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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would appreciate assistance with the following:

- It appears to be a 1908 DWM military model.
- There is no mark on the chamber.
- There are three proof marks: an eagle, what appears to be a shield with a crown, and a three with a crown. The proof marks are identical to the photograph in plate #25, page 75 of "The Luger Story", John Walter, paperback edition.
- There is an eagle on the left side of the barrel, next to the chamber.
- There is an eagle on the left side of the toggle
- The serial # is four digits (3090), followed by a lower case cursive "B". It is the same number on both the barrel and the frame. The last two digits of the serial number appear on a number of other components. The only items with different serial numbers are the two magazines
- The word "Gesichert" appears next to/under the safety.
- The grips are original wood and appear to be in excellent condition.
- It has the following unit marking: 3.Ch.R.1.11
- The gun appears to be in outstanding condition - no rust or pitting, and the finish looks in general unblemished and original.
- The black leather holster appears to not be the original match, and has the following marks on the back:
--- P38, bla 1944, an eagle standing on a globe (could be a swastika), and the numbers 4159 (or A159) beneath it.

Thanks for your time.
 

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Ed, Welcome to the forum. It appears to be possibly a 1908 DWM. The crown and shield is probably a crown over a gothic letter, which is an Army proof. Could the 3 be an S? The unit mark, I believe is 3rd Chevaulegers Regiment 1st Company weapon 11. Which, if I'm right would place it as an early Bavarian unit mark.
The later holster could indicate that it was pressed into service in WWII. Or may have been a later purchase add on,by a previous owner. Most likely the latter, since it's a P.38 holster. Try to get photos posted.
Hang tight, someone with a little more knowledge than I will respond. Sounds like an interesting piece.

Ron
 

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Chevaulegers were the Bavarian equivalent of Dragoons in the other German formations. One would normally expect the unit mark to be preceeded by a capital "B". I saw an excellent Degen(sabre) marked to this unit this past weekend.
 

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Ed, It appears to be what we thought it was. The unfortunate part is that it's been refinished at some point. The trigger and the take down lever should have a yellowish luster to them, or strawing. They have been blued. Is the inside of the pistol(pull back the toggle and look) blued?
If so it's been hot blued. The inside should be white or bare shiny steel. By reblueing, the value is deminished considerably. The up side is the unit mark and the production period. An early Luger. Still all in all a nice pistol. I hope you did'nt pay a collector price for it, however. Maybe someone else can tell you more about it. Sorry for the bad news.
Ron
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ron,

It's not bad news... It was a gift from my sister, and she received it as a gift from the old man who originally obtained it. I'm interested in the value, for sure, but also in the history. Aside from the blueing issue, what can you tell me about the gun otherwise? Does the unit mark mean anything to you? Does the gun have any value at all? What about the holster?

Sorry to be so full of questions, but I don't know much about these things!

Thanks for your time.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ron, sorry, but I have another question.

This gun appears to be in superb condition. What reason would someone have to "reblue" it (if that is a word)? Does it correct or cover up existing problems, or preserve the gun better? Whoever did it was obviously not interested in the gun for collecting purposes, if their actions would ruin the value of the piece. Also, when would you suppose that the gun was reblued?

Thanks again.
 

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Ed, it is actually can be hard to tell if it this one has been reblued. A gun will be reblued for many reasons, many times by a gunsmith in the US. If it has some pitting, a blemish, it has been scratched, then they want it nicer and will reblue it. A reblued gun goes for around $450-500 in my neck of the woods.

However, the best way to tell about this gun is with even better photos and include closeups. You can look for pits that are small that may be blued over, and that is a good indication of a reblue.

Many, many people just want a useful nice looking gun and thus will have it reblued. I take issue with people who get onto guys that change a stock or make a military gun into a shooter, hell its their gun and they can do as they see fit. At the time they did it, many times it wasn't thought of as a "collectable".

Ed
 

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Ed, In the condition it's in. I would say a good average price would be $500 to $600. Guns are blued to keep them from rusting. Originally this one was rust blued. After the metal parts are polished.They are coated with a chemical to make them rapidly oxidize or rust. They are then carded. The rough surf rust is basically lightly remove until a smooth even coat of rust covers the metal. This is repeated a number of times. Finally the parts are boiled in water to a certain tempurature and for a designated period of time. The result is a deep satiny blue finish.
Then the gun is quenched in oil to stop the rust. Over a long period of time and through use this finish will wear off. The metal will begin to show through. So often people will have this process redone by a gunsmith to renew the finish. To make it "purdy" again. Only now this is done by hot blueing. Or boiling the parts in a chemical salt bath. It's much faster and cheaper. The draw back is that it's not as resilient and is almost a black finish.
This is not original to the gun and so destroys the value as a collector piece. Yours was probably reblued decades ago when Lugers were'nt so expensive and collectable. Or it may have gotten severely rust and someone wanted to restore it somewhat. Hard to say. Anyway that's why and how. The unit marks may be the saving grace. If you found the right buyer they may buy it just because of the marks, at a better price. Most collectors consider a Luger like this one shooter grade. And don't pay much for them. Keep it and enjoy it they are fun to shoot. Just don't shoot hot or high velocity ammo. Use ammo that compares to original military specs.

Ron
 

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Ed,
* My welcome to the forum as well!
* The L/H Side receiver trilogy of marks are (from L to R): The Imperial Army Power Proof, a Crown/T Inspector's final acceptance stamp, and a crown/Z initial acceptance stamp.
* The P.38 softshell holster has been accepted by the Army Inspector assigned to or covering the area containing the Manufacturer "bla". This code signifies the firm of E.G.Leuner of the city Bautzen. The Inspector's mark is a stick winged eagle over WaA159.
* Your S/N 3090b is known as a 1908 Army Contract - DWM 1st Issue and was likely delivered to the Imperial Army in January, 1910.
* For more reading on some companion examples, you may want to check out the Index under "1908 DWM". I've included a few thread URL's as well.
http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1403
http://gallery.rennlist.com/lugergallery/albun68
http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1046
* Hope this helps.
 

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Well, just an observatsion, the holster was designed for a Mdl P.38 pistol. The luger is designated the P.08. Your holster is dated 1944. Your pistol is early WWI. The fact that your WWI pistol is now in a late WWII holster designed for a different model cannot lead me to conclude that your pistol was "pressed into service" during WWII. It is a nice holster, and very interesting pistol, however, IMHO, it is best to try to keep the salient facts in order. The fact that your WWI pistol is in a mismatched P.38 WWII holster does not give me cause to believe that the holster and the pistol were ever matched until after WWII had ended.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, guys... I certainly appreciate all of the feedback on this gun. After taking the gun apart & examining the inside, I think that I see what you are talking about with regard to the reblueing. I truly don't see any pitting or apparent explanation why the reblueing was necessary, but I'm sure that they had their reasons! Bob, I thought that this gun was in super condition until I saw yours in the above link. I guess that I have a lot to learn about condition! Based on what I've seen here, I don't expect that I will ever be able to afford to be a regular collector. More to the point, my wife would never allow it. Anyway, despite the disappointing news about the reblueing, I think this is a pretty cool possession & will probably have it mounted in a shadow box with some sort of brass plaque & description.

I also notice that many of the guns in photos on this board have the markings and numbers in white. I'm assuming that this was added later to make them easier to see & was not how they were delivered. What do you use to achieve that look?

One final question: Does anyone know the significance of the "R" in the unit marking? It seems to be an extra letter, compared to the other examples that I have seen.

Oh, and Bob... In noticed in your profile that you are a Navy Vet. I myself retired from the Navy in 1993.

Thanks to all of you.

Ed
 

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Ed, as Ron wrote thr "R" indicates Regiment. The whole unit mark reads 3rd Chevauleger regiment, 1st Squadron, weapon number 11. My library is in our other house, but when I am able, I will try to give you some info on the unit.

Some collectors, like myself, give more value to unit marked guns and yours is a scarce unit mark. Given the Ch. marking and the fact that it's such an early example, I would value it at $700 even though it has been reblued

As a Bavarian weapon the holdopen was probably not added to this Luger; does the bolt remain open when pulled back on an empty magazine?
 

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Ed,

You are correct that the markings on Lugers were not "whitened". The only exception to this is the GESICHERT stamped under the thumb safety lever, which was filled with white laquer.

Collectors use several different techniques to whiten their markings, if you do a search on Laquer Stik you will run inot them.

Not everyone likes the effect, and filling the markings can camoflage forged markings or markings which are engraved instead of properly stamped.

--Dwight
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
George,

That's good to know. I look forward to hearing more about the unit.

The holdopen thing is a little perplexing. In comparing my gun against the pictures with the modification, I would have to say that mine has not been modified - there is nothing visible whatsoever on the gun. That being said, when I pull back on the toggle, it stays open. It can then be closed by either pulling the trigger or pushing the toggle back into place (both of which I have tried very carefully & gently). Can you tell by looking at the above picture?

Ron: 1970-1993; Corpsman 13 years, Medical Service Corps 10 years; retired Lieutenant. Maybe we crossed paths.
 

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Ed, When you pull the toggle all the way back, it should lock in that position, with the magazine fully inserted. If it slides forward when you release it. No hold open has been installed.
I was Home Ported at 32nd st.San Diego. 69 to 70 on a Tin Can. Oct.70 to April 71 Quaviet Provence Vietnam. 71 to Feb.73 USS Dixie 32nd st. Spent a few weeks at Guam Naval Hosp in 70. And another joyful stint at Balboa in 72.
And for those curiosity seekers. Let's just say that if I'd been sitting down, the schrapnel would have hit me in the back of the head.
Enough said about that!
Ron
 

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Ed... An option you might want to consider is having this neat piece of history restored. There are people who can pretty much make it "all better". There are several schools of thought about restoration and perhaps you can find some comments on this board using the search tool. Just something to think about.
 

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Hi Ed,
* Thanks for your kind comments. I feel fortunate to have found this 9976a example and hold it high regard.
* As you've read, your P.08 is one of the initial First Contract releases for the Army. Not many have survived after 95 years. Reblued or not, it still has historic significance. It has a possible linkage back to the original GI who acquired it. Plus it was a gift from your sister having family value.
* Since you're a fellow/former sailor, I assume the values being stated above are for the pistol only. The original WWII holster is worth about $150 by itself.
* Enlisted 1966 thru '69. Completed as AE-2/C & qualified P-3 Flight Engr. Stations included Great Lakes, Pensacola, Jax, Norfolk, & finally to VP-49 @ Pax River. WestPac deployment 6/68-12/68 split between Manilla & Thailand flying "Market Time" patrols 50mi. off the coast of Nam looking for gun runners from the North and rigging sea traffic of many flags (some very Red!) headed to Haiphong. And they forced me to take R&R in Hong Kong....tough duty! Never regreted a minute; but, had a degree and a wife to meet at college. Besides there were only so many Lugers you could lug around in a seabag!
* Enjoy your gift, preserve it for posterity, exercise it on its B'day after having a Luger savvy gunsmith check her out, and pass it on to a starting collector wishing a lower cost entry example someday when the time is right.
 
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