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Unread 06-18-2024, 05:16 PM   #1
Bunswanna
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Default Need Help in Identifying Luger

Hello all, I was recently left this Luger by a relative. I am completely new to owning a Luger and was hoping to get a better idea of what I have here. I'm fairly certain that this is an Artillery Luger, so I hope I'm posting in the right forum.

It is a little worse for wear, especially on the left side, but I hope these pictures are what you're looking for when trying to I.D. Let me know if I can provide any more information.
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Unread 06-18-2024, 05:26 PM   #2
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It's a 1917 DWM LP.08, pretty much what you thought.
That was a year of very high production, because WW-1 was going on.

The barrel is numbered to the frame, which is a good thing.
The finish is in poor condition, with a lot of pitting and corrosion.
The serial number on the left side of the receiver is almost obscured.
I don't see any serial number ("91") on the side plate.

The grips appear to be in good condition. They may be numbered to the gun.
(Be careful removing the grips. Push out the right one first from the empty magazine well. Then the left one.)

I can't make out small part numbers that should be on the side plate and other parts.
The middle toggle has the correct number "91", but the ejector looks like it's numbered "04".
You will want to remove the receiver and look at the firing pin and hold-open for partial serial numbers, too (ie "91").

There is about 20% of the straw color remaining on the trigger, safety lever and takedown.
A lot of lugers look this way after being stored in poor conditions (water or even salt water), particularly on one side.

Hopefully water didn't damage the inside of the barrel.

The magazine looks like the right type, wrapped metal with wood bottom.

Last edited by Mac Cat; 06-19-2024 at 07:59 PM. Reason: typos and spelling corrections
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Unread 06-18-2024, 06:21 PM   #3
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Thank you very much for all this information.

I will check the number on the grips. When you talk about removing them, which side should I push out first from the empty magazine well?

And I'm looking for partial serial numbers of "91" hopefully on all parts. Is the middle toggle the part that also has the DWM stamp? My picture might not show it well, but the partial serial number on the top of the gun between the 1917 and DWM stamps is "91". The "9" is very faint. Is that the ejector? I'm scouring for any partial of "04" but I cant find it.

I found a Lugerman Inc video on disassembling a Luger so when I have the time I will check out the firing pin and inner parts and barrel a bit more thoroughly for more info. From the little research I've done, he seems like a reputable source for Luger information.

And last but not least, any suggestions on cleaning this baby up a bit would be much appreciated.

Thank you!
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Unread 06-19-2024, 12:18 PM   #4
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remove the right grip first, using your finger from inside of the magazine well.
Then carefully remove the left one. Be careful not to crack or chip it near the safety lever.

Glad to hear the small part is numbered "91" and just doesn't show up well in the photo.
That happens a lot.

While the grips are off, you can go over the entire gun with a light gun oil. That should be enough to clean off any left over gum, grease or old oil.

BALLISTOL is an excellent cleaning and preservative product that works well for the pistol and grips.

If you are only going to own one Luger, this would be the model to have.
It is iconic and was only produced for a few years before an during WW-1.

The finish is nearly gone, but having all matching parts is much more important.
This is the same make and model luger that I first bought for my own small collection.
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Unread 06-19-2024, 03:50 PM   #5
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OP, Congrats.

MacCat provided some very good info. Your relative was kind to leave you that Luger. I bought a 1917 DWM Artillery Luger last year and paid $2750. It was rather minty and numbers matching, but only had a period correct mag, that did not numbers match.

Carefully inspect, clean and lube your LP.08 as mentioned. Do you have a photo of the bottom of the wooden mag? Do the numbers match the Luger.

When you (carefully!) remove the grips, check for numbers on the back side. They may match, too.
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Unread 06-19-2024, 06:02 PM   #6
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I feel very lucky to have received it, learning more and more about Lugers recently has been really cool. I'm glad I found this forum, there is a ton of great info and many helpful folks such as yourselves in here.

I've attached a photo of the bottom of the wooden mag. It does not match the gun it looks like. Is there a way that I can tell if it is period correct?

I'm currently in the process of clearing a work area in the garage and waiting for some Ballistol to arrive. Hopefully this weekend I'll be giving it a light once over with the oil, removing the grips and removing the receiver and checking out the firing pin like Mac Cat suggested. And checking everything for matching numbers.

Am I right to assume most would consider this a shooter pistol?
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Unread 06-19-2024, 07:22 PM   #7
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I would not call it a shooter since it is original finish (albeit poor condition) along with matching numbers on the gun, but I would call it shootable. It retains some collector value but would not be overly sought after. Shooting it occasionally would probably be fine, and breaking a part won’t substantially hurt the value, more so would hurt collectibility. I have a few similar condition commercial Lugers which I use to mess around with, since I don’t worry about mucking up the finish at all on them. Other collectors may differ in opinion.
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Unread 06-19-2024, 07:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunswanna View Post
I feel very lucky to have received it, learning more and more about Lugers recently has been really cool. I'm glad I found this forum, there is a ton of great info and many helpful folks such as yourselves in here.

I've attached a photo of the bottom of the wooden mag. It does not match the gun it looks like. Is there a way that I can tell if it is period correct?

I'm currently in the process of clearing a work area in the garage and waiting for some Ballistol to arrive. Hopefully this weekend I'll be giving it a light once over with the oil, removing the grips and removing the receiver and checking out the firing pin like Mac Cat suggested. And checking everything for matching numbers.

Am I right to assume most would consider this a shooter pistol?
Your mag is wooden, so it is period correct for a 1917 Luger. The plus (+) stamp on the bottom means that it was a spare to the original mag issued with the number Luger. Do not load that wooden based mag. It is valuable and the mag springs even at this age can be stronger than the wooden base and break the wood. If you want to shoot it buy some Mec-Gar P.08 mags. They work just fine.

Given the finish, it is not highly valuable. All lugers are valuable. Some are more valuable than others. But, check the numbers as it may be all matching internals. You may not want to shoot it if it is all matching.
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Unread 06-20-2024, 01:45 PM   #9
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Ok good to know thank you for the info about not loading the magazine and about shooting it. Once I check it over for matching parts I'll give an update. I am still learning about how to categorize a Luger in the shape that I received mine.

Is it worth it to try some techniques to remove the rust and corrosion? I've seen some info on boiling the Luger parts so that it doesn't hurt the finish. Also using some fine steel wool to remove rust seems to be common.

And I've seen some will re-blue an old Luger, but would that hurt its value as a collectable?

Basically if I want it to keep as much value as possible, is there anything I can/should do to make it look better cosmetically?
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Unread 06-20-2024, 02:29 PM   #10
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Re-blued does make it a shooter. Fine steel (or bronze) wool would be the best idea for spot rust removal. Beyond that, Ballistol for the oil and conservation. It is really a do it all gun oil that also works for wood and leather where other gun oils can mess up the wood grips. I would categorize your pistol as a priceless family heirloom with some nominal collectible value. Without the family provenance it would be labeled as an entry level collectible. I personally call them “fondlers” or “shootable collectibles”.
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Unread 06-20-2024, 11:58 PM   #11
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Removing any red, active rust is the #1 priority. The 4-O steel wool should be lubricated with oil, and scrubbing too hard is to be absolutely avoided.

I think of my collection as collectible shooters!
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