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Old October 16, 2010, 06:45 PM   #1
Ben Cartwright SASS
Join Date: November 10, 2009
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 38
DWM 1939 Luger E. German Police no Serial No on Frame - Question

I was at a gun shop today and was looking at a Luger for sale, it has numbers on the Slide the barrel the take down lever, safety that all match, the toggle doesn't. It has the sunburst in front of the serial number on the slide, saying E.German Police rework.

I didn't notice until later that there was no serial number on the front of the frame. The front of the frame has the same blueing as the rest of the frame with about the same amount of where and age.

Has anyone ever seen a Luger, especially and E.German rework, that doesn't have a serial number on the frame. What ramifications could it have and would it be legal to register?

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Old October 16, 2010, 07:26 PM   #2
James K
Join Date: March 17, 1999
Posts: 24,160
Maybe it is not as obvious "in person" but it is pretty clear in the pictures that the grip frame number has been removed. Normally the receiver, the part the barrel screws into, does not have the full serial, only the numbers without the suffix letter. BATFE has ruled that on Lugers, the receiver (what you call the slide) is the gun, since it can be fired without the grip frame. But normally only the grip frame has the full serial number, with the letter suffix.

I don't think the E. Germans removed that number; I think the importer was told to by US customs or BATFE. Then the full number, with the letter suffix, was put on the receiver, the part BATFE sees as being the gun. The number shown is obviously not original, having a totally different font from the one used in 1939.

It seems to me that the potential problem is that what was done, and I am fairly certain it was done at the orders of BATFE, violates the law against removing the serial number and puts a person possessing the gun in a bind since possession of a gun with a serial number removed is a violation of the law.

If I were the dealer, I would immediately contact BATFE, in writing, asking for a revenue ruling and a full explanation to clear him and his customers.

Jim K
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Old October 17, 2010, 09:31 AM   #3
Ben Cartwright SASS
Join Date: November 10, 2009
Location: Massachusetts
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I just checked and there are no import marks anywhere on the gun. All the guns I have seen imported since 68 (?) had import marks somewhere on the gun.

I will be calling the dealer regarding this issue.
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Old October 19, 2010, 06:47 AM   #4
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I don't think any VOPO's had serial numbers removed. Lugers are great fun, treat it as a shooter - that's what it is. $500 - $800. Absolutely no collectors value which means - negotiate the price.
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Old October 20, 2010, 09:32 PM   #5
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Shooter luger

And I don't think you would be in legal trouble about the serial number (note, I am not a lawyer, so my opinion is worth what you paid for it), but factories and gunsmiths can renumber guns, and it is legal.

While it does appear that the frame serial number has been removed, the gun still has a serial number. And, the gunshop where you saw it has it listed in their book, under some number, likely the one on the receiver. Ask them.

A gun made (before 1968) without a serial number is entirely legal. A gun with a defaced/removed serial number is not. A gun with a replaced serial number is legal, providing it was done in a legal manner. You or I could renumber a gun, provided we got Fed approval, and registered it under the new number, as I understand the law.

I could be in error, and you should check with both the BATFE and a firearms lawyer for the straight info.

Since the Luger has been altered, its collector value is nil. Its a shooter, and I think a legal one, although a bit oddly numbered.
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