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Old October 13, 2007, 07:23 PM   #1
Widder
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Interarms Luger OK?

I'm thinking of buying an Interarms Luger (made by Mauser in the '70's). I'll be shooting it; it won't be a safe queen. Is that a useable, reliabe gun or will I be buying trouble?
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Old October 13, 2007, 10:05 PM   #2
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I'll be interested in following this one. I have one of those in .30 with the handle swell. It's a safe queen.
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Old October 13, 2007, 11:13 PM   #3
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Well made guns and eminently shootable, especially if NOT in NIB condition.

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Old October 15, 2007, 09:01 AM   #4
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I think WA hit it on the head. All things I have heard are they are great. But I think the 'Luger' mystique made it so that people who bought them squirreled them away to be Safe Queens. Really a toss up to shoot a new production NIB Luger or a old Luger with impossible to replace parts (if they are matching that is, otherwise go to town with the old ones).

Great guns.
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Old October 15, 2007, 10:04 AM   #5
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My reasoning (If you can call it that) on making the 7.65 Mauser Luger a safe queen is that they only made 5070 of them in that caliber. I'd like to find a 9MM with 4'" barrel to shoot, even better if someone else shot it first heh heh. Then of course you worry that someone modified the heck out of the feed ramp or magazines instead of sampling ammo first. As a functioning pistol the Luger doesn't compare to a 1911 anyway, but the last time I shot one was 45 years ago when my dad had one. Heartbreak was he sold it before I was old enough to buy it from him. My appeal to fathers concerning guns is this; If your son or daughter gets big eyed every time you bring out a firearm please please consider it a more important legacy to them than a monetary inheritance.
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Old October 15, 2007, 12:38 PM   #6
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If your son or daughter gets big eyed every time you bring out a firearm please please consider it a more important legacy to them than a monetary inheritance.
Well said.
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Old October 15, 2007, 02:17 PM   #7
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Is that a useable, reliabe gun or will I be buying trouble?
I don't know that I'd ever use the terms "Luger" and "reliable" in the same sentence... at least not without qualifiers.

I love Lugers but have never been able to afford one. That said, I've fired more than half a dozen specimens from pre-WW-II vintage to the Mauser Commercial models.

Lugers point exceptionally well and feel very good in the hand. Sights are not bad, if a tad hard to see by modern standards especially on war-production guns. Accuracy is generally excellent if the gun has a good bore and the parts aren't heavily worn. One gun would print a 3-shot group the size of a half-dollar at 25 yards with it's excellent bore. The one that had a rough bore only fired a 1.5" group at 25 yards-- exceptionally good for it's condition.

Bullet shape is important to the Luger and most really need the FMJ shape to work reliably. I'd try it with Federal's EFMJ ammo or Pow'r Ball ammo for defensive work.

On like-new specimens, tolerances are tight as was typical of precision German machining. When a Luger is clean it's a joy to fire and it works very well. But, after some number of rounds (varies with specimen and dirtiness of the ammo used) they seem to start choking on the feeding of ammo. Out of probably something near 1500 rounds, I had only one gun FTE and that was a "well-used" gun that had fired about 200 rounds that day. More common was a failure to return to battery, with the toggle elbow slightly bent. Cleaning the chamber and bore typically worked if it happened twice. For one type of ammo (Remington I think) it was as few as about 35 rounds that this occurred. When the same gun was fired using Winchester or Speer ammo it didn't barf until between 50-70 rounds.

If you keep a Luger clean and well lubricated it should perform just fine. The Mauser version seemed to work pretty well, though the owner said he had fired about 200 rounds to "break it in". Still, the Mauser did exhibit the "bent elbow" toggle around 150 rounds.

I should also note that slapping the top of the toggle worked to seat the rounds and allow firing, but it's still a quirk of the Luger series that this happens with dirty guns. I'd invest in stocking up some new recoil springs for it too as these are critical to toggle function.

I'd have no qualms about using a Luger as long as it's kept very clean and the ammo is clean burning. I'd not want to get into a protracted firefight with it however. Be sure to fire at least 50 rounds (preferrably 100) of your selected defensive ammo to ensure it's uber-reliable in your gun before staking your life on it.
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Old October 15, 2007, 02:21 PM   #8
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I'd not want to get into a protracted firefight with it however.
Protracted firefight?

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Old November 17, 2007, 08:06 PM   #9
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Well, I got my Luger and took it to the range for the first time today. Man, did I have fun! It is the most accuarte automatic I have ever shot. It's neck on neck with my wheelgun, a 4" S&W Mod. 15-3. I shot about 200 rounds of WWB 115 gr. FMJ. They landed where I pointed the gun. The Luger's accuracy made this average shot look good. I also thought the ergonomics were outstanding. Hand position was very natural. In two handed shooting, it lent itself to natural hand and finger positioning which made the gun, to use a klischee, "an extension of my hand". On the downside, the sights were hard to see, especially against a black target. It got better when a gaping white ragged hole started to appear in it. Also on the downside, I had about ten, twelve FTF's with either magazine; the original Mauser mag that came with the gun and an aftermarket MecGar. It seems like the Luger prefers the mags loaded to half capacity; anytime I loaded 5 or less rounds, it was OK. More than that, and FTF's raised their ugly heads. I bought the gun slightly used; the bore looks pristine. I wonder if the FTF's will diminish or go away entirely with use.

The Luger got a lot of attention at the range. Most of the guys there had never seen one in the flesh. Its good looks and evident quality was a big hit.

I gotta try different ammo next time to find out what it likes best. So far, I am impressed with this true classic.
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Old November 17, 2007, 08:35 PM   #10
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Sounds like a hit! Was it in new or near new condition? Do you mind saying how much it cost? I'd like to buy a 9MM someday and shoot the heck out of it. I love taking mine down, very carefully. I'm a fan of design, and the Luger is a great design. They seem complicated by todays designs, but that's part of the allure. Got a photo?
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Old November 17, 2007, 08:54 PM   #11
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I bought it from a gun collector who said he shot it a few times when it was new, just to make sure it worked, and then put it away. He never shot it again. I paid $850 for it.
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Old November 17, 2007, 09:16 PM   #12
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Sorry, can't figure out how to post the picture.
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Old November 17, 2007, 09:36 PM   #13
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Mauser made Lugers for the German army in the 1930s.
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Old November 18, 2007, 01:18 AM   #14
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1970s Mauser Lugers

Were, if I remember right, the Swiss pattern Luger. No "hump" on the bottom of the grip frame, and a grip safety. Well made (Mauser, after all), with all the advantages and quirks of the Luger design. Triggers were generally only fair (due to the Luger design), calibers were 7.65 Luger (not Mauser) and 9mm Parabellum.

Regular US commercial ammo is not usually fully reliable in Lugers, and ball ammo is the only (generally) reliable feeder. But, each Luger seems to be a law unto itself, and the generalities may not apply to any specific gun.
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Old November 18, 2007, 11:15 AM   #15
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Mauser made many of these with the P08 swell at the bottom front of the grip, mine is that type and was built in 1970. The first Interarms imports were made from parts in Switzerland and had the straight grip. Mauser took over production and made many with that grip style. I believe that was 1968. It's hard to find the one's with the swell.
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Old November 18, 2007, 12:59 PM   #16
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Here's a link to a picture I posted previously.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...12#post3823112
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Old November 18, 2009, 07:47 PM   #17
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Mauser lugar

I have a lugar magazine bright blue with a injection molded endcap of black plastic and stamped "Mauser" on the lower back of mag.

Is this an interarms magazine? it appears "new" with no rub/wear marks, has two tiny rust marks in corner of rib.

Anyone interested in it for $75 shipped?

I can send photos if you email me ambruso at astound dot net
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Old November 18, 2009, 09:02 PM   #18
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I don't think any of those guns were made from parts or in Switzerland. Interarms put up the money for Mauser to buy the Luger tooling from the Swiss and make those Lugers (the old tooling was worn out and had been scrapped). Supposedly, there was a huge demand, with people always responding positively to survey questions asking if they would buy a new Luger. Alas, when the guns were actually made, and sold for around the same price as an original, the prospective buyers never materialized.

At first, the complaint was that the Swiss tooling turned out Swiss type Lugers (!) and people wanted the P.08 type. But when Mauser made the gun in the P.08 style, sales still didn't really take off, and Interarms took a bath.

Luger reliability has always been a problem. Some folks say they are OK with the right ammo, but I fired nearly new Lugers with German GI ammo and had malfunctions. Not a lot, but more than there would have been with a Model 1911A1 using GI ball. The Luger is a marvelous piece of machinery, a fine example of late 19th century design and craftmanship but, in spite of many being made, it was a dead end. Not counting some repros of questionable quality, it was made in only two countries, and there were ever only three sets of tooling. The toggle link system was never seriously considered by later designers even as they flocked to the dropping barrel Browning system.

Jim
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Old November 18, 2009, 09:31 PM   #19
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I don't think any of those guns were made from parts or in Switzerland.
Hmm, I thought I'd read that there were extra parts in the deal that ended up in the first Swiss Interarms models.

The magazines that came with all the 70's Mauser guns have gotten a reputation for breaking the plastic ends. From the way some folks talk I'm thinking of buying some wood ends that someone is making up (I think). Both of mine are fine, though wood or even aluminum would be better.
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Old November 19, 2009, 02:59 AM   #20
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I don't think any of those guns were made from parts or in Switzerland.
Jim, I found out where I read that. John Walter in The Luger Story says some of the first ones may have had Swiss parts (pg 230). It's funny that I remembered one short sentence in a whole book.
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Old November 19, 2009, 06:18 PM   #21
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I remember that now, but am not sure how accurate it is, and he does say "may." Of course I wasn't counting that "29/65" a one-off that was never produced. My wife worked for Interarmco* at the time and I had a fair handle on what was going on with that gun, though I didn't acquire one until just a few years ago. Like a lot of other folks, I didn't see spending money on a "repro" when I could buy originals for the same price or cheaper.

*It was Interarmco. A little later the anti-gun head of Armco Steel claimed that his sacred business was being harmed by connection with an evil gun company and sued. Incredibly, Armco won, and Sam Cummings changed his company name to Interarms. "Armco" itself had no connection with arms - it originally meant American Rare Metals Company.

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Old November 19, 2009, 06:39 PM   #22
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'Twas a sad day when the company closed it's doors, many of the European autos in my collection are marked "Interarms".
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Old November 19, 2009, 06:45 PM   #23
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I've always liked the Mauser Lugers from the 70's, but they are getting pricey.

I have a WWII 1941 Mauser Luger that has been 100% reliable and I take it to the range often. Its mismtached and was re-arsenaled by the Russians or East Germans. It works great and I've even carried it on occasion.

You got a great Luger there. Enjoy!
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Old November 21, 2009, 08:51 AM   #24
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Always wanted a Luger

I just could not afford one. Is anyone still making them? Where could I get one? One of the all-time great guns IMHO.
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Old November 21, 2009, 12:26 PM   #25
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Is anyone still making them? Where could I get one?
I don't speak German, but I'll bet this guy could make one for you.

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