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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I am new to this forum, but have a decent bit of knowledge on Lugers. This one has me stumped. I own Jan C. Still's complete volume, but I used the Standard Catalog of Luger for initial identification. Based off the pistol at hand, the book led me to either a 1904 Navy, 1914 Navy, 1914 Navy Commercial or a 1920 Navy Commercial. This pistol is in the low 3 digits without a letter suffix, which led me back to the 1904 Navy only based on their serial number info for all of the above mentioned. All #'s match, there are no commercial proofs or nitro proof, only navy acceptance and proof marks on the barrel, receiver and breech block. It does not have a grip safety, which it is noted that some did not have a grip safety. Also, I'm wanting to know if the toggles and checkering are correct for the model. Is what I have a 1904 Navy w/o grip safety? Any and all information is greatly appreciated. Thanks! Pictures are attached.
 

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Hi OAHcollector,
Welcome to the forum! Your Navy Luger fits no known category based on the information and photos you have provided so far. For us to help you you will need to be more forthcoming, your first name would be a good place to start! I would like to see photos of the top half as seen from below and side views of the gun with both grips removed.
Regards, Norm
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Norm! Thanks for the quick response, and for the welcome. My Name is C.J. I agree with the "fits no known category." I'm looking at Jan's volume IV on Imperial Lugers, and see that 1904's have a flat mainspring, and this one does not. Do the known 1904's w/o grip safeties have flat mainspring as well? It also appears to not have a fat barrel, which was also a characteristic in Mr. Still's book. Here are some more pictures, hopefully they can be of help. Did I capture the top half as seen from the bottom correctly? Again, I greatly appreciate your response and I look forward to the help.
 

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The actual serial number is a necessity.
There is no reason to obscure it.
 

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CJ, Take a focused shot from the muzzle end to show the curvature across the top of the chamber if you can. It looks flat in a couple of your pics. That and there are some nicks, marks etc that I can see..not saying this has had the date scrubbed but that would explain a little.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Here are few angles. I tried to capture the chamber as best as I could. Update - Sorry about the sideways images -camera was not oriented correctly. Do these images work? I know one gentleman said to post the serial number and that there was no reason not to, but I'm always hesitant to openly post SN's to firearms online. It SN# oddly falls within the range where Jan C. Still says there is a 311 luger gap in 1904 Navy from 273-584 in his IV Volume on Imperial Lugers, pg. 163. I don't know if that info is of any value. Thanks!
 

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I do believe Jerry is correct, as it appears to have had the date removed. It looks like someone did a complete rebuild of it. It does have a Germany stamp, but we need to see all of the numbers and marks. Nice looking pistol...Bill
 

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CJ, There may be hundreds of Luger's out there with your same serial number. They were so often repeated...It is the serial number with or without suffix, barrel length, pistol type, maker etc. That actually identifies each individual pistol.
Lets say I have a pistol with serial number 787 no suffix. Every run of 10,000 pistols will have a 787. The next run will have 787a then 787b on and on. There is much confusion when people record serial numbers. Often they forget to add the suffix or misidentify it. Without it, the serial is incomplete.
Anyway, it's helpful to know what it is for forensic research. That's up to you to decide. But you take excellent pictures and that helps!

- - - Updated - - -

Norm, Thanks! That's what we need to hear! Confirmation. Much appreciated.
 

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OAHCollector / CJ, Welcome to the forum.

The individuals you are communicating with on your inquiry comprise, in fact, several of the International experts on Navy Lugers. Their study represent many, many decades of work, documentation and evaluation.

They have extraordinary background in their production, markings and appearance. When they ask for detailed photos and information, it is solely in an effort to answer your questions about your Luger.

One of the problems in the collection of more rare Lugers (like all Navy Lugers) is that their increased value over standard military and commercial Lugers makes them a good target for the faking of markings. Note that I'm not accusing you of anything, or passing judgement on the Luger you've brought to the forum. It's just a fact, and it's a fact that has roots going back many decades.

The most effective way of determining the authenticity of a Navy Luger is based on in person examination by one of the people with background on them, and then their listing in a comprehensive database that is being maintained of all known Navy Lugers. If you have one that has already been authenticated and included in the database, it makes the task easier. If you've brought an unknown Navy Luger, it's necessary to evaluate it factually before most of the experts can give you a response.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for the information Bill, Jerry, Norm and mrerick. I completely understand what you're saying about the serial number and the runs of 10,000. So many numbers and small markings with these lugers! The serial number is 290. Every two digit number is a 90. One exception - there is a 92 on the bottom of the receiver on what is the receiver lug?? If you look at post #3, pic #2, you'll see the 92 I'm referring to. Is that considered to be part of the serial identification or something else in the placement? Thanks all for your interest and in helping me identify this luger. I have attached pics of the SN# of the barrel and frame for reference.
 

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Hi CJ,
You have a mismatched Luger, assembled from 2 different guns. Judging from the early CM/ inspection marks the receiver came from an early 1906 Navy with a 2, 3 or 4 digit serial number ending in 92. The frame is from a different gun with a serial #290.
Regards, Norm
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks Norm, I was hoping that wouldn't be the case, but like I said originally, this had me stumped. Does that completely deteriorate value? Can was ask about what values are on this forum? I have a couple more in my collection that I'll be back on the site asking for help. Thanks again!
 

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Hi CJ,
You have a mismatched Luger, assembled from 2 different guns. Judging from the early CM/ inspection marks the receiver came from an early 1906 Navy with a 2, 3 or 4 digit serial number ending in 92. The frame is from a different gun with a serial #290.
Regards, Norm
Norme, what is your opinion of the frame? It appears to me to have been scrubbed of it's original serial number and the "290" added to match the upper. The unevenness of the numbers as well as how much the receiver rails extend beyond the frame simply doesn't look right.
 

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CJ, Does that completely deteriorate value? Not completely..but it doesn't help. Can we ask about what values are on this forum? Yes of course..You may or may not get much response...A hard pistol to value. It's still a Navy. It has that going for it..but the mismatch drops it from a high end collectable to a very interesting shooter? I am sure there will be some different opinions..it is what it is.
 

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Norme, what is your opinion of the frame? It appears to me to have been scrubbed of it's original serial number and the "290" added to match the upper. The unevenness of the numbers as well as how much the receiver rails extend beyond the frame simply doesn't look right.
I can't make up my mind about the lower half. It's from an early long frame gun with a 3 digit serial number but has a relieved sear bar (introduced late in 1916) and no grip safety. Theories anyone?
Norm
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you for the input, Jerry. Hopefully, there will be some opinions on the value, but I can thank everyone on here enough for the inputs. Great fun to be a part of this forum and to get feedback from knowledgeable guys on the subject. If anyone else has any input, I look forward to chatting about it. Thanks Jerry. I have one other Navy, but perhaps I'll post a new thread on it.
 
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