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A nice score with assistance
All,

I was presented with the opportunity to acquire a relatively rare Kreig recently. As this is the direction my collection is taking, I wanted to pursue it, but as my expertise in Kreigs is limited, I sought the help of a trusted Krieg collector/expert.

Herewith is John Dunkle's assessment of a 1943 Krieghoff rig I have purchased:

"Dear Bill and Tom,

It has been my pleasure to inspect the following Krieghoff. I hope you
find the following information of assistance and of value. Should you
have any questions regarding any comments, please feel free to ask.

Details: 1943 Krieghoff - SN: 11337

Overall and conclusions. The 1943 production period for Heinrich
Krieghoff was somewhat limited. Mr. Gibson theorizes a total 1943
production of 300 units. However, based on serialization and collector
records, there may have been slightly fewer, especially given the noted
and verified examples from that production date. Further, few “1943”
matched 2-mag RIGS have been verified and authenticated. Most commonly
encountered are RIGs with one matched magazine or “RIGS” that have been
boosted or assembled post-war by over zealous collectors. With this
specimen, I do not believe that is the case – and rather – it is
unmolested and original in all respects, including the small parts and
accessories (holster and tool).

To emphasize, any imperfections noted and outlined below (NB: bluing,
trigger straw, grip screw and toggle breech areas specifically detailed
below) are offset by the overall condition of this somewhat rarer HK
1943 two matched magazine RIG.

Further and specific to this specimen – the serial number would place it
at the beginning of the 1943 production, so the proofs/stamps/digits are
also correct for this piece. I did not note any attempts to boost the
overall condition of this RIG, and again – appears as original. To note,
the following characteristics of this variation and specific to this
specimen:

BLUE: darker, shows less polish then comparative early years, but
better then later years. GRIPS: Black Bakelite. MAGAZINES – Haenel -
blue aluminum base – either FXO or 122 with E/37. TOGGLE STAMP:
Variation C-3 (Gibson).

Individual details specific to this specific specimen follow.

Accessories
Holster: Correct as noted. LWaA Second Stage Acceptance inside, no
manufacturer mark. This holster is original and is believed to be
originally issued with this Kreighoff, given the match of the distinct
marks to the wear points on this specific example. Note pull-tab wear
marks, toggle ears marks and corresponding muzzle wear of the firearm to
the Luger. Later holsters or those originally carrying another
manufacturer Luger will have another set of distinguishing mark.
Overall condition: Very Good+ with slight wear. Wear predisposes the
conclusion that this RIG was carried on a regular basis. Leather is
excellent (not weak or over treated), stitching excellent condition and
believed to be original, hardware, pull, strap, loops, interior in Very
Good condition. No repairs noted.

Tool: Correct as noted. LWaA first acceptance Stage 1 noted with
correct placement, orientation and size. Slight wear at elbow and flat.
Rated at 95%+ overall.

Magazine(s): Two presented for inspection. Both magazines are correct
and matched to the serial number (11337) being Haenel manufactured
blued, aluminum based, pinned. Typically noted in the HK serial range
10000-12000, they are distinguished with the “122” over the E/37. LWaA
First Acceptance Inspection Stage 1 is present on both with correct
size, placement and orientation. Serialization, digit size and
orientation is correct, without any indication of re-stamp or
flattening. Under high intensity light, both magazines appear as
original and verified as being originally issued with this Krieghoff
without being boosted or forged. Both rate at 90%+, showing slight wear
on body and aluminum base(s).

Frame – overall: Markings, Serialization, Right Rail, and Inspector
Marks: Overall, the frame would rate at 95+ plus and is in excellent
condition. I found no attempts to boost or forge any markings nor
“improve” any aspect of the overall condition. Serialization is correct
in digit character, placement, size and orientation. The right rail has
the correct LWaA First Acceptance Stamp – Stage 2 of the “late”
variation – which is correct for serialized HK’s in the 10,000+
serialized block. The stamp itself is correct in formation, size and
placement. To note in this specimen, that the Inspector mark digits
appear in the front lug well (correct) rather then the “Six Point Star”
or Digit inspectors make under the right grip panel. There is one small
flaw by the left Grip Screw (see details below). Details of the
individual parts are as follows:

Interior Polishing: Correct as noted. Typical of HK final fit/finish
hand lapping.

Gesichert Mark: Die Type B – correct as a Krieghoff Stamp. 1942/1943
HK’s will show some die wear, which this specimen shows.

Frame Milling telltales: Correct for HK. This is an HK manufactured frame.

Frame – small parts:
Grips: Grips are Black Bakelite. Both are correct and appear as
original. The right panel rates as EXCELLENT, while the left panel has
a small “flat” (7mmx4mm) at the center. The left panel would rate at VG+.

Grip Screws: Both are original and correct. The right screw head shows
no signs of abuse while the left screw head has a slight roll-over,
which is not uncommon. A small bright area by the left grip screw is
noted on the frame. Both Grip Screws would rate at VG+/EXCELLENT.

Trigger: Correct military serialization and placement/size. Strong
straw hue is retained throughout, especially for a field piece. Slight
straw wear on the edging, especially on the right/inside edge. Correct
and common. Rated at 92%.

Locking Bolt: Correct military serialization and placement/size for the
1943 production. Characteristic HK flat buff strip is present and
strong, and diamonds/tab are correct as noted. Rated at 95%.

Mag Release and Spring: Strong fire-blue without any virtual wear.
Rated at 99%+.

Sear Bar Safety Lever: Correct military serialization and
placement/size. No variations noted and correct for this specimen.
Without any corrosion points, this piece rates at 96%+.

Safety Catch: Correct without external military markings/serialization.
Strawing retains excellent hue, with slight wear on the high slots of
the tab. Some dirt between the tab ridges. Rated at 90%+.

Hold Open: Excellent condition with LWaA 1 stamp (underside). No
evidence of camming and rounding and appears as original to this
speciman. Rated at 92%.

Coupling Assy: Excellent condition and shows little signs of use.
Correct machining marks. Rated at 98%+.

Thumb Print/Frame Flame hardening: Both flame hardened telltales exist
(thumbprint and toggle release ramps). All areas are correct and have
not been boosted or improved. These are original to this HK
manufactured frame and to the Krieghoff manufacturing process.

Top End Details:
Overall: Serialization and right receiver are correct as noted: Serial
number is correct in digit size, orientation and placement. No
indications of double-strikes nor boosting. Right receiver shows
correct LWaA 1 – LWaA 2 – Proof combination, orientation. Given the
1943 production, these Acceptence/Proofs are correct for this specimen.
Further, as typical for this production period – “witness marks” are
not present. Overall – the top end would rate at 94%+, with one bright
streak and normal hi-point wear marks from firing/carrying. Details of
the individual parts are as follows:
Chamber Date: Correct as noted. The digit baseline, offset and
placement indicate a verified HK Chamber stamp. While the “4” is
lighter, this is typical of the HK chamber date variations on specimen
to specimen. This is an original HK struck Chamber Date.

Toggle Assembly: Correct as noted.
- Rear link: Toggle ears are correct in diamond pattern and chamfer.
Rearsight base has the correct “V” and is not altered. The flycut on
the aperture is HK perspective is also correct – and therefore, the rear
link is HK Manufacture.
- Center Link: Toggle Stamp is “HK Die Type C-3”, distinguishing this
production from earlier and later HK production. Stamp is excellent
with 1mm LWaA code noted on underside.
- Breechblock: This area has a minor imperfection. To the right and
left side of the extractor – there are two metal “splinters” which have
lifted, but have not separated from this area. While noted on other
specimens, these are apparent on close inspection, but do not detract
from the collectability of this piece. However, this piece should not
be fired, at the risk of furthering this imperfection. Overall, the
breechblock is correct in serialization, LWaA stamps placement and
orientation, and original to this HK. The breechface shown no signs of
abuse.
Overall – the toggle assembly is rated at 90%+ with the imperfection as
noted.

Extractor: Correct as a late stamped Krieghoff GELADEN. No attempts
apparent to efface the extractor, which would indicate commercial
production. Production for this extractor was destined and accepted as
Military. Correct as noted, rated at 95% +.

Firing Ping/Spring/Retainer: Correct as noted. LWaA acceptance stamps
on both retainer/firing pin as correct for this period of HK
manufacture. Overall, the assembly rates at 90%.

Barrel: Correct as noted. Gauge is correct in both orientation
(parallel to the barrel) and placement to this production year. LWaW
Acceptence is correct in die size and placement. 1mm Serial number is
correct to matched frame serialization. No indication that this is a
replacement barrel, and it is original to the HK specimen. Excellent
bore, crown. Overall, the barrel rates at 97%., with slight wear from
holster carry and crown area brightening.

Sight/Base: Correct for Military and 9mm HK production. High spot wear
from holster carry, but rates at 85% overall. The sight is original HK.

Ejector: Correct as noted. Slight wear on high spot outer edge, but
rates at 90%+. Correct HK tell tales.

Axel Pin: Correct as noted. Non-serialized version, but lighter HK
telltale machining noted. Rated at 80%.

Coupling Link: Correct. LWaA noted and proper in placement and die
size. No apparent wear.

Sideplate Assembly: Military serialization noted “37” (2 diget) with
correct LWaA inspection. Lever accordingly and properly marked. The
sideplate assembly is correct in all respects, and is original to this
HK specimen. High Spot blue wear is apparent on ridges from holster
carry, and therefore, would rate at 88%. This is correct and normal.

Sear Bar Assy: Correct as noted. Contains the more standard
markings/maching/marks rather then the serialized etching (very
uncommon). The sear assembly is HK manufacture and believed to be
original to this specimen.

With Warm Regards and Respect,

John Dunkle"


When the rig arrives and time permits, I will, of course, post pictures.

Tom A
 

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Tom, An excellent analysis...Very detailed and what I would expect from John, What did that cost you? John should go into business! Jerry Burney
 

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John
I want to thank you for your outstanding , detailed examination and write up of this Luger.
Tom
Please post detailed photographs.

Tom and John
I want to establish that I am not a Krieghoff expert. I had the opportunity to examine 1943 Krieghoff, serial number 11337, complete with Luftwaffe accepted holster and tool 19 months ago. Unfortunately, I had just purchased my digital camera and I was not proficient at focusing and all the photographs reflect this. The following is based on photographs and notes from my examination 19 months ago.

I compared 1943 Krieghoff, serial number 11337, part by part with the two Krieghoffs in my collection 1937, serial number 9603, and 1944, serial number 11231, and with the information in Gibsons book and in Third Reich Lugers. I also discussed this Luger with several knowledgeable collectors.

Based on this examination and discussion, it is my opinion that rig shown below is a valid 1943 Krieghoff, rig.


Download Attachment: krig431.jpg
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Figure 1. 1943 Krieghoff rig, as issued with Luftwaffe holster, Luftwaffe tool and extra matching magazine. The Luger is completely matched and in excellent plus condition. Based on information from the seller and examination of this rig, it remains as issued today. Such matching as issue rigs are extremely rare (another such rig is shown on page 279 and 280 of Third Reich Lugers).


Download Attachment: krig432.jpg
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Figure 2. Black holster. The only mark is this Luftwaffe stamp. The holster shows some wear and is in very good condition.


Download Attachment: krig433.jpg
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Figure 3. Two matching magazines. They are both 122 code, E/37, Luftwaffe stamped, blued Haenel magazines correct for this Luger.



However, while an exceptional rig, the Luger has a few detractions.
1. There are cracks in the breech block on either side of the extractor. These consist of triangular shaped pieces that flex if the extractor is moved up by hand. These would certainly break off if the gun is fired. Such breech block breaks exposing the extractor slot look very bad, although they may not pose a safety issue. I discussed the repair of such breaks with Gale Morgan and he said that the tempered breech block would have to be annealed and the area built up and re-machined and re-blued.


Download Attachment: krig434.jpg
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Figure 4. Top of 1943 Krieghoff. The cracks are slightly visible and can be seen as discolorations on both sides of the extractor.

2. The lanyard loop is frosted/corroded. The area above the lanyard and some of the high part of the right frame ear has a textured finish (more like the finish in the ear well and above the right grip). I am inclined to believe that this is the result of normal late Krieghoff finish production variance.


Download Attachment: krig435.jpg
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Figure 5. Right frame ear. The textured finish in the ear well extends onto the frame edge and onto the back of this Luger (unfortunately, this photograph is grainy and obscures the real finish.) Unlike this Luger, most War dated Krieghoffs have a polished finish on the frame ears and the area above the lanyard.

The fact that this all matched 1943 Krieghoff rig has remained as issued, should more than offset the few detractions mentioned above. This is a beautiful rig.
Jan
 

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Hi Jan,

My thanks for you comments about my write up and analysis. I would appear that you have photographed this RIG, and your photos are outstanding as always!

You and I both noted the fissures on the forward area of the toggle link. For that, I am of the "old school", as you - I'm certain - and believe they should be left "as is" rather then being repaired. What I believe is that they were there when this piece was taken, and therefore, become part of it's historical value. I realize other collectors may disagree, and want to "improve" that area (ie - "fix it") to enhance the "collector value", but then, as a collector - this RIG would be molested and actually lose value, certainly in historical provenence.

For that, this RIG would proudly stand in my collection. It is simply outstanding in its originality and that it appears to be as it was "taken". In my world, there are not many HKs that remain "not boosted" or assembled post-war - and for that, this certainly is one of those few remaining 1943 2-matched MAG RIG examples as they were returned.

For that, again - you and I also agree - this is a unique HK RIG.

Jan, my best to you - and my thanks again for your comments about my analysis presented above. Your pictures and comments are well informed and presented - as always...!

John
 

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John, I copied and printed this analysis, and to tell the truth, know nothing of HK"s, but through knowing you and also knowing Jan, I must say your friendship and knowledge is most appreciated! (Both of you, I simply can not express the appreciation on reading and seeing how much you both help collectors, thanks for all!)

Ed Tinker
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In addition to the superb rig, with it was a small package that contained a Luftwaffe Flak badge, a Hitlerjugend armband and a wad of French 1 Franc notes...a nice accompanyment.

Tom A.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
All,

Due to the kindness and consideration of the gentleman from whom I purchased this piece, I now have a written record of how this lovely example came to be brought back by one of the "Greatest Generation".

I shall treasure this rig for many, many years to follow.

Tom A.
 

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Noticed the photos in this thread about Tom Armstrong's SN-11337 have expired with time.

Had this one in my Magazine photo-study.

If I find others, I will post them up, as well.
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SN-11337 (1943-Date) from Tom Armstrong's collection was sold for the family in 2010. More photos from then.

From Jan Still's posting in the past when he saw the gun in-hand, there are cracks along the breech-block.
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From Jan Still's posting in the past when he saw the gun in-hand, there are cracks along the breech-block.
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.[/QUOTE]


Just FYI, The "so called cracks" are actually splinters when you examine them with a loop. I suspect caused by faulty heat treatment. I have had the opportunity to examine 5 additional 1943 HKs and all displayed this characteristic to one degree or another. Not to presume for a minute that all 1943 HKs display splintering. But perversely, this defect is actually a proof of authenticity.

FYI, there is another anomaly with 1938s that I have come to use as a proof of authenticity. Has never been proved wrong.

John
 

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Here was Jan's posting in regards to cracks he thought he saw :

" 1. There are cracks in the breech block on either side of the extractor. These consist of triangular shaped pieces that flex if the extractor is moved up by hand. These would certainly break off if the gun is fired. Such breech block breaks exposing the extractor slot look very bad, although they may not pose a safety issue. I discussed the repair of such breaks with Gale Morgan and he said that the tempered breech block would have to be annealed and the area built up and re-machined and re-blued. "

I have these two comparable photos of the top...one photo taken in 2004 and the other in 2010 when the Armstrong family was selling off the gun.


John,

I am not sure if the area of concern Jan mentions shows up in either of these photos, but thought I would post both...
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Pete,

Yes they do. And even clearer when you have the gun in hand.

You can even put your fingernail under the edge and it flexes upward. BUT....carefully so as not to break off the splinter.

John
 

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Good to see your help John . As you know there are numerous little tells on these and some we keep to ourselves . A matter of self preservation as the cheats watch these forums .
From Jan Still's posting in the past when he saw the gun in-hand, there are cracks along the breech-block.
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Just FYI, The "so called cracks" are actually splinters when you examine them with a loop. I suspect caused by faulty heat treatment. I have had the opportunity to examine 5 additional 1943 HKs and all displayed this characteristic to one degree or another. Not to presume for a minute that all 1943 HKs display splintering. But perversely, this defect is actually a proof of authenticity.

FYI, there is another anomaly with 1938s that I have come to use as a proof of authenticity. Has never been proved wrong.

John[/QUOTE]
 

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Hi Dave,

I think the receiver notch photos in Post # 16 were taken at slightly different angles/views.

The 2004 photo seems to be shot from the rear of the toggle and at a slight angle.

The 2010 photo seems to be shot more directly from the top...straight down.

Here are both 2004 and 2010 photos of the SN-11337 left-side SN's. Looks to be the same numbers, same number locations, and loss of blue on both photos. So more than likely it is the same receiver "fork".
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