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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To my way of thinking the topic of the "Black Widows" style Luger is closed! It is not an official German ordinance term, but a romanticized Luger collector's designation. Right? I'm interested though, as to why it is typically described as a BYF 1941-42 pistol with black grips and an FXO magazine? Jim
 

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From what I understand, the finish, in conjuction with the black plastic grips made for any easy sell to collectors from the 50's and 60's?

ed
 

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Ed -

It is still an easy (and premium) sell to many collectors. One would suspect that color and material used in grips and mag bottoms was very low on the priority list of the average German soldier, therefore not even an item for consideration until a high-profile, marketing-oriented dealer coined the term.

Luke
 

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Regardless of which dealer (possibly Mr. Shattuck) initially coined the term, most major other dealers in the USA continue to use the term and all are reluctantly not bashfull to ask for that $ 200-400 premium...and seemingly get it as well when they sell their guns. So, its seems like a sucessful marketing ploy, after all...

Regardless of what this pistol variation is called...it does seem a bonefide variation when Mauser was experiencing shortages of wood (and maybe aluminum) and had to switch to alternate materials/suppliers for their grips and magazine bottoms...

I am confident the term "Black Widow" did not show up in any of the factory production documentation at Mauser...just as the term "Alphabet Luger" probably does not either...in the DWM documents

Just a convention agreed upon by collectors and experts so one can talk more easily about certain variations and gun valuations...
 

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Having said all that . . . . . I must admit that I have seen some absolutely beautiful all-black Lugers. No surprise that there is a certain fascination with them.

Luke
 

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Pancho,

Nice looking gun! Here is my BYF 42 presentation. "Black Widow" and "Grey Ghost" are terms coined by dealers to sell guns. Now they bring a premium.

By the way, I was at the Marlboro show a few weeks ago and got a 100% CZ27, it is a nice looking gun. See you soon!

Mark

Download Attachment: BYF42Blackwidow.jpg
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Hey Mark,
Good to hear from you. Another nice looking BW. Lugers certainly do look good in black. Was also at Marlboro show. Saw a Radom, and I think your CZ (very nice). Might have been in the same case. Wasn't able to find anything for my collection.
Main reason is because I have been spending last 3 months of my time and $ on the last leg of a 2 year complete restoration of a '66 Triumph Bonneville, which I have owned since '72. I think I've got about 30 days left before I finish it. Then, back to pistols. Between my work, pistols, and motorcycles, I have about an 80 hr. week. I'm getting too old for this.
 

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Pancho-

German guns and Triumph motorcycles! Nice to know there's another insane person like me! I've got a '71 Daytona that I've owned since '72 (bought it when I was 14) that I'm restoring, along with a '62 Bonneville and some other basketcase bikes.

Happy collecting/accumulating!

Jabbo

quote:Originally posted by Pancho

Hey Mark,
Good to hear from you. Another nice looking BW. Lugers certainly do look good in black. Was also at Marlboro show. Saw a Radom, and I think your CZ (very nice). Might have been in the same case. Wasn't able to find anything for my collection.
Main reason is because I have been spending last 3 months of my time and $ on the last leg of a 2 year complete restoration of a '66 Triumph Bonneville, which I have owned since '72. I think I've got about 30 days left before I finish it. Then, back to pistols. Between my work, pistols, and motorcycles, I have about an 80 hr. week. I'm getting too old for this.
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
According to some collectors in Europe, black grips did not appear until about June of 1941. Consequently, an original "Black Widow" (Mr Shattuck term) can only be a 41-byf after about the - q - block or any 42-byf. Unfortunately, 1939 and 1940 dates don't qualify for the title.
Good hunting.
 

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Don -

Several collectors more experienced than I have suggested that the black Bakelite grips were also used as replacements on older guns near the end of WW-II. This, I suspect, is just speculation; but it seems reasonable that they would have been used for that purpose.

Luke
 

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Hi Luke, I have the exact same theory as you. The earlier Lugers with Bakelite Grips were added as replacements for broken or damaged wooded grips. It certainly explains how a non-byf Luger bring back, that has not been altered, has Bakelite Grips.
 

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Hi Frank,

Good logic. Certainly a well documented, pre-byf bringback would support that theory.

Luke
 

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Hello Luke and Frank,

I am not sure I understand how a WWII bring-back can be well documented. Would the capture/transfer paperwork list the types of grips a pistol might have had when the GI declared it before his trip home ? Is this the "documentation"...?

Or would the documentation occur after the gun is home in the USA and gets written up in the very early luger books (way before Jan's books). Assuming the first luger books were by Datig, Jones, etc. in the late 1950's to early 1960's...it is possible such a gun was in several owner's hands before it was showcased in a book. if so, who would know what grip changes may have occurred in the time frame between the end of WWII service and the date of the "documentation".

Hope you do not think I am giving you are hard time. Just trying to understand your thoughts about well documented vet bring-backs...

As usual, I am pretty ignorant about these things and may have missed what you are saying...
 

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Pete -

Perhaps my use of "documented" was misleading; I should have been a little more specific.

I have known a couple of collectors who claim to have bought Lugers from family members of the returning veteran. In these cases the family member states that it has never belonged to anyone else and has not been altered. While it is always possible that someone might be untruthful in such a case, some of them are probably true.

In my own case, we have a Radom in the family, brought home from WW-II by my oldest brother. Although he is now deceased, we all know with great certainty that no one else ever touched that gun since it came back in 1945. Surely there are such examples with Lugers.

Luke
 

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Thanks, Luke, for your clarification...

I think the nice thing about having ones luger showcased in a book, is that it "freezes" condition at that point-in-time and can be compared to note any changes, reworks, etc., that may pop up in the future. The use of photos by many luger dealers on the Internet also serves to that end.

When the B-L # 5 (previously in a Switzerland musuem) surfaced at a couple of gun shows in the USA (at Kansas and at Reno) during the past year, it was easy to compare its present condition with that shown in past photos of the last 10-15 years...
 

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Sorry to get off topic but this discussion brought back memories of my first love, a 1966 Triumph Bonneville T120R. Rode it from Connecticut to Wilmington NC in 1970.Pancho, I would love to see a photo of it when you are done.
Craig
 
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