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Discussion Starter #1
I just saw a nickel plated Interarms Mauser Luger on Gun Broker-the pistol comes with the box, target and other accessories.

If the finish is factory original this would be a nice item but I don't know how to tell.
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I don't know anything about the nickel plate process-can it be lightly applied over a blue finish without buffing/smearing the markings? Would the thickness of the plating clog up the works? Would the pistol be fully plated on the inner surfaces too?

I will attach photos, some show fine machine marks/markings under the finish, the toggle marking-at least in this photo-looks like it is overloaded with plating even granting the stamp is a bit light on the left side.

I asked for more photos from the seller, meantime any general/specific information would be appreciated, thank you, Joe
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I doubt the finish is original.

Mauser did do matte hardchromed versions on special order, but no nickel plating as far as I'm aware.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you, likewise I have not seen reference to nickel plated Mauser Parabellums either, and of course, you are the expert.

Needless to say, Mauser offered the HSc in nickel for a small premium at the same time period-is it possible some (few) Mauser Parabellum pistols were factory plated but you we not aware of it?
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If you are correct, the Luger pistol above was made in blue finish which was then refinished in nickel plate-either the original blue was removed or the nickel finish was applied over the original blue finish.

If any members know about the nickel plating/refinishing process-can a blued pistol get nickel plated without markings and surfaces looking buffed?

Thank you, Joe
 

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Discussion Starter #5
With apologies I don't know how to tell the difference. The hard chrome Mauser Parabellums I recall were mostly a dull finish, see attached images
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01.JPG 02.JPG from the internet. Regardless of material, can a pistol be refinished from blue without messing with the original surface and markings? I'm not saying the above Luger is original or not, I'm just asking. Thank you, Joe
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Yes, you can apply nickel and chrome plating over a blue surface.

Mauser corrected the tolerances of the parts before chrome plating in order to compensate for the slightly thicker plated dimensions. It is not unusual to see the main parts being hand numbered to the gun as a result. The chrome plated Mauser Parabellums were not blued before plating.

Plating itself was done by Mauser Messzeug GmbH, a separate entity which specialized in measuring tool production.

I am aware of the nickel plated HSc version. It was offered in period price lists, but not the Parabellum.

Mauser did experiment with different finishes, I have a matte hard chromed HSc here which was done as a test piece.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thank you again for your reply, I will let this pistol go.

The seller sent a couple photos of the inside, I will attach them just for completeness.

Joe. attachment-3.jpeg attachment-4.jpeg
 

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Hmm. Not sure what to think of it. Doesn't appear to have blue under the finish, should show up on the toggle ramps.

Still not convinced it is factory, but I would buy it as an interesting and good looking anomaly if the price is right.
 

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I was told that you cannot apply a good quality nickel plating without removing the blueing first - that is the reason why majority of the GI plated WWII guns had been buffed to some extent. Nickel simply does not adhere well to the blued surfaces and would flake. Given the sharp marking and edges on this particular gun - it does not appear to be buffed.
Can you ask for better pictures in natural light and without flash?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you both for your replies, at this moment the auction is at $1200 and ends in 18 hours.

I will attach a link below if any members are interested.

I did ask for more photos but only got 2 decent photos which I posted above, the seller had been out of town, I'm not complaining.

I am glad to learn about these aspects of nickel plating, thank you.

I do already have a shiny nickel plated Mauser Parabellum and will make it the subject of a future post. From the grip screws to the rest of the pistol it looks untouched and super-perfect, but I know shiny nickel plated Mauser Parabellums are unheard of to collectors and neither of these may be factory original.

Joe


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Discussion Starter #14
These Lugers date to the early 1970s. A first batch of 60, in .30 Luger, was completed in January 1970, more that December. The first 9mm pistols came in March, 1971. This pistol would date to 1971 or 1972. For the full story see "The Parabellum is Back!" published by Simpson LTD. One of the co-authors, Gerben van Vlimmeren (Vlim), has been kindly weighing in on this thread. See also a series of 10 short videos on these Postwar Mauser Lugers by Simpson LTD, link below. Joe
 
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