Jan C. Still Lugerforums banner
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of weeks ago, I came upon a Artillery Luger at a local gun show. The price was IMHO a steal, primarily because the gun's collectability was spoiled by someone's decision to gold plate the gun

Tonight I brought the gun home, and finally had a chance to examine it in detail. The frame, toggle links, and front sight are gold plate throughout. The barrel, receiver, and most of the small parts are blued. Whether it's original or not, I don't know.

The frame, barrel and receiver have the complete serial number, 7852, with an "alpha" letter below them. All the other parts are stamped with the last two digits "52" with the following exceptions: The side plate is stamped only with a "2" instead of "52", and the rear sight is stamped with "11", which would indicate it's a replacement.

Another "anomaly" is a number "23" stamped inside the frame, and on the lever that holds the action open after the last shot. Does anyone know what's the deal with that?

Last but not least, the magazine is not original to the gun. It's an aluminum bottom mag stamped with serial number 4081, lower case "g", a "+" and an eagle over a number 63. The magazine fits very tight in the gun, and it also has problems holding on to the bullets when you try to insert it. to check the problem I removed the barrel and receiver from the frame, and slowly inserted the magazine, about half way in, it sprung 4 bullets out.

I plan or buying a couple of Me-Gar mags to use, but is there anything I can do to fix this one?

I also have a question regarding the rear sights. There seems to be some vertical play in the sight, which leads me to think that there might have been some kind of spring inside it, which pushed the blade upward and kept it tight against the sliding cursor. If such a spring was supposed to be there, it's now gone. Where can I get one?

Anyway, this is it. I plan on shooting this and eventually restoring the finish to something close to the original finish (rust blue and strawed parts). Speaking of shooting, what should I look for to make sure the gun is in shooting condition.

 

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You need a friend who knows lugers to help with what springs you may need. Then that same friend, if he's capable, to help with checking to see if safe to shoot. Next bet is to get it to a gunsmith who knows lugers for his help. Some members should chime in with better, more specific, assistance.
Jack
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Last Friday I took the gun to Krausewerk, a local gun shop that specializes in militaria collectibles, and Lugers especially. One of their specialties is the .45ACP Luger and Baby Luger replicas.

I did get a chance to see a Baby Luger there, in an unfinished state. Unlike other Baby Lugers which are made by cutting up a full size Luger, theirs is made from scratch. They're asking $12,500 for a fully finished unit. I understand it's a custom made gun, but still... I wonder what they're asking for the 45ACP version.

I asked them to inspect the gun to make sure it's safe to shoot, and after they stripped the gun and checked it, it was declared worthy.

While I was there I bought a magazine, as well as a replica takedown/loading tool. The mag is made from blued steel, and has a black plastic or Bakelite base. It's stamped "Made in Holland". It cost me $75, which I think was quite a bit, but the shop owner insisted that these are superior to the Mec-Gar.

While I was there, I was able to see how the rear sight spring looks and works. I was going to buy a spring from them, but at $40, I figured I'd try and make my own. Which I did, it's very simple and easy to install as long as you have access to some steel leaf springs.

At home I also compared my magazine with the new one. It turns out the old mag had been tweaked, if you looked along the back of the mag, as you moved from the base to the top, it was twisted clockwise. Not a lot, but enough to where it would wedge against the mag well. I was able to partially straighten it. It's not perfect, but it slides in and out of the gun a lot easier. Doesn't simply drop out, but it requires very little effort got get it out.

The sides of the magazine were also flared out slightly on the last half inch, so the lips of the magazine didn't "wrap" around the bullet case correctly. This accounted for the bullets springing out of the magazine. After I straightened that out, I can now fill the magazine with 8 rounds, and bullets no longer spring out even if you hit or drop the magazine. I haven't yet shot the gun, so I don't know how well the magazine will work in real life, but it seems to work just fine when cycling the action by hand.

So now that I know I have a good shooter on my hands, I can't wait to take it out to the range.
 

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I like these "rescuing mission" stories.
Just like you, I'm not keen to gold plated guns and would love to see this Luger restored to its original look. Using the correct method you can remove the gold in a way that you be able to sell it later - at least it was told me so. If so, it would help you to bear to costs of a decent restoration.

Later, I would go after a repro artillery stock (yes, it is legally permited to have one attached to your LP08, as far as I could read here) and, bingo, you will have a Range Queen!

Douglas
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Later, I would go after a repro artillery stock (yes, it is legally permited to have one attached to your LP08, as far as I could read here) and, bingo, you will have a Range Queen!

Douglas
I've been looking at those already, Here in the US, you can get a complete repro rig (holster, stock, straps, tools for about $150. I can't quite tell what the quality is like, but from the photos it looks OK.

As far as legality is concerned, there are no issues. Like the all the colt revolvers of the 19th century, or the Colt 1911, the Luger patents have expired long ago. Yes, Stoeger or some other company may own the name, but the design is in the public domain. Anyone can make one if they wanted to, but they couldn't put the Luger name on it. I doubt that anyone ever patented the holster, and even if they did, it too would be public by now
 

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The legality issue is not about patents but what is legal under BATFE rules for attaching a stock to a pistol. An artillery stock, even a reproduction as long as it is a reasonable replica of the original, is legal to attach to a LP08.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
It's been a while since I posted this, so here are a few observations from the last few months with the Luger.

I've now taken the gun to the range a few times, and pushed about 300 rounds through it.

The first time around I noticed that, at 15 yards, it was shooting low and the left, so while I was able to get the elevation right by sliding the cursor to the 200 meter mark, but I had to wait until the next time to get the windage fixed as I didn't have a tool for the fine tune adjustment screw.

The other thing I noticed was that the recoil was completely different than my other 9mm pistol, a Walther P99. The P99 has a very sharp snap, whereas the Luger feels more like shooting a 38 special revolver.

Next, I found the "superior" Dutch made magazine to be pretty lousy, as it doesn't hold the toggle open after the last shot no matter what I do, but the original magazine works just fine.

Last but not least, during my last couple of sessions I had a few FTFs. Every single time that happened, I was shooting Federal Ammo. The rest of the time I was shooting Sellier & Bellot, and I didn't have ANY issues with that ammo. That tells me that the Luger is sensitive to the shape of the bullet.

Anyway, I'm having quite a bit of fun with my Golden Luger, and for now the refinish has been put on hold. Maybe some time in the future.

Edit:
Oh, and one last thing, I originally posted that the side plate only had a 2 on it, but if you look with a magnifying glass, you can see a very faintly struck, partial "5". It almost looks like it was buffed out, but I think it was just poorly struck, because the "2" next to it is very defined, and buffing would have more than likely affected both numbers.
 

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Next, I found the "superior" Dutch made magazine to be pretty lousy, as it doesn't hold the toggle open after the last shot no matter what I do, but the original magazine works just fine.
I bought two brand new MecGar mags (one blue, one nickel), about $30 each online, for my 1917 DWM reblued shooter to replace the crappy repro it came with, which neither fed properly nor worked the hold open. The MecGar mags feed properly and work 100% to hold open the toggle when manually activated, but the hold open when fired sometimes works, sometimes not.
 

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Hi I live in Alameda,Calif, my name is George and I am a Luger collector.I see you are form S.F. if I can help you in any way feel free
to E-Mail me at [email protected]. If you decide to have your Luger restored I know a guy who is the best and fast,his name
is Charles Danner and his price is fair.
Thank you George
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I now have a total of 4 mags, the original aluminum bottom that I (partially) fixed, the Dutch made one, and 2 more aftermarket, that look similar to the one you originally got with your gun, except mine came with a plastic bottom.

With the exception of it not sliding smoothly in and out of the gun, the original magazine works perfectly, and always holds the toggle open after the last shot.

The Dutch made one, slides in and out smoothly, and feeds well, but never holds the toggle open after last shot. Manually it works 100% of the time, but not after the last shot.

I used to think it was the spring, but it's not, if anything, the original mag's spring feels less stiff than the others. The newer aftermarket magazines seem to be OK, but I haven't shot them yet, so I can't tell. They seem to feed OK (manually), and certainly hold the toggle open when operated manually, but we'll see how they work at the range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi I live in Alameda,Calif, my name is George and I am a Luger collector.I see you are form S.F. if I can help you in any way feel free
to E-Mail me at [email protected]. If you decide to have your Luger restored I know a guy who is the best and fast,his name
is Charles Danner and his price is fair.
Thank you George
Thanks George, I'll email you later today.
 
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