 42 3619e
1940 42 4347h

TYPE 6: One hole each side. L/H low--R/H high. R/H lug on R/H grip wider.
Found on:
1940-42 9940f


Black Widow was a term invented by dealers in the early1970s’ to identify and increase the value of Lugers with factory installed black plastic grips. Some claim that many (originally) wood gripped 1940 42 code Lugers were converted to black widows years ago by dishonest dealers. A mix of all grip types (1-6) would be expected if the black grips were switched by dealers in the U.S. to create black widow Lugers. The predominate appearance of the type 1 black plastic grips on 1940 42 Code Lugers (9 reported to date) lends credibility to the concept that these grips were factory installed. There is also a question of where the black bakelite grips came from to do all this switching. To my knowledge such grips were not manufactured in the United States.

In summary, the detailed grip studies by Molchen (with the help of the members of this forum) strongly indicate that Type 1, black plastic grips were factory installed on 1940 42 code lugers by the Mauser factory at the time of manufacture.

Comments, corrections, criticism, additions or updates greatly appreciated.
For additional information see this post: http://luger.gunboards.com/showthre...OWN-PLASTIC-LUGER-GRIPS&highlight=Black+grips
 

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Jan,
Excellent presentation and pictures.
I own 1940 3615h in your data with black type 1 grips. I also own 1940 8272f with identical brown grips. I have thought the grips were from the same mold because the way the light reflects off the checkering the same. I now see the similar imperfections you have noted on the backs of the right grips.
3615h also has an asterisk on the barrel.

Tom
 

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Tom
Also, excellent presentation and pictures.

Dave Molchen (not me) should get the credit for his outstanding research on black grips.

Thanks for posting.
Jan
 

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Jan

Thank you for calling our attention to the errors in acceptance mark configurations that you noticed on page 220 and 221 in our book "The Mauser Parabellum". I would also be absolutely amazed if a 1940-42 Luger appeared with a combination SE-83 or SE-63 acceptance marks; thanks for your effort. One thing I can say here is that the SE-83 Inspector had just about disappeared by the - r - block of the early 1939-42 production pistols. Jan, I'm convinced you will find many more typo's and other errors. Hopefully, you will find very few additional errors within the descriptions of the numerous acceptance mark and data transitions of each model of the WW-11 Mauser Luger. If you find errors, we would want to be the first to know. Unfortunately, The publisher had our "back to the wall" and was pressing us daily to present the final material for printing. As a result we have the current book. All of these errors will be corrected and the data updated in the second printing of this book which is scheduled for 2014.

As for black plastic grips in 1940 there is more to the story. I will respond later.

Thanks again.
 

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Jan... Thanks for the very kind words. At this point in the study I am pretty comfortable with the Type 1 grips on the 1940-42 Code pistols. I don't know that I have the same comfort level about the Type 5 and 6 grips. IMO there is really not enough data yet.
 

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lauchlin... Welcome to the Forum. LTP stands for Late Test Proof. Mauser pistols had three different test proof stamps which are located on the R/H side of the receiver and on the barrel. Some refer to them as 1, 2, and 3.
 

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Recently observed and was allowed to get some pics of grips, at least one side screw would not budge on other side, 1940 42 matching 6335g brown plastic grips. Regards GR
 

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