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I posted before that I was looking to buy my first luger, and that I wanted it to be a shooter. I've found several in my price range that I'm considering- some all matching, some not. I know that if a numbered part should break it will detract from the value, but my question is how frequently can this be expected to happen? I would expect to shoot 300 rounds a month through the gun at most, and it would be well cleaned and cared for. The loss in value doesn't concern me as much as breaking up a matching piece. I'm not willing to get an all matching gun to shoot if there's a good chance I'll break a part and ruin a piece of history.
 

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Lugers perhaps more so than any other focused upon handgun collectible are not considered collectible (in most cases) unless all the component parts MATCH. Now having said that, I have an all matching shooter that is not a collectible because the finish is about 20% (about maybe 5% straw) and it has scattered piting. This Luger is NOT one of my collectible ones because of the surface finish and yet it is an all matching one. If this same Luger had a 95%+ finish and no pitting/corrosion it may well be a fine collectible (1915 DWM). The way it stands I shoot this Luger and if a matched part (firing pin or extractor for example) broke I would not be to distressed about it because I have set this Luger aside for shooting. If you find a all matching example with a 95% plus finish and all matching I would be careful about shooting that specimen. If you are going to shoot as much as three hundred rounds a month I would be looking for a non matched (but sound mechanical) Luger with a less than collectible grade finish or even a high grade finish that would not be ruined from a collectible standpoint if a matching part broke. They are out there. I saw several back at the SOS and NGD shows in Louisville last week in the $550-$700 range that would be great shooters.
 

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The situation may well be completely different in the U.S. compared to Germany, where the P 08 is NOT generally considered to be as popular. But there are quite a few top gunsmiths over here who specialise in Lugers and who are also experienced in customising and servicing them and who also regularly come up with theiir own new developments. So people who shoot Lugers on a regular basis (like me) can get themselves a re-barreled, finely tuned Luger, made up completely of unmatched parts that is at least as good as the ones that left DWM before WWI. I wouldn´t trust a pistol that was made at the beginning of the last century and had been through two world wars without a thorough inspection by a qualified gunsmith - one with considerable Luger experience. But there´s very little that can compare to shooting an exceptionally well made Luger on the range. This is a toitally different approach than that of a collector who might well consider it foolish to fire a valuable, fully matched item.

Patrick

Patrick
 

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If you find an all-matching Luger which has already been reblued at least once, it would probably not be considered a "collectable" by most collectors unless it is an extremely rare type. I have one such shooter which has been reblued, and although it is all-matching I don't worry about breaking a part.

Would like to hear what you finally decide. Good luck.

Luke
 

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Some people replace the pieces that are subject to common breakage and keep the matching pieces safely stored. The firing pin, extractor, magazine and ejector are among them. Personally, I'd rather buy a shooter Luger and not worry about it. 300 rounds per month over time is a fair amount IMO.
 
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I have an all matched, original 1940 Luger with a red finish on the slide. I have heard of "Plum" finish and wondered if that is what this is. This gun has never been messed with.
Tom
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Hi Tom!! Plum colored parts are prevalent in 1939 Lugers, so I would think that early 1940 Lugers might suffer the same blue deficiency. It is thought the color was caused by the blueing solution, perhaps in combination with the steel alloy. I think it was the solution. I have seen other firearms with a plum or purple tint that I am sure was caused by the blueing solution!
 
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