Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner

Bore Condition??

4630 Views 18 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Joop van de Kant
I am relatively new to the collector forums. I am curious. What is the general thought on bore condition, as far as "collectors" are concerned? I am and always have been ,pimarily, a shooter. I classify myself as an accumulator, rather than a collector. I like guns in general. With a prefference for WWII and earlier models.
I have gathered from visiting the forums, that the external esthetics
are very important to most collectors.And that the bore can be a black hole. Is this the predominant thought? Bore condition does'nt matter? I just bought my first Artillery Luger.A 1916 DWM, in average condition. It bothers me somewhat, that the bore is a bit frosty.
This does'nt seem to be an issue with collectors. Mr Still stated in another forum that he stores his excellent collection,on racks, by sliding a steel rod into the barrel. He said he does'nt care if the bore gets scratched. I don't understand this. Why would'nt the bore condition inhance the collectability? No offense intended, just trying to understand the mind-set.
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Most collectors will take a fine, nice bore over a messed up one. A "frosty" bore doesn't faze me, and you'd be surprised at how a shot out looking bore shoots great!

So, if you read the many assorted books, I think Jones stated that there are many types of collectors, some that could care less about the bore if the outside looks good and others that if the bore is even 'frosty" that they'll pass on it. I personally like a gun in as good as shape as I can get it, but like a gun with history. If it is a closet queen and is mint, that means it never saw action or was carried by a soldier, so yes, I love a mint gun, but given the opportunity to choose a 98% gun that costs $1800 and a $93% gun for $1200, it would be a tough choice.

Better quality overall equals more return on your investment down the road. But history is important to me, and a frosty bore (or worse) won't persuade me from a gun I want.

Ron Said
"Mr Still stated in another forum that he stores his excellent collection,on racks, by sliding a steel rod into the barrel. He said he does'nt care if the bore gets scratched."

Ron, I never made the above statement on any forum or otherwise. I do not store my pistols with a steel rod in the barrel and highly prize an E+ or mint bore.
Sticking a metal rod into the barrel to mount a gun is NOT going to damege the bore. Intensive, obsessive cleaning does a lot more damage over time.

A really valuable, fully numbered etc. Luger is not going to be fired. The (used) condition of the bore is one aspect of proof that the gun is genuine.

If you´re a "shooter" (like me), you can ask one of the (few) expert Luger gunsmiths to assemble a custom gun, made up of mismatched, restored parts that could even be better than the original product.

You have the choice.

Have fun!

Mr Still,
If I mis-read the post I apologize. I mean't no offense. There were photos of some of your(?) collection, and fabricated , welded steel , powder coated ,hangers(for lack of a better term). The pistols were stored by inserting the rod into the bore. This was included in a thread of posts about the use of a Mauser 96 pistol being used to execute Italian civilians in a cave by the SS. If I recall?
If I attributed someone elses post to you, I apologize, and I am more than happy to withdraw my assertion. And again, I mean't no offense.
I cannot locate the post to verify , exactly what was said by whom. Does anyone remember which forum the post was in.
Patrick, I disagree! repeatedly sliding the bore on and off of a steel rod, will indeed damage the bore of a gun.I am 54 yrs of age and have owned and used guns since I was 8. I repair guns and do custom stock work.
Regards, Ron Smith
That was "Jan" and not "Jan C Still" who posted that, and it was here on this forum.

Ed, Thankyou! I was in error, and again, I apologize.

I agree with "Weimar Police". When I'm considering the purchase of a piece, bore condition is important of course, but it's not THE deciding factor.

I am a shooter, as I said. I've grown up with shooters,and hang out with shooters. I'm not trying to criticize anyone. If it floats your boat, go for it. This is a personal view.
I am used to someone, when picking up a gun for the first time, they look at the bore. If it shows any unusual wear or any sign of corrosion. They cringe, and put it down.I own several guns with less than perfect bores. However,none of them cost me, $1000.00 +, or even close.
It's going to be a difficult adjustment for me to make. In order to become a serious collector.

No offense meant to anyone. Just my little quirk! Ron
I highly prize an excellent+ or mint bore mint and always try to obtain such. However, it is very difficult and sometimes you have to compromise. Very few issued military Imperial lugers have a mint or even an excellent + bore.
Thanks! Sorry, for the misunderstanding.

PS Jan, While we'er on the subject. When an on-line dealer, let's use FGS for instance. Just for example. If they have an artillery billed as "excellent bore". Do they mean it literally! Or is that a uphamism for it's "not bad"? Everyone tells me that very few Imperials have excellent bores. Yet I see them rated as such quite often, by reputable dealers.
I have found when "dealing" with dealers, their stuff [boar or grips] are often described as excellent, or mint condition, while to the buyer, it is at best, very good to good. This also applies to the subjective evaluation of the percentage of blue remaing on the pistol.
Joe, That's been my experience too. I was just curious to know if dealers in high dollar collectables. Were any different or more accurate in their rating, condition, due to the more discerning clientel. In my 40+ odd years of buying, selling ,and trading. I've discovered that a horse trader's a horse trader. Does'nt matter much if you'er dealing in thorobreds, slewfoot's or swaybacks. They all look alike with the lights out.

Ron, I never ask "What is the condition of the bore". I always ask "Is the bore bright and shiny, frosty in the grooves with distinct lands or dark and corroded with distinct lands". This, at least give you a better chance!!
Frank, Exactly! I do the same. " Give me a detailed discription". I was refering to the "Excellent grips, bore,etc,etc,etc." That is posted by the dealer. Does their "Excellent", mean it is! Or are they saying ,"Excellent,(compared to the average jack handle or sewer pipe.)!" If a dealer sells primarily to "accuracy addicts". And he says the bore is excellent. That indicates, no noticable erosion or wear, no rust, no pits. It's a different standard. A point to ponder!
Well, the rental agency called! They want their soap box back! Sorry, if I've beat this to death.
Hey Ron, I understand!! As they say in the old country, Been there, done that! Good Hunting!!
The bore condition will sometimes make the difference between my buying and not buying a gun. Many dealers do not even bother to look closely at the bore. If you ask them to actually look down the bore they say that its dirty but should clean out OK. I wait until they have a chance to clean the bore and give a good assessment.
Jan, I love some of the responses I've gotten from dealers over the years. Once while looking at a 1911, the bore was gone. I mean it looked like a pitted shotgun bore. No rifling! When I pointed this out. He replied " It'll shoot better than you can!"
And there's the proverbial "Those pits will shoot out!" or "Looks good to me!"
I over heard a gunshow dealer tell someone, that those are'nt pits. "That's chatter from the rifling cutter.That happens, because this was the first barrel they made, and the cutter was'nt broke in yet."


Jumping in to this thread, I like to emphazise that sometimes you have to make difficult decisions. Like you, I started as a shooter, and the bore was for me the most important item to judge before I would buy a gun for my target - shooting.
I have the obligatory torches, lamps, mirrors and all the stuff to enable me to see if the bore is still in an excellent condition.
Well, that was my behaviour and it still is when I want to buy a new pistol or revolver for competition - shooting.

All this changed since I collect Lugers and Walthers. Now, I have a list of models, years and types I am still missing. When you are waiting during some years, watching the availabilities, the auction - lists and advertisements, and you find the 'one' you were looking for, the quality of the bore is suddenly not the main item anymore.

Now, I look for matching numbers, the general outlook, regiments markings, originality. The state of the bore is just one item, and I would not trust a 100% shiny bore (like new) in a barrel belonging to a 80 years old warhorse, showing heavy use on all other parts. It might be the proof of a hidden barrel replacement.

I agree with many others on this forum as for the condition - description by sellers and dealers. They tend to upgrade everything to the max. Always look for yourself before buying and never buy before you had the Luger in your hands...

Good hunting.
See less See more
1 - 19 of 19 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.