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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
At the Reno Show this weekend I observed (unfortunately my pictures were blurred) a M1879, Serial #9536 (no suffix) with a crown over Spandau stamping on the usual frame location. It had the Prussian proof on the barrel (identical to figure 13.2, page 230 in Heinrich's book). The trigger and hammer were blued and the entire pistol looked reblued with a dull, almost Perkerized finish. No buffing was done, however. I have never seen the Spandau stamping before and cannot find one in Heinrich Harder's excellent book. Is this original? Is this a Spandau rework? Would like to hear comments.
 

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Herb,
It is an interesting experience for me that I'm confronted with this M/79 since about one year.
I'm collecting Reichsrevolvers (and of course all the other military revolvers) more than thirty years and this M/79 with the Spandau logo is the first and only one I have seen only as a photograph on the American market.
Yes of course, Spandau had manufactured some Reichsrevolvers in 1877/78, but only for trials and as samples.
I have pictured one of these on page 31.

The Spandau factory, a Government plant, made these in it's tool room and it was decided from the beginning that the serial production has to be executed by commercial producers. (Spandau, Erfurt and Danzig as Government factories were working to capacity with the M/71 rifle family)
But to say it clearly, they didn't have a Spandau logo.

I have got additionally some month ago a description from Craig Brown, who could also handle the gun and submit me his detailed impression of the finish. Craig is a collector of Reichsrevolvers with years of experience. Unfortunately I have no possibility to examine the revolver, but your and Craig's description and impression tells me that this standard serial production revolver has later got the Spandau logo. The blue finish is also suspect, because more than 90 % of the Suhl Commission M/79 had a brown (rust blue)finish.
The trigger and the hammer were always grey pickled, not blued.

Rework and repairs were only carried out by regimental armoures and in difficult cases it was instructed to send the revolvers to the "Königliche Waffenfabrik Erfurt" (Royal Arms Factory Erfurt).

Would like to know which story has told the seller on this subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Heinrich, I looked at the prototype on page 31 of your book. The Spandau marked M1879 does not have the shortened hexagonal barrel part. It looks just like a regular production M1879 with the Spandau logo. The serial number is not far from the one you have pictured on page 230. Was the Spandau marked M1879 that Craig Browm brought to your attention this same one? I am puzzled about this piece. As you know, there has been controversy about Spandau marked Lugers. This matter just confuses the picture further. Did Spandau make M1879's or did they just rework them? Why the Spandau logo?
 

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See my posting subject: "SPANDAU" M79: CAVEAT EMPTOR!
Same gun; if you look closely you can see where the original maker stamp was filled in and then filed down leaving a slight depression along the lower edge of the frame - file not held perfectly parallelthe side of the frame. SPANDAU also too far back on frame. No reason to change opinion; phoney.
Am curious to know what the vendor wanted for it, and did he present it as a rare piece? The fellow who offered it to me started out at $2K....
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Craig, Thank you for posting your opinion. Are you certain this is the same M1879? It was being sold by an antique dealer from Sonoma, California. He didn't know squat about Reichsrevolvers. He was asking $750 or $850 for it. He also had a slightly nicer one made by Mauser. The "Spandau" one was obviously refinished, The trigger and hammer were blued. There was little or no buffing evident. Very few people took interest in it. My only puzzle is why would any one boost or outright fake a Reichsrevolver? They just don't command rare luger type prices. It just doesn't seem worth the trouble in my humble opinion.
 

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This is definitely the same gun I reported on earlier.
I just checked with the fellow who offered it to me; he says he sold it at Louisville "to a Frenchman" for less than he paid for it; as he said, "Live and learn." He thought it was heading for France.
It will be interesting to see where it shows up next, and with what kind of a tale attached...
 

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Herb, this is good info, I would have "assumed" that Spandau made revolvers... Thanks to these experts, a lot of folks have been informed.

ed
 

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To paraphrase Göring (I think): "Whenever I hear the term 'expert' I reach for my pistol."
I don't think there are any 'experts'. There are only students of this materiel, some of whom may be more advanced than others, but remain students. There is always something new to be learned.
 
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