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Weimar Luger

3745 Views 23 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Edward Tinker
Dear Sir or Madam:
I recently was given three old handgun by the administrator of the estate of an old man in exchange for legal services I provided. One of the gun is a Luger. I assume it was made during the days of the Weimar Republic because the date 1920 is on the top. The gothic scrip on top of the receiver looks like DWC but I cannot be sure. The I.D number is 4514 which is found on all parts except the small ones which have the last two numbers 14 thereon. The number 4514 is also on the holster and on the tool inside the pouch within. On the inside of the handle are the markings S. Me. II. R. with an X through it, 5 6 with an X through it and small numbers 677. in the sequence which I listed them from the bottom up.
Could anyone tell me what I have. The only thing I see that could deminish the value of the gun is that the previous owner carve his first letter of his first name A on the handle. I am sorry I do not have a camera that I can take photos of it, but I am working on it. Any suggestion about if it could or should be fired, type of amunition to use and the value would be appreciated. Also, should I attempt to clean up the holster, which is producing copper oxide. Thank you, Gary (Goatman)[email protected]
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You have a Weimar period police, S. Me. 11 R. 677 means Schutzpolizie Merseburg division 2 weapon #677, not luger #677 in the division but weapon #677, R was reserve unit and X'ed out when it was no longer a reserve unit, also was weapon #56, crossed out and went on to become weapon #677, script on mid toggle is DWM, maker, 1920 is in this case year produced, but to be sure we need letter suffex, the ID number is a serial #, and should have a letter suffex, we need that to sure. We need a few pictures to give a value estimate, condition is everything, most likly in the $500/1000 range, does it have matching mags, should have a sear safety and perhaps a mag safety, most likly removed...get some pictures up and we'll have a better go at it....
Gary, Howard is steering you right, sounds like an interesting one, one, both Howard (policeluger) and myself collect. :)

Much depends on whether it should be fired, is it in sound condition? Is it in collectable condition, then it would depend on whether you wanted to shoot a possible 900 to 1k pistol?

Mainly, for the holster, you want to lightly clean it with a bit of soap and water or saddle soap, but be careful use less rather than more and don't put anything on it to "preserve it".

quote:Originally posted by Weimar_Police

Mainly, for the holster, you want to lightly clean it with a bit of soap and water or saddle soap, but be careful use less rather than more and don't put anything on it to "preserve it".

Remember, this is one person's opinion.
To "not" put anything on it, or to use saddle soap?

Yes, I try not to mess with the holsters, nothing is better. If mine are "dirty", I still am careful, being leather, anything extra doesn't "help" and can definately hurt...
I do not agree with that school of thought. And that was the point of my initial comment. Your advice to Goatman is more in the terms of a directive rather than opinion. Unfortunately, some folks feel that moderators are the font of all knowledge; we, of course, know that is not correct. Such blind reliance on inexact or incorrect statements can result in some unfortunate results,e.g., a newby removing the factory highlight from the "Gesichert" lettering of the safey.
What do you put on your holsters or use to clean them? It might be easier to say what you mean and people don't have to guess? I am not always right and an expert or others weighing in should be valuable to others?

I am sure that if you volunteered your time to help others on this forum, ensured you were fair and put in lots of time, that I wouldn't make mistakes. And I am glad you keep track of the mistakes I have made on this forum. No,I guess I am not.
For years I have been using both hide food and renaissance wax on Luger holsters. This treatment improves the appearance considerable. Over the last 15 years my holsters seem to be holding up fine.

I am confused, I missed the information about not using anything on a holster and I may be engaging in a practice that is causing damage. Is there evidence (tests, experience) that the treatment with hide food and high quality wax damages holsters. I would imagine that German soldiers in the field during two World Wars used some product to preserve their leather saddles, belts, and holsters. I would very much appreciate hearing about the knowledge and experience of fellow collectors on the matter of leather preservation.
Jan (et al),

Going through some past copies of "Auto Mag" I ran across an article in the June 2002 (Vol. 35, #3) issue, a letter reprinted from the April 2002 issue of "Man at Arms" regarding proper leather preservation.

The article is from a PhD professor of biology and paleontology, sharing his experience with leather holster and military accoutrement conservancy.

He clearly explains the scientific, biological reasons why leather (and wood) deteriorates, and how the practices of maintaining leather goods in use run completely counter to the practices of preserving them over the long term. The organic materials in treatment compounds which keep leather clean and supple are what allow the organisms which attack leather to feed and grow.

The article is lengthy and copyrighted, so I won't do more here than report the conclusion. Commercial or home-formulated leather "treatments" are intended for leather in use. The best treatment for conserving leather is to avoid any kind of application, simply brush it clean and keep it dry.

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"S.Me.II.R.677." stands for :
Schutzpolizei Merseburg II.Kommando Revierhauptmannschaft Waffe Nr.677.
Municipal Police Merseburg, II.Command, Precinct Main Force, weapon
# 677.

That article by that Ph.d fellow is very interesting rereading. I had read it back in 2002 and promptly dismissed it from my mind. The salient point of his article seems to be that if one wishes to preserve their leather for posterity, they would be best advised to sink it in a northern fen or bury it in a pyramid.

For anyone who doesn't understand what I am saying, I, personally, find this article typical of the claptrap passed of by the academicia. For all his education in biology and palentolgy, it took a personal "preservation disaster" to get it through to this lout that applying heat to damp leather is a no-no.

I would suggest that people follow those practices that have worked for them, what ever that may be.
Oddly enough, for once I totally agree with Garfield. Amazing. (Actually I agree with him a lot, but I would never admit it)
There are many opinions on this seemingly touchy subject and I have to agree with Jan, his method is one I subscribe to. The academic lout? Bill is referring to has some points from what I can glean about his writings although I am not privvy to the article. The application of bees wax for instance is microbiological food for bugs we cannot see but exist in leather. Leather is an organic material that is affected by many things we can see and many we cannot percieve. It has always been my idea that storage plays a big part in preservation. Dry, cool and supported with an acid free interior support such as tissue paper inside to fill out the form and a slight roll under the belt loops. Not enough to cause any stress anywhere.
The thread Luger holsters are stitched together with is the first to go. It is made of a plant fiber and is prone to dry rot, weakening it so that a slight tug will often be enough to tear it loose. The Germans in WW1 used thread that was treated with mechurechrome to repel micobe activity. That's why it's either orange or red.
One other important factor we often do not take into consideration is inserting a pistol into the holster. I don't recommend it. It can be very stressful to the overall holster and at the worse, damage it. I have a very short shooting lanyard strap attached to my fitting pistol and to remove it from a holster I am repairing I pull it out with this. Using the lifting strap is hazardous and could result in a broken strap.
The biggest problem I have seen in holsters sent to me for repair has been oil. People over the years have used Neatsfoot or some other oil on holsters and this destroys the form, causing the holster to be soft and floppy.On some holsters I have had to entomb them in cat litter for months to try and extract oil. Pecard's is another substance I detest. It is thick , waxy and sticky unless used very sparingly. It pools into crevases and stitching holes. I do not recommend it at all. I would take a good look at the storage and think before you apply anything to your vintage holsters. Jerry Burney
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I'd like to return to Policeluger's original request for additional information about your Luger. Does the serial number have a letter suffix? The only place it would be would be beneath the number 4514 on the front of the frame beneath the barrel. It would be a lower-case script letter, if it exists.

Also, I would be interested in whether it has/had a sear safety or magazine safety. Perhaps Weimar Police or someone else could post a photo or link showing what these look like.
The Sear Safety is the thin piece of steel looking like a slightly flattened "Z" that one end of rests on the sideplate. It is held onto the receiver by a small pin.

Download Attachment: 4149_Sear_Safety.jpg
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I couldn't disagree with Bill (Garfield) more. I was forwarded a copy of the leather article by Dwight Gruber and Bill's opinion about it is myopic at best. Charles W. Thayer PhD. is the Author and in my opinion he makes some very good points about leather and it's deterioration and preservation. Most of the discourse does not directly apply to collectors that have Luger holsters but enough of it is applicable to be useful to us. I highly recommend it to those of you who are students and are interested in this subject. Jerry Burney

I had a feeling that you would find favor with the gist of the article.
Bill, What I find favor with is knowledge. Like most written articles, I take from this one what is useful or interesting and use it to my advantage without being judgmental. I have an active mind and like a parachute, it works best when opened. This author has answered a few questions I was unclear on and expanded my understanding a little. He makes some excellent points and granted, he goes the long way around but I still think it's worth reading for those few who are interested in this controversial subject. I have been interested in it for years and it is somewhat difficult to find any accurate information. I appreciate any I come accross. I also appreciate a lerned man taking the time to write such an artical and share his knowledge.

I am mystified as to why you think this article is inaccurate, offensive, incorrect or what? Perhaps you can tell me what you don't like about it and I will learn something more.

Jerry Burney
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