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Old September 14, 2016, 04:19 PM   #1
ctl_alt_delete
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Luger Help

I’ve come across a couple beautiful Lugers and I need to find out as much about them, as I can before I make an offer. The seller (a family friend) says she wants top dollar for them but I don’t know enough about them to even guess how much top dollar is). I don’t even know for certain how to refer to these beauties. From the research I’ve done, it appears that I have a Mauser 1937 S/42, a war carry back, chambered in 9MM ;and a Crown N, chambered in 7.65, unknown where it came from (might also be called a DWM?).

What I do know about them:

The 1937 S/42 is a war carry back (without papers) that her father brought back from the war. Serial number is: 4057

The Crown N was also her father’s, but she doesn’t know how he acquired it. Serial number is: 81902. The holster on this one seems to indicate that it was a Volkspolezei weapon, post war, based on the markings.

Serial numbers on both pistols, including the magazines and extra magazines, all match ((I’ve not broken them down yet to look at the inside parts, but I’m pretty sure they’re matching, too). Both look to be in really good shape. Both have holsters in decent shape. Neither one has a loading tool. Both have been gathering dust for decades.

If someone could shed any additional light on these beauties, I’d very much appreciate it.

Here’s what I’d love to find out:

How correctly to refer to each of these (as in, if I were selling them, what would I call them?)….Along with the manufacturer, year of manufacture, approximate NRA grade, ballpark high dollar and low dollar value, and the biggest question: If it turns out they’re too expensive for me to purchase, and I want to sell them on the open market for her, instead, should we have them professionally cleaned first? I could do it, but if these are likely multi-thousand dollar guns and I don’t trust myself enough not to screw something up doing that myself.

Pictures attached of the markings on the S/40. The Crown N's markings were pretty sparse, other than serial numbers and the Crown N. Won't let me add any more photos!

Thanks for your patience with a Luger Newbie.
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File Type: jpg IMG_3947.JPG (35.6 KB, 101 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3949.JPG (28.8 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3965.JPG (22.7 KB, 86 views)
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Old September 14, 2016, 04:33 PM   #2
Minorcan
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Sounds like a WWII bring back P08 and a surplus Police from you description. Non-Matching numbers greatly decreases value as does a reblue, etc.. There are many models and sources of manufacture which also impact value. And of course condition. To give you a better value pictures of the gun aa a whole would be needed. For example P08s issued to artillery units generally have longer barrels and are more rare making them worth more. Navy models are less common than other models as well. Having original war period holsters also are valuable but beware there are a lot of distressed modern imitations which are being represented as war is but are near worthless.
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Old September 14, 2016, 04:49 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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S/42 is the Mauser manufacturer's code, 1937 is the year made. Proof marks look normal. Better pictures needed to evaluate, matching numbers and original finish are big pluses. Matching magazines are good, a matching spare is great, a correct period holster is fine.
Simpson has very few Mauser Lugers for less than $2000, and no complete outfits under $2500, many are higher, some much higher. But those are strong retail prices. And collector prices vary widely depending on all sorts of minor detail.

A 7.65 is most likely some sort of commercial gun or contract to somebody like the Finns. If it is a DWM, it will say DWM on the toggle.
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Old September 14, 2016, 05:21 PM   #4
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More Pics of s/42

Yeah...Tough to guess what pictures you guys would need to see. This interface only allows me do three at a time. Here's a couple more pics of the p/08 and the holster...

Holster markings are: blA/1941and P/08

Thanks for your help.

I'm hoping this ends up being too expensive for me. I'm starting to get kind of attached to it and don't need to spend that kind of money!
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File Type: jpg IMG_3951.JPG (32.9 KB, 78 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3952.JPG (34.4 KB, 67 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3953.JPG (31.0 KB, 61 views)
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Old September 14, 2016, 05:48 PM   #5
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And these pics are of the DWM...

No other markings other than the logo and the crown, other than the serial number.
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File Type: jpg IMG_3964.JPG (30.9 KB, 61 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3956.JPG (34.1 KB, 57 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3958.JPG (31.1 KB, 56 views)
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Old September 14, 2016, 11:32 PM   #6
Northrider
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Those are fine looking pistols. Have you tried looking in the Blue Book of Gun Values? It might give you an idea of values.

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Old September 15, 2016, 12:45 AM   #7
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I'll have to find the right book to give you more information, will look tomorrow (I think I know where it is..)

Off the top of my head,...

S/42 is the code for Mauser, and it means that the pistol was made under military contract (made for the military). 1937 chamber date is the year of manufacture (I have a 1936 S/42).

Serial numbers were done in 4 digit blocks, starting at the beginning of the year. When the block was used up, they started over, with a letter added, A, B,C, etc. 4057, with no letter indicates the first production block of the year.

The Crown N is the commercial proofmark, meaning that gun was made for commercial (civilian) sale. It may have wound up in the hands of VOPO post war, but based on the proofmark, it was originally made for civilian sale.

Can't say about the .30, but an S/42 1937 in excellent condition all matching, was a $2k gun a decade ago. (in fair condition it was an $850 gun then)

Also, those holsters, 1941 dates, can add several hundred dollars value to the right collector.

When I dig out my copy of the Standard Catalog of Luger, I'll be back with some more info about both, hopefully.

Once fully identified (the .30, particularly) there are places where one can find the current market values.

Also, be aware that "current market value" and the asking price of a given gun can often vary. Sellers ASK huge amounts, hoping to get them. EVERY Luger is collectible, BUT only the good ones are "worth" what is asked.

There was a .30 American Eagle (1920s mfg commercial) at a shop I know, would have snapped it up for $400, as a shooter, (the finish was gone, and the metal was pitted and rough) but they wanted $1000!

It sat there for a LONG time. Apparently some desperate soul met their asking price, finally....

Nice guns, hope this helps...
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Old September 15, 2016, 10:19 AM   #8
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Holsters

Great info, guys! I figured this would be the place to go for help.

The first picture shows both holsters. The one with the metal clasp is the one for the s/42 and the other is for the DWM (or whatever we're calling it).

The next two pictures are of the markings on the two holsters. On the DWM holster, the markings were on the inside. On the S/40 holster, the markings were on the back.
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File Type: jpg IMG_3970.JPG (39.2 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3971.JPG (47.3 KB, 27 views)
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Old September 15, 2016, 10:26 AM   #9
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Magazines

And here are the mags...

The first picture is the mags for the S/42. The next picture is the detail on the bottom (matching serials with one indicating "+", which I assume indicates the extra mag). The third picture is of the mags for the DWM, which, upon further inspection this AM, must be replacement mags. I could find no matching serial numbers (or any markings at all--I went over and got these from her this AM so I can research (well, actually so I can play with) these when they're right in front of me.

Also agree it's probably better not to open these up to clean.
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File Type: jpg IMG_3974.JPG (34.3 KB, 29 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3973.JPG (26.3 KB, 24 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_3972.JPG (35.5 KB, 23 views)
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Old September 15, 2016, 10:57 AM   #10
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You can also try here...

http://forum.lugerforum.com/


Or here ...

http://luger.gunboards.com/activity.php

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Old September 15, 2016, 11:45 AM   #11
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Yes, join those two Luger sites Tipoc linked above. They will want much better pictures - and lots of them!

What is the family friend asking for them? How was top dollar established? Or is that your task to determine?
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Old September 15, 2016, 12:04 PM   #12
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OK, found my book!!!

Based on your pictures (and the assumption that the finish is original) your 9mm would be a

Mauser S/42 1937 Date Late Finish

"late finish" means the gun is entirely blued, including the trigger, take down lever and safety lever. The early finish guns had these parts straw colored.

Quantity made was approx. 89,000

This model is listed as "uncommon"

The mags should have a blue body, aluminum base, serial#d to the gun, and have the stick wing or droop wing E/63 acceptance mark.

Serial # range is 1501t to 400b

The full serial number is found on the bottom of the barrel, front of the frame, and the left side of the receiver. The last two digits of the serial number are on the breechblock (lower left side), extractor, front toggle link (bottom), rear toggle link (back), sear (left side), sear bar safety lever, side plate, takedown lever (bottom), thumb safety lever (top), trigger (top left), and grips (inside).

Obviously many of these markings can only be seen when the pistol is disassembled. I would not recommend you do that, without first being familiar with Lugers. However, if all outside numbers match, odds are high the inside ones will also. I would pull the grips off and check them.

The 2006 price guide (when my book was copyrighted) lists
Poor $500
Fair $750
Good $1,000
VG $1,500
Exc $2,000

Expect today's prices to be a bit higher...

Having BOTH original mags for the gun, plus a period correct holster is a serious value increase to the package. Having both original mags is very rare, and does command a premium, for the collector.

Now, the DWM .30 is a bit harder to pin down, and I would need more information about all the markings and specific model details to be able to pin it down, there are several variations. DWM marked guns basically run from 1906 to the late 20s when Mauser took over production.

So details of frame, toggle knobs (dished, flat, etc.) and some other parts matter in determining which variation it is. ALSO, it is possible that it is a rework gun which complicates things a bit more.

Hope this helps
edit to add: My book also says the "Crown N" was the German commercial Nitro proof, and was used on Lugers until the late 20s when Mauser took over production, and changed it to a "Crown U" marking, until 1940, when Nazi law required the Nazi proof (eagle) to be used.

So, based on what I have now, all I can say for sure about your DWM is that it was proofed sometime before the late 1920s. Beyond that, I can't say, sorry.
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Old September 15, 2016, 12:18 PM   #13
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Keep in mind the sellers getting top dollar are the people that have a well known reputation and many contacts in the business. They are also willing to wait months, years or longer before selling. If you want to help her out that's great, but you could end up spending hours of work so she can realize $200 more than just putting up a generic online auction.
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Old September 15, 2016, 12:42 PM   #14
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If you do field strip the Lugers, do them one at a time! Lots of mismatches over the years occurred while multiple pistols were cleaned side by side. And numbered parts got swapped by mistake.

If you do remove the grips, do so carefully, it's easy to break off the top corner of the left stock. This has happened to so many pistols it's called the "million dollar chip".
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Old September 15, 2016, 01:48 PM   #15
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The sellers getting top dollar are the people that know exactly what they have. Sounds like you friend knows they have value, but not much else.
"...a generic online auction..." Yep. There are 'real' auction houses that specialize in vintage firearms. Costs more though. Mind you, they also have a better idea of what stuff is worth and what they can get for it.
This is one. http://www.rockislandauction.com/vie...aid/63/lid/729
The Blue Book of Gun Values isn't accurate enough. It's approximately 2 years out of date(takes at least that long to compile and publish any book) and reflects average values from all over the U.S. with no regard for local supply and demand.
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Old September 17, 2016, 12:08 AM   #16
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7.65mm??
Hrm...is that one perhaps quite a bit SMALLER than a regular Luger??

If it's a Baby Luger, it may be a whole other realm of cash...
those are rare as heck, and pricey as heck...
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Old September 17, 2016, 09:08 PM   #17
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Hrm...is that one perhaps quite a bit SMALLER than a regular Luger??
Lugers were originally made in 7.65mm (.30 Luger), then were made in 9mm to meet German Milspec. The weapons are identical except for the barrel.
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Old September 17, 2016, 10:30 PM   #18
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Under the repressive Versailles Treaty, production of 9mm "military weapons" in Germany was strictly limited. A lot of WWI surplus guns were rebarrelled and a lot of parts on hand were assembled into 7.65 (.30 Luger) commercial pistols. If I see a .30 with a P04 Navy - P08 Army stock lug, I think of that family of guns first.
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Old September 18, 2016, 05:57 AM   #19
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I use Simpsons LTD as a bellweather for Lugers. https://www.simpsonltd.com/
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