Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner

Black Widow Grips

16332 Views 48 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  tracy
I was cleaning my byf 41 (48XX v) and upon removing the grips, remembered there were some interesting threads on the subject that were "sticky-d" by Jan including some about fakes, and the identifying marks of the "real" ones. It seemed most guys thought that if you had the pistol in your posession for long enough or it was up in Canada away from the fakers, it would most likely be the real deal.

I took some pics of them which I can't resize small enough to post myself, so if I could send them to someone to post I would appreciate it.

They have ONE of the holes mentioned on the inside, the lower one, and there are casting flashings where the upper hole might have been located in the mold at some point, but both have only ONE hole in them.

I bought this pistol and several others from a collector in 1976 as a Black Widow (he described it on the Bill of Sale in this manner). No one has ever fooled with this as long as I have had it, and I believe the gentleman who owned it had it in his possession for a number of years.

Since I can account for it for over 29 years myself and would imagine him having it for five or more (he got out of pistols and went into stamps. These grips show some wear and a few scratches, so no collector would bother to scratch them up to try to fool anyone 30 years ago, maybe now, but not then I don't think. I wonder if anyone who knows can tell us WHEN the fake grips started to be produced?

Now I read where the real ones have TWO holes in the back and they are threaded so they could use a grip screw to remove them from the mold. Please....what guy in a factory would take the time to thread in a fine threaded grip screw to remove it from the mold? Perhaps if a tool was used to pop them out, it could simply be put in the hole and torqued to the side to remove it from the mold, or if the idea that someone took the time to thread in a tool to remove them, why would they use a SMALL thread size that could break, chip or cross-thread so easily for ONE task only; removing it from the mold? On the other hand, is it a coincidence that the thread size of the tool to remove the grip from the mold (if that is what it is) happens to be the same size as the grip screw is?

Just playing devil's advocate here since some think TWO holes on the back are necessary for it to be "real", and they have to be threaded the same size as the grip screw is. Heck, the holes in mine appear to have been threaded, but have threads in them or have had the threads boogered up at some point and they are a bit smaller than 3/8"....hmm..just about 9mm!

Your thoughts, gentlemen?
See less See more
41 - 49 of 49 Posts

your description fits the advice I was given exactly. The technician I spoke to didn´t think that these first grips were injection moulded either. He mentioned the problem that there were no satisfactory agents available then to prevent parts from sticking to the mould, so the screws were definitely necessary for extraction.
The border on the grips appears to be very similiar to the finish on the grips itself. Alot of the "real" grips appear to have the smooth border appear with a considerable shine. These borders appear to be very dull by comparison. But that is only one factor. My recollection is that there were several excellent strings on this forum where a number of variations [5?] were discussed with pics of each variation. On magnification these grips don't seem to exhibit much, if any, of the filler materials that are also often present. [pic quality isn't great for magnification though]
This is academic to me, meaning that I don't presently have any WWII Lugers or collecting expertise, but a question regarding the poor fit of synthetic grips ... Could extreme prolonged heat, like storage in an attic in the summer in Tropic or southern climates, cause the excessive shrinkage of those "black widow" grips ?
My understanding of the grip materials used is that the bakelite grips are "thermoplastic" meaning that once heated in the molds, the material is relatively unaffected by heat after it cools. One test for original grips is to apply a heated pin to the back of the grip. Original material will not melt or smoke due to the nature of the material. So, I would think that original grips would not be affected by prolonged attic heat, as the heat shouldn't cause warping. On the other hand, non original grips not made with bakelite type material may very well harden and warp.
Take a look at a pair of bright and shiney P-38 grips from same factory,same time, no fur. Nobody did more with bakelite than the Germans during WW2. I have researched this subject and found that many different recipes for this material were used in countless items; canteen cups, machine gun stocks,bino cases, food containers, telephones, etc. Many such items even carried code markings identifying their composition. In my experience of 50 years or so collecting, all such grips I've had were pretty much identical. (just removed a pair to look) Was told years ago the hole was just a place to park the grip screw when removal was necessary for cleaning...makes sense to me. First noticed the fakes in the mid 60's, they were everywhere. Placed side-by-side with the real deal, no contest.
This subject gets more interesting as time goes on. I got interested in the Luger after I purchased one at one of the Oklahoma City gun shows back in the late 80's or early 90's. There was no mention of it being a 'black widow' or the name under the left grip. After I started reading different posts on different forums, I really couldn't tell if my grip are original or not.

This pistol is a byf 41, S/N 8468, everything matching, no import marks. Finish about 80-85%. Under the left grip is etched Ernst Vict??(runs into the cutout), Koln 1942. The holes are threaded & will accept the screws. What I don't like is what looks like paint (black) under the left grip. You can see it in the picture. Maybe someone tried to fake the grips & name a long time ago, but it wasn't sold to be that way.

Any comments on this one. Hope the picture is OK


Download Attachment: P08.jpg
See less See more
Looks like very poor reproductions. It's like they had to be filed down to fit.

41 - 49 of 49 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.