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"Black Widow" bubble...?

6334 Views 91 Replies 33 Participants Last post by  HK940
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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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 love Black Widows. They just have such a cool mystique to them and for me, it's based purely on looks ....
Understand what you mean, but you can have two exact byf's side by side, one with black grips, the other with wood and swap the grips, and now the other is a BW and the other isn't????
They are just grips and also a FXO mag, but there is no difference in color or markings.
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I’ll be glad to.
The newly named W-SS was only formally put under OKW (OKH was delegated weapons allocation responsibility by OKW) near the end of 1940. Prior to that the SS (VT, LAH and TKV) resorted to older weapons “hand me downs” often reworked in SS armories, private contracts (no doubt some Banners as the 39 era you mentioned) and an allocation “gift or seizure” of captured CZ weapons and vehicles.
What’s significant is that in December of 1940 the new W-SS began a period of raising and or expanding existing brigades to an increase of 10 new divisions by the spring of 1943, probably and expansion of around 250,000 field troops. In addition most of the total of 13 full divisions during this time frame were fully rebuilt at least once and several rebuilt twice due to combat losses. This required a LOT of weapons and photos from this period (1941- mid 43) clearly shown that the P.08 was by far the dominant 9mm carried by the W-SS. Again the byf was the only game in town in terms of new manufacture P.08 between 1941 and late 42 except for 10k or so 41/42.
I don’t think that the SS were anymore prone to frostbite than any other German front line formation nor do I think Bakelite grips made the risk worse. If so those receiving P.38s and Radoms were in a world of hurt. I also have no reason to believe that W-SS did not receive a healthy allocation of wooden griped byf Lugers.

Lastly I would suggest that the late 1942 diversion of byf Lugers to Portugal and Bulgaria had nothing to do with the Wehrmacht not wanting these guns but rather everything to do with shoring up strategic alliances. Keep in mind that during this same period Germany sold tens of thousands of new K98ks and many MG34s to Portugal, fighter aircraft to Bulgaria and high quality military optics, weapons and other materials to Sweden.
I would think your theory would also apply to the rapid expansion of airforce ack-ack - and would apply to police, who were mobilized and went to the eastern front. And would apply to Africa and many other places.
But then I have no desire to own any SS named weapons.
My guess it's because of aesthetics. The all-black byf look is amazing ( gun + mag + grips + holster ), and brings to life the lethality of war. If you are into war relics, this is it.

This aesthetic also applies to the "Black Army" 1911s. They just look cool.

ah, yeah, thats a nope from me.
hey Phila, relax a bit with the sarcasm please or whatever you want to call it, this is how forums work, 15 people with 15 opinions.
You are trying to find out if fxo black bottoms and black grips left at the same time.
Well when did they both first appear? At the same time is possible, but I doubt probable. They would use up the grips or mag bottoms until they ran out, so I'd assume they were overlapping.
ya, you're fine, it was my work today, what a pain :)
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