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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi

We recently had a death in the family (father-in-law) and found a few items that he acquired when he was released as a POW in WWII. Two of them were two lugers (I think).

I would guess that my wife and her sister might want to keep these in the family. We are looking for a resonable estimate of the value of the pistols (and the other items) to ensure an equitable distribution of the small estate.

If anyone can provide me with the approximate value of any of these items, I would indeed be thankful

The photos of the lugers are posted at http://homepage.mac.com/dr.tech/PhotoAlbum5.html and http://homepage.mac.com/dr.tech/PhotoAlbum6.html .

The P.38 and other items are below

http://homepage.mac.com/dr.tech/PhotoAlbum1.html
http://homepage.mac.com/dr.tech/PhotoAlbum2.html
http://homepage.mac.com/dr.tech/PhotoAlbum3.html
http://homepage.mac.com/dr.tech/PhotoAlbum4.html
are the links

Any URL should allow you to link to the others


Thanks
larry
 

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Larry,
* First; my condolences to you & your Family on the loss of your Father-In-Law.
* Second: Welcome to the Forum!
* Pistol Identities:
(1) What you have called a "Luger 37" is actually a Femaru, Model 37. This is a Hungarian pistol manufactured during WWII. It is marked with the Nazi code "jhv" assigned to the Femaru Fegyver ES GEPYAR plant which produced this pistol. The "41" means 1941, the year of production. Its serial number appears to be 6630. The holster appears contemporary to and correct for this pistol by its inside flap markings, style, and 41 (I believe) date. It is a 7.65mm(.32 ACP -A</u>utomatic C</u>olt P</u>istol) caliber pistol. As I am not a Femaru collector, others may wish to correct/amend these observations.
(2) What you have called a "Luger 35" is actually a VIS/Radom, Model P-35. This is a Polish pistol manufactured during WWII under the direction of the Austrian firm Steyr for the Germans. It is a late war model, termed by collectors as a variation 3. It is S/N: Z3989 of the 1st alphabet series and is a two lever style without stock slot made sometime early in 1944. The stick winged eagle/77 on the left side slide and frame is the German Inspector's acceptance mark, the eagle/swastika is the German proof stamp, and the eagle over 623(left side to the right of the legend) is the German Inspector's mark after final Steyr Assembly. It is a 9mm Parabellum (Luger) caliber. OBTW: The holster you have pictured with the P.38 is actually a Radom holster which belongs with this pistol. That includes the magazine found in the holster's mag pouch. The holster's "bnz" is the German manufacturer's code for Steyr. The other original ink stamps are a P.35(p) partially obscured by the inked in solder's name, an eagle/623 inspector's stamp, and the year which looks like 1943.
(3) The P.38 is a Walther design; but, this particular pistol was made in 1943 by Mauser at the Oberndorf, Germany plant. That is what the code "byf/43" signifies. The e/135 is the German Army Inspector assigned to the Mauser plant in 1943 who accepted this pistol after a series of progressive inspections on behalf of the German Army. The S/N appears to be 8387 i. The P.38's ( and the P-35 Radom) were essentially made in blocks of 10,000 pistols. The 1st block had "no" block letter suffix, the next block was an "a" suffix block, followed by the "b" block, and so forth. It is a 9mm Parabellum(Luger) caliber.
* I see from the pictures some active rust has started...especially on the Radom from handling and probable holster storage. The value of these pistols will be reduced by rust and resulting pitting. I'd suggest you start addressing the active rust by wiping these pistols with a clean soft cotton cloth dabbed in Hoppes solvent(arrest rust/remove dust) using an old tooth brush for corners/slots/etc., dry, then wipe with a good silicone impregnated gun cloth or apply a thin film of gun oil to the exterior metal surfaces. Storage of the pistols should be outside of the holsters & in a dry, safe place. As I'm sure you know, most sporting goods/gun stores will sell these inexpensive products. They may also stock a rust preventative bag/sock in which you can store these historical items. You can use the "Search" function of this Forum (@ the top of the page) to query other discussion threads on cleaning/storage of pistols, holsters, etc.
* Proper ID is a start toward assessing value. Verification of these articles have all matching numbered, original parts (superficially appears they do) and evaluating the condition (amount of original finish/bore condition/functionality/etc) is next. Hope this helps.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Bob

Thank you very much. This information is both valuable and facinating. I'm glad I came across this forum. I can see why collectors get so excited about such memorablia!

larry
 

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Larry,
* Don't know if there ever is a good time to talk about the following; but, FWIW:
- A review of your Father-In-Law's papers might disclose the "Capture Papers" he used to "bring back" the pistols you displayed above. These papers are part of the providence of these "war trophies" and might also include pictures your Father-In-Law retained of the outfit he belonged to. Any notarized account/recollection of his capture, acquisition or purchase of these firearms should be included. This may be as simple as your wife's written recounting of stories she heard told of the events associated with these pistols. While the monetary value of these "papers" is of some debate, the completeness of these "first generation" bring backs is enhanced by these additions.
* For further insight on capture papers, please try a Forum search on these key words. A couple of samples are included below.
(1) http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1767&SearchTerms=capture+paper
(2) http://www.gunboards.com/luger/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=1347&SearchTerms=capture+paper
* How's the "rust busting" going?? One additional benefit of a thorough cleaning of each pistol is the opportunity to discover small stampings, logos, and inscriptions on each of the articles.
* Holsters leather should not be heavily wetted nor cleaned with saddle soap, neatsfoot oil, or shoe polish. A simple light buffing with a soft shoe brush and/or soft cloth should suffice.
* Familiarization allows you to better know what you have received. Books, web thread questions, & Forum searches can help answer questions which arise. The value of these articles is "priceless" to your family's history. I trust you've already gained a feel for the "distribution" value of each item. But, I'll warn you, these explorative activity can lead to a deep appreciation of the craftsmenship and innovation used in the construction of these machines. Not to mention their embodiment of history captured in steel. Just a bug having bitten a few of us!!
 
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