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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone, I just inherited a medium size gun collection from my uncle. The most interesting hand gun is a Luger. I think it's a Navy but I'm still learning how to read the markings. What do you think? I will give you as much info as I can. The serial number is 7024 fully printed in two places: on bottom of barrel with an M with crown, and near front of trigger where the barrel attaches. The number "24" also appears on various parts of the gun. 6" barrel, "DWM" on top with the word "Gesichert" under the safety lever. "100" and "200" on site. The proof markings on the left side are one crown and two M with crown above (see photo). I also attached a scan of the original receipt from when my uncle bought the gun in 1953. Looks like he paid $64.95 for it. The other amazing thing about this gun is the finish. It's in almost perfect condition. It's so good I have the feeling its been redone, don't know. I'm having real trouble taking close-up photos......they come out real blurry -working on it. I sure appreciate your help. Mark

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Your Luger is indeed the 1906 Navy variation. Without better pictures it is hard to tell if it is a 1st Issue altered or a 2nd Issue. From your picture it does appear that the pistol has been buffed rather hard and re-blued.
Are there any markings on the backstrap between the grip safety and the stock lug?
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the information Johnny. I will do my best to answer all questions. Yes, there are markings just under the grip safety but it is almost completely buffed out. I can make out the numbers, "508_" and "MM" or "WW" just above that. Does that make sense? What a shame about the buffing and re-blue. Does that drastically affect the value. Here's another try at a picture.

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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Hey, guys, not to step on somebody elses thread, but figure number four in this diagram is the one that is on the gun I have been describing over on the other thread. Does anyone know what it means?
 
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
WW and WK at two fairly common property marks found on the backstraps of the 1906 Navy Lugers.
When the safety lever is in the up position, does there appear to be a milled out panel which is covered when the safety lever is down?
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
To Johnny, For some reason the text of my reply didn't post. No, there doesn't seem to be a milled out panel with the safety in this position (see pics in previous post). Would any other angles help?
 

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Rodman,

Yes, a very sharp, very close-up picture of the lower part of the frame under the safety lever--as you have shown here--would be useful. Also, is the safety marked GESICHERT all upper case, or is it Gesichert, caps and lower case?

--Dwight
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Dwight. The safety is marked "Gesichert" caps and lower case. What does that tell you? I will make my best attempt at a picture of the lower part of the frame under the safety lever. I think you are referring to a rear view of the gun. Looking there now I don't see any markings. I have a feeling you may be looking for something else. Under the grip safety there is a WW and a partial number.
 

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The standard Luger thumb safety marking is GESICHERT, all upper case. The 1906 Navy (first issue) is "on safe" in the regular 1906 manner, when the thumb safety is in the upper position. These guns have GESICHERT stamped in the lower position.

In June of 1912 the German Imperial Navy issued an edict that production was to be changed so that the thumb safety operated "on safe" in the lower position, and that Navy Lugers already in service were to be retrofitted to operate this way. The modification was accomplished by armories in the Naval dockyards, presumably on a rotating basis--as ships came to the dockyards during their course of service their Lugers were collected, modified, returned.

Part of this modification consisted of removing the GESICHERT marking from the lower part of the frame, and stamping it on the upper. This was done in a very ad hoc manner, the lower mark was ground away with varying degrees of care or skill, or peened out. It does appear that there is a very large machined area on your frame where the lower mark would be. The mark was added in the upper frame with whatever appropriately-sized letter stamps were at hand, very often as Gesichert (caps and lower case) as in the case of your Luger.

Lugers so modified are identified by collectors as "First Issue, altered". 1906 Navy Lugers manufactured after this edict have come to be known as "Second Issue".

--Dwight
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow!, it's unbelievable that you know this stuff. Thanks very much. So it seems now that I have a "First Issue, altered" 1906 Navy Luger. In your opinion, what does this mean in terms of it's value? Are the "First Issue, altered" more desirable or less desirable because they have been altered? Given that the gun has been buffed and re-blued, what is your opinion on a ballpark value? I do understand that valuation is very subjective. I greatly appreciate your input. Thank you.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
A pantagraph was also used to mark the Gesichert in the new location. It followed a pattern on one end with a set of scissor arms and cut the new marking on the other end using a cutter much like a dentist drill. Under magnification you can see the rough cut left by the tool, and the beginning and end of each cut is rounded rather than being squared off from a stamp.
Jewelry stores still use a pantagraph machine to engrave letters on metal.
 

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Rodman,
Sorry serious Luger collectors would only want this Navy for a shooter or a parts gun. Other than that its still a 1906 Navy Luger. And should fetch a decent price. BTW what shape is the bore?
 

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I would be very reluctant to write this Luger off as a "shooter" and/or parts gun. Photos do not always tell the complete story, and this piece should be examined first-hand by a knowledgeable Navy Luger collector. In the photos it looks too "soft" for original finish but too "crisp" for a buffed and re-blued piece. I suspect at worst it may be an old restoration. In any case it ain't a parts donor.
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I don't know much about Lugers but I'd be surprised if this gun is only good for parts. It's an absolute beauty with the perfect finish. It helps me imagine what they must have looked like brand new. If it's only desirable as a shooter, that's not so bad either.....I'd love to shoot it. The bore is in nice shape too. The most important thing for me is that it has sentimental value since it belonged to my uncle. I remember holding it when I was about 10 yrs. old. It's existence was almost folklore in my family for 40 years. I want to thank everyone for their expert feedback. These guns are fascinating......I'm hooked. If anyone else has any other questions about the gun, please let me know. I'll be back. Mark (AKA: Rodman).
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The original finish would have been rust blue which was rubbed on rather than the entire pistol part being immersed in a tank of blueing solution. The inside of your Luger will be in the white, or have no blueing inside, if it was rust blued. Any rust blue that might have gotten on the inside parts was polished off before the pistol was completed. The breech face of the barrel will also be in the white.
It may have just been the lighting, but in your pictures the sight boss of the barrel appears to have the sharp shoulder buffed off.

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