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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a rather special item. I found it here in Belgium, and after some negotiations bought it. The serial number is 4705, without suffix, this is corresponding with the year 1916 found on the chamber. At a certain moment during the almost ninety years of its existence this Luger has been heavily decorated. The normally blued parts got a silver coating after they were engraved with leaves and flowers. The normally straw coloured parts are gold plated, and most of them are engraved too. All this is done in a respectful way; all markings and the two digit serial numbers on the small parts are very well readable. It is obvious that there were no unit markings on the grip frame. After removal of the trigger plate there are initials (of the engraver?): P V clearly seen just right of the trigger - axis.

This Luger has seen action, or has been in touch with humidity for a certain time, probably before it was silver and gold plated and engraved. Close examination shows minor rust pitting on the toggle knobs, the inside of the front – grip of the frame, and little spots on the trigger plate and the rear sight. These spots must have been visible before someone decided to invest rather costly into the silver and gold plating and the decoration of this weapon. The silver plating fills the spots. May be someone decided to honour this Luger after the first world war, for proven efficiency, or as a tribute for a former owner…

At the moment of the plating and decoration the barrel has been renewed too, (that is a pity) the support of the front sight is also decorated by the same hand. There is a matching serial number found underneath, clearly but there are no proofing marks on the barrel. Proofing marks are found on the left side of the chamber, two crowned ‘M’ and a marine crown. A second proofing with a marine crown is found on the left side of the breech block. The engraving goes perfectly around them, as it does around all two digit serial numbers of the small parts, which are all matching; ‘05’.

There is a remarkable non conformity in the gold plated small parts. Apart from the normally straw coloured parts, also the two grip plate screws, and the extractor on top of the breech block are gold plated. On the contrary the ejector is not gold plated. It may be replaced later.

There are some markings inside the frame, on the bottom of the hollow part between the trigger and the locking bolt. It looks like they are workshop markings after modifications or repairs. There are six characters / digits: they read U N, another square N, and 4 L Z underneath.

I got this Luger with two magazines, both marine proof marked, but without a serial number. There is also a stock lug, but the stock iron is not marked, nicely blued (90%), not silver plated. The lock lever is straw coloured (40%). The round steel unit plate on the stock has a navy proof mark, no other markings. No holster, or other leatherwear accompanied this very strange 1916 Navy Luger.

I fear my quality as a photographer is below zero. I will attend to a course...

Comments and suggestions about the origin or the whereabouts of this strange Luger are welcome.



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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Tom,

Just to make it clear, I am not a collector of decorated Lugers, and I agree that I would rather have this item in the original state...

Together with a fellow collector and a Belgian goldsmith we have had yesterday a close examination of all parts of this Luger, and we drop to the conclusion that the engraving took place a long time ago. The golded small parts got a patina of about fifty years old.
The barrel was replaced at the same moment. Fields and lands have a wear that makes us think that at least a few hundred rounds have been shot.

I got the name of the man who sold it to the retailer from who I bought it.
He told me that this Luger has been in his family since WWII, and that they never tried to shoot it.

All this 'investigation' make me believe that the decor was added after 1930 and before 1945. This was also the period that Walther manufactured a lot of decorated PP's and PPK's. The style of engraving of this Luger looks very simular to the Walther model 8's engraving in Rankins book "Walther volume II" page 55 figure 31.

Is there anyone who has seen a simular decorated Luger?

Joop
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Gerben,

Thanks for pointing me to the lugerform. I wondered if there are more decorated Navy Lugers somewhere, and now I know...

However, mine has not a sumptious 'Third Reich' decoration, more like the Walther PP and PPK decorations of 1933 - 1935 (Rankin I, page 37 on top).
In the meantime I learned where it came from, before I discovered it at a dealer in Antwerp. The weapon was there in display since 1995, in commission for another dealer from Gent in Belgium. After long negociations I bought it at a fair price for a mutulated Navy 1916.

The original dealer bought it at a very interesting price from the Department of Justice in Gent. Further investigations learned me, that this Luger was confiscated in 1972 by the Department of Justice, together with a lot of other weapons wich were 'not registered'.

I could not go futher back into the history, but I feel pretty sure that it has not been decorated in Belgium, or that it was owned by an USA G.I.

A photograph of this Luger is published in a booklet of Frans Vervloet (Arms Info 3, 1995) on page 17.

Thanks again for your kind reply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Jan,

Good to see that my old thread about this engraved Navy Luger still attracks attention. As I have another Navy Luger with backstrap markings III St.S.B. (The staff of the 3rd See Battalion) I am very interested about the Gouv. Kaiu stamped engraved Luger. If you know where to find pic's I would be very happy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Vern,

Pleased to be of help to you, but I have here a little problem. The Municipal Police urge me to have all my Pistols into the safe here. My collection grew very quickly the last year, so now I can't reach one of my Lugers, without the obligation to take all of my Lugers out of the safe to reach one of them. As this Navy is somewhere down under the pile, I prefer to wait until my special weapons - room (now under construction in our cellar) is ready.

I will certainly come back to you with pictures as soon as my sanctuary will be ready (somewhere end of June). Thanks for waiting...
 
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