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VARIATIONS OF 41 AND 42 DATED byf CODE ARMY LUGERS IN WORD AND PICTURE
(Note: these byf 41 and 42 Lugers were also procured in lesser numbers by the Luftwaffe and Navy.)
Based on information supplied by the collectors of the German Lugers, Central Powers, and Axis Pistols Forum.
Copyright 2010 by Jan C Still

BYF 41VARIATIONS
Mausers byf manufacturing code replaced the 42 code in early 1941. Its use continued until German Army contract Luger production ceased in late 1942. All 41 byf Lugers bear the late Test Proof (LTP), a P.08 stamped on the left frame panel, and have a bore gauge.

Acceptance Stamps Variations
The right receiver acceptance stamps determine byf 41 markings variations. They are as follows:
SE655 SE655 LTP reported serial range 4636o-4627ns (estimated production 120,300)
SE655 SE135 LTP reported serial range 4801ns-7491ns (estimated production 2,700)
SE135 SE135 LTP reported serial range 7478ns-1121b (estimated production 14,500)

Bakelite grips and wood grips
The byf 41 was manufactured with either wood or black bakelite grips. Although some black bakelite grips start in the “q” suffix block most are found in the “u” suffix block or later. The type of grips (bakelite or wood) determine a byf 41 variation.

Other 1941 changes
The later 1941 production have a more pronounced bevel along the top edge of the middle toggle link. The dot in the P.08 is changed to a square dot at about the “w” suffix.

Figure 1. Right side of 41 byf Lugers. Top to bottom:

41 byf sn 9546w; E/655 E/655 LTP; wood grips,
41 byf sn 7491ns; E/655 E/135 LTP; black grips.
41 byf sn 6784a; E/135 E/135 LTP; black grips.
Changes in acceptance stamps and type of grips determine byf 41 Variations.
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Figure 2. Tops of 41 byf Lugers. Top to bottom: sn 9546w, sn 7491ns, and sn 6748a

Figure 3. Barrel and frame serial numbers of byf 41 Lugers. There is no letter suffix on the barrel. All have a barrel gauge: 8,82; 8,82; and 8,81.
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Figure 4. Left slant byf 41, sn 9546w. These have a square dot in the P.08 and more beveled middle toggle link edge. The left barrel acceptance stamp is SE655.

Figure 5. Left slant byf 41, sn 7491ns. These have a square dot in the P.08 and more beveled middle toggle link edge. The left barrel acceptance stamp is SE655.

Figure 6. Left slant byf 41, sn 6784a. These have a square dot in the P.08 and more beveled middle toggle link edge. The left barrel acceptance stamp is SE135.
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Figure 7. byf 41, sn 9546w, details of E/655 E/655 right receiver acceptance stamps. In most cases the receiver was polished/blued after application of the acceptance stamps and proofs. These are often more washed out in comparison to the barrel acceptance stamps and proofs.

Figure 8. byf 41, sn 7491ns, details of E/655 E/135 right receiver acceptance stamps.

Figure 9. byf 41, sn 6784a, details of E/135 E/135 right receiver acceptance stamps.
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Figure 10. Inside surface of Grips.
41 byf sn 9546w, E/655 E/655, wood grips with tiny E/655 on inside.
41 byf sn 7491ns, E/655 E/135, black grips with two holes (left low, right high) in inside surface. Dave M type 6
41 byf sn 6784a E/135 E/135, black grips with two holes (both low) in inside surface. Dave M Type 4.
See reference below BLACK GRIPS DATA REQUEST Dave M http://luger.gunboards.com/showthread.php?t=8859
 

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Figure 11. Extruded blued case black bottom magazines. All bear the same acceptance stamps. E37 fxo E37 with P.08 right side up. These magazines are proper for the byf 41 Lugers illustrated above.

The following extruded blued case magazine types are found on byf 41 Lugers produced earlier than the Lugers illustrated above. Note: in fact welded not extruded.
E37 122 E37 serial number with suffix on its base. Observed up to early “p” block..
E37 fxo E37 P.08 upside down; serial number with suffix on its base. Observed early “p” to “r” suffix block. (Early "p" to "r" Frank)
E37 fxo E37 P.08 right side up. Observed early “s” to “x” suffix block. Serial number on bottom stopped at about “u” block. ("t" to "x" Frank)

(Note: A very few byf 41 Lugers went to the police and bear a police armory installed (crude) sear safety. Watch for fakes)
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Go to: byf 42 VARIATIONS http://luger.gunboards.com/showthread.php?p=143736&posted=1#post143736
 

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Jan,
Excellent research, information, and pictures. Thanks for taking the time to assist all of us fellow collectors!

Tom
 

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Hi Jan, nice work!! My data shows the E37 fxo E37 P.08 upside down; serial number with suffix on its base. Observed early “p” to “t” suffix block.

E37 fxo E37 P.08 right side up. Observed early “t” to “x” suffix block. Serial number on bottom stopped at after the “u” block.

Do you really think the grip material is a true variation? I guess I don't!
 

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Jan,

Outstanding research!

My two agree with your findings, except my Q series has the more pronounced toggle bevel, the T series is sharper.

6857Q: round dot in P.08, E/655 E/655. LTP. Barrel serial, no suffix, gauged. LTP, and L. E/655 Matching mag. E/37 FXO, upside down P.08. Black grips single screw hole low.

9964T: Round dot in P.08, E /655. E/655, LTP. Barrel LTP, L- E/655, serial, no suffix, gauged.
Grips serialed to pistol, E/655. Mag is correct block. E/37, FXO, rightside up P.08
 

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very informative Jan, thank you. Also, I have a 122 E/37 mag 6319q, and an fxo E/37 6982q.
 

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Tom, Frank, Fred, and Adrian
Thanks for your comments.
Frank
"Do you really think the grip material is a true variation? I guess I don't!"
Unlike some characteristics the difference between black grips and wood grips can be seen across a gun show isle. In my opinion, its a hard to ignore variation.
Jan
 

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Jan, with REAL variations, one can tell when they were normal factory changes. With grips, it's relatively easy to remove a set of wooden grips and slap on a set of bakelite grips. Thus a man made change, not a factory change. There is absolutely no proof on any late byf 41 or any byf 42 the bakelite grips were on the pistol when it left the factory.
 

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Frank
I highly value your opinion on these black grips!

I agree that changes marked in steel (dates, proofs, acceptance stamps, barrel gauge) are more positive and definite. Grip types may or may not be post World War II. Wood grips frequently bear the Lugers serial number or acceptance stamp.

I also agree that "There is absolutely no proof on any late byf 41 or any byf 42 the bakelite grips were on the pistol when it left the factory." However, bakelite grips occur more frequently on byf 41 and 42 Lugers in certain serial ranges. Also, these black gripped byf 41 and 42 Lugers were around in some numbers when I started collecting some 40 years ago. These black gripped byf 41 and 42 Lugers are clearly not all man made changes. In my opinion, they are a legitimate although a less definitive/sure variation.
Jan
Opinions of collectors are most welcome. Would like to hear from Dave.
BLACK GRIPS DATA REQUEST http://luger.gunboards.com/showthread.php?t=8859
 

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Jan, I have a proclivity to look for an excuse to collect something different. The first byf 42 has E/135 accepted and numbered walnut grips but unnumbered aluminum bottom fxo mags. Not sure that qualifies as a variation or as a variant! Nonetheless, It seemed necessary to have the byf 42 variation (or affectation) with bakelite grips and mag bases also.
 

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Adrian
I have the same inclination as you. (There is however, a limit that I can afford.)
Jan
 

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Jan:
My 41 byf has a serial number 2064s which does not fall within the serial number ranges you mentioned. According to the markings shown in "Luger Variations", by Harvey E. Jones, my Luger appears to be the 1934 variation. Could I be wrong?

Ed Fraher
 

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EFraher
Mentioned in first post above. "byf 41 markings variations: SE655 SE655 LTP reported serial range 4636o-4627ns (estimated production 120,300)" Includes the "s" range.

Your, 41 byf serial number 2064s falls in that range.
Jan
 

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Jan... Just a bit late with a reply on the grips. IMO Frank is correct in that there is no way to tell for sure that the bakelite grips were on the gun when it left the factory. The same could be said for wood grips that only have an acceptance stamp but no number. 1936 S/42 guns nomally are not stamped or numbered as well.

Something about accepting based on experience and reported data..........
 

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Jan... Members have contributed quite a few serial numbers since I last visited this thread and was thinking about the discussion with Frank about black grips being a variation.

It appears that black grips have been reported in most of the letter blocks and many are Types 4, 5 and 6. I think that tells me there was a supply of black grips that probably spans other variations that you listed and their use was more random and perhaps just a result of what was on hand at any given time....
 
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