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Old May 22, 2013, 10:17 PM   #51
Winchester_73
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I said:

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Also, I never tried to remove a luger firing pin without a tool (oddly enough, the luger tools were made in part for this purpose) but it would NOT be an easy task.
(without a tool).

Jimmy K said:

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My only thought on the firing pin question is that anyone who thinks the P.08 firing pin is hard to remove should definitely not try to remove the P.38 firing pin.
I didn't mean to confuse anyone (by my first statement above). Just so we are all on the same page, I was saying that the Luger firing pin removal requires a tool, and without some type of tool, it would not be easily accomplished. On the other hand, I never tried to remove a luger firing pin without a tool, whether screwdriver, luger tool, etc. IMO, a luger firing pin breakage occured more frequently than a broken P38 firing pin so its not that important how easy or hard a P38 firing pin change would be. I can see it being more complicated, but if it happened much less frequently, its basically irrelevant.

My post was referencing which design is simpler, which I would have to say the P38 is simpler in design but a luger, while being a little more complex, is still more primitive. I hope that makes sense to someone.

Micromontenegro, is this post funny too? Or just the comments in reference to my posts?
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Old May 22, 2013, 10:26 PM   #52
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I would imagine that in the latter years of WWII, the typical German soldier, had he a particular need for a sidearm, would simply have chosen what he could lay hands on and obtain ammunition for. I doubt very much he had the luxury of hours of contemplation in the matter.

Remember, also, these are SIDEARMS - they are not primary weapons for combat troops. I'm sure we as enthusiasts put a lot more thought into this than the typical Wehrmacht feldwebel who no doubt had more practical concerns.
I forgot to mention this and its very true. The pistol is used as a secondary arm. The Germans probably didn't put a ton of thought into which sidearms each had, but on the other hand, if something is available and better, go for it. Any of the guns mentioned in this thread were serviceable and they all served in WWII. The typical German soldier was probably happy to have a working pistol, regardless, as others have said.
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Old May 22, 2013, 10:47 PM   #53
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The only problem I know of on the P.08 firing pin is with the old ones without the gas escape slots. If there was a pierced primer or gas escape around the primer and gas came back through the firing pin hole, it drove the old style firing pin back hard enough to break out the rear of the breech block, ruining it. I have seen several that were apparently damaged that way.

Another weak point with hot ammo is the ejector, which is its own spring. If the breechblock comes back too fast and the rear of the case hits the ejector before it can flex, it will break.

Other than those problems, the old Luger is a pretty tough pistol, though not as reliable as the P.38. That is partly because of the way Luger converted the Borchardt. The Borchardt recoil spring exerts its force almost straight down, giving maximum force to closing the breech. But Luger had to get the spring into the rear of the grip, so it has more of a forward component. That problem was overcome by slanting the grip backward*, which in turn led to feeding problems due to the angle of the magazine. The P.38 design was a lot better in that respect.

*The great feel of the Luger was not the reason for the slanted grip, it was an accidental byproduct of the need to make the gun function.

Jim
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Old May 22, 2013, 11:12 PM   #54
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That is partly because of the way Luger converted the Borchardt. The Borchardt recoil spring exerts its force almost straight down, giving maximum force to closing the breech.
Ah yes, the Borchardt, aka C93. I hope someone will sell me one reasonable someday, a cased one, like ol Aberman used to have...
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Old May 23, 2013, 12:54 AM   #55
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The only problem I know of on the P.08 firing pin is with the old ones without the gas escape slots. If there was a pierced primer or gas escape around the primer and gas came back through the firing pin hole, it drove the old style firing pin back hard enough to break out the rear of the breech block, ruining it. I have seen several that were apparently damaged that way.
I didn't know about that, and that is interesting. I was referring to how it seems like many lugers today have mismatched or unnumbered firing pins, which reflects a replacement most often (some lugers had unmarked firing pins, but that is rarely the case for a military luger). I think firing pin breaks in a luger were far more common than a P38.

Quote:
Another weak point with hot ammo is the ejector, which is its own spring. If the breechblock comes back too fast and the rear of the case hits the ejector before it can flex, it will break.
I read this, and re-read this, and could not understand what you meant at first. I think you are saying "breechblock comes back" as in "returns forward" not in the sense "moving backwards". I see what you mean now. If the breechblock came forward, and the extractor did not move up to clasp the rim of the case, then the extractor could snap?

For the record, broken extractor issues are another reason, IMO, the Luger was not near as great as a P38. Remember, if the extractor broke in the field, and you had no means of replacement, the gun became useless.
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Old May 23, 2013, 09:56 AM   #56
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"I can see an officer carrying a luger for sentimental reasons, or because it shot good for him due to the grip angle, but otherwise, I think you carry something more modern as a Nazi officer."

When he was arrested, Herman Goering was carrying a Smith & Wesson Military & Police in .38 Special...
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Old May 23, 2013, 11:18 AM   #57
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As with most things gun-human related I seriously doubt there was a concensus.
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Old May 23, 2013, 01:18 PM   #58
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Nope, I meant that as the breechblock with the case held by the extractor, comes back, the case hits the ejector hard. The ejector has no spring, it is its own spring. If hit hard enough, it can snap off rather than bending to take the blow.

I doubt many ejectors broke in the field because the ammunition was carefully made and controlled. But Lugers are being fired by today's owners with hot loads (factory or handloads) the guns were never designed for. And some folks believe that the Luger is super strong and perfect and will handle anything they can stuff in it.

Jim
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Old May 23, 2013, 02:40 PM   #59
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Micromontenegro, is this post funny too?
Very funny! Never a dull moment!
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Old May 24, 2013, 07:01 AM   #60
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Nope, I meant that as the breechblock with the case held by the extractor, comes back, the case hits the ejector hard. The ejector has no spring, it is its own spring. If hit hard enough, it can snap off rather than bending to take the blow.
Oh I see. I didn't realize how hard of a hit that would be on the extractor. I know my lugers with SN extractors will not be shot by myself for this reason, and others.

Micro,

Your "contributions" to this forum are always appreciated.
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Old May 24, 2013, 04:13 PM   #61
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Winchester 73...
I have a 1917 DWM P-08 that I have never shot but once. Does it have the SN extractor you are speaking of?

Would it be ok to shoot? or is the chance of damaging it to great.
I really appreciate your extensive knowledge on firearms.
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Old May 24, 2013, 06:27 PM   #62
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Check out the "Walther Forum" and you will find lots of historical and educated opinions from other experts who lived and breathe these guns.
I had inherited a P38 from my Dad who took it off a German officer in WW2.
I used it quite a bit, but since mine was made toward the end of the war, it had some common material deficiencies in the thin slide area. I later used it quite a lot at the range using a later model "fat slide". It was pretty hardy and was fun to shoot. Probably shot 500-1,000 rounds before giving it to my son.
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Old May 24, 2013, 08:14 PM   #63
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Grant

Thank you. The extractor should be number right on top for a 1917 DWM. I assume your gun to be a military contract? A letter suffix on serial number (under barrel on frame) with Imperial proofs on right chamber?

I have seen lugers where the extractors were marked a certain way on the side of the extractor to be correct.

Here is a top view of my Mauser G date (1935) police variation. I figured I would post this to make sure you knew which piece the extractor was, for certain. I would expect a military 1917 DWM to have a serialed extractor.

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Old May 25, 2013, 07:09 AM   #64
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Winchester 73..thank you
Yes it has a # 75 on it, so you don't recomend shooting it?
I would hate to have something break, and loose value on the pistol.

They just feel so right in your hand,it's so natural,like pointing your finger.
The P-38 does'nt have that natural pointability like the Luger.
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Old May 25, 2013, 07:29 AM   #65
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Considering that the Germans seemed to use just about any handguns they could get ahold of, I'd think that anything firing the standard 9x19 cartridge would be pretty highly prized including the Luger, P38, GP-35 Hi-Power, and Vis 35 Radom.
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Old May 25, 2013, 12:02 PM   #66
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Webley, +1. Another important consideration is that IMO they were losing the war by 1942 and esp by 1943. The failure of Battle for Britain was a warning sign that the Wehrmacht was not as mighty as it once thought. Arms became progressively harder for the Nazi's to make.

Grant - well its like this. You can buy a glock 19 and shoot the snot out of it, and then you can buy a luger. You're buying collector pieces (you need to sell me that SS PP ASAP, btw) and your luger, is probably a collectors piece (I'm assuming all matching sans mag with over 80% original finish and no import marking?). My attitude about this subject is this - why take the chance? Of course, like James K said, they're not brittle, but there is that possibility. It would be one thing if it were possible AND the parts were not serial numbered. Then it would be like shooting a pre war S&W and somehow the hammer broke or what you have you (very unlikely). The hammer could be hard to find, but at least its not numbered to the gun. With the luger, most parts are numbered. So you have two issues, finding a replacement part, and then actually finding one with the correct number and or proofmark otherwise the luger gains the mismatch stigma. Very hard if not impossible to get a matching part with proper proof.

I say why take the chance, because I bought my lugers as collectibles and investments. Other people say "hey, you only live once, lugers are great, a piece of history, and I can't have guns I don't shoot" and that's fine, but I would rather take no chances. If your gun is refinished, or does not match, then that is a different story. Some of my lugers are fairly valuable IE my Dutch contract, so I think some of the people who insist on shooting don't really own such a luger anyways. It also depends on how wealthy someone is. I'm not wealthy enough to disregard the current value of my lugers, other people may not care as much. I bought them as investments, not truly as "guns" but I happen to find guns beat out most other types of investments.

JMHO and YMMV
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Old May 25, 2013, 06:37 PM   #67
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Just for the record, the part I said that broke was the EJECTOR, which is set into the left side of the receiver, not the EXTRACTOR, which is set into the top of the breechblock. Extractors may break, but I have never seen one that did. Ejectors are more susceptible to breakage.

The marking on the extractor is "GELADEN" or "loaded" which is visible when there is a round in the chamber, so it is what we now call a loaded chamber indicator as well as the extractor. On contract guns, the German word "GELADEN" was usually replaced with the same term in the language of the using country.

Jim
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Old May 25, 2013, 09:55 PM   #68
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Quote:
I have a 1917 DWM P-08 that I have never shot but once. Does it have the SN extractor you are speaking of?

Would it be ok to shoot? or is the chance of damaging it to great.
I really appreciate your extensive knowledge on firearms.
If it has all matching numbers on the parts (you need to look it up but the only ones that are not serialed are pins, spring, firing pin)

If you break a numbered part, the value of the gun goes from around $1500 or better (depends on a lot of factors) to a $700 shooter.

There is no reason not to shoot a non matched up Luger in decent condition though you do not want to put anything hot through it.
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Old May 26, 2013, 07:49 AM   #69
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Winchester 73...once again, I appreciate your advice.
No, there are no import markings on the P-08, P-38, or the PP, they are all vet bring backs,and all matching #'s.
So I will relagate them to just looking at pistols, and shoot the 1962 model P-38.
I'm still trying to get the holster for the PP from the gentleman I bought it from,hopeing it has the other magazine with it,which would be grand,to have the complete set.
(and the SS Walther PP my wife might sell after I'm gone! lol)
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Old May 26, 2013, 08:40 PM   #70
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Wise choice. I bought a 'shooter' so I would not risk anything with the one my dad brought back.
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Old May 29, 2013, 08:46 AM   #71
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I have a shooter P-08 that came back through Russia in the mid 90's when they were surplusing a lot of their old guns. It has been reblued (re-arsenalled in Russia), so not a collector, but it is one heck of a shooter. 1941 Mauser P-08 Luger with black plastic grips.

My Dad was in Germany at the end of the war, and a few years after the war had ended. Lugers were VERY desirable. So desirable he could not get one or wasn't willing to pay the price by the time he wanted want to bring back to my grand dad who was a cop. Instead he got a Walther PP in 7.65MM, that had been nickel plated, and sold as a souvenir.
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Old May 29, 2013, 10:44 AM   #72
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This thread is fun....

So I will throw in and echo a sentiment that a couple people already had - I bet that if the soldier was presented all the common pistols used by the Wehrmacht, the BHP with its' 13 rounds would be "prefered". But I doubt, as stated, that hardly any of them got to consider choices and then choose what they prefered.
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Old May 30, 2013, 09:27 AM   #73
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I once knew a vet who had been a company commander. He had a BHP he took from a German officer. His story was interesting and (knowing the gentleman) true. He was advancing in a Belgian forest when he was fired on by the German who was behind a tree. The American took cover behind another tree and fired back with his own pistol. They did the "old west" thing until the German had fired eight rounds. The American, thinking the German's gun was empty, stepped out and found out about the BHP's magazine capacity. He wasn't hurt and his BAR man took care of the German, firing through the tree, the German, and the Browning.

Now that would seem to be a really silly war story except the guy had the pistol. A .30 bullet had gone through it just above the grip, locking it up with one round still in the magazine. It had had an unfired round in the chamber and he fired it by driving in the firing pin with a punch (the firing mechanism had been destroyed, of course). But the magazine wouldn't come out, so he just left it.

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