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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am going to an auction next week where I am told a 'Death Head' Luger will be up for sale. I have spoken with a person who has seen this gun and I'm told it has the 'Skull and Cross bones' on the receiver.
I was wondering if any of you experienced collectors know anything about this variation. Were these guns used in the prison camps and what are their value in comparison to a regular WW.II Luger?

Any comments would be appreciated.

Thanks Roy
 

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quote:if any of you experienced collectors know anything about this variation
Well, I don't know how experienced I am, but here goes:
You see these in books every now and then. The guess that they were used in prison or death camps has been tossed around for years, but most collectors believe this is not true.

There is a better chance that these were used during WW1 time period, there is even a better chance that many of the markings are bogus.

I would not pay much extra for this marking, it is interesting, but I don't consider it a true variation...

Ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Ed for your speedy reply. I remember hearing before what your saying about them being bogus this is what has prompted me to post here before wasting my hard earned money. I am interested in seeing this gun though, if I can I will get a few photos of it and post them here.

Roy
 

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Roy,
Pay attention to what Ed writes.

Two or three years ago there were a half dozen of these things at the Tulsa show. Every damn one of them was priced at exactly $1800. 'splain that.

Since then, I have seen a couple more. They also were priced at $1800!

If they ever were a real odd variant, their true value has probably been destroyed by the proliferation of counterfeits.
 

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Roy

Sounds like a pirates gun only it doesn't shoot blackpowder, do not let yourself be bamboozled into believen that the totkenhamp deathhead is worth more dollars, purely fakes to extract dollars out of a respectable fraternity of ligitamate firearm collectors.

Myself I would ask the seller if it shoots caps like a kids toy.You are better off looking for a worn out old war horse of a luger than entertaining the idea of this crap shooter.

Thier is simply not enough bonafide examples with provenance to warrant thier historical authenticity.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Ed,Geo and Lou I will avoid this gun. I am really pleased how you guys have helped me here. I am glad I came across this site. Keep up the good work I have found some very interesting articles and comments on here.

Roy
 

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There was one of the deaths head lugers at the MAX show this weekend. It was a DWM 1917. I don't have any idea if the markings are real or not. But, I do remember a a article in the Karbine Collectors Network Magazine about 10 years ago that claimed these were issued to a unit that buried German soldiers. However, I don't have a copy of the article. By the way, this one was 2800.00. Everything is higher at the MAX!!

jeff mullins
 
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quote:Originally posted by royusa

I am going to an auction next week where I am told a 'Death Head' Luger will be up for sale. I have spoken with a person who has seen this gun and I'm told it has the 'Skull and Cross bones' on the receiver
I know that this thread is just about a year old now but I can add some information for others if they are interested.

I have had a 1918 DWM rig that I purchased from a GI who brought it back from WW II (2 matching mags, holster, capture papers, and all). The chamber was marked with the skull and crossed bones. The Luger was packed full of very old cosmoline and it appeared to be completely unfired (no loading marks on either of the matching magazines and no wear on any moving parts) The GI said that it was that way when he picked it up and he never bothered to clean it, just put it away. He could not tell me anything about it other than he thought it was interesting with the skull and crossed bones

I have also seen fakes of these at shows. As to originality: Anytime anything takes on an excusive value because of something as simple as a marking there will be fakes that appear in order to capitalize on this market.

An original DWM will have the skull and cross bones STAMPED into the receiver just like the date is stamped. All of the fakes I have examined have had the skull and crossbones engraved into the receiver. To determine if a mark is engraved you should look at it under magnification and you will see the tell tale impact marks of the engraving tool where the hammer strikes the chisel. One that is pressed will have the same appearance under magnification as the date does on the chamber.

As to what the skull and cross bones signifies. I have no idea but I do know that in WW I there were flame thrower brigades in the German army that used a skull and cross bones emblem. This DWM did not have any unit marks which would have verified it was issued to one of them. Lugers dating from late in the war rarely had unit markings and this one was a DWM 1918. The emblem on the one I had was closer to the insignia of the flame thrower brigades then to the later WW II SS skull and cross bones. Is it possible that some SS officers used these DWM lugers with their emblem? Yes it is, but I do not feel that they were made for the SS or that they are actual SS items (but this is just a personal opinion and no more)
 

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Moose, you may have the golden key. Will you share the details of the capture papers as well as photos of the stamping?
 

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George and Moose,
My anticipation of some new information kind of evaporated with "I have had" indicating past tense. The details of the capture papers and photos of the stampings would be terrific...I hope they are still available.

By the way Moose, I don't think they are SS items either, but I keep hoping to find some valid reference that indicates what unit used these Lugers.
 

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I have a death's head luger with capture paper, but it's in a bank safe, and I'm out of town. I'll try to pull it out on Monday and post photos. I'm actually interested in Moose's posting as to whether or not he has the serial number of the gun as it sounds similar to the one I have.... however, cleaned up.
 
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