SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  SIG Pistols    Tips for buying a Luger

Moderators: Chris Orndorff, LDD
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Tips for buying a Luger Login/Join 
Member
posted
A friend is interested in purchasing a Luger pistol. All he knows is it's a "German Luger manufactured in 1917". Seller is asking $1K. Id like to help my friend make a good decision, but I know next to nothing about pricing such a pistol. What questions should he be asking the seller? I think he's more interested in a shooter than a collectors piece.
 
Posts: 416 | Registered: February 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I used to work for a guy who was a Luger expert. He tried to get me interested in them but I did not really enjoy them. Someone will come along to add more info, but buying and collecting Lugers is a specialty all its own. I know you want the assembly pieces to be serial number matched.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 12627 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
posted Hide Post
A grand seems really cheap for a Luger. Either it’s a really good deal, or it’s a beater. Hard to tell without more info and pics.


______________________________________________
I believe in the 25th amendment.
 
Posts: 13843 | Location: Seattle-ish | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of p08
posted Hide Post
As a long time collector of those pistols I will say that at this point POS shooters bring $8-900. Ok, so things to look for a good one.
1. With a strong light or direct sunlight observe the color of the finish. Out of the light a dullish grey blue. In the light it should show a reddish hue. That is due to patina from old rust blue. This tells if the finish is old.

2. Check parts matching. Specifically the lower, upper and barrel all with the same 4 digit number. The frame will have a letter suffix if present. All small parts side plate, trigger take down lever safety lever and catch as well as the toggle train and firing pin and extractor will have the last 2 digits. Breech block is numbered underneath. More than likely the straw finish on the trigger and safety is gone.
3.With an Erfurt it will have the Erfurt proofs on all small parts.
4. Check grips for damage and they will have the last 2 digits on the inside. Check to make sure they didn't get broken near the safety lever.
Have posted some pics of one of my Erfurt guns to compare to it.




This message has been edited. Last edited by: p08,


Always the pall bearer, never the corpse.
 
Posts: 440 | Location: Illinois | Registered: December 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I freely admit (hindsight is great, aint it) that when my boss tried to get me into Lugers, my lack of interest was a big mistake. He even offered me a 95% DWM with matched numbers and original mags for free. I hate to think what it would be worth today, 35 years down the road.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 12627 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Frangas non Flectes
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by YooperSigs:
He even offered me a 95% DWM with matched numbers and original mags for free. I hate to think what it would be worth today, 35 years down the road.


You did what? Eek Eek Eek

Ouch, man, just... ouch. Frown


______________________________________________
I believe in the 25th amendment.
 
Posts: 13843 | Location: Seattle-ish | Registered: February 10, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Yep, I passed. I tend not to use the term "expert" but he was. A large portion of his business was buying Lugers from the estates of ex-GIs and then selling them to collectors. The gun he offered me, IIRC, was a 7.65 Commercial model. Frown He would have been all over P08s Erfurt.


End of Earth: 2 Miles
Upper Peninsula: 4 Miles
 
Posts: 12627 | Location: Marquette MI | Registered: July 08, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
His diet consists of black
coffee, and sarcasm.
Picture of egregore
posted Hide Post
quote:
He even offered me a 95% DWM with matched numbers and original mags for free.

 
Posts: 25140 | Location: Johnson City/Elizabethton, TN | Registered: April 28, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Thanks P08! How about tips for checking mechanical function. Is there anything to specifically watch out for, peening or rounding, etc. in certain areas? Also what about the magazine, I seem to recall that the mags were matched to the older guns.
 
Posts: 416 | Registered: February 01, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I very recently went down a rabbit hole on research on buying a Luger = maybe 10-12 hours of videos and website research on acquiring a luger. Okay, 10-12 is probably a tiny amount compared to true luger enthusiasts, but this was in a week prepping for the recent Nation's Gun Show.

I learned a lot. But, perhaps fortunately, the selection and prices for lugers at the show were not suitable for a purchase.
 
Posts: 3281 | Location: Alexandria, VA | Registered: March 07, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
P08. @p08

You posted that you are a long time collector of Lugers. I have a question for you would be so obliged to email me. I don't see a way to contact you directly.

To the OP, I went thru this same process years ago. I ended up with a DWM Luger from the early 1920's. They are great shooters. Mine is in .30 Luger. Only downside is mine can be a bit ammo picky.
 
Posts: 229 | Location: Chicago Area | Registered: November 16, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of p08
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Chuck Perry:
Thanks P08! How about tips for checking mechanical function. Is there anything to specifically watch out for, peening or rounding, etc. in certain areas? Also what about the magazine, I seem to recall that the mags were matched to the older guns.


Well first thing first is to look at the breech block removed from the gun. Guns that have been fired a lot can develop a crack at the back (see photo). The top block as you can see totally separated. There can also be damage to the breech face from dry firing the gun too much. The only other place to look is the "ears" where the toggle knobs contact the frame for peening. This is because of the misguided opinion that Lugers need +P++++++ to function properly. They do not! Other than those areas the gun is solidly built.
As far as magazines go, they were numbered and marked 1 and 2 for Police issue guns and a simple + for the 2nd mag on military guns. Commercial guns were unmarked save for the 1906 American Eagle in 9mm. Since that year was chambered in both 9mm and .30 Luger they marked them for the 9mm only. They stopped serializing them with the byf 41 when they went to Bakelite bottoms on the FXO mags.
All that said if you choose to shoot yours please use a Mec Gar magazine. 80-100+ year old wood or plastic bottoms are fragile and prone to cracking. This obviously destroys any value. I sold a Navy marked mag long ago for $300 by itself!

As far as safety goes, make sure the gun functions properly and use the correct ammo, they prefer 124gr standard 9mm. Most all function issues with Lugers are due to the magazine namely the feed lips and spring tension. The mags were numbered originally because they were all hand tuned to function for that pistol.



Always the pall bearer, never the corpse.
 
Posts: 440 | Location: Illinois | Registered: December 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
To the OP

You have been given good, correct information concerning the P08 Luger. Take the time to really look it over carefully, and if all is good, then that is a good price for a correct Luger.
 
Posts: 5820 | Location: Az | Registered: May 27, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Slayer of Agapanthus


posted Hide Post
After WW2 my grandfather was running a gas station. A customer stopped for gas but had no cash. The customer left a Luger as security and never returned. Years later the customer passed away. My grandfather somehow got into contact with the son and gave him the Luger back. It would be nice to have inherited a war trophy but I think that Mr. JMC did the right thing.

Good luck to your friend OP.


"It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye". The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, pilot and author, lost on mission, July 1944, Med Theatre.
 
Posts: 5592 | Location: Central Texas | Registered: September 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of p08
posted Hide Post
OP I would like to add one other thing on my mind. If your friend intends to shoot this gun on a regular basis I would suggest not. They are well made, but a 104 year old gun may not be the best choice. I would have him spend a bit more and buy an Original Mauser Luger made in the 70's with modern steel. For occasional shooting though the 1917 would be fine.


Always the pall bearer, never the corpse.
 
Posts: 440 | Location: Illinois | Registered: December 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by p08:
OP I would like to add one other thing on my mind. If your friend intends to shoot this gun on a regular basis I would suggest not. They are well made, but a 104 year old gun may not be the best choice. I would have him spend a bit more and buy an Original Mauser Luger made in the 70's with modern steel. For occasional shooting though the 1917 would be fine.


Good point. I've put a few rounds though a Russian capture, but I won't shoot any of my matching Lugers for fear of something breaking.
 
Posts: 823 | Location: WV | Registered: May 30, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of p08
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by jaybirdaccountant:
quote:
Originally posted by p08:
OP I would like to add one other thing on my mind. If your friend intends to shoot this gun on a regular basis I would suggest not. They are well made, but a 104 year old gun may not be the best choice. I would have him spend a bit more and buy an Original Mauser Luger made in the 70's with modern steel. For occasional shooting though the 1917 would be fine.


Good point. I've put a few rounds though a Russian capture, but I won't shoot any of my matching Lugers for fear of something breaking.


Out of my entire collection I have exactly 4 lugers that are shooters. All others are matching and would be greatly diminished in value if part was broken. So glad you take care of the good ones.


Always the pall bearer, never the corpse.
 
Posts: 440 | Location: Illinois | Registered: December 03, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of sourdough44
posted Hide Post
I’m no expert on the Luger, but have looked at them over the years. About 4-5 years ago I bought one from a somewhat reputable shop, lots of mil-surps.

I don’t have all the details here, it was prior or early WWII, matching numbers, seemed ok for the price. I paid $12xx.00. We shot it a handful of times, mostly a safe queen.

I think it would be hard to find any at $1k, unless there are issues of some type. I do know, the value & cost can vary widely.
 
Posts: 5027 | Location: WI | Registered: February 29, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Waiting for Hachiko
Picture of Sunset_Va
posted Hide Post
Interesting thread. I bought 2 Lugers back in the 80's , when prices were reasonable.
I guess these were just shooter grade pistols, and that's what I did, shoot them.

At the time the USAF went to a flat truncated FMJ style of ammo. I bought many boxes of this , handloading and shooting through those Lugers.

Of course, I didn't foresee how much the prices would escalate on Lugers back then, so they were traded off, for some other interest. Also, bought several steel framed P38's back then, I liked those better than the Lugers.

To the OP, good luck.


美しい犬
 
Posts: 6365 | Location: Near the Metropolis of Tightsqueeze, Va | Registered: February 18, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of Austin228
posted Hide Post
The DWM Luger I got from my grandpa had basically no grips when I started and already been refinished.

I didn't change the finish but I did have someone make/fit the new wood grips a long time back I can't remember exactly.

Luger shoots great even though I don't really bring it out.

(last time I did it flung a hot casing right in between my safety glasses, Luger has a tendency to fling empties straight up)

I use mec-gar magazines and its been 100% reliable.

I have no clue if anything matches because of the refinishing(area under the barrel isn't refinished and has the serial #)

 
Posts: 1232 | Location: Austin, TX | Registered: March 19, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata  
 

SIGforum.com    Main Page  Hop To Forum Categories  SIG Pistols    Tips for buying a Luger

© SIGforum 2021