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Unread 01-06-2008, 05:58 AM   #1
A.Mifsin
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Default Sight adjusting tool For the Artillery

I am looking for some information regarding the sight adjusting tool for the Artillery.
In Jan C Still Imperial Lugers pg 113 fig 41a there is only a caption regarding this tool.
In Mauro Baudino's Book Luger Artiglieria Page 59 is in more detail, but not what I am looking for. What I wish to know is the source from were they were made, material and and if they have been stamped. It seems that neither DWM and Erfut made them. Thank you All
Alf
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Unread 01-06-2008, 06:16 PM   #2
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Unread 01-06-2008, 07:22 PM   #3
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Hello Alf,

The original WWI MILITARY sight adjustment tools had a 'bulb' shape wooden handle (for better gripping when wearing gloves), and they were usually included in an armourer's kit. The armourer was responsible for mainataining weapons in the field, and the sight adjustment tool was NOT a standard issued part to soldiers who carried LP-08 rigs. If a soldier's pistol required any adjustment, he would ask the armourer to perform the job who was skilled in his duty.

Those that are shown above are modern copies, except for the one with the wooden handle which was produced in the 1920-30's for the commercial market. When examining an original sight adjustment tool, the two pins are absolutely PERFECT with no visible mill marks present whatsoever on the pins and the base.

I am providing an image of a genuine sight adjustment tool. The rod is made of brass (not steel), and there are no markings on the tool. An original sight adjustment tool can fetch easily fetch over $350.

Happy hunting,
Albert

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Unread 01-06-2008, 08:56 PM   #4
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This is the only tool Eugene Bender shows in his big book on Luger Holsters and Accessories.

I have always wonders who could actually use those little metal tools we see for sale at gun shows. The sights are usually rusted/frozen in place. Who's fingers could be strong enough to use that little metal tool to loosen the adjusting screw...???....

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Unread 01-07-2008, 01:39 AM   #5
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Thank you All for this great information. Anybody with an original tool for sale, contact me. :-)
Alf
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Unread 01-07-2008, 06:06 AM   #6
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I'm I the only one who has broken repro tools?

I have two of the brass types with metal pins on my conscience. The pins broke off with very little torque..
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Unread 01-07-2008, 09:20 AM   #7
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Pete, EXACTLY! - that's the reason why those 'cheap' sight adjustment tools are fakes/copies. The majority of 'stuff' we notice is to create 'fantasy' because most collectors lack the understanding regarding the criteria/standards that were expected for the German Army during the wars without forgetting the harsh conditions where they fought battle. For example, how could a soldier turn a 'jammed' sight with a tiny tool having a thin handle when it was -20C while wearing gloves? In those freezing conditions, his numb hands were usually in his pockets keeping his nuts warm!!

The rod of a sight adjustment is brass because it does not corrode as easily as metal. Everything that was produced in Germany to exact specifications had a specific reason.

Albert
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Unread 01-07-2008, 01:01 PM   #8
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Albert,

I'll go with you to a certain degree but I'll have to make some comments:

Nr. 1: Nobody was expected to turn the sights in harsh conditions. The gunsmiths usually set up shop at a sheltered location and privates were not expected to mess with the sights.

Nr. 2: The adjusting screws will not be unique to the LP08, they would have found their way onto other equipment, also needing to be adjusted.

Nr. 3: German quality is mostly based on myths. Lack of self initiative and the ease with which people tended to shift responsibility to the one above them led to some pretty idiotic rules, regulations and contraptions. German standardization and production methods were based on American methods.

Nr. 4: Contrary to popular belief, the LP08 managed to outlive WW1 and the Versailles treay without much problems. Surplus guns were pressed into service in other countries and many were stored for later use.

Therefore I won't pass most of them off as them fakes that easily, In my opinion many are adjusting tools, just not LP08 adjusting tools. Of course, there will be recent copies or fantasy pieces, but it's too easy to discard everything that doesn't look like one tool as a fake or copy.

It's an area that needs further investigation, that's for sure.
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Unread 01-07-2008, 01:38 PM   #9
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I have one of the puny small brass tools first time I tried it the pins came out with very little pressure applyed. Steinar you are no alone..

Richie
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Unread 01-07-2008, 03:47 PM   #10
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Hello friends,
I would like to add to this interesting discussion a few points.

So far, I was not able to find out any clear evidence of this tool in any historical document (pictures, manuals, blue-printsâ?¦) therefore it is difficult, at least for me, propose a definitive statement on it.
Consequently, I can only basis my assumption on speculation. On this basis, I will say that I agree with Albert about the fact that the â??originalâ? tool needs to be easy to grip and use (and I agree with Gerben too, when he is saying that the field gunsmiths were not working in the first line). For this reason, I will not put â??a prioriâ? the T tool in the â??not genuine WWI militaryâ?. In fact, to me, the T tool can offer the same advantages in term of â??gripâ? that the wooden-handle one.

Just for information, when in 1986 Mauser decided to commemorate the LP08, it decided to associate as sight adjusting tool a T model (see picture above).

The tools proposed by Pat in the picture are the same proposed in my book (same source) and, if I remember correctly, the one on the right is stamped with a gothic letter.

I hope this helps.

Have fun.

Mauro

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Unread 01-08-2008, 02:50 AM   #11
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Gerben & Mauro,

Thank you for comments which are welcomed on this interesting topic.

Gerben, I agree with your point #1, #2 and #4, but I tend to disagree with your point #3. I cannot determine if German standardization and production were based on American methods, nonetheless, German quality excelled those of American factories. It was important to the German people, the workers and the Armed forces to receive high quality products, no matter its size.

If a collector wishes to be specific regarding which type of sight adjustment tool was used during WWI for the LP-08, I could say with a high degree of confidence that it would be one with a wooden handle. Why would a German firm change a design of a tool that functions perfectly in the first place? When the adjustment screws were eliminated on the LP-08 sights in 1917, what would have been the reason to make so many different types of tools afterwards (even into WWII) when LP-08 pistols no longer had adjustment screws after WWI? If we accept that surplus LP-08 pistols were pressed into service after WWI (in other countries as well), I do not believe that so much attention would be placed into the production of sight adjustment tools for a pistol that was going to receive limited use. As we tend to agree, a sight adjustment tool was likely included in an armourer's repair kit in WWII (which not many were produced and afterwards survived), so why do we encounter so many of the poor quality variations? Obviously, somebody is making them and many collectors want to believe that they are original? What criteria would you use to distinguish between an original and fake sight adjustment tool? Before WWII, the quality in German firearm companies was not lowered, so other types of sight adjustments have to be scrutinized.

Mauro presents a good theory about the T-shape tool, but if this tool was made pre-1945, I guess that its purpose was for adjusting sights of carbines if the sights were equipped with fine adjustment screws. My knowledge with rifles/carbines is small, so I am not sure what configurations were available at that time.

To summarize, if a collector wants to buy an original sight adjustment tool that was for the LP-08 used in WWI, I would recommend leaning towards a tool with a wooden handle instead of one of the other suspicious variations. Collecting is all about a person's level of satisfaction and how much he wants to spend!

Have fun,
Albert
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Unread 01-08-2008, 05:35 AM   #12
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Albert,
I agree 100% with your statment regarding Gerben's no 3 comments, quality was a mainissue with German Factories.
When you said"" that When the adjustment screws were eliminated on the LP-08 sights in 1917, ""
Does it apply to all LP08 made during 1917, because I have an LP08 1917 that has both adjusting screws on front and rear sight.
Alf.
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Unread 01-08-2008, 08:10 AM   #13
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Hi Albert, Alf,

If you take the time to study the history of the major German companies during the last part of the 19th century and the early part of the 20th century, you will find that they based their production methods and the concept of interchangeability on American methods. All major contributors spent considerable time in the USA, trying to learn the American methods.

There is no doubt whatsoever that the German DIN standard, pioneered by Ludw. Loewe & Cie, was based on ideas and methods formulated in the USA.

About German quality: The theory of interchangeability of parts fell through when it came to the parabellum pistol. Just about 50% of all guns produced failed their first shooting tests. The weaknesses of the German ways of thinking also played a large part in their defeat during WW2. The USA (and Russia) managed to produce satisfactory products in great quantities using standardized components. The Germans tried to use rocket science on just about every small part they tried to build, with the result that they produced overcomplicated, bug-ridden, badly performing equipment in too limited quantities even if they had better specs on the drawing boards.

During the last years of WW2 the production methods were also hindered by too much red tape, too little knowledge on management levels and the strictly hierarchical structures by which the country was led.

The P08 design is a nice example: From day one on, the design was too expensive and had way too many machine steps, some of which were quite idiotic and could have been substituted by easier, faster steps without much problems. The Swiss managed to tweak the design and Mauser eventually succeeded in the 1970s.

There is a level of difference between 'quality' and 'overengineering'. In my mind, the Germans were (and still are) experts in overengineering.

Quality can best be described as the ability to produce something in a manner that meets demands in levels of functionality, cost effectiveness, reliability and ease/speed of production.

The P08 design, for example, failed to meet demands of cost effectiveness and ease/speed of production. And that's what killed it in the end.
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Unread 01-08-2008, 08:12 AM   #14
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Fine-tune sights continue to appear on 1917 LP08s as well as 1918 LP08s. They are sporadic and inconsistent as to which sight. Apparently a matter of using up existing parts inventories. It seems that it was not a practice to pull from older inventories first but rather from the top of the pile.
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Unread 01-08-2008, 08:28 AM   #15
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A final note on the little brass tools:

As Pete stated, they will not work very well after 90+ years, which is perfectly sensible. They were not designed to adjust a screw that has 90 years worth of crud and rust lodged between it.

I used the small brass tool with ease on the rear sight screw of a badly pitted, LP08 warhorse. But I couldn't free up the front sight screw which was rusted in place.

So I guess the most interesting question remains: Has anyone actually seen proper, era documentation of the sight adjusting tool? Are there complete WW1 armorers tool kits around which contain them?

Without proper documentation, the items we take for 'LP08 sight adjusting tools' may just as well be Zundapp Carburettor Adjusting tools
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Unread 01-08-2008, 09:58 AM   #16
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""Without proper documentation, the items we take for 'LP08 sight adjusting tools' may just as well be Zundapp Carburettor Adjusting tools "
The best so far

Alf
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Unread 01-08-2008, 10:48 AM   #17
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After reading about others' experiences with the little brass sight adjusting tools, I thought I should see if mine would even work. It did work on the rear sight; however, the front sight could not be moved. I was afraid to apply much force, since others reported the little points on the spanner would break. So I soaked the entire front sight in Gunk brand "Liquid Wrench" for about an hour. When I tried again, the front screw came free and now turns nicely.

So "Liquid Wrench" did the trick.

I do have one question though, does anyone know exactly how many turns the rear sight adjustment screw should be able to turn? The one on my 1915 will only rotate about 1/8th of a turn in either direction. I know this does not sound like much, but this should result in a substantial change in bullet impact at the longer ranges. Does anyone know what is the correct amount that the rear adjustment screw should be able to be rotated?

It also appears that the rear sight can be set at distances between the scale shown on the sight. By this I mean that it appears it can be set at even distances in hundreds of meters, plus exactly another 50 meters; i.e., 100 meters; 150 meters; 200 meters; 250 meters; 300 meters; 350 meters; etc.

Also, here is a picture of the front sight on this particular 1915 artillery. As you can see, the front sight was far out of line compared to the reference marks on the front sight base. However, it is now easily adjusted by the little brass tool. I now have it set exactly on the center reference mark.

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Unread 01-08-2008, 12:31 PM   #18
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Please disregard the question I asked in my previous post. I tried putting some more "Liquid Wrench" on the rear sight, and now the fine tuning screw will make serveral revolutions in either direction. It now works fine.

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Unread 01-08-2008, 10:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by G. van Vlimmeren
Hi Albert, Alf,

There is a level of difference between 'quality' and 'overengineering'. In my mind, the Germans were (and still are) experts in overengineering.

Quality can best be described as the ability to produce something in a manner that meets demands in levels of functionality, cost effectiveness, reliability and ease/speed of production.
Gerben,

I agree with you that German factories 'over-engineered' their products, but I guess that they were proud of their results even if it cost more money to manufacture. You and I probably rate 'quality' differently where you define it as "functionality, cost effectiveness, reliability and ease/speed of production" whereas I define it as precision and end results. The two factors that I have mentioned does not mean that it functions better. It is like comparing a Mercedes Benz car against a Honda car. Do not misunderstand me, the Honda car is a very good vehicle and it is cheaper to maintain, but the Mercedes Benz car is a better quality automobile and more expensive to maintain. At the end of the day, it is the standards of each country to determine what they want to give to the market or their people.

I believe that 'quality' is only an opinion, but if we use the same yardstick to measure the standards that each country wants to achieve, the German factories have a strong philosophy for practical use and also to produce quality even if the process is complicated. I do not know if the ideas and techniques originated from the US, but if they did learn it from the Americans, they sure improved upon it. Maybe the Chinese are doing the same today against the Americans and they will eventually over-take the Americans using their large work force and cheap labor! I guess we foreigners need to thank the US for all we have gained!!

Gerben, you have a good sense of humour and maybe the adjustment tool was originally made for another purpose! Nothing wrong about scratching our heads until we find the answer with the absence of any real documentation.

Cheers,
Albert

Alf, I would like to clarify that 1917 LP-08 pistols can still be found with adjustible sights as old inventory was being used up.
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Unread 01-08-2008, 11:32 PM   #20
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Something to consider is the length of the 2 pins..In Patrice's wood handled model and Bender's the pins are very short. In the first photo of this thread the 3 pins on the brass models to the left are very long.
My theory is that the longer the pin the better chance of being fake.
The only one of these I had was a brass type of the long steel pin variety and it broke immediately any pressure was applied.
The pins, as small a diameter as they are need to be short to survive.
The longer the pin the more fragile. The Germans knew better than to make long pins....

One other point I want to make about German thinking. German Tanks in WW2 are a prime example. They produced a veritable Disneyland of Tank models. Big ones little ones on and on. You could fill a book with the many models of German armored vehicles.
The Soviets built the wide tracked , for mud, low slung, powerful T34 and it left battlefields littered with Tigers and Panthers.
One kind of Tank solved many of the Soviets logistic parts problems. The Germans could not keep spare parts in inventory for so many models...

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