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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is my Dad's Luger; a WWII bring back. Now it's mine; it is not for sale. I am not a collector of firearms rather I'm a accumulator of firearms. Checking my homeowners insurance I've discovered the coverage for firearms is poor. I've been documenting my firearms and trying to get replacement values for each. I need education on this Luger to properly identify it. I've attached ten pictures; the maximum allowed & I have more if needed. If it is possible to give a range of replacement value, it would be appreciated. Thanks in advance for any assistance.
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Holster.jpg Holster Back.jpg Non-Match Mag..jpg Left Side.jpg Right Side.jpg Top.jpg Left Front.jpg
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You have a military luger made in 1934 (that is what the "K" indicates) in a police holster. The luger looks original and unaltered--that is a big big positive. It is also a relatively rare luger having faced years of war and having the lowest production number of the Mauser-made lugers. It is a real gem to have--congratulations. The magazine is a later replacement but that is common for military lugers.
 

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As said, it is a K date - very nice - likely a GI liked how the police holster looked, easier to pull out, etc. It is always possible that this was a police luger, although the + under the serial number on the mag suggests not (police were numbered 1 or 2), and army were given no marking and a + as the secondary mag.

Value is about $3,000 + if it is all matching (all small numbers should be the last two of the serial number, don't count any hidden numbers such as under the barrel.
Ed
 

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Your Father's 1934 "K"- date Luger is a Sub - variation 3...from what I can see of it, it looks all matching, of course except the magazine...and in very good condition, as most "K"- dates saw alot of use...especially on the Eastern (Russian) front...mostly Gothic S stamps, as is correct, per the pistol's serial number...extended muzzle length, w/front sight to the rear...Halos underneath the barrel, on S/N, indicate original rust-blued finish...

In my honest opinion, monetary value of closer to $4,500.00/$5,000.00 ...

It is unfortunate that Bob Young, our former self - proclaimed "K" - date expert, is no longer with us...he would have enjoyed/loved to have seen another authentic "K" - date come in from the cold...

Thank you for showing us your family heirloom/Father's bring back...a definite keeper, aside from being a rare 1934 "K"- date...much thanks...

Edward
 

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Outstanding K date! That is some of the best condition strawing I have seen on a K date.
The magazine is from late 1937.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Gentlemen,
Thank you for the replies; it'll help for documenting the history & insurance replacement value. The magazine pictured is the mag. from the holster. Here's a pic of the magazine from the pistol; i believe it's number matching. A few years ago I disassembled the pistol for a good cleaning & lube. The numbers on the backside of the grips match, "01" and all the other numbers I could find also had the "01" markings.
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Matching Mag..jpg
 

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Magazine is original and authentic..."+" sign/stamp indicates this to be the spare, secondary Mauser Werke factory issued magazine...Congrats...definitely worth $5,000.00...

Just saying, and you probably already know, do NOT STORE the pistol away in the holster...moisture condensation in the holster will end up with rust pitting on the Luger...oil well and store SEPARATELY...again...congratulations are in order...a rare beautiful rig...a true family heirloom that should be held onto, despite the monetary worth...

Edward
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Gentlemen,
Thanks for all the replies & information. I've been looking around the website and gaining more knowledge. Your responses insure I stay on track so as not to make a false misapplication of data.

Edward T - I'll will follow your suggestion about storing it. However, it's been stored in the holster since at least 1945. Dad & my Uncles were adamant that all firearms in storage get a occasional wipe down with a oiled cloth. When returning from hunting, whether a shot was fired or not, the firearm was cleaned, lubed & wiped down. No fingers on metal, just touch the wood.
So we've been lucky storing it in the holster for 76 years but there's no point in pushing our luck.
 

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Other forum members will tell you the same...not to store it in the holster...I have seen photos of Lugers stored long term in its holster...the pitting was horrible and ruined the fine pistol...then again, the pistol probably wasn't wiped down with an oily silicone cloth, and maybe stored in a damp attic or basement...

I was brought up the same...shotguns/rifles wiped down w/oiled cloths before being put away...condensation occurs, when the cold firearms come into a warm household...the oiled wipe down prevents "rusty fingerprints"...

My Father taught me well...Firearms ALWAYS wiped down after returning from a hunt...ALWAYS AND FIRST THING TO DO...

Thank you again for showing your Father's bringback...

Edward
 

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With a matching magazine too? That is a special gun.
Another point about not putting the Luger in the holster is the loss of bluing where the metal rubs against the leather.
 

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Great gun! That pistol with a matching magazine would be a lot more than $5,000 to replace. My opinion, but I look at all the sites each day. You would be hard pressed to replace that K date with matching magazine for $5,000. Thanks for posting.
 

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Gentlemen,
Thanks for all the replies & information. I've been looking around the website and gaining more knowledge. Your responses insure I stay on track so as not to make a false misapplication of data.

Edward T - I'll will follow your suggestion about storing it. However, it's been stored in the holster since at least 1945. Dad & my Uncles were adamant that all firearms in storage get a occasional wipe down with a oiled cloth. When returning from hunting, whether a shot was fired or not, the firearm was cleaned, lubed & wiped down. No fingers on metal, just touch the wood.
So we've been lucky storing it in the holster for 76 years but there's no point in pushing our luck.
Keep in mind that an oiled gun also stains and weakens the leather. Police holsters are a bit special and uncommon. The luger and holster will be ok if stored separately or if the luger is wrapped (not airtight) in "saran wrap" and stored wrapped in the holster. This is a special luger and a special holster. Congratulations on your learning!
 

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I can understand your comments about keeping it in the holster. If you feel you need to do that then after you wipe it down wrap it in Saran Wrap of something similar. It will provide a vapor barrier and also prevent the wear and tear whenever you take it in and out. A "K" with an original matching mag is a big deal and a very special gift from your Father...
 

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A pistol from a reputable dealer whose Luger prices are usually pretty consistent with the market. Yours is in a little better condition, and the matching mag is a super plus. Same seller has sold several K-dates in similar condition to yours for ~$5k in the last few months that did not have matching magazines. If you go and type 'K date' in his search bar, and scroll through the pages you'll see several.

 

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Geeze you guys tickle my funnybone sometimes. DON'T store it in a holster! This Gentleman just said it's been in this holster for decades. Why do we blindly believe one thing and disbelieve a direct testament? Wrapping a Luger in saran wrap is a very bad idea. Saran wrap is a film of weird fossil fuel chemicals. Parts of it will stick like glue and cause strange patterns & shadows on finely finished guns. By it's very nature, it is supposed to trap moisture. Air IS moisture. It comes & goes..if it comes it CAN and WILL get trapped. Moisture is manageable unless it gets trapped and condensed. There are a LOT better modern tech approaches to storage of the German Luger. Bore stores, silacone socks, a good cotton sock. If I wanted to store one permanently for posterity I would use a food saver. Sucks all the air out. Put oiled into a cotton sock and food saver it. Now that's protection! Not practical for most show & tell occasions though.
I have my shooter Krieghoff 1937 in it's holster now for going on 12 years. I have a shooter Navy & shooter Artillery in their respective holsters..12 years or so. I put houshold 3&1 oil on with a shaving brush every 6 months. I have NEVER to date noticed any changes or corrosion.
I will say though that putting a Luger in and out of a holster won't do the finish or the holster any good. But unless it's a MINT example I don't sweat it. My mint Artillery's & Navies are all in padded cases.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Gentlemen, I must thank everyone that has posted comments; you've all been very helpful.
Daniel76 - With regards to valuation for insurance purposes, I contacted a Winchester collector friend and his recommendations are the same as yours. I searched the web last night and found prices all over the place for K dates. $13k with, to me, questionable lack of a "halo" on barrel stamp, $4995 for mismatched grips with a chip, non-match magazine & scattered rust. My friend and you have suggested to stay with valuations from reliable, established auction houses, as they have a reputation to uphold. Good advice in my opinion. I could insure this pistol for any amount; if I'm willing to pay the premium. Think I'll use $6k for replacement value.
Lugerholsterrepair - yes this pistol has been in the holster since at least 1945. Evidently the chemicals the Germans used for tanning the leather and the storage environment have not contributed to rusting, yet. Plastic wrap or any plastic will outgas and the affect on iron could be bad, as well as possible moisture retention. Prior to retirement I worked on a problem where electrical connections to solenoids were failing due to corrosion of plated pins. The Customers field service people fixed the problem by removing the gaskets that sealed out moisture! The gasket weather seal could do two things: keep moisture out or keep moisture in. This pistol & holster have developed a 70+ year relationship in the environment they has been stored. To me, now is not the time to risk introduction of new variables due to chemicals or moisture retention. Following your advice and that of my friend, give it a light oil film wipe down and store in open air on a plastic coated pistol rack with minimal points of contact. As for the holster, I guess it'll have to fend for itself; it's organic and eventually will decompose over the decades. Thanks for your input.
 

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As for the holster, I guess it'll have to fend for itself; it's organic and eventually will decompose over the decades. Sad to hear about this attitude. If the holster is that meaningless to you, please consider passing it along to a collector with conservation of history in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Lugerholsterrepair,
No the holster is not meaningless; it is very important. I thought I was stating reality, please correct me if I’m wrong. My thinking is there are very few leather Indian, Medieval or Roman relics today. Long term, not in our or the next few generations lifetime, it will eventually decompose. Am I correct?
 

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Lugerholsterrepair,
No the holster is not meaningless; it is very important. I thought I was stating reality, please correct me if I’m wrong. My thinking is there are very few leather Indian, Medieval or Roman relics today. Long term, not in our or the next few generations lifetime, it will eventually decompose. Am I correct?
Great discussion thread. Two points. The type of leather, tanning, and storage methods will influence the deterioration/decay rate. I have a 1918-dated leather ax sheath that looks like the day it was made--you would think it was new. Other leather pieces, younger, have been oily, exposed to sunlight, in variable humidity and temperature, and look bad. Others, due to tanning method or leather, are rotting to a red, crumbling dust. Tanning method and type of leather are reasons you don't see many ancient leather items; however, I have seen shoes from the Mary Rose that rested on the bottom of the ocean since about 1420 and they look pretty good--excellent conservation techniques I suspect. Acidic bogs tend to preserve organic materials well. Anaerobic environments tend, also, to preserve items well. Low temperatures, such as in Siberia, can preserve leather (mammoth skin) for thousands of years.
The use of "saran wrap" is not to make it airtight. It only forms a barrier between metal and leather so there is no corrosion potential at that interface. Moisture is not attracted to plastic, it is in the air inside the plastic, therefore, if the metal item was a different temp or the air a diff temp than the surrounding environment air, H2O will condense on the item in a sealed plastic wrap. Off-gassing is minimal and the gasses are not as reactive with metal as the surrounding air/H2O. Oil on the metal (gun) surface will form the vapor barrier to reduce H2O access to the metal and inhibit corrosion. RIG (rust inhibiting grease) is used for that reason by some folks.
Just some quick observations.
 

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I thought I was stating reality, please correct me if I’m wrong. My thinking is there are very few leather Indian, Medieval or Roman relics today. Long term, not in our or the next few generations lifetime, it will eventually decompose.
Yes, everything has an atomic half life. Your pistol will eventually decompose too but that's no reason to treat it carelessly. The reason many leather artifacts are not seen are many. Too many people are just ignorant of what to do to keep them in good shape or lazy. They don't care. There are many military manuals on the proper care, treatment and storage of leather items. They sometimes lead us away from the proper way to treat vintage Luger holsters as they are mostly concerned with field use and not necessarily preservation of vintage items long term.
One has to be interested and care enough to obtain information and then act on it. In letting your holster fend for itself so far, it has acumumlated mold on the back belt loops, perhaps other places but I cannot see inside of it. Mold is not a good condition for thread or leather. I have written many pages of information as have other collectors about leather on this Forum. Might be something you will eventually find an interest in.
Beautiful pistol and holster. A real treasure to be sure. Many collectors here would consider this to be a holy grail of collecting. Many of us will never be lucky enough to have one like it.
 
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