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Old January 31, 2014, 09:21 AM   #1
bitttorrrent
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German po8 Luger

Just a little unknown about this pistol.
It's a 1918 Erfurt not all matching decent condition with leather case. No sentimental history either.

Now my Dad bought from uncle but always told me it was not worth much cause not all matched numbers.

I have a non firing replica that broke and was just looking for a replacement or even a cheap working one but there were none. All working Lugers were 1500 -3000.

Are these becoming rare? I mean the real ones. I did find non firing for couple hundred.
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Old January 31, 2014, 09:57 AM   #2
Jim Watson
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Condition is everything, but a decent unmatched Luger would still probably sell for over $1000. Prices on everything are way up.
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Old January 31, 2014, 10:57 AM   #3
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+1 - Matching number P-08's in excellent condition have been retailing waaay over $2K lately.


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Old January 31, 2014, 11:03 AM   #4
bitttorrrent
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That's what I thought. I'll try post some pictures. Most of the gun I guess is matching except the mag.

Not that I am going to sell it or anything, just wondering as my military interest is not really high and now I have a few others as well:
M1 Carbine
SKS
several Mosin Nagants
AK-47 - wasr-10
German Mauser

I do like the ak-47 and have had it out recently (currently getting better hardware) and the Mosin is always fun, but not sure I need the rest of them. Oh, and the rotted stock of the Mauser is being replaced and I love that gun. But the MI and SKS not sure about.





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Old January 31, 2014, 01:12 PM   #5
Quentin2
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Its value depend on its condition, as already said. Find out how many numbers actually match on the pistol itself (there are about 15 numbered parts). It's wonderful to have two correct SN magazines but very unlikely. Check out that holster too, genuine ones are valuable.

Otherwise it's up to you whether to keep it or sell. I think it does have sentimental value if your uncle and father owned it a long time. I have a mixed parts 1913 DWM I bought in 1975 that now has much sentimental value. Also I love that it shoots well and uses modern ammunition (cheap Federal Champion 9mm) even though it's 100 years old. I took it out shooting with friends a couple months ago and everyone was impressed, no malfunctions with one magazine and the other mag just had problems locking the toggle back when empty.

Erfurts, especially by 1918, were not finished as nice as DWMs but are rarer. Of course what matters today is overall condition not what they looked like brand new. As far as standard P08s go, Erfurts easily can be more valuable than DWMs.
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Old January 31, 2014, 02:44 PM   #6
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That is a good point about a 100ish year old firearm being able to use modern ammo! And one that I reload too. So, I do not think it is going anywhere.

I did shoot it once and it performed great. The upward cocking of the slide is a little different, but heck it is an old design.

Thanks for info.
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Old January 31, 2014, 03:46 PM   #7
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Quote:
The upward cocking of the slide is a little different, but heck it is an old design.
You may not be aware, but the Luger design is renowned for its accuracy, the primary reason being IIRC that the barrel is fixed. I believe that 2" groups at 50 yards are pretty typical for a Luger in good condition, on par with high end 1911 customs and good revolvers. I haven't had either of my shooters out yet to evaluate them but am looking forward to doing so. One is a mismatched Erfurt with barrel date removed, the other is a numbers-matching but refinished 1920/1918 DWM.

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Old January 31, 2014, 04:01 PM   #8
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Since the 9mm Parabellum pistol, which we call the Luger, was the first gun to use the 9mm Parabellum cartridge, it really isn't surprising that it actually fires it. Go a bit easy on the loads, though. The Luger is a strong pistol, but some of the hotter 9mm loads can damage the ejector and that is a pretty expensive part.

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Old February 1, 2014, 11:09 AM   #9
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IME, most buyers will ignore the mis-matched (SN) magazine, since it's extremely rare to find a P08 with it's matching magazine.

AFAIK, only direct/personal capture military P08's would have the mag it was born with - since most P08's were tossed into one stockpile, with all their mags tossed into a different stockpile, after WWII.

When the war ended, GI's had better things to do than sort through piles of literally thousands of pistols/mags.

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Old February 1, 2014, 12:46 PM   #10
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Go through it carefully and if all the parts other than the magazine match then do not shoot it. It subtracts hugely from the value of the gun. If parts do not all match then shooting it is a matter of are you willing to pay to replace a broken part and as noted, some of those are very expensive.

Even shooters have gone up substantially though and 1k is about the bottom these days.

The lack of matching number magazines is not an issue, but the numbered parts should all be there for the higher values.

Finding the numbers on some of those can be challenging. As I recall I had to take down the bolt action to see that last one on mine though most military model had most of them reasonably visible.

Mine appears to be a direct WWI capture and the magazine does not match (its original magazine knob with the wood on the base not plastic).

While they were careful with the guns action parts the magazines got constantly stirred around and lost or damaged ones would have been common (replaced failed parts as well). Magazines swap ok so not the hand fitted issue the parts were (I think they just were in the habit and did it for all parts as the grips would be the same thing and they should have numbers as well)
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Old February 1, 2014, 01:46 PM   #11
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mechanically, Lugers are very accurate. Practical accuracy, what the shooter can get between the fairly coarse sights and the generally mediocre trigger is usually less.

Prices are nuts, and have jumped a lot recently. A couple years ago, you could find shooters (mismatched #s, and worn finish) for $750, today, good luck.

You Dad wasn't quite right when he told you it wasn't worth much because it didn't have matching numbers. Its worth a bit, just not AS much as it would be if the numbers all matched.

your gun is most likely a 1914 model, produced by Erfurt from 1914-1918. 175,000 were made in 1918, and it is considered a "common" Luger.

The proper magazine is tin plated body with wooden base, proof marked and serial numbered to the gun. The finish should be a high quality rust blue, with the trigger, mag catch, takedown lever and safety lever straw colored.

With mis-matched numbers and magazine its not worth as much as if it was all completely original, but $1000 in today's market isn't out of line.

The original 9mm load was a 124gr ball @1050fps. By WW I they were using a 115gr @ 1150fps. That's what your Luger should run on. Avoid +p or anything like that.

its a neat piece of history, and no matter what its condition (provided it doesn't get any worse -damage-finish wear) will only go up in value as the last Luger made for the German military was made in 1942.

The reason people say don't shoot it (particularly a matched specimen) is because of the risk to its finish (and breakage of parts), which will reduce the value. ALL Lugers have already "been shot" essentially, so shooting it, by itself doesn't devalue anything. (if you run across a documented unfired original P.08, -not likely- don't shoot THAT one, unless you regularly light your cigars with $100 dollar bills )
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Old February 2, 2014, 10:55 PM   #12
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To clarify a bit.

I have never hear anyone say not to shoot a Lugar due to finish related issues.
Its a non issue.

Parts breakage is. One guy wrote into the Lugar forum that he fired his once and broke the toggle. That dropped the value down to shooter level from around 3k. You simply do not know what the condition of the parts are. His is far from the first time that has happened. Always give yourself time to get the value (Lugar forum will help you as much as needed as they did myself). Once the value is gone there is no going back.

Once its been broke there is no going back. How far it falls depends on how rare. The more common collectors would simply fall to the $1000 floor.

A really rare one might, and I say might, retain higher value and if rare enough maybe drop only part value, but it would have to be a rare one and most of us don't swim in those seas.
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Old February 2, 2014, 11:24 PM   #13
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There are only two things that can go wrong with a gun when you use it, wear/damage to the finish and failure/breakage of parts.

They don't say don't shoot a matching Luger because of risk to the finish, because a broken part is much worse for the value.

Damage to the finish will reduce the value, but its still a matching Luger, just a little more "worn". Break a part, and its never again a matching Luger.
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Old February 3, 2014, 02:14 AM   #14
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I have an all matching 1941 byf "black widow" with a very low round count, maybe just a few hundred. I've been tempted to fire it during the 15 years I've had it but terrified a part would break. I know it's not likely since my mismatched shooter has broken only one part after many thousands of rounds since 1975. Still, I know my kind of luck!
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Old February 3, 2014, 09:07 AM   #15
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Excluding the major parts, like the frame, barrel or upper receiver, all is NOT lost if a part is broken. Parts were numbered with only the last two digits of the serial number; That means that there is another part out of every series of 100 guns that were produced that will have those same two digits.

Some 50+ years ago I purchased a 1913 DWM Luger that was missing a sideplate. For years I shot that gun with a replacement sideplate until about two years ago when I stumbled on another sideplate on eBay that had the same last two digits. It wasn't cheap (about $85.00 if I recall correctly), but the the plate miraculously was from about the same era as my gun and now I have a "matching" Luger. (Even though it really isn't.)
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Old February 3, 2014, 02:17 PM   #16
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What happens in Northern AZ, stays in Northern AZ......



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Old February 3, 2014, 03:13 PM   #17
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Just FWIW, the numbering of parts went back many years to the days when guns actually had to be fitted. German military regulations required that each part (even some small ones) be numbered, gauged, and stamped with an inspection mark to ensure that it was approved prior to assembly. (Assemblers were not permitted to use any parts that were not marked by an inspection stamp.)

Originally, in the 18th century, the gun would be assembled by hand fitting, then taken apart for hardening the parts and final finishing. After that was done, the gun was reassembled, using the numbered parts to be sure the fitted parts were put back together.

By the time of the Luger, German production techniques were well beyond the need for that kind of thing. Parts were uniform and interchangeable; at most only a few parts might need to be fitted. But military traditions die hard, especially in Germany in an era in which the military was revered to the point of adoration. So the tedious and time-consuming marking of tiny parts continued, the pre-fitting continued, the dis-and re-assembly continued. No one can ever know how many thousands of man-hours were wasted in that effort, but it certainly had considerable impact on German arms production and on the use of human resources. I don't say Germany lost two wars because they had to inspect and mark weapons parts, but that kind of slavery to outdated rules didn't help them any.

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Old February 4, 2014, 02:21 AM   #18
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The German military entered WWII with a curious mixture of advanced tactical thinking, cutting edge technology in some areas, and slavish adherence to tradition in others.

Luger production ended in 1942, because Lugers were too expensive to keep making, for what they got. Expensive in terms of skilled labor man/machine hours, not just Reichmarks. The P.38 was coming off the production lines, and it was decided that the capacity to build Lugers was better used for other things

the Luger has a certain...charisma, or mystique, call it what you will, there is nothing else quite like it. To this day its still one of the most famous and widely recognized pistols in the world.
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Old February 4, 2014, 10:29 PM   #19
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And not just with collectors. I have been told that when, for one reason or another, German officers had to exchange their Luger pistols for P.38's some became very upset and almost reduced to tears. The Luger had the same place in German "hearts and minds" as the "Colt .45" had with Americans.

I once spoke to a retired German police officer who had been issued a Luger between wars. During WWII, the police Lugers were taken away for Army use, and he was issued an old Reichsrevolver. This was probably ten years after the fact, and he was still mad as heck about it!

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Old February 5, 2014, 03:04 AM   #20
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One thing just occurred to me, I think the Luger might stand alone in this regard...

Of the world's truly iconic handguns, I think all of them have been "copied" (in form, if not in detailed function) in large numbers by various makers around the world. Not so the Luger. The 1911, the Colt Single Action, the S&W style DA revolver, probably the Webley/Enfield, heck the Chinese and Spanish even made Broomhandles, all copied in some form or another.

There have been some "reproduction" Lugers, Stoeger, for one. Not sure if I would count the Erma, but I suppose it belongs in the group. Not a lot copies made though. Not like all the SAA clones or guns that look like 1911s.

Lugers aren't easy to make, but they aren't that much more difficult than some other designs, and actually less complicated than some.

Hmmm, wonder why....
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Old February 5, 2014, 07:03 AM   #21
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The only true "clones" would be the Mitchell stainless Luger of several years back, and the Mauser repros made in the late 60s and through the 70s.
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Old February 5, 2014, 11:06 AM   #22
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Old February 5, 2014, 01:05 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 44 AMP

There have been some "reproduction" Lugers, Stoeger, for one. Not sure if I would count the Erma, but I suppose it belongs in the group.

Actually, the term/name "Luger" is an anachronism, used mostly in the US.

The original toggle-top pistole is properly called a "Parabellum".

"Luger" is a trademarked name, owned by Stoeger - who both stamped their imported Parabellums with the "Luger" brand, and also offered a toggle-top .22 autoloader so stamped (which only superficially resembles the Parabellum.

I agree that the Erma, Mitchell & 1970's Mauser toggletops should also be included with parabellum clones.


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Old February 5, 2014, 03:39 PM   #24
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I need to split a couple hairs on this.

I believe the original toggle top pistol is properly called a Borchardt.

Luger named his redesign of the Borchardt the "Parabellum".

Luger is the common name used in the US, and I suppose it might be called an anachronism.

Stoeger still owns the rights to the trade name "Luger". I have a couple of their .22s, and a stainless steel P.08 with Stoeger and Luger marked on it.

I would not call the 1970s Mauser Swiss pattern "Lugers" a clone. Reintroduced limited production would probably be the most accurate as it was one of the original manufacturers, and I understand they used at least some of the original tooling, which they got back from the Swiss, to make them. A small matter, really.

7,65mm Parabellum, 9mm Parabellum are correct, and proper, but you know how sloppy we are in casual conversation (and sometimes not so casual), so its "Luger" in the US, for better or worse. That is changing for the 9mm, its less and less the 9mm Luger and more and more the 9mm Para(bellum), 9x19, or 9mm NATO.

Still only seeing .30 Luger on US made ammo though that may change eventually, too....

You are right, the proper name is the Parabellum, unless, its a P.08, in which case that would also be correct.

If you talk to folks (in the US) who are not already some degree of enthusiast, and say Parabellum or P.08 they often get confused, but if you say Luger, they have at least an idea what you are talking about.

So, how bad is it when somebody says "I want a clip to fit my Luger"?
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Old February 5, 2014, 04:21 PM   #25
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It seems like this thread could use a pic or two. I recently became a Lugerphile (x4) when an elderly relative sold me what her deceased husband collected many years ago. She also provided copies of Datig and Jones, two of the early pioneers of classifying and collecting Lugers.

Upper left is a 1908 Bulgarian contract DWM, below that is a 192x alphabet commercial. On the right are two shooters, one is a refinished 1920/1918 DWM and the other is a mixed-parts Erfurt. The commercial is a 7.65mm, the others are 9mm.

The fit and finish of these guns is pretty amazing. An old article I read estimated there were more than 600 separate machining operations involved in crafting a P.08 IIRC.


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