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For the longer-term collectors (I'm < 1 year), have you seen this type of "MUST BUY NOW!" mania for Lugers, say for so-called Black Widow (BW) Lugers; that is, a byf 41 or 42 with black bakelite grips (either original or added later)? If so, when (approximately), and did it burst sharply, or at least cool off with prices dropping at some point?

Alternatively, in the past few decades has there been a (semi) frenzy for a particular type of Luger that went from in-demand to full-on nuts, or is the current BW mania atypical? If yes, what happened in the long-run in terms of collectability and pricing for the MUST-HAVE Lugers?

Just trying to get some perspective... Thanks and cheers. Batty67/Mark G
 

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Legacy listed a BW yesterday on their website - I looked a little while ago and the gun was already sold. Amazing.
That pistol sold within hours of being listed. I appreciate the BW’s but definitely think they are overpriced for what they are, far from scarce as you see them listed a few times a month by online dealers which also makes me wonder how many are actually authentic. But as always to each his own.
Jim
 

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This has the potential to be a great thread, there are folks on this forum that are way more "long-haul" than me. And way more "luger specific" than me as I have a broad pallet when it comes to guns. I've been "around it" since I was a little kid. I actually began my own journey with collecting and selling at 16, (maybe still a kid at that point, maybe still a kid now) I'm almost 60 now, so a little over 40 years in with mentorship along the way. I'm doing the same for my kids and now my grandkids. I was taught that this "hobby" is something you can "make a little money at", and that it will at worst, "fund itself' if you do it right.

Some members here easily have another 20 years on me so I'm excited to hear what they say.

Some humor to start....Why aren't P38s with black grips "Black widow P38s" I think I'm going to list a couple on GB that way and see what happens......maybe I should buy up all the loose wartime black P38 grips first.

This current "black widow" trend is just nuts, and unprecedented both. Bitd, if somebody overpaid for a "black widow" you would say something like, "you realize that's just a common luger with black grips, right?' I blame the internet and the ability to find theses things easily (which at the onset of it's use actually caused prices to fall due to availability, perhaps another thread altogether) combined with a desire to own with no regard to actual current value. And (more importantly), the term "black widow" being somehow solidified and "legitimized" as a variant. Also quite possibly just a few "flippers" blowing it all up. Who knows, but BWs are the cabbage patch kid of lugers right now. It's a shame RS isn't alive to see what he's done.

I have watched trends with regard to antique and collectable guns (and guns in general) with great interest for years.

First, I live in an oil producing State. Here are my personal observations; When we have a Democratic President typically inflation ensues, the economy will take a down turn as prices rise due to inflation. Some people tighten belts. Others make quick profits. And oil always goes way up.

When this happens Lugers and collectable guns start to move. Possibly from the need to sell for some, and being cash heavy from quick profits and wanting to buy for others. This causes prices to spike, this also causes people to notice that these things are "worth a lot" and suddenly grandpa Joe's Luger comes out of the sock drawer. The resulting inflationary seller's market ensues. It's a great time to sell and make profits on guns you need to upgrade and some you just have to "let go of" because the offer or opportunity is just too good. The downside is suddenly there are rare guns "out of the woodwork" you've been after for a while available, but the the price is now higher than a month ago when you couldn't find one. I have personally filled two holes in my collection in the last month with items that were scarce just a few months ago. One was a "steal" and the other was "at the top of retail", but the condition made it "impossible to upgrade" so I bought it. It will easily be worth more than I paid for it in just a few years.

A collector's world was once quite small, you had your local network of gun shops. Then the one's you would travel to occasionally (say an hr or three from home). You would establish relationships with these folks and hope they would call if something good showed up. Other collectors you met along the way, same thing. Not unlike the way guns move within this forum. You would make all the local gun shows, and the BIG show in your state if it had one. If not you would go to the closest BIG one if you had gas and gun money on hand.

Things always stabilize (there's always a "correction") and prices go down, usually not below 'the start of it all" but close sometimes.

I'll close my thoughts with @ the OP, If you have a BW you bought at $3500 six months ago, sell it now for 8k and buy 2 or three other lugers you really like. JB ;)
 

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I recall a year or 2 ago the first variation, strawed parts 1937 Mauser Lugers were hot commodities. Their prices didn’t jump NEARLY as drastically though, but the prices have stayed pretty much the same ever since they became commodities. Again, nothing like the BW craze at the moment.
 

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I have witnessed several mini-bubbles - however, i am never sure if it is a bubble, or just that you hear about it more. I'd say when a book comes out there is a jump in prices and interest.
When Simson Lugers came out, I noticed an uptick in prices and of course a lot of discussion. Police Lugers, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, except perhaps folks understood the unit markings better (thanks to Don Maus).

The byf craze right now, is very atypical IMHO - I've never seen it like this for a particular type of luger.
 
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I have witnessed several mini-bubbles - however, i am never sure if it is a bubble, or just that you hear about it more. I'd say when a book comes out there is a jump in prices and interest.
When Simson Lugers came out, I noticed an uptick in prices and of course a lot of discussion. Police Lugers, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary, except perhaps folks understood the unit markings better (thanks to Don Maus).

The byf craze right now, is very atypical IMHO - I've never seen it like this for a particular type of luger.
At moments I feel like I brought a really hot date to the prom 😆
 

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That gun was gorgeous, if I hadn’t already bought two guns this week I definitely would’ve bought it. The acceptance stamps were 135,135
Didn't notice the right side proofs...then I see it is in the "a" suffix block...so a VERY late '41 byf...I just looked at the condition...yes, 135/135 proofs...somewhat rare to be sure...

Edward
 

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Didn't notice the right side proofs...then I see it is in the "a" suffix block...so a VERY late '41 byf...I just looked at the condition...yes, 135/135 proofs...somewhat rare to be sure...

Edward
I’m transferring a 1941 135,135 today . The Legacy gun is nicer then the one I bought though . I have a 655,135 and a bunch of 655,655 . The only one I’m looking for to complete the variants is a 135,655
 

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There is also the "asset shift" that takes place in times of high inflation. People shift from cash and savings to buying assets that, it is assumed, will adjust upward with inflation. For fixed quantity assets, like collectibles, the value does tend to go up with inflation and provides an inflation-protection.
You see this in the art world. Both art and guns are perceived as having investment qualities.
 

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I’ll offer a few facts on these guns and few substantiated opinions
Facts:
1. If you believe Still’s and others estimates (and I do!) on the percentage of byf 41 and 42 dates with factory black grips at around 20% then the actual number with original factory black grips is something less than the total production of G date Lugers. Just a bit of perspective. Form either year the number is less than half of the 1935 Mauser production.
2. High condition black griped byf Lugers have been quick sells at top level prices for many years and certainly well over a decade now. I have been watching them virtually weekly on major dealer sites and GB since at least 2008 and have keenly observed this fact. Most dealers I have talked since at least the mid to late 1970s have consistently told me that these black widows are their most popular sellers within WWII military Lugers and given that genera is the most popular category of Luger this means the BW is by default the most popular of any single variation.
3. If one goes back through the bi-monthly or quarterly (don’t recall which right now) from shattuck and Hoffman during the 1970s they will see that high condition BW Lugers tended to be near the top of Mauser Luger pricing even then, 50 years ago. Of course K dates, Banners, navy marked and G date as well as 41/42 were higher but that still puts equal condition black widows in about upper quarter of all Mauser Lugers and again this was 50 years ago.
Opinions:
1. The look cool as all get out.
2. A lot of evidence points to high percentage of byf Lugers (both grip types) being allocated to w-SS. Actually the only new Lugers made during the timeframe when the SS was authorized new weapons were the 41 and 42 byf production.
3. A number of sub variations of acceptance stamps and other small details, particularly with the 1941 production, make these even more interesting.
4. Did I mention that they look cool as all get out?
 

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Have been collecting for over 25 years, started with K98's and eventually waded into P38's and more recently lugers. Have been reading about and studying German small arms for over two decades. Hopefully some of the long time luger collectors will comment on this subject. I've read that Navy lugers were quite the craze back in the 60's, 70's and 80's and then that flatlined somewhat as a lot of the collectors passed on and the enthusiasm for them did not follow in their footsteps so to speak. What I've read reminds me of this current craze with the BW pistols.
 

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I think this is the UNWANTED and UNLOVED 1942 Luger brother when it comes to 1942 Lugers. Black Widow Lugers seem to get all the attention........Is it because wooden grips are not that pretty compared to the shinny black ones? Does it really make that much of a difference............. thousands of dollars?.....I'm just not as cool looking as my Brother!.......... In my years of being a member of this forum, I noticed that the older members are not caught up with this Black Widow mystique. They do prefer the beautiful wooden grips over the Black Widow craze..........A name created by a Luger collector years ago.
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Wood Gun accessory
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Wood Gun accessory
 

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Not topic but I prefer wood grips .
Had a very late 42 byf that was nice and it had grips actually lighter than yours .

Like your gun and my favorite byf is my 41 with wood grips .

Definately not the time to sell good ones but that means nothing if not selling .


I think this is the UNWANTED and UNLOVED 1942 Luger brother when it comes to 1942 Lugers. Black Widow Lugers seem to get all the attention........Is it because wooden grips are not that pretty compared to the shinny black ones. Does it make really make that much of a difference............. thousands of dollars.....I'm just not as cool looking as my Brother! View attachment 670744 View attachment 670745
 

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I love Black Widows. They just have such a cool mystique to them and for me, it's based purely on looks (or perhaps, subconsciously, the name? Just being honest -- would BWs be as cool as they are if they were nicknamed "Lump of Coal" instead?). I don't know, but the all-black looks so mean.

Why they're so valued I think comes down to human nature and I can relate this to good looking women. They may not be all that special, but you'll sure want one by your side! :cool: Now if it's also a rare BW, you got yourself a winner!
 

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I agree with 1933 FORD NUT, I to prefer the look of the wooden grips and honestly the fit and finish of earlier Lugers with rust bluing and strawed parts are much more aesthetically pleasing. Personally if I was to spend 4g’s and up on a Luger I think I would lean towards something more rare like a Brazilian or an early Swiss or an Arty, Navy but that’s the beauty of collecting there is something for everyone.
Jim
 
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