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..... - 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?
This is not a Vlim-specific issue. I don‘t know any serious collector who would consider the gun in the thread you linked to have provenance.

All there is are the recollections of the thread‘s OP regarding his dad having the pistol when he grew up and telling the standard GI story of having taken it off a German officer. In most cases those are fish stories. But in this case there isn‘t even any evidence supporting the hearsay that this was indeed the gun that Dad brought from Germany.

There is no indication how old the OP in that thread was; there could have been many years post-war before he was born where his father could have bought the surplus Luger; they were cheap back then.

Now if there were a matching bringback paper with the serial and Dad‘s name, THAT would establish some provenance.
 

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and why their prices have been stagnant for a decade.
So that is the real reason why you guys are so desperate to declare these fakes to be real. To fill your pockets. Shame on you.
 

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So that is the real reason why you guys are so desperate to declare these fakes to be real. To fill your pockets. Shame on you.
1) They aren't fake. DISCLAIMER: Of course, there are certainly many, many fakes out there. Obviously. I don't know anyone who is claiming otherwise. Just head on over to Phoenix Investment or whatever and you can see many of them. Literally all of them are fake.

2) I actually prefer that the old Luger collectors consider them to all be fakes. I got mine for a somewhat reasonable price as a result. If anyone wants to offload one of their "fakes", let me know and I'll take a look. It will have to be cheap, of course. As silly fantasy pieces, their value is very, very low.

3) Maybe you could try actually addressing some (or any) of the arguments made. Screaming they are all fake and being a jerk to anyone who challenges you and the established orthodoxy isn't making your case. It just makes you look like a jerk.
 

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Discussion Starter #84
To speak for my side: I'm not here for financial reasons. Thank god I'm able to afford this, plus it would not be any joy at all if I was doing this for money. I'm hear to learn and discuss and do research on an academic level. Please therefore get back to discussion on the Deaths Head and let it not get personal between anyone. Also a compliment, you do NOT say it is NOT SS, however, you are asking for a proof to this, and unless you are given a proof, you do not believe in it. Leaving this backdoor open I am thankful for the discussion and that you are at least this open minded.

Given the level of forgery I fully understand anyone asking for proofs. It seems to me that so far either the Luger collectors associated the Deaths Head with WWI, or they considered it complete fake anyway (wasn't there even a poll opened yesterday? Cannot find this discussion again). The main association with WWI was based on various units using Deaths Heads on other items as well. Same did the SS. And the SS also used Deaths Head marked Luger holsters. And the SS also had Deaths Heads stamped on K98k rifles, K98k stocks, rifle scopes, binoculars and binocular cases, .... In fact on K98k rifles even exactly the same variant as we see on Luger pistols. Plus those share in common with many of the Deaths Head stamped Luger pistols that they have a commercial firing proof from Suhl dating in the area where the SS had no access to army guns, and the same many that share this detail also share another detail, replacement barrels, plus none carry the Reichswehr property stamp "1920", sometimes scrubbed in the area where this stamp was to be found. The K98k rifles that have Deaths Heads on them are made of Gewehr 98 rifles that were converted to K98k, which also included either shortening or replacement of the barrel.

This leaves me with either possibility:
a) the Deaths Head Luger pistols were stamped with the DH by the SS, because WWI associations make little sense, with the additional commonalities and post WWI features they share.
b) EVERY Deaths Head on Luger pistol is a fake. The person who applied the stamp was very aware of how the SS marked their rifles and therefore very careful in hand picking ONLY the Luger pistols with replacement barrels and commercial Suhl proofs in the 1930 to 1940 era, plus using the same stamp the SS used on rifles, plus then finally selling them both within Europe as well as to the US.

Please let me know if you can agree that EITHER of these two options could be possible (of course under the premise for proofs with possibility a), or if you would put either of them in different words, or add another possibility.

THANKS!
 

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I think this thread has run it's course. I have nothing further to add and I am disappointed at the level of some "contributors" here.

Dave, thanks for trying to keep the discussion on topic but I see no evidence or theories that make sense to me.
 

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Discussion Starter #86
Vlim, if you feel offended by posts of others, I can understand your position. Yet I would appreciate your input on the questions I had raised. If you do not want to participate in here any more, I'd rather than no further discussion also be happy to correspond with you via PM, E-Mail or on the phone, if you want to.
 

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To continue flogging what may be a dead horse- ;)

Dave wrote:
"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?"
Yes, that is exactly what I would expect.
And later:
"This leaves me with either possibility:
a) the Deaths Head Luger pistols were stamped with the DH by the SS, because WWI associations make little sense, with the additional commonalities and post WWI features they share.
It is "possible", but I don't agree with "WWI associations make little sense"; Weimar associations make more sense to me- i.e. Freikorps.
b) EVERY Deaths Head on Luger pistol is a fake. The person who applied the stamp was very aware of how the SS marked their rifles and therefore very careful in hand picking ONLY the Luger pistols with replacement barrels and commercial Suhl proofs in the 1930 to 1940 era, plus using the same stamp the SS used on rifles, plus then finally selling them both within Europe as well as to the US. " Quite possible that all DH lugers are fakes; but I believe a case can be made for Weimar era association.
And please! It is not the "same" stamp-the pistol stamp is much larger - and several varieties of the large pistol DH exist. These varieties differ in the shape of the skull, cracks in the skull, teeth, and cross bones differences.

There seems to be a basic, and to me baseless, assumption by "rifle" guys, that given a rifle has known/agreed genuine SS related DH marking- then a luger with a DH must be also marked by the SS.
I don't understand why this must be true, my basic contention is that the rifle DH "always" has other known SS rework/mfg. related markings in addition to the DH; it is only "circumstantial" evidence.

If the luger "SS" DH is a rework related marking, why is it not in the area of rework/proofing markings on all pistols? Why would it be "oversize" and on the chamber top if a rework related mark?
If not a rework related marking, then what does it mean?
An answer to the previous question could be of support to the SS-DH luger connection, what "part" of the SS used such a marking, or even what part/subsection/group of the SS used the DH on the holster, Allegemeine or Waffen SS? Were P-38 pistols so marked, if not, why not?

With the DH so prevalent as an SS symbol on uniforms, hats, etc- why is the DH not on all holsters or all pistols? or even all rifles ?

I take exception to the idea that luger collectors are "backward" in accepting new info, I just like a dose of logic with my "evidence". :)
 

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"Given the level of forgery I fully understand anyone asking for proofs. It seems to me that so far either the Luger collectors associated the Deaths Head with WWI, or they considered it complete fake anyway (wasn't there even a poll opened yesterday? Cannot find this discussion again)."

I stopped this poll because so many opinions were published there and just few members were voting ..
 

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Discussion Starter #89
Sure, for many the horse is dead, but for future reference I nevertheless like beating it.

Different approach: can anyone show me a Luger pistol with exactly the identical firing proof which is NOT Deaths Head stamped? They surely must be out there.

Don Voigt, the DH on rifles is always in the same metal part: the barrel shank. I see no sense in stamping individual parts. And it is not always more than one single stamp. In fact the different variants can only be found in certain time frames, some disappear when others appear. Please find attached once more pictures of my 98a that was reworked to K98k and carries the DH as found on my Luger pistol. If you look very close you'll be able to see the DH itself was overstruck with two different chin shapes:
98aSS_01.jpg 98aSS_03.jpg 98aSS_04.jpg 98aSS_04_detail.jpg 98aSS_09.jpg

Different sample for this: when on 27th February 1942 the SS Zentralzeugamt ordered 5000 rifles to be converted to sniper rifles at Waffenwerke Brünn the paperwork is very specific. It said the converted rifles must be delivered to SS Hauptzeugamt Oranienburg for approval. ALL sniper rifle with the so-called "Double Claw" mount carry an "SSZZA2" stamp, applied on ALL rifles in the same location: on the left side at the very front of the receiver, stamped left of the serial number. This is a great sample of when the SS had something built per their order (I assume both because it is work that requires skilled persons, as well as a large quantity they ordered) and stamped it once they approved it. Sample pic of a sniper rifle of mine attached:
ssdc_03.jpg

Therefore the SS would "approve" a repaired/reworked rifle by using the stamp of the particular depot/office that approved the repair/rework always the same location. If they were to do the same thing with pistols, I would expect them to do exactly the same thing.
 

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I debated whether to respond, but if DavefromSheffield is going to flog this horse a bit more, I might as well poke it a bit and answer some of Don's questions.

It is "possible", but I don't agree with "WWI associations make little sense"; Weimar associations make more sense to me- i.e. Freikorps.
[...]

Quite possible that all DH lugers are fakes; but I believe a case can be made for Weimar era association.
Whatever you think of the DH, a Weimar/Freikorps connection simply does not make sense. The Lazy S is found on Erma and Steyr depot spare K98k barrels dated 1936-1938, with the Lazy S often stamped over the WaA acceptance. The Lazy S barrels are all commercially proofed also with proof dates ranging from mid 1936 through 1938. It simply isn't possible for this to be some mark from a 1920s Freikorps.

And please! It is not the "same" stamp-the pistol stamp is much larger - and several varieties of the large pistol DH exist. These varieties differ in the shape of the skull, cracks in the skull, teeth, and cross bones differences.
There seems to be a basic, and to me baseless, assumption by "rifle" guys, that given a rifle has known/agreed genuine SS related DH marking- then a luger with a DH must be also marked by the SS.
I don't understand why this must be true, my basic contention is that the rifle DH "always" has other known SS rework/mfg. related markings in addition to the DH; it is only "circumstantial" evidence.


The claim these markings on pistols and rifles are somehow completely unconnected to one another is not a terribly credible one. As stated above, the marking is found on spare barrels that didn't even exist before 1936, and its the "same" stamp with the same overall design for the skull and the same Lazy S. Whether they are different sizes or have slight variations is besides the point. Its the same stamp from the same period and the same SS rework program. As for the varieties, most are simply fakes (and obvious ones at that). There are only a couple of legit variations on pistols, two possibly three at most (of the Lazy S anyway).

If the luger "SS" DH is a rework related marking, why is it not in the area of rework/proofing markings on all pistols? Why would it be "oversize" and on the chamber top if a rework related mark?
Early depot repairs/builds (Zeithahn and Kassel) are marked on the chamber. Likely the SS just copied this early practice.

If not a rework related marking, then what does it mean? An answer to the previous question could be of support to the SS-DH luger connection, what "part" of the SS used such a marking, or even what part/subsection/group of the SS used the DH on the holster, Allegemeine or Waffen SS? Were P-38 pistols so marked, if not, why not?

With the DH so prevalent as an SS symbol on uniforms, hats, etc- why is the DH not on all holsters or all pistols? or even all rifles ?
First, these were all done for the SS-VT.

Second, it is important to really stress that these skulls are not "property stamps", the SS didn't run around marking stuff just for the hell of it. These are rework acceptance by an SS depot or Waffenwerkstatt, either Oranienburg (Sachsenhausen) or Dachau. The SS reworked old Gew98s and Lugers (probably MPs and other stuff too) in the 1936-1940 period because they had to. The Heer was not interested in providing them weapons of any kind, so to build up the SS-VT, they had to rework what they had been given from SA stocks. Stuff that was reworked by the Waffenwerkstatt was inspected and stamped with acceptance. Stuff that wasn't, wasn't. These are almost always commercially proofed because the SS was not allowed to fireproof their own repaired weapons like the Army HZa Waffenwerkstätten. This would change in 1943/44, but until then they had to send their stuff to the proofhouses.

Once the Waffen-SS was integrated into the Army's supply systems around 1941, the SS was receiving regular shipments of shiny, new weapons. These new weapons were inspected by the HWA during production, so the SS had no reason to inspect or stamp them with anything. Why would they? With a good supply of new weapons, there was no longer any need to rely on old, reworked weapons, so these reworks basically disappear around 1941. You see rare SS reworks of later Army rifles damaged in battle through the end of the war, but it seems most of the SS's serious repair work was being done within the army system. Pistols don't see the hard use that rifles and machineguns do, so you probably will not see SS repaired Mauser Lugers or P38s. Just try to find Army repaired WW2 production Lugers or P38s. They basically don't exist. Its almost all WW1 or 1920s commercial stuff.

Same goes for the holsters. The skull is an inspection and acceptance (like WaA or the Police eagles). Some of these may have been built inhouse by the depot (unmarked Army style holsters) and some were contracted out by the SS itself (Police style). Again, once the SS has access to the Army supply chain, they received deliveries of new Army production holsters and there is no longer any need for these others. There was no need to inspect and accept the new holsters because the HWA was already taking care of that.
 
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