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Old December 14, 2016, 10:42 AM   #1
WINGATE
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Commercial Luger with single digit serial

I'm considering purchasing this .3o Caliber Luger that has the number "4" stamped on the frame, trigger and inside the takedown side plate (Thats as far as I inspected it). GERMANY is stamped on top of the breech.No other proofs or stamps anywhere, its in excellent condition with a mint bore. I'm looking for a good shooter with unique collectors appeal, a friend of mine who is knowledgable on Lugers says it's no deal at $1500. I think the odd number creates value, what do you guys think? I'll try to post a photo--GW
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Old December 14, 2016, 11:20 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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Fascinating, we definitely need close clear pictures.
Actual George Luger No 4 would be a monster find, add a zero or two to the price.
The only thing I can think of is some sort of post war parts gun.
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Old December 14, 2016, 03:11 PM   #3
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heres a few photos
Attached Images
File Type: jpg PC140007 (1).jpg (101.4 KB, 91 views)
File Type: jpg PC140008 (1).jpg (75.2 KB, 87 views)
File Type: jpg PC140012 (1).jpg (84.4 KB, 87 views)
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Old December 14, 2016, 03:33 PM   #4
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Odd not to have DWM, or whichever manufacturer stamped on the toggle. Looks mighty clean for a vintage Luger. I don't know what to think.
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Old December 14, 2016, 03:37 PM   #5
Jim Watson
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Well, it sure isn't GL4 but I am out of ideas.
Take more pictures, consult Lugerforum.com
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Old December 14, 2016, 03:37 PM   #6
WINGATE
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It does have DWM on the top of the toggle
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Old December 14, 2016, 03:40 PM   #7
WINGATE
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Heres the top of the toggle showing DWM and GERMANY stamped on the breech.
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File Type: jpg PC140009 (1).jpg (49.5 KB, 68 views)
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Old December 14, 2016, 04:31 PM   #8
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It looks like a post WWI commercial "1920" based on military guns or parts with .30 barrel instead of 9mm which was restricted by the Versailles Treaty.

But the serial number ranges seem well known on the collector boards. They picked up where they left off before the war and ran up until they got to 99999 whereupon they went to military style numbering, four digits and a letter, the "alphabet commercials."

Serial No 4? Mysterious.

I went through the entire Simpson inventory of 1920 commercials and saw Germany or Made in Germany on left, right, front of receiver, and on the barrel. None on top of the receiver ring.

There is Lugerforum.com and Jan C. Stills' forum at
http://luger.gunboards.com/forum.php
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Old December 14, 2016, 05:24 PM   #9
WINGATE
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I went ahead and purchased the Luger, the dealer has been dealing in collectable firearms for at least 50 years and is very reputable. I've been wandering into his shop since I was just a young dude, and that was a long time ago! I believe he said it was a 1910 commercial and is indeed #4. He's had it for at least 25 years and it's been hanging on a wire with a sold tag on it. I remember seeing it way before I was ever married. He never wanted to sell it, guess he figured its time to let it go. I brought it home and of course had to disassemble it. Here's the only other numbers I've found.. #78 stamped on the back of the breech bolt. The #19 and an h stamped on each of the grips and thats it, no proofs at all. The magazine is not stamped or numbered either. The face of the bolt looks unfired, not a single mark or ring from a shell casing

Last edited by WINGATE; December 14, 2016 at 05:37 PM.
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Old December 14, 2016, 05:51 PM   #10
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Thanks for all your help, I'm really curious now
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Old December 14, 2016, 06:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
no proofs at all
I know nothing about Lugers, but this is odd. Shouldn't all commercial German guns made after ~1893 have a proof mark?

Quick search turns up:

https://books.google.com/books?id=-k...page&q&f=false
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Old December 14, 2016, 06:54 PM   #12
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I can't tell from the pictures, but is there a suffix letter? Remember that military Luger serials went from 1 at the start of a year to 9999,, then to 1a - 9999a, 1b- 9999b, and so on. So there would have been a "4" in every series (ordinarily in every calendar year). Uncommon, yes, and rare, but not mysterious. Certainly a unique serial number, but so is any other serial number.

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Old December 14, 2016, 07:16 PM   #13
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With "4" stamped on some parts, and "78" on the bolt, it appears to be something of a parts gun.
Military pistols (P08) have the last two digits of the serial stamped very obviously just about everywhere - barrel, side plate, takedown lever, toggle - while commercial guns have the numbers stamped more discreetly.
The gun does generally look like what used be called the "1920 Commercial", and now called "alphabet", but the missing proofs and serial stamps are strange.
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Old December 15, 2016, 10:14 AM   #14
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I just just posted the same questions on the lugerforum. I think everyone hopes to luck into some ultra rare gun, but I know my luck and this will probably turn out to be a parts gun deemed unsafe to shoot!, thanks to all, greg
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Old December 15, 2016, 10:18 AM   #15
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And I'll shoot it anyway!
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Old December 15, 2016, 11:07 AM   #16
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I can't make out much in those pics and i'm no Luger expert, but i thought the serial numbers restarted every year and the last 2 digits were stamped on multiple parts. If the parts that are usually stamped are missing a stamp my first thought would be an aftermarket replacement.

My Only Luger has 92 stamped on all the parts except the toggle. The actual serial number is 1492. The finish looks great and could pass as original if one didn't know any better. I'm assuming these were arsenal refinished and whoever was doing the job knew what they were doing as they probably did refinishing everyday months on end...
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Old December 16, 2016, 08:45 PM   #17
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Reddog81's Luger is normal for a military pistol, but commercial Lugers followed different rules with fewer numbers and some "hidden" numbers. Still, there are several points about that gun that don't appear to be what I would expect on a commercial pistol.

I also note the "4" on the inside of the sideplate.

Jim
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Old December 17, 2016, 06:51 PM   #18
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If you come up with a nice, clear, complete, CLOSE-UP set of pictures, the members at either Luger forum will be able to help you. As it stands, your pictures are nearly useless.
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