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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This pistol has an incredible story since 1945.
I just wonder, a 1940 code 42 with bakelit grips (type 2) serial is 5103 m.

This pistol was found in a barn, in a metall box - stored there since 1945. It was a payment for a job, this Luger came directly from the Germans to the farmer who put it there. When his sons should expand the barn in 2003 they found the box...

So is it a 100% original "Black Widow"?

http://luger.gunboards.com/showthread.php?8859-BLACK-GRIPS-DATA-REQUEST&highlight=Black+grips
 

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Asle,

Great story! Thanks for sharing.

Well, I don't use the term Black Widow as I really do not know what that really means. I do know for sure no one at Mauser ever used the term.

But if your question is: Did this gun leave the factory with those grip panels and the Type 6 magazine; the answer is no. :)

John

PS: But hey!! Grips get broken and magazines get lost. That's why really original WWII guns are rare.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Asle,

Great story! Thanks for sharing.

Well, I don't use the term Black Widow as I really do not know what that really means. I do know for sure no one at Mauser ever used the term.

But if your question is: Did this gun leave the factory with those grip panels and the Type 6 magazine; the answer is no. :)

John

PS: But hey!! Grips get broken and magazines get lost. That's why really original WWII guns are rare.
Thanks John - we really do not use that "Black Widow" name in Norway either!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
However this is a late production and i think that this pistol has leaved the factory with this grips? The pistol is not much used, why should they change the grips?
 

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Asle,

If this pistol left the factory with Bakelite grip panels, they would have been the surplus HK Brown grips that Mauser bought from HK in 1939. Not black.

But to explain why there are black Bakelite grips is an easy question. Walnut grips are very fragile. Some researchers believe that the erratic numbering of the grips at Mauser was caused by breaking inspected grips during final assembly and replacing them with reserve grips on hand. They are fragile. Ask anyone who has caused a million dollar chip. Plus, if this pistol was obtained from a soldier e.g. a guard or other ground based person, they might have changed them. After mid-1941, the standard replacement grip magazine was the Black Bakelite. But Mauser was still delivering walnut grip panels well into 1942. Mauser preferred to ship P.08s with walnut grips because the material cost them nothing. On the other hand they had to buy Black Bakelite panels. Remember as long as they were building K98s in Berlin and Oberndorf, they had an unlimited supply of walnut from cut offs of stock production.

You may ask the same question about the magazine that is seen in the gun. It is a type 6 magazine, not seen until mid-1941. But again, magazines get damaged or lost and are replaced from Armorer stocks.

Mauser had to change to Haenel magazines by order of the Heereswaffenamt. They would have preferred to use their own. BUT..the Heereswaffenamt did not issue an order to use Bakelite grip panels. So the incentive lay with Mauser to use their own production of Walnut panels rather than buy Bakelite. But the fact remained that Mauser in 1941 had to gear up to build the P.38 which they started to deliver in 1942. The P.08 was no longer the standard military issue. The p.38 used Bakelite grip panels.

John
 

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Well, I don't use the term Black Widow as I really do not know what that really means. I do know for sure no one at Mauser ever used the term. .....
Story is Ralph Shattuck first started calling them Black Widows as a marketing ploy. Of course, he would not call it that, he called them SS guns or other groups that the lugers were made specifically for parts of the army as all dark guns. Whether it was Ralph or not, and he made more than one comment that he was the first to use it. Of course, all the dealers soon used the term, if you look at 1960's and up you see the term in catalogs.

Many folks will still claim the bluing is darker on these then one with wood grips. Same gun, one with bakelite grips, one with wood. But, you will still hear the old terms. I used to make a comment everytime I heard it, kind of gave up :) For one reason, it is easier to say BW, then 1941 or 1942 byf with black grips and blank bottom bakelite magazine :D

Ed
 

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There is a teachable moment occurring here and I would like to take advantage of it.

In the interest of full disclosure, I peripherally worked with Don and Joop on the Mauser Parabellum and did participate in Dave Molchen's study on black grip panels.

There is great speculation as to when Black grip panels started to appear at Mauser. As of the writing of the Mauser Parabellum in 2009, a lot of data was collected and it indicated that Black panels started occurring at Mauser in mid-1941 although some HK Brown panels which had been purchased by Mauser were seen on 1940 production.

I and a lot of other collectors have cursed dealers over the year because they wrecked righteous guns to make Black Widows and therefore all guns that did not fit into "accepted dates" were bogus.

But now thanks to the work of Dave Molchen, we now know that additional transactions between HK and Mauser took place and Mauser did use some Black Bakelite grip panels in 1940. A strong pattern has developed and we cannot deny its existence. The statistical data is too strong.

I am sure that future editions of the reference books will include this data.

So what is the teachable moment??

Simply this. Reference books are exactly that. A compendium of knowledge frozen at a point in time. On the other hand, empirically driven knowledge is occurring every day.

We capture that knowledge every day in this and other Forums like it. People like Dave and others seek "truth" and rely on collectors around the world to determine what "truth" is.

Therefore, I will continue to contribute data and offer information and ask that other collectors who may be quiet bystanders to get into the game. The more knowledge we share the better our hobby/avocation will become.

And, again, thanks to Sturgess and Goertz, Don and Joop, Dave Molchen, Ron Wood, Jan Still, etc. and all the other active collectors, authors and investigators who strive for a greater knowledge of Lugers.

We must NEVER forget that books are a reference, not a Bible. They represent a point in time. Forums like this and others are the real fountains of knowledge whose flow is continuous and ever changing.

John
 

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John... Thanks for the kind words. You put me in with a group that I believe is above my pay grade but I appreciate it.
 

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Kai...Thanks for posting and the excellent pictures of your Type 1 grips. I will add to the study.
 
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