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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pete mentioned in the previous thread that a certain "mechanic" built as many as 100 dated Imperial Navies. I know this is true because I briefly owned one. It came to me indirectly from another dealer. When I was wised up to this, I was able to trade it back to the dealer for a good piece. He really thought is was right. I therefore got a very cheap lesson on this fellow. He has been at this large scale faking for at least 15 years that I know of. From other threads on the Luger sites, I see that he is very much still in business and plying his trade as usual. As big as he is at this fraudulent game, he is probably still just the number 2 faker in the US. Therefore, I have two questions of the membership: First, has this large influx of fake dated navies devalued the originals in the collectors' market? Second, for those with backgrounds in the legal business, why, after so many years and so many fakes has this person and those like him not been prosecuted and put out of business? The advent of the internet and resultant exchange of information has no doubt hurt these crooks but they are still there. Appreciate your input.
Nick
 

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Panzerfuhrer

Answer to your first question is complete original lugers ( Navies included) should always hold their value against a fake.The trick is to educate oneself prior to buying a luger so you do not get hooked by disreptuable people.

Your second question is best left unsaid on a public forum, however word of mouth has it's ways of putting someone out of buisness for unscrupulous dealings.
 

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Hi Nick,

Agree with what you say.

If some of our fellow collectors would stop selling their worn and junky or just common lugers to # 2 and # 1 (and others in the business...) at gun shows...their donor stocks would eventually dry up and their business volumes would finally drop. One can see this practice at most gun shows where such fellows come to buy donor lugers.

You're right...selling and shipping boosted guns through the Internet and even snail-mail "Lists" as "all original and rare" seems to be an interstate fraud case...pure and simple. Until a buyer (with equally deep monetary & legal pockets as some of these sellers) gets burned, gets mad, and gets even; not sure how these fellows would be forced out of business.

Heard & read that happend in the Ellis/Zomber case...

But word of mouth amongst collectors cannot hurt...
 

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Very timely topic but to try and answer your two questions I have this to say; one " does the fake affect the value of the original " ? It most certainly does !!! That goes for any reproduction or fake ever made, it simply devaluates the price of an original. There are only so many made and if more collectors want this article than the amount available then the price goes up. If , on the other hand , more of the "originals" are made available, then the prices go down. You have gone out of your way to study your subject and gone the extra mile to acquire an original by dealing through reputable sources and paid super prices for this original article. Only to go years later trying to sell it and find the market is flooded with similar articles, all claiming to be originals at half the price. Unless one comes across as a very studious collector who has obtained the knowledge to tell the difference, who is going to pay you what you think it is worth when similar articles are available at half the price from what you are asking ? Been there done that !!! The second question has been summed up correctly, not to be printed or stated in public forum. Basically, it can be said that the fakers/boosters are working within the shadows of the expensive, timely, and low priority of the inadequacy of the Justice Department laws and their own political correct agenda. The only reason that Ellis/Zomber were convicted was that they were stupid and greedy enough to pick on the wrong person. The victim only happen to be the major campaign contributor to the GOP in the nation who had the power and influcence to presuade the U.S. Justice Department to act on his behalf.
 

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4 or 5 years ago when Ohio Gun Collectors was still meeting at the IX Center in Cleveland an example of what happens took place. A young man had brought in a decent 1920 commercial to one of the local shows. I checked it out and told him what it was and what a current "going price" was for the gun. He said he was a member of OGCA and was going to take it there. I told him that was a good idea. He came to my table and said that most everybody else he had showed it to agreed with the numbers that I had given him but one of the "big time" dealers had offered him $150 more....said he needed one for his collection........ I doubled checked the gun to see if I had missed something but it was what it was......

Of course the young man sold the gun to the guy who "needed it for his collection".

And so it goes..........
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I appreciate the input. Looks like we learned a couple of things here. First, the crook has far better protection under the law than the victim. Note how everyone including me is very careful not to mention any names of persons, businesses or locations of the "mechanics". Best defense against getting stung is a lot of knowledge. Nothing more dangerous than a little knowledge when it comes to buying collector grade Lugers. Websites such as this one are one of the best tools a beginner or an experienced collector can use to avoid the booby traps. This is something we had to do without only a few years ago. The more collectors know about their hobby, the less business the "mechanics" will get. Second, flodding the market with fakes does hurt the originals. This has really hit the collectors of German badges and medals. I had 2 top dealers turn me down on a Spanish Cross that is absolutely correct. They didn't even want to have a look at it. "Too many fakes out there. I just won't buy it even if it is right" was the response. The originals have thus suffered. I believe that sharing information on sites such as this is the best chance the hobby has to grow and maintain the values of the guns themselves. Thanks much for the feedback.
Nick
 

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I had a run in with a rather notorious faker from Jacksonville, FL several years ago. As the sale was conducted via the internet, I contacted the FBI Internet Fraud division, the County Sheriff and the US Post Office Postal Inspectors (I had mailed my FFL and check). The guy was back to me within 30 days returning all my money as well as my postage and begging me to get the law off his back.

Bottom line: if you go after these bastards they will roll over. If you just let them take you, kiss your money good bye.

Tom A.
 

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Having owned two of these - briefly - and having returned them, I can attest to the fact that the early fakes, 2-3 years ago, were easy to detect. The dealer asked no questions when I returned these two, but I was still out the freight.

I have heard that the later ones, produced after the mechanic honed his skills, will fool even the experts. If I saw one of these, how would I know? I am surely no expert.

As far as price is concerned, my long search for an authentic Navy covered a period in which I saw a progressive escalation of Navy prices; and I believe that rapid price escalation continues today.

It seems likely that these fake Navy Lugers will be sold by unscrupulous dealers to unsuspecting novices and then sold and resold again in the marketplace, with the better ones eventually being accepted by even the experts as authentic. Maybe I am too negative, but I have about given up. At this point I would buy a Navy only from a collector I personally know and trust who assures me that he has owned the Luger for 20 years or more. Conservative? Probably. Discouraging? Yes. Realistic? Definitely. Just my two cents.

Luke
 

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Luke; unfortunately what you have stated is true. When the current collector crowd retires, the next generation of collectors will accept most if not all the trash being made. This is true for one very important fact and that is books can not tell you what the finish/texture of the finish metal underneath the bluing should look like and that is the element that the advanced collector distiguishes the real from the fake today. After handling/examining thousands of lugers over a half century persuit, they can tell you in a very short order whether or not something is amiss. Make every effort one can to study the original and I mean STUDY it closely as collecting is much earier if once seeing the original , then all others fall by the way side in comparsion. It is also true that the faulty Naval luger's distinguishing feature has been addressed by the faker and has now been releasing the correctly sized toggle head pin version. It is also true that there are some "MASTERS" today whose work can not be distinguished from the original even by the current crop of collectors. So what is to be done ? If the workmenship is so good that even the most advanced collectors can not tell the difference, then the collector will have to accept what his eyes and mind tell him. I have heard and can see no other alternative. The fakers win !!!!!
 
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