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Still Vol IV, Imperial Lugers, review

5686 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Edward Tinker
Imperial Lugers and Their Accessories by Jan C Still 1991

I bought Imperial Lugers and Their Accessories from IDSA books at the Ohio Gun Collector's show this spring. This book is an absolute must if you are interested in Imperial Lugers.

The 32 page color frontispiece section is worth the price of the entire volume. The P08s presented in the frontispiece are regimental marked, well documented veterans of the Great War. For a beginning collector, such as myself, they are valuable for showing the wear on the blue, the fading and corrosion of strawed parts, and the wear on holsters and other accessories to be expected in even well cared for P08s that saw WWI service.

The 200 pages of the main volume presents 55 variations of Lugers from the Imperial era. There is the excellent table of contents typical of Jan Still's work, however I have added a bookmark to mine since it is placed after the extensive frontispiece. And whenever I page through the frontispiece time seems to get lost.

The introduction gives a brief history so that the reader may understand the Imperial Luger in its time and place. A series of tables furnishes production estimates and Still is clear on how he arrives at his estimates. A year by year analysis is presented in text for each year of the DWM production from the 02 and 06 tests through the 1918 production. The text contains comments on the Army test proof, Army inspection stamps, and the characteristics for each production year. The author is very careful to note mid-year changes and notes overlaps. Commercial Army models and Reichs Gendarmerie models are treated separately. This text section is followed by a two page layout of the Imperial Army marking specifications and notes on manufacturers following or not following those specifications. Twenty-eight pages of excellent black and white photographs follow the text giving full profiles of the pistols with at least one example for each year and cross-referencing the text page. Also included are period accouterments, battle scene drawings and photographs of Imperial troops with Lugers.

The DWM section is followed sections in the same format, covering the Erfurt, Army P08 Accessories, the Long P08, LP08 accessories, the Imperial Navy Lugers, and sections on unit markings, unit histories and Death's Head Lugers. There are over 40 pages on Navy Lugers and are appendices on the Bulgarian Lugers and the US Army test Lugers.

The author provides references, full serial numbers and is careful to present his opinions as opinions and document his facts. The book is an excellent reference on Imperial Lugers. It is also a successful treatment of the Lugers place in the First World War with comments on the use of the LP08 to arm assault troops, the use by cavalry and machine gun troops and their various places in what was primarily a trench war. The story of the Imperial Navy and the matrossen troops in Flanders is also mentioned. This book is not a complete history of the Luger, it is focused on Imperial Lugers, both Army and Navy.

The frontispiece is worth the cost of the book. The bibliography is icing on the cake. If you are ever going to buy a WWI Luger, buy this book first.

regards, heinz
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Jan Still 1st editions

Hey guys, just stumbled on this post and have a few questions. I was really into P08s a decade or so ago, and I bought 4 of Still's volumes. Where can I get info on number of printings, availablity of later editions, values of 1st editions etc. I have 1st editions in fairly pristine condition of "Third Reich Lugers" Vol. III (1988) and "Weimar and Early Nazi Lugers" Vol. V (1993), a 2nd edition of "Imperial Lugers" Vol. IV (1994) and a 3rd printing of "Axis Pistols" Vol. II (1989).

I have given some thought to selling these books, but really hate to part with them. The collectors value is not so important to me as the info contained in them, and for that reason the later editions would be more desirable to me.

Basically, if I can replace any or all of these editions with later volumes, and make a few $$$ in the mean time, I would consider selling/trading them.

Any advice would be appreciated.
Well, jan could probably answer this, which i doubt he will.

I personally have not seen the 1st editions sell for a lot more than a latest edition, although they do to some collectors.

They are worth about the same because of what you stated, the value of the information.

What i would do, is buy them as you find them for a good price.

I bought a 3rd Reich Lugers for $135 shipped a few months ago on ebay.

So, buy one, then sell your first edition for as much as you can get out of it, stressing that it is a 1st edition.

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