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texvetret
August 1, 2009, 12:09 PM
I have a 1900 American Eagle .30 cal. that is absolutely pristine on the outside.
No wear on wood grips, 98% blue and 98% straw. All numbers match. It looks like a museum piece.
I recently had it professionally cleaned and was told that the pistol had been fired so much that the rifling was nearly gone and it would not be safe to shoot.
While I wasn't planning on shooting it anyway, I am curious as to how there could be such heavy use indicated by the bore wear and not show a corresponding wear pattern on the outside in a pistol with all matching numbers. Any Ideas?
Thanks in advance
Texvetret

James K
August 1, 2009, 03:06 PM
A couple of possible explanations come to mind.

One is that the gun really is worn out and has been refinished.

Another is that the person making the statement doesn't know what he is talking about, which is indicated by saying that worn rifling will make a pistol unsafe to shoot, a ridiculous statement. It might make the pistol inaccurate, but hardly unsafe.

Lugers have fairly shallow rifling and it is possible that the person did not know that and was looking for deep rifling. You should be able to determine the state of the rifling for yourself, not depend on someone else.

I hope your "professional cleaning" didn't involve any removal of finish or use of abrasives; that is a valuable pistol and its value is determined by the amount of remaining finish.

Jim

texvetret
August 1, 2009, 03:25 PM
Hi Jim,
Thanks for the input.
I've had a couple of "knowledgeable" luger guys tell me that it hasn't been refinished. It's such an interesting handgun in such mysterious condition.
I guess in 100 plus years a lot of strange things could have happened.
Thanks again,
Texvetret

jonnyc
August 1, 2009, 07:28 PM
A shooting mag full of corrosive rounds back in 1900 and not shooting or cleaning it again until the 1950s might give you the condition you see today.

James K
August 1, 2009, 09:48 PM
Actually one shot from a corrosive primed cartridge can rust a barrel under the wrong conditions; ten can ruin it. But the OP says he was told the gun has been "fired so much" that the rifling is gone, which sounds like wear, not rust or corrosion. Without a better description of just what the barrel looks like it is hard to tell.

I agree that a worn out barrel is not consistent with a 96% blue and unworn grips. It takes a lot of shooting to wear out a barrel and the gun will show it.

I think we need more info from texvetret.

Jim

texvetret
August 2, 2009, 04:30 PM
Thanks to everyone,

I'm beginning to feel like the guy on "history detectives. I really appreciate your interest.

I'm enclosing two pics of my Luger. Apologies for the washed out look of the bluing.

I totally failed at a bore photo but I would describe it as smooth and pitted with only partial rifling remaining. One side appears devoid of rifling altogether. Thanks Texvetret

50306

50307

Jim Watson
August 2, 2009, 05:37 PM
A handsome example but way below what the blue book calls 98%.

I would let a collector have it, he would be more interested in the model variant than the bore.

James K
August 3, 2009, 03:59 PM
The sideplate does not appear to match the rest in color. That could be the result of an attempt to reblue it, or it could be a mismatch. If the number does match, it could still be a mismatch. (1 in 100 chance as the sideplate has only the last two digits of the serial.)

That gun shows some signs of a "restoration" attempt; the "straw" parts seem a bit too yellow, and the stock wear is more than I would expect on a gun in that condition.

Jim

texvetret
August 5, 2009, 11:53 AM
Thanks to everyone for their input.

I'm a bit disappointed that the old luger isn't as "pristine" or "pure" as I thought.

Maybe the bore and finish are more equal than the local gunsmith told me it was.

Oh well it'll probably end up in the will anway.

I'll let the 5 grandkids fight over it.

Thanks again,
Texvetret

Ronbo1
August 6, 2009, 07:41 PM
I does not look it has been refinished to me, may of been fired with corrosive military ammunition if it has some pitting. It looks nice to me, had a 1908 Bulgarian luger years ago that had been reblued with a badly pitted bore. Numrich gun parts had new blued 4 inch 9mm Luger barrels for $12.95 so had the barrel changed and it was a great shooter.

Poseidon28
August 6, 2009, 09:08 PM
I've had guys tell me stuff about cars and guns to make me think the item was less valuable, so they could buy it at a discount.

Not saying this happened here, but, get another opinion...

44 AMP
August 6, 2009, 11:17 PM
American Eagle, .30 Luger, 120mm (4.75") barrel. 6-8,000 made. Wood bottom mag is correct for the gun, mag not numbered to the gun. Frame should be marked "Made in Germany" or just "Germany". Toggle marked "DWM"

Your gun matches very well the description in the standard catalog of Lugers (2006), and values at GOOD-$2,000 VG-$3,500, EXC-$4,500 (in 2006).

Exactly what you could get for it today, I don't know, but the 2006 prices should give you a good starting point for bargaining.:D

Wildalaska
August 6, 2009, 11:35 PM
The sideplate does not appear to match the rest in color. That could be the result of an attempt to reblue it, or it could be a mismatch. If the number does match, it could still be a mismatch. (1 in 100 chance as the sideplate has only the last two digits of the serial.)

That gun shows some signs of a "restoration" attempt; the "straw" parts seem a bit too yellow, and the stock wear is more than I would expect on a gun in that condition.


I dont think the pictures show enough for us to tell, the sideplate colour is suspicious but I have seen that before with correct sideplates.

Does the sideplate number match?

WildsendittomeandillreportAlaska TM

texvetret
August 7, 2009, 11:03 AM
Thanks everybody for your interest and input.
I think my photos of the old Luger didn't do it justice.
I'll send some better ones when I get home next week.
Thanks again.
Texvetret