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Yes. The reason we did our books was because we had direct access to original factory documents and with those involved in the entire process.

If I were you, I would contact the editors of Deutsches Waffenjournal (DWJ). Some of their staff managed to locate and interview the man who worked as a gunsmith's apprentice applying the DH markings. The man requested his identity to remain secret. But perhaps DWJ can provide you with more details.
This must be the disconnect with you, I suppose your books are not collector books based on observations, but rather historical books on people. That I can see, but a book on variations of Lugers would necessarily require observations and study of Lugers (or rifles if this is the case) bolstered by pieces of information from period documents. I can tell you now, not all production documents you see are 100% accurate either. Many of the documents relating to WW2 Rifles are forcasts, and I've seen people misread them.

However, there are no documents relating to SS rifles, yet collectors were able to figure out variants and authentication without those documents. It isn't difficult, and it isn't difficult to authenticate and root out fakes.

As to DWJ, they translated our first book into German and printed/sold it, perhaps I'll give my contact a call. Lets see if they have any documetation, I'll let you know - if not you might pull back on using that story in your lexicon of why these are fake.
 

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I suggest you read my books before forming an opinion.

However, there are no documents relating to SS rifles, yet collectors were able to figure out variants and authentication without those documents.
There are SS and Heereswaffenamt documents on SS rifles available, actually.

There are also pretty accurate production forecasts, delivery reports, manufacturing reports on rifles available.

So please do your homework before suggesting I do mine. Because I did.

You, on the other hand clearly didn't.
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You’ve missed my point I see. This is about your statement that you will not believe SS Lugers exist without seeing documentation.

This simple question will illustrate it. Is everything you believe about Lugers backed by documentation?
 

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I'm not going to play your little game.
 

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Sorry, it isn’t a game. I’m just looking for the truth. By the way, the document you posted states a monthly production of 10000 pieces per month of what is known as “SS Contract” by Steyr. Actual production was much less, like 50% of what that document states. This document was part of a series between the SS-Waffenamt and the Heereawaffemamt. Collector observations prove that out, but anything the SS was involved in was a wreck. Thanks, no offense meant.
 

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You are pathetic.
 
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Discussion Starter #67
Frankly, not a single argument except period documentation will let me change my opinion on these.

Trying to validate them without original documentation is a pointless exercise.
Vlim, I have understood this is your opinion. And I concur that original documents are proofs - but also original period pictures are proofs. One must take note though that documents CAN differ from reality, because they could had been plans, or the persons in charge for fulfilling the orders did not knew how exactly something had to be done. Secondly however, this does not mean that everything where no documents exist is a fake - there are always items that were not documented or where documents are missing.

However, I had asked you questions that you did not answer with your post. I would appreciate the input of someone such knowledgeable on Luger pistols that he even wrote a book on them, so please therefore may I repeat those:
  • Where would the SS get Luger pistols from, if they have no access to newly produced weapons and can only get "scrap" guns which are too bad for the Army and in need for heavy repair/overhaul?
  • What do you think is the reason why 7 Luger pistols with all having stamped exactly the same Deaths Head with Lazy S above them all have the identical commercial firing proof on them? I posted links to them here: Deaths Head Luger 08 . Do you think it is pure coincidence that someone who applied the stamps post WWII specially selected these pistols?
  • More general: do you doubt K98k rifles with Deaths Head stamps on them?
Thank you in advance!
 

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The SS were part of a private organization, so they were free to buy whatever was legally available on the market. So the most obvious answer is that they did exactly that: buy them from commercial sources.

Also, being a private organization, they were subjected to civil laws, so anything done to guns that touched proof laws also had to follow these laws. So the presence of commercial proofs is actually a bonus.

I have no opinion on rifles, apart from mentioning the documents that proved that Steyr-Daimler-Puch was involved in SS rifle production.

But since anything we currently say is not based on hard evidence and we seem to continue to run around in circles, I'd suggest to follow my advice on contacting DWJ and get to know more on the post war apprentice.

Lastly. If I were SS, I'd stamp my own logo on a Luger and not an amateuristic looking DH with a lazy S on top. The NSDAP, Hitler and the SS knew the power of branding very well and it seems odd to me that they would choose that particular design.
 

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Lastly. If I were SS, I'd stamp my own logo on a Luger and not an amateuristic looking DH with a lazy S on top. The NSDAP, Hitler and the SS knew the power of branding very well and it seems odd to me that they would choose that particular design.
Interesting point. They were about branding with the stylish uniforms and pagentry. The DH design in question doesn't look like something Hugo Boss would have appproved.
 

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Just a couple observations from a different author, of and about Japanese rifles, much of what I wrote is based on observation and some on documentation translated by others.
Hence I can take either type of information and draw a conclusion to at least my own satisfaction.

Regarding the three questions, with my opinion inserted in Italacs/red.

  • Where would the SS get Luger pistols from, if they have no access to newly produced weapons and can only get "scrap" guns which are too bad for the Army and in need for heavy repair/overhaul? They would buy guns from the commercial market not necessarily "scrap", but reworked/refurb pistols.
  • What do you think is the reason why 7 Luger pistols with all having stamped exactly the same Deaths Head with Lazy S above them all have the identical commercial firing proof on them? I posted links to them here: Deaths Head Luger 08 . Do you think it is pure coincidence that someone who applied the stamps post WWII specially selected these pistols? Yes, exactly that- someone picked these "cheap" export destined lugers for boosting- either for "fun or profit". That is why we see most DH lugers with the Weimar era commercial proofing.
  • More general: do you doubt K98k rifles with Deaths Head stamps on them? No, they exist as demonstrated by many photos, including the new "pitted" evidence above. However the DH on the rifles is not "exactly" like those on the pistols, they are much smaller and accompanied by other SS related markings.
I do agree with Vlim that a DH on a holster does in no way imply or prove that the pistol inside would have been so marked.
We have seen enough period pictures of a DH on holsters to postulate that they existed at the time. I have one myself, but I am not convinced mine is genuine, only that such holsters existed in the era and quite likely have been added to other holsters since WWII.

The "crudness" of the DH on lugers and on the rifles is odd; I am convinced the small size of the rifle DH necessitates a crude almost cartoonish DH - simply because of the size.
But I would have predicted just the lightning flashes would be sufficient as a "mark". So what do I know. ;)

I do believe that this argument cannot be "settled" until period documentation or photo evidence is found-it is too murky to elucidate from observed examples, JMHO.
 
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With no particular knowledge of the topic, I just read this whole thread for the first time. Very interesting. As a German, and a historian of sorts, let me just say this:

While the SS committed many acts we rightly consider crimes, it was no “outlaw” organization. It was just as structured, bureaucratic, paper-centric, and .... well, German in the conduct of its affairs as any other part of the Nazi apparatus. Of course they would properly proof guns. If the death’s head stamp under examination here was indeed used anywhere within the SS as a proof or acceptance mark on reworked Lugers, the evidence will be in files somewhere, in multiple places. Find that documentation, and you have made your case.

Without any such evidence, nothing can be proven. Why not? Couldn’t the SS? or How else? may only provide some food for compelling thought games based on circumstantial facts, artefacts and pictures. One can debate details of the SS rifles, but the available documents, like posted by Vlim above, make it clear they are real. My understanding from this discussion is that no such documentation at all exists for Lugers.

So you can’t settle the question, and I wouldn’t spend any extra money on a DH Luger. The death’s head stamps might not all be fakes, some applied after WWI by Freikorps might even be historically significant, but without documentation it remains a matter of faith in your conjecture.
 

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Lastly. If I were SS, I'd stamp my own logo on a Luger and not an amateuristic looking DH with a lazy S on top. The NSDAP, Hitler and the SS knew the power of branding very well and it seems odd to me that they would choose that particular design.
These are not “logos” or “brands”. They are SS depot inspection and acceptance.

Where would the SS get Luger pistols from, if they have no access to newly produced weapons and can only get "scrap" guns which are too bad for the Army and in need for heavy repair/overhaul? They would buy guns from the commercial market not necessarily "scrap", but reworked/refurb pistols.


The guns were provided to the SS by Hitler in 1934 from illegal weapons (i.e., not state property) caches seized from the SA. They are commercially marked because they are reworked and had to be sent out to a proofhouse in accordance with German proof law.

What do you think is the reason why 7 Luger pistols with all having stamped exactly the same Deaths Head with Lazy S above them all have the identical commercial firing proof on them? I posted links to them here: Deaths Head Luger 08 . Do you think it is pure coincidence that someone who applied the stamps post WWII specially selected these pistols? Yes, exactly that- someone picked these "cheap" export destined lugers for boosting- either for "fun or profit". That is why we see most DH lugers with the Weimar era commercial proofing.


If some German gunsmith was doing this, why are they only non-1920 marked Imperial pistols? Seems to me that WW2 era Lugers would have been just as available (if not more so) to him. Why no Mauser parts on these? There were literally tons of WW2 era spare parts lying around after the war.

More general: do you doubt K98k rifles with Deaths Head stamps on them? No, they exist as demonstrated by many photos, including the new "pitted" evidence above. However the DH on the rifles is not "exactly" like those on the pistols, they are much smaller and accompanied by other SS related markings.


Any size difference (if there is one) in the dies used seems to be besides the point. Its the same stamp. The two are clearly part of the same SS rework program.

I confess I am little baffled at the refusal of many Luger collectors to accept the obvious. There is more than enough observational evidence to state this without much doubt, and when coupled with historical situation (the internal politics of Germany in late 1930s, etc.) I don’t think there is any room to question the conclusion of an SS rework. But it seems the field of Luger collecting has ossified somewhat, and there seems to be a general resistance to grow the knowledge base or accept new ideas. Members and even experienced moderators recently dismissed a perfectly legit WW2 rework as a fake. Hopefully, some new collectors will come along to revitalize this field and move it forward.
 

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Find period documentation.
Search for examples with a clean provenance that were in the US before 1945.
Investigate the European faker.

Then come back here.
 

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Discussion Starter #74
Vlim & Don, no need to call DWJ since I know them for having written several articles for their magazine. Also no need to keep it secret since Google comes up with court details when you research this. The same company made up basically everything, from Chinese C96 to Singer 1911A1s, C96 Rifles, enhace Star Mod. B with WaA, etc.. This of course got them into trouble. For what I know one of their CEOs even commited suicide with a bayonet.

The SS were part of a private organization, so they were free to buy whatever was legally available on the market. So the most obvious answer is that they did exactly that: buy them from commercial sources.
Also, being a private organization, they were subjected to civil laws, so anything done to guns that touched proof laws also had to follow these laws. So the presence of commercial proofs is actually a bonus.
May I therefore conclude that you would expect the Luger pistols in the Deaths Head marked holsters shown in the three pictures posted in here would carry commercial proofs on them?

Lastly. If I were SS, I'd stamp my own logo on a Luger and not an amateuristic looking DH with a lazy S on top. The NSDAP, Hitler and the SS knew the power of branding very well and it seems odd to me that they would choose that particular design.
The SS did not only use the Double Runes, but the Deaths Head was another symbol of them. Check their collars of their uniforms. And also note the amateurish Deaths Head on the Holsters from the original pictures plus pictures of such holsters which were also posted in here. When you refer to the symbol atop the Deaths Head, why are we (and this includes user Don who above clearly stated he believes in the SS Gew98 to K98k conversions too) to accept these symbols on K98k rifles, but at the same time fully reject them on Luger pistols as looking amateuristic?

Regarding your documents: these are not SS documents but documents that refer to SS orders. Funnily the first document even claims the SS "order" was improper and should be done correctly. The SS was approved access to Army weapons on 10th January 1942 per Führerweisung. This means all firearms earlier than this date had to be sourced from somewhere else. This document therefore refers to a point of time where the SS was already allowed to officially obtain newly made firearms.

Anyway, I just spoke with a friend of mine, he's head of one of the two German gun collector associations and has an insane archive since he had spent years researching and copying original files. He told me that among everything he found, he never found any single document regarding the procurement of firearms by the SS treating the area prior to the Führerweisung 1942. So if no new archives turn up that were locked since WWII I guess we're not likely to find any written documentation. But I'll continue my research.
 

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Sorry, but that has no real provenance. Many formee GI's actually bought their lugers post war and these became 'war trophies' in the collective family history.
 

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If you are able to read, which seems doubtful, you can clearly see that 'mrfarb' decided to make things personal, something I will not tolerate. So, my dear mdarnell19, stay out of this.
 

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The attitude displayed here by long time luger collectors is why nothing has advanced in their research and why their prices have been stagnant for a decade. Sad. As a collector of ss long arms, the utter refusal to believe in their existence is comical
 

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Discussion Starter #80
Sorry, but that has no real provenance. Many formee GI's actually bought their lugers post war and these became 'war trophies' in the collective family history.
You asked for a pistol that was in the US prior to 45 (I assume you refer to a WWII bringback since PRIOR to 45 would mean latest 31 December 1944 which would be tough) - and the thread I gave a link to the pistol was brought back from WWII. Please let me know why this is "no real provenance" for you? In other words, what would you need to make it a "real provenance" for you?

If possible, I had requested your help with questions in the post above where I gave you the link to the thread. Please also let me know what you think - Thanks!
 
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