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Old September 17, 2010, 02:58 PM   #1
woodguru
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Tracking An Unbelievable But Recognizable Luger

When I was in the Air Force I had a supervisor that was a Master Seargeant that had brought home some very very nice pistols. I had over a dozen guns on base in the armory because I lived in the baracks. I was allowed to take off at noon if we had no pressing work to practice shooting at the range off base in Shreveport.

My supervisor knew I was a gun nut and asked if I wanted to buy some of the guns he got in Germany. The first set he brought to me was a consecutive serial numbers Sauer (not Colt/Sauer) Colt Peacemaker replica set, they were chambered in .357. He paid $125 for the pair and told me he wanted $250, I was all over them and he let me pay for them over three or four months. He sold me a very nice Luger for a hundred bucks (1973 remember). He had said that guys were absolutely not supposed to take Lugers, the Germans had an attitude about american soldiers having Lugers on them and it was a death sentence to get caught with one. He also said that the guys would occassionally get shaken down by their own officers looking for war souvenirs.

He then brought in the single most incredible firearm I have ever seen in my life, I think about it to this day and always will. It was a long barreled Luger in the fanciest Circasian Walnut presentaion case you could imagine. It had a stock in fancy figured walnut, and all the accessories like magazines and things. The pistol itself was the highly polished officer's with gold and silver inlays and engraving. We did not know what the initials at the time were but it was George Luger presenting it to Himmler.

Sgt. Wright wanted $2500 for this thing. I asked him if I could have it checked out by a large dealer there in Shreveport I knew and he let me take it. This was a huge dealer in town that carried all the highest end type firearms including english hand made stuff. I was offered $25k right then and there. Don't think it didn't occur to me I could take it and hand my boss his $2500 and everybody would be happy. I didn't, I told him that there was a $25k offer on the table but it was probably worth way more. Bottom line is he took the money and bought a house.

Roll forward to about the early 80's, I got all of the mainstrean gun and hunting magazines. I think it was Guns and Ammo had this pistol in all of it's professionally photographed glory on the back cover as an advertisement for a Christie's Auction it was going up on. There was quite a description and they had the initials researched and it's place as a gift from the founder of Luger to Hitler's second or third in command.

I would love to have or see that picture again, it's probably the most incredible thing I've ever had in my hands. It is undoubtedly the most historically and intrinsically valuable Luger ever made. I contacted Guns and Ammo but couldn't get a response as to whether they could find out what month or if they did that ad, I figured if I could find that out I could locate and purchase that edition or get it off of an electronic archive.

Any suggestions as to how to find that reference? I would love to be able to show friends that picture.
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Old September 17, 2010, 03:04 PM   #2
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Georg Luger must have been an amazingly forward looking guy, presenting Himmler with a gun in 1923 ...
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Old September 17, 2010, 03:25 PM   #3
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I think mapsjanhere is sort of hinting that, as Luger died in 1923, he was not likely to have presented an elaborate pistol to a then-unknown named Himmler.

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Old September 17, 2010, 06:54 PM   #4
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This is part of why I'd like to get my hands on the ad that was posted on the back cover of the magazine, they had all of the rundown on what the initials were on the presentation, my memory is faulty. When I had the pistol in my hands we were clueless as to who gave it to who. Please don't beat me up on the recall of what the initials were. It may have been one of the top three to Hitler or Hitler to one of the next two under him. One of the sets of initials was a historically important top echelon Nazi.

I was 19 when I had the gun in my possession, and somewhere around 27 when the ad ran. That actually puts the magazine sale ad at about 78 to 82 or 83.

I just thought perhaps someone would have an idea of how to figure out how to track that ad which would then do a pretty good job of verifying the pistol and it's description. I have hated through the years trying to describe it and not being sure of things like the exact initials as it's such an important part of the gun.

Somewhere someone is going to remember that picture or have seen the gun itself featured somewhere.

On the Luger.com site there are some avid collectors that have some stunningly beautiful Krieger (I think) models. I thought perhaps someone over there had seen it. The consensus there with some was that the provenance could easily be jeopardized by my allegations that it was brought home by a soldier if it were sold under different premises by Christie's. It had occurred to me that Germany would potentially make a claim on something like that. It obviously was stolen at some point during an occupation and anything of such historical value could and would be questionable.

Someday I'll track down either the ad or another reference to this particular gun.

Oh, I just thought of something, it may have been a presentation from Luger the manufacturer to one of Hitler's 2nd or 3rd in command. It seemed to me it was a Luger commissioned gift though. It may have been person to person done by Luger as well.

I'm going to try to work it from a gun magazine archives angle again. I thought about looking for gun mag collections on ebay and asking the person running the ad to look at the backs for me.
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Old September 17, 2010, 07:00 PM   #5
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Almost all elaborately engraved guns were presented to someone important. I'm surprised you didn't know that! And they were picked up off a dead SS after a fierce hand-to-hand under the Brandenburg Gate and brought home in Grampa's duffle bag when he returned from Germany!

And strangely enough, elaborate firearms only seem to have been presented to someone of Hitler's inner circle! Look! It has Goering's initials on it! Anyone else with the same initials was undoubtedly executed immediately before the presentation ceremony.

An old friend once told me he was offered Japanese swords, rifles, helmets and militaria from a boat that pulled up alongside his ship around the end of WW2, and the people on board were doing a bang-up business. Oddly enough, all the items purchased were magically transformed into "battlefield pick-ups" between the time of purchase and home port. Just some more of the magic of firearms. Same with people coming back from Europe after WW2. If you had any idea how many "SS General's personal sidearms" have been bought and sold over the years, you would laugh. Or cry.

Without substantial documentation to back up the guns' stories, most are just stories.

I am feeling particularly sarcastic today, so please forgive me if I seem a bit vitriolic.
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Old September 17, 2010, 07:59 PM   #6
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I wish I could remember things back in late 70's, heck I have trouble remembering why I responded to a post!
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Old September 18, 2010, 12:27 AM   #7
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krieghoff presentations

it sounds like you are describing one of the kreighoff presentation lugers. krieghoff inc. engraved and silver inlaid several lugers which were given as gifts to high ranking german leaders from 1935 till 1944. if you find one in your grandad's closet it is worth 100-200,000 dollars. i could very much expect there is one as you described with himmler's initials on it. Georg Luger did have a son also name georg but there are no records of georg francis having been active in the family business. he would have been in his sixties by the time of WWII.
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Old September 21, 2010, 01:39 PM   #8
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I saved a lot of Luger articles from 1980s Guns & Ammo magazines, and can take a look to see if there's anything like what's described.
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Old September 22, 2010, 01:55 PM   #9
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Nah, Goering carried a Smith & Wesson M&P.
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Old September 22, 2010, 07:57 PM   #10
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Well, woodguru is not really asking for a valuation of the gun or our opinions on the authenticity of the story, he is just asking if there is a way to trace the gun based on the little information he has. '

If he could recall the name of the auction house and the approximate date, he could probably get some information, as those auctions keep meticulous records. Without information on the magazine, the auction house, or even the approximate date, I am afraid the trail is cold.

It would be hard for Germany to lay claim to the gun unless it were taken from a museum or its original owner was Jewish and it was taken first by the Nazi authorities. Generally, those guns were considered legitimate war trophies.

Goering was carrying an S&W when he was captured, but he had hundreds of guns in his collection. He somehow acquired thousands more during the war, as every other pistol brought back by a GI belonged to "ol' Herman, yessir, I tooken it off him myself personal like."

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Old September 22, 2010, 09:04 PM   #11
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Yes, the auction house will have records of what was sold. There might be a fee or a required purchase of a catalog from the auction if one is still available, but otherwise they can be quite helpful. A quick online search revealed numerous Lugers handled by the auction house, but none ascribed to Himmler.

If Luger presented the pistol to Himmler, that really would have been something. Himmler was getting his degree in Agriculture in Munich until 1922. He didn't join the Nazi party until 1923. You would have to wonder why the 72 year old Luger would give such an elaborate pistol to a virtual unknown 22-23 year old of the Nazi party who had never been in the military. It wasn't until 1926 that he even had much power within the party.

Interesting thing about Himmler and Lugers. Himmler was left handed and Lugers aren't ambi.
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Old September 23, 2010, 02:13 PM   #12
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Recently checked out Simpson Ltd's website and low and behold there was a Sauer 38H that a second cousin had owned.Serial number 1,engraved ,for which he had made some ivory grips with a gold swastika.He was a watch maker and said in the 50's people would throw in Lugers just to sweeten the pot on a deal.He had artillery lugers,stocked long barreled broom handled mausers,german sniper rifles,and the only Luftwaffe drilling that i had ever seen that still had the original case.He was such an artisan that he got into making miniature Lugers and Colt 1873's out of gold and sold them in Vegas.
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Old October 1, 2010, 11:06 PM   #13
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"Interesting thing about Himmler and Lugers. Himmler was left handed and Lugers aren't ambi."

The Luger's configuration apparently did not bother Himmler.
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