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Old January 18, 2009, 04:27 AM   #1
scorpion_tyr
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The Case of the Missing Luger

I'm looking for advise more than answers and if this isn't the right place to post this I apologize. Here's the story: When my father was in his early teens, his uncle showed him a German Luger that his uncle told him he took off a dead Nazi he killed. He also showed him a few other guns. A few years later that uncle passed away. His kids and my father were still somewhat young so none of the guns got passed down. His wife put them in a closet and forgot about them for 35 years. Then one day she's cleaning out a closet and discovers a bunch of guns. Her son is not a gun person and had no interest in them at all so she called my father to see if he wanted them. He said yes and went and picked them up. He was actually there when the guns were put away 35 years before and specifically remembers the Luger being placed right next to an old Colt revolver, but it was not there and his aunt had no idea where it had gone. All she knew was that the Luger, the Colt, and a Remington shotgun were specifically supposed to go to my father's cousin, or my father. Since my father's cousin doesn't care for guns or antiques or family stuff at all, my father was expecting to get that Luger. There is a distant cousin-in-law type (who's not very well liked anyway) that heard the story a few years back and seemed overly interested in it.

My father is getting up there in his years now and mentioned how he would really like to know what happened to that Luger before he dies. Being the young "Gun Nut" of the family, I would love to see it, and would really love to see it go to one of it's inteneded owners. Either my father's cousin, if he's changed his mind, or my father.

Here's my question: Would it be worth it to ask around, and investigate a little bit to find out what happened to it? The main "suspect" isn't well liked by most of the family, but because of his social standings and other things, he is tolerated without question. Since there were no wills or legal documents do we have any legal legs to stand on in our search?

My father would never sell it, but he also mentioned a curiosity about how much it would be worth in good condition. Anyone have any ideas?
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Old January 18, 2009, 04:55 AM   #2
troy_mclure
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my uncle stole my grandfathers pair of lugers while the rest of the family was at the funeral.

this was in ohio, in '99. he sold them to a local shop for $300ea.

the police said there was nothing we could do because they were not specifically listed in the will.

the pawn shop had marked them up over $1000, so we could not afford to buy them back.
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Old January 19, 2009, 05:52 PM   #3
Calfed
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It might be worth it if you have any of the identifying information on the Luger.

The Luger belonged to your aunt, as she was the heir to your uncle's estate.

The problem is that it could have been stolen any time over the last 35 years.

How can you prove that it was your cousin in law who took it or when it was taken. Property crimes have a statute of limitations that vary from state to state, but the S-O-L is certainly less than 35 years

Last edited by Calfed; January 19, 2009 at 06:02 PM.
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Old January 19, 2009, 08:25 PM   #4
James K
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Unless your cousin-in-law says, "Yes, I have the Luger; I was keeping it for you and here it is" you don't have a lot to go on. You can't even prove it was ever there, let alone that a specific person took it or when; if a Luger turned up you couldn't even prove it was the same one since you didn't record the serial number and markings.

Sorry, but I think the gun is long gone.

jim
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Old January 19, 2009, 11:40 PM   #5
Ricklin
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Sad story

So many fine guns are lost to theives. I'd say you are toast with regard to that Luger if you look at the situation objectivley.
Pistols are about the first thing that thieves look for, small and valuable, easy to sell.
The Luger of which you speak could be worth a few thou depending on rarity / condition.
A darn good case for gunsafes, it really is a part of firearm ownership.
Considering they were just in a closet for 35 years one thief or another was bound to get them.
Sorry about the loss.
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Old January 20, 2009, 10:54 AM   #6
johnwilliamson062
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I have a similar story with several mens watches.
1. Like in my case you probably have no proof, just assumption that the family member everyone thinks is shady is responsible.
2. You probably don't really even know what was stolen. THere are a lot of different Lugers.
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Old January 20, 2009, 11:42 AM   #7
Mike Irwin
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"my uncle stole my grandfathers pair of lugers while the rest of the family was at the funeral.

this was in ohio, in '99. he sold them to a local shop for $300ea.

the police said there was nothing we could do because they were not specifically listed in the will.

the pawn shop had marked them up over $1000, so we could not afford to buy them back."


Man I would have fought that like mad!

In many states, anything that is not specifically called out in the will automatically goes to the principal survivor; your grandmother or his oldest child.
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Old January 20, 2009, 02:45 PM   #8
James K
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Other issues aside, proving the ownership of a Luger or P.38 is very difficult because to identify a specific gun you need the manufacturer, the date (if military), and the complete serial number including the letter suffix if any. So, "Luger number 1234" is just not good enough. You need something like "Luger pistol, P.08, dated 1942 (double digit date "42"), maker code "byf" (Mauser), serial number 1234b".

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