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So I'm definitely a new member. I've been handling guns my whole life. But I've never owned a vintage gun. I'm looking to get into a WWII Luger (or 2 haha). I am a fan of amazing machinery and the skill it takes to do it. And obviously the Luger design and execution fits the bill. I'm looking to get something in great shape that's collectible. Not really a shooter. So I'm going to be spending 1-3K most likely. I have been reading and studying for the last month or two.

My question is, since I'm new to the Luger world, what do you guys think the prices have been doing in the last year or so? Are we on an upswing? Just trying to get some insight as this is kind of an investment and and investment in History. I don't plan on selling it. I just have no idea about the market/Prices as I haven't been paying attention to it at all, till recently. I know some of you have been doing this a long time.

Thanks))
 

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Hey Carl, welcome to the group.

I would encourage you to do a lot of reading, there are some good books by Jan Still and Gortz/Sturgess that can seem costly (hundreds of $), but can save you far more than that in the long run.

I don't know much about WWII Lugers, but will say that the Luger was in its heyday before and during WWI (manufactured by DWM), so don't neglect to investigate guns of that era. By WWII, it was still being manufactured by Mauser but was on its way out in favor of the P-38 IMHO. A Luger "in great shape" from any era is likely to cost you $2K and up, and you likely might not want to shoot it for fear of breaking matching parts, so don't neglect the opportunity to check out a shooter in the range of $800-$1K if you like to shoot.
 

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I would say today's market is soft in price for average pistols, overwhelmed by numbers of average(and below) pistols; but really nice good or scarce items still go quickly and at relatively steady prices.
 

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I agree with Don. Lower end pieces are soft and higher end pieces are in steady demand. It seems to be a seller's market for the really nice stuff.
Tim H.
 
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If you really want a collector piece that will most likely hold it's historical value and maybe over time even increase it's value, I would recommend an Imperial WWI Luger, like Ron Wood I believe anything after 1918 is a reproduction. Some of my guns have been refinished, because they were in bad shape. I don't disturb an original Luger that is in good original condition. A lot of collectors don't agree with me and would never touch a Luger that has been re-blued or refinished regardless how bad a shape it's in. It's a big world and there's a ton of original finish Lugers to satisfy your taste if that's what you want to collect. Obviously a Luger that has had anything done to it to affect the original finish does not have the value of a good original Luger, having said that, I like shiney guns which in the eyes of many makes me a outcast. Collect what you like, it's your money, collecting Lugers is not a cheap hobby and there a lot of fakes out there but they are usually confined to the more desirable and expensive Lugers. I have original and refinished Lugers in my collection and I love them all.
 

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I am by no means an expert, but I would be happy to offer my humble opinion as well. I must reiterate, buying quality resource books will save you in the long run. I also must argue that these resource books allow us to appreciate these beautiful samples of machinery and history to a much fuller extent. As a kid, I was told by dealer David Rachwal to buy Lugers at Random, and read it cover to cover and then do it again before buying. Dave was right, but by the time I was ready to buy my first luger, I knew I wanted to focus on WWII era mauser produced lugers (still broad in some peoples’ books), and I may become more specific later on. I do focus on examples with veteran provenance and capture papers.

Anyways, WWI era lugers are still fantastic luger examples and generally (and this is a big GENERALLY), cheaper than their nazi produced siblings. In the few years I have collected, I have noticed middle of the road grade and lesser examples have somewhat stagnant price ranges. However, as stated above, the high collector quality and beautiful condition examples seem to still bring very strong and rising prices. I suppose this is the nature of the beast, if you invest in a high quality firearm now, it likely will only continue to increase in value in the future.

Again, I am by no means an expert at all, however the good news is, there are plenty of well read and well experienced collectors here on the site with endless amounts of great and useful information. Do yourself a favor and check out handgunsoftheworld.com, he is who I have dealt with in the past, and actually the man who got me hooked on lugers. When I was a 13 year old kid, he took time out of a busy OGCA show to show me some beautiful examples he had at the show, allowing me to handle them, and teaching me the whole while. This says a lot about a man who could have been paying attention to a well paying customer, but instead chose to take time and show a young kid the ropes.

Welcome to the forum!
 

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I am by no means an expert, but I would be happy to offer my humble opinion as well. I must reiterate, buying quality resource books will save you in the long run. I also must argue that these resource books allow us to appreciate these beautiful samples of machinery and history to a much fuller extent. As a kid, I was told by dealer David Rachwal to buy Lugers at Random, and read it cover to cover and then do it again before buying. Dave was right, but by the time I was ready to buy my first luger, I knew I wanted to focus on WWII era mauser produced lugers (still broad in some peoples’ books), and I may become more specific later on. I do focus on examples with veteran provenance and capture papers.

Anyways, WWI era lugers are still fantastic luger examples and generally (and this is a big GENERALLY), cheaper than their nazi produced siblings. In the few years I have collected, I have noticed middle of the road grade and lesser examples have somewhat stagnant price ranges. However, as stated above, the high collector quality and beautiful condition examples seem to still bring very strong and rising prices. I suppose this is the nature of the beast, if you invest in a high quality firearm now, it likely will only continue to increase in value in the future.

Again, I am by no means an expert at all, however the good news is, there are plenty of well read and well experienced collectors here on the site with endless amounts of great and useful information. Do yourself a favor and check out handgunsoftheworld.com, he is who I have dealt with in the past, and actually the man who got me hooked on lugers. When I was a 13 year old kid, he took time out of a busy OGCA show to show me some beautiful examples he had at the show, allowing me to handle them, and teaching me the whole while. This says a lot about a man who could have been paying attention to a well paying customer, but instead chose to take time and show a young kid the ropes.

Welcome to the forum!
David is a great guy
 

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WWI & earlier Lugers. German or any rust blued pistols.
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You won't find a nice all-matching WWII collectible for $1K. But for $3K, you can get almost anything you want - from a well worn warhorse to a very nice, top condition collectible, maybe even with a matching magazine. Of course that's doesn't include the rarer/more expensive ones like Navy, K date or Krieghoff.
 

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The Lugers that we collect are not the firearms that are selling briskly right now in US gun stores.

I help periodically in a nearby shop, and their sales have been phenomenal for polymer frame handguns and AR-15 rifles.

A number of unusual and some collectible firearms have started showing up at stores, often brought in by someone that wants a modern handgun, rifle or shotgun for home defense, and found the "old gun" in the house, or received it years ago from a relative - perhaps as an inheritance.

So, some interesting collectible firearms are showing up in stores as a result. These could be priced as collectibles (if the store has someone to do the research and learn true value) or they could be selling at cost plus profit - and some of those can be genuine bargains. In the shop I help, they took a Walther PPK in trade, and I checked it and found it was supplied in a German military navy contract.

I've also been asked to do appraisals for customers a number of times.

I don't think collector to collector prices have changed that much in the past year. They are up, but not significantly. Price increases mainly relate to demand and supply. Many collectors are upgrading items in their collections, and some of the lower grade collectibles become available as a result, but the demand seems steady, rather than expanding.
 

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I am by no means an expert, but I would be happy to offer my humble opinion as well. I must reiterate, buying quality resource books will save you in the long run. I also must argue that these resource books allow us to appreciate these beautiful samples of machinery and history to a much fuller extent. As a kid, I was told by dealer David Rachwal to buy Lugers at Random, and read it cover to cover and then do it again before buying. Dave was right, but by the time I was ready to buy my first luger, I knew I wanted to focus on WWII era mauser produced lugers (still broad in some peoples’ books), and I may become more specific later on. I do focus on examples with veteran provenance and capture papers.

Anyways, WWI era lugers are still fantastic luger examples and generally (and this is a big GENERALLY), cheaper than their nazi produced siblings. In the few years I have collected, I have noticed middle of the road grade and lesser examples have somewhat stagnant price ranges. However, as stated above, the high collector quality and beautiful condition examples seem to still bring very strong and rising prices. I suppose this is the nature of the beast, if you invest in a high quality firearm now, it likely will only continue to increase in value in the future.

Again, I am by no means an expert at all, however the good news is, there are plenty of well read and well experienced collectors here on the site with endless amounts of great and useful information. Do yourself a favor and check out handgunsoftheworld.com, he is who I have dealt with in the past, and actually the man who got me hooked on lugers. When I was a 13 year old kid, he took time out of a busy OGCA show to show me some beautiful examples he had at the show, allowing me to handle them, and teaching me the whole while. This says a lot about a man who could have been paying attention to a well paying customer, but instead chose to take time and show a young kid the ropes.

Welcome to the forum!
I just finished purchasing a holster and magazine from David and I will definitely return, I couldn’t be happier with my items and the help he provided.
 

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I just finished purchasing a holster and magazine from David and I will definitely return, I couldn’t be happier with my items and the help he provided.
You should be able to inspect and verify authenticity of your own purchases, no matter where they come from, including David Rachwal, who I hold in very high esteem...Foolishly, I went out of my comfort zone of Imperial/WW2 Mauser Lugers, and was bitten by a Femaru purchase...though I was able to return it for a full refund...even so, I let my guard down and paid for it...NEVER again...I did not heed my own advice, and was served up a slice of "humble pie"...again...NEVER again...but I am all the better for it...I tried to comfort myself in the lame excuse of telling myself that "no one is an expert on everything", but the fact is that I became lax about it, and did not do my homework...And I ended up owning it...self taught lessons are the best, because you cannot hide from yourself...

Edward
 

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Carl1000 - About 11 months ago I was where you are now, and wondering about the same question in terms of whether prices were up, down, flat, etc. I ended up doing an analysis of the Astra 600 (SNs 51-14,500, being those actually delivered to Nazi Germany and generally the most desirable from a collector standpoint) sales over the past 10 years or so (soliciting input from forum members, scouring historic auction prices, historic sales prices shown on vender sites, etc.). I picked the Astra 600 hoping it would be representative, that there would be enough data points to give me a good idea as to the answer to my questions, but not so many data points as to be impossible for me to use / acquire.

Rather than trying to remember and put forth my conclusions in this thread, I'll refer you to the thread I created for that study: ASTRA 600 Price Analysis: Data Wanted

Beyond my Astra 600 study (and possibly contrary to my conclusions there), I think prices for top condition pieces across the board are very strong, and have been for the past year or two. There are certainly bargains to pick up on pistols of lower condition, but you have to watch GB, GI, vendors you trust, etc. just about daily in order to both identify the bargain and beat someone else to it.

As to books: I don't specifically collect Lugers (though I have some of the "go to" Luger books), so listen to other members on Luger specific books. Perhaps the book I've used more than any other is Jan C. Still's "Axis Pistols". As the name implies, it covers . . . Axis pistols. Good over view information on Lugers I presume, but clearly not an entire treatise on the subject. However, Mr. Stills has three other volumes dealing exclusively with Lugers (Weimar, Imperial, and Third Reich).

If your interest is in buying a "shooter", then I would not go spend $1,000 on books. Just buy a Luger and enjoy it, and as you learn about it you'll likely want another and another and another. So before you buy the second Luger, definitely get "Lugers at Random", one or more of Mr. Stills volumes, and/or other great resource book(s) recommended by forum members who focus on Lugers.

Just my $.02. Good luck!

JGW
 
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