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Discussion Starter #1
Just bought a 1917 DWM with matching, light-colored grips. When cleaned they do not appear to be walnut. I have read references to beech grips, but can't find the source.

1. Does anyone know when beech was used?
2. Can anyone confirm from the image if this is, indeed, beech wood?

Thanks for your help.
Luke


Download Attachment: 1917 DWM - Left Grip.jpg
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Luke, my experiance leads me to believe beech or birch grips appeared in late 1917 and then predominated in 1918. I have several 1918's with birch grips and have seen a few 1917's with the same. I believe I also own one 1917 with the non-walnut grips.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, George. That helps.

I thought the wood was beech, but it could have been birch. Wish I could find that reference.

Luke
 

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Hello Luke,
For a 1917 dated pistol, your grips look awfully clean. I was wondering how do you clean your grips?
I have also seen your reference for beech being used. I will look for it. I do not believe birch was used.

Hope all is well with you,
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Luke,
On Pages 156, 166, 170 and 172 of Charles Kenyon's Firtst Printing of "Lugers At Random" he states the grips are made of walnut or beech. I can find no reference where birch was used.
Hope this helps,
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Discussion Starter #7
Chester, Thor -

Thanks for the information from Kenyon & Jones.

Chester -

The grips were unusually light colored but somewhat dirty when I bought the gun. At first I thought they might be repro grips, but close examination showed that they were cut in exactly the same manner as my other DWM grips, and they were numbered to the gun. Given that, I am confident they are original. I used Thor's "Murphy Oil" cleaning method, and they came out clean and almost artificially light colored. That's when I concluded that they must be beech and not walnut . . . thus this inquiry, as I had never seen beech before.

Regards,
Luke
 

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My most recent Luger purchase is a 1937 S/42 that I'm convinced is a Russian capture pistol. With the exception of the type 4, aluminum-based mag without base markings and what I believe to be beech grips from another pistol, it's completely matching. The grips fit very well but along the leading edge, both sides have been trimed to remove overlap. The figuring on the wood shows that it's not walnut, although both panels are quite dark. The grips are unnumbered/marked in any way. I plan to photograph this Luger and post it when I have the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Doubs,

I recently came across repro grips from a German company which fit as well as the Nil grips and look a lot like the originals. They came on a Luger from a dealer known for his honesty, and he had not detected the fact that they were repros. I found the distributor in Germany and ordered a 2nd pair. They were identical.

Two items in your comments above caught my eye:
1. "both sides have been trimed to remove overlap" and
2. "The grips are unnumbered/marked in any way."
That makes your grips sound a lot like these modern German reproductions. If you can post a picture of the inside of the left grip I can confirm for certain.

Luke
 

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Luke, I'll try to post three pictures that I just took. The diamonds on the grips are slightly flattened by use and the grips have the Mauser contour with the flat area in the center. They are, I believe, genuine Mauser grips that have been fit to this pistol. If they're new manufacture, someone went to a lot of trouble to make them dark with stain/grease and appear to be of considerable age.

One additional picture will be added. VERY difficult to see except in cross-lighting are two stamps on the inside of the right grip panel. One is a capital "W" and the other is a Waffenamt, an E/655. It would seem from this that the grips are genuine Mauser but from a few years later than the original grips to the pistol.... just as the magazine is a few years newer.

The finish on the pistol is 99+% and shows NO signs of having had a cartridge chambered as there is no brass mark on the under side of the breechblock. However, the bore, while bright & with sharp lands does have some minor pitting toward the chamber end. This all leads me to believe that the pistol was dip-blued and, again, a Russian capture pistol. It has "Miltec" import marks on the right side of the frame.

Download Attachment: RightGripMarks.jpg
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Download Attachment: LeftGrip1.jpg
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Download Attachment: LeftGrip2.jpg
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Download Attachment: BothGrips.jpg
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Discussion Starter #11
Doubs,

Thank you for the pictures of your grips.

No, your grips are definitely NOT the current German repros I have seen in the last month.

I will try to publish a set of photos showing the Nill, authentic, and German repro characteristics.

Regards,
Luke
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Here is a comparison of the insides of New German Repro, authentic DWM, and Nil left grips.
Note the difference in the way the grips are cut on the inside. Each manufacturer is uniquely identifiable by a particular pattern on the inside, whereas they all look highly similar on the outside.



Download Attachment: 3-Grip Comparison.jpg
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Luke, thanks for the comparison picture. There's quite a difference between my left grip and the DWM left grip, both original. I also compared my 1937 Luger grips to a pair from a 1939 Mauser and they are the same except the 1939 pair do not have the Waffenamt or capital "W" on them.
 
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