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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

My collection of Lugers is steady growing since I (re)started collecting them. Here in Belgium there are three main sources to look at if one would like to buy a Luger;
- Collegue collectors, selling their second quality doubles
- Fairs for collectors
- Official dealers with gouvernment licence

After a year of close examination I conclude that many Lugers have been 'restored' by a dealer before selling them. Restoring means here slight polishing to remove any initial rust and small pitting, and then a deep rust-bleuing, mostly of all parts...

An older dealer told me why they always did it, specially after WWII until 1985; buyers wanted a good handgun, nice looking, almost as new, and not expensive. The Luger was in strong demand, as this pistol shot high marks on the 25 - meter range. The artillery Luger got the best prices from those target shooters. Until 1985 there were only a few collectors, and there were too many Lugers available.

Before me I have here a 1917 Artillery Luger, # 3464 a. All # are matching, only the firingpin has been replaced. The weapon is shiny deep bleu, as if it was produced yesterday. The barrel is original, some wear but not pitted. Both sights, front and aft have their small adjustment screws.

I can also buy a Navy Model 04 # 3036 with one matching magazine. It bears the markings of the III Sea Battalion, quite rare. But it has got the same 'royal' treatment...

My question is to know what the influence of this kind of total rebleuing (strawed parts also!) would be on the international collectors market a view of the pricing.
And a second question, could the bleuing of the small parts been undone, and have their original straw colour back...

Your comments are highly appreciated.
 

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Joop -

First of all, yes, the blue on the small parts can be removed and the original strawing re-applied. This happens frequently. I purchased a nearly perfect 1918 DWM Luger on which someone had blued the small parts. Ted Green (Thor) on this forum restored them to a flawless straw color.

I can't speak for the International market value of Lugers which have been reblued, but the restoration process usually drops the subject Luger to the "shooter" classification within the circle of collectors on this forum. Unless the gun is really in bad condition or is seriously mismatched, most collectors here do not favor restoration. I have restored 3 Lugers, but all were of such quality that they could no longer be considered good collector items. Others here may differ, but I feel this is probably a fair summation of the general opinion of collectors and shooters on this forum.

Speaking of Navy Lugers which have been restored: I purchased a 1917 Navy for $900 which had been reblued, small parts included, and had it properly restored by Ted Green. While it is not a collectable, it is an honest Navy, and they are becoming harder and harder to find.

Best of luck,

Luke
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Luke,

Thank you for your very understandable advise. I think that here in Europe we have the same standard, it is collectable if it is original.
So, it is a matter of rarety if a weapon is desirable even when it is 'restored'. In my case the Navy Luger is very special, even when coated in this deep navy bleu, it has the III S.B. marking. When I have it, I will take some pics and ask the community comments about it.

Thanks again.
 
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