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Unread 12-20-2004, 06:11 AM   #1
maddog350gt
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Post Krieghoff Luger SN 8523

Hi all,

Thanks to the members of the Forum for the information on the Krieghoff Luger, it was helpful. I went back to the Portland show to look at the Krieghoff. Because this gun is in 99% or better condition I felt it was a rework even though the stamps and marking were all very sharp and didnâ??t look like they had been buffed at all. The guy selling it said it was a rework because it didnâ??t have the Krieghoff thumb print on the back.. I did not know what the Krieghoff thumb print was so I asked the seller. He said it was a proof mark that was shaped like a small thumb print on the back of the toggle, and that this gun didnâ??t have one, it had been buffed off. I took him at his word and passed on his cash offer price. We haggled back and forth on a trade for another luger I was trying to sell but it was not worth very much and I knew it, we didnâ??t make a deal. We parted and wished each other a Marry Christmas. I took a quick tour of the show as people were closing up then headed out. I ran into the Krieghoff owner just outside where he was packing up his truck. We talked a little more and he offered me a trade on my luger and cash for the Krieghoff that I could live with. So now Krieghoff SN 8523 has been added to my meager collection (or as some have said â??accumulationâ?).

When I got home I went to my copy of â??The Krieghoff Parabellumâ? by Randall Gibson. One of the first things I did was to look up the â??Krieghoff Thumb Printâ? Gibson said this was a difference in the way the bluing adhered to the back of the frame because of the heat treating that Krieghoff did. Per Gibson; â??In proper light, the spot so hardened will appear as a greasy thumb print. This trait used to be an important determinant in detecting a re-blued pistol. Lately, however, restorers have mastered the art of replacing this hardened spot prior to rebluingâ? When I look at the back of the gun and held it so the light would bounce off at an angle I could clearly see the thumb print, exactly as it appears in Gibsonâ??s book. I donâ??t know how pronounced this should be as I donâ??t know Krieghoffâ??s very well, but this one looks to be as pronounced as the example used in the book. From the second part of Gibsonâ??s statement this is not a clear indication that the gun was not reblued, but it did cast doubt on the sellers reasons to believe it was reblued. When I had asked the seller about the rebluing, he said he didnâ??t know who did the rework or when it was done. If it is a rework the guy who did it was a master restorer (Thor if you see this tell me if you can identify the work, or who you know that would have the skill to do work of this caliber).

If 8523 itâ??s a rework I am in it at least as much as itâ??s worth, I am certainly okay with that as thatâ??s what I expected when I bought it. But now I am not sure it is a rework. All of the stamps are sharp and where they are suppose to be. All of the machining variations that Gibson notes are as they should be for a Krieghoff. I can see the thumb print on the back frame, but only when the light is at the right angle. The bluing on the receiver is starting to tint a very subtle plum color suggesting it has aged (I donâ??t know if you will be able to see this in the pictures, in strong light I donâ??t notice it). I have seen this same color on 1938 and 39 era Mausers that were salt blued.

I check most of the small parts, the toggle parts side plate takedown lever sear-bar, firing pin, extractor, magazine release, recoil lever, safety lever, grips, etc are all marked with the correct e/2 Krieghoff stamps(two variations, mixed, as Gibson says is correct) . All of the parts that should be serial numbered are and in the proper palaces (many out of sight on the backs of the parts) (Note: the magazine release button is not Straw but a darker â??Fireâ? blue color, Gibson says this is correct for a gun in the 8000 serial number range). None of the markings look like they have been buffed. I know that most are hidden and would not normally be buffed but all of them are sharp and do not show any signs of deterioration at all. All of the sharp edges of the gun are still sharp and do not show any buffing. The only really strong case for the gun being re-blued is that it is too nice. It appears to have little or no wear at all. Any insight into how to tell if it is a re-blue other than what I have already looked for would be appreciated. If the gun was re-blued I canâ??t see any obvious reason for it. No pits are left or incompletely buffed out. No traces of rust or abuse under the grips or on the interior of the frame. The contours of the gun do not appear to be altered, and all of the edges are sharp. One thing that I did note was the back of the frame (where the thumb print is) doesnâ??t have any pronounced marks where the toggle has come back and hit it, so it appears the gun has not been fired very much if at all. The picture Gibson used in his book to show theâ? thumb printâ? looks very much the same, without any impact marks from the toggle.

I would be appreciative of any information the members of the forum could give me on Krieghoff lugers and identifying reworks. When I bought it I was sure it was a rework, when I got it home and went through it I started having doubts. I wonâ??t be disappointed if it is a rework as thatâ??s what I expected, but I would be elated if it turned out to be original. Probably at the very least it is not just a re-blue but a quality restoration.

Comments Welcome
Bob M.














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Unread 12-20-2004, 11:39 AM   #2
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Sounds like a job for JOHN D. !!! Are you listening OLD MAN? he may be too busy to check posts until he finishes the upgrade programming on our new forum format... but be patient... his opinion is worth the wait...

Sure looks like a nice pistol to ME!
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Unread 12-20-2004, 12:29 PM   #3
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Bob,
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Unread 12-20-2004, 08:47 PM   #4
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Hi Bob,

If you consider your HK holster could be worth $ 450-600 alone, you got a pretty good deal on the pistol...with the asking price of the rig at $ 2500 only...

Regards,

Pete...
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Unread 12-20-2004, 09:01 PM   #5
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Pete,

Unfortunately the guy wasn't telling me the truth about the holster it's not a Luftwaffe marked holster just a 1937 army marked. The holster looks like it was one of the Finish or Norwegian holsters that were converted to the US style hanger. It been repaired and the holes plugged the original belt loops are still there but it's not as valuable as I first thought. If I get a chance I'll post some pictures of the holster to night.

The good news is I didn't give him $2500 for the rig. I give him my 1916 (I had $500 cash in that) and $1400 cash. I got the gun, the holster, two correct era Mouser magazines and an original imperial marked tool for my $1900. As I said, if it is a refinish I am probably in it what it's worth. The gun really looks good, and is done extremely well. If it's a refinish I wouldn't think there are more than one or two people in the country that could do the quality of work on it without leaving some evidence it had been reworked. That alone means its worth what I paid for it to me.

Bob M.
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Unread 12-20-2004, 10:44 PM   #6
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Hi Bob,

I'll write a fuller explaination when I have a moment about your 1937 HK (I'm sort of busy writing code for the Forum upgrade - WHILE IT'S LIVE!! )...

Anyway - I'm 99% certain your HK is NOT refinished of refurbished. Based on your photos, here is what I see (and I presume that your pictures are from a scanner - NOT a digital camera. Scanner washes out the straw on the high edges - accounting for the change in tones, for example, the picture of the trigger).

Anyway - here is what I see....

1- The overall stamps/proofs are correct, as is the serialization of the parts shown. All look like they are original, and without being recut after a polish by someone refinishing. The most telling is the LWaA2 on both the frame rail and the front - right - forward of the cannon.

2- Your takedown still shows the HK buffing tell-tale. It appears correct.

3- The toggle ramps are correctly fire hardened. The thumbprint is often redone, but the toggle ramps are often overlooked. Yours are correct given what I see as to how they are done.

4- The magazine release is fireblued as well. 1937s and other production years can have either (some years more then other types noted) - BUT - if you look at the blued frame and corresponding blue of the mag release, the fireblue ages differently then the frame. Your's appear correct, as the aging of the frame blue can't be replicated and the contrasting mag release.

5- front lug area on the cannon. Excellent. Most HKs that have been "done" by expert "restorers" will have the barrel matching the blue on the barrel, especially where it is joined. Your's rather - appears correct in both tone and hue differences.

6- The GESICHERT stamp is correct, and that area has NOT been tampered with. The die stamp, in 1937 - shows the wear points and die-roll over you see on yours. If your HK was "redone" - that definition would be lost.

7- The toggle stamp looks absolutely correct. The last "F" would roll off. I'm interested in a better photo of the side of the center toggle to be certain, but yours appears correct and original in the photo that I can see.

8- Chamber Date. The depth and the "3" as a descender is absolutely correct. As well, the die stamps and serifs look correct, as does their original depth and sharpness.

Anyway - again, let me take a closer look tomorrow. As well - if you'd like it verified, please feel free to send me a PM, and I can make arrangements to look at it in person, if you'd like....

Hope this helps!

John D.
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Unread 12-20-2004, 11:15 PM   #7
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John,

Thank you for your reply and the time you took to look at what I have posted. I'll try to post more pictures of the center toggle link.

Actually I did take these pictures with a digital camera, I just don't have the light thing worked out very well. I either end up with too much light with dark shadows or missing detail or I flood it and wash out some of the color and contrast.

I'll send you a PM and we can discuss an in person review. I would be very grateful.

Thanks,
Bob M.
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Unread 12-21-2004, 12:24 AM   #8
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whooweeeyyyy! That sounds like you got a heck of a nice one!





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Unread 12-21-2004, 12:35 AM   #9
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My post above got trashed, but I'll repost my comment.

If I remember correctly, the muzzle crown on this gun is blued, not polished. There's nothing I could find in Gibson to tell if this is correct or not.

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Unread 12-21-2004, 01:47 AM   #10
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Dwight,

Yes you are correct the guns muzzle crown is blued. I think we missed a response or two when the site switched servers. I saw your questions this morning and wrote you a note then, but I donâ??t see it now. There was another response from a forum member who reported that the two Krieghoffs he had both had polished crowns.

I also looked through Gibson to see if I could find a reference to the muzzle crown and didn't find anything. In reference to the two Krieghoffs the other forum member reported neither were in the 1937 production range. I don't know how relevant the information is, it seems there is a lot of differences in Krieghoff production from year to year. Even interspersed within a group as well, but it is one thing that could indicate a re-finish. I would be surprised if the restorer was able to hit all of the subtleties than John indicated but missed something as obvious as the muzzle crown, but it could certainly happen. From what I have seen so far, I am encouraged but not convinced. I will try to arrange a personal inspection by John.

Your concerns are noted and I will try to follow up with additional research. Anyone on the Forum want to comment on the muzzle crown and if it is blued or not? Especially on 1937 dated Krieghoffâ??s.

Bob M.
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Unread 12-21-2004, 02:00 AM   #11
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John,

Here are some more pictures of the center toggle link. If you can tell me more precisely what you want to see Iâ??ll try to get better pictures of it. I still donâ??t like the lighting system I have, I will see what I can do about that as well.














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Unread 12-21-2004, 02:16 AM   #12
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John,

Here is a couple more picture. I went back and re-read your post and this might be more what you wanted to see. Let me know if you want anything else.

Bob M.



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Unread 12-21-2004, 10:45 AM   #13
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Hi Bob...!!!!

First - I edited your posts - so I can look at all the pics in order.. Hope you don't mind..!!!

Second - those toggle pictures are EXACTLY what I wanted to see - thank you!

Finally - based on what I can see - I'm 99.999% certain your 1937 is NOT refinished in any way. The "KRIEGHOFF" is exactly correct, and originally - in the first set - I couldn't really tell with the last "F", as to whether it had been buffed over. But, with the new pics - it's the overall placement and sizing of that stamp type that appears exactly as it should. Your's is not the only HK where the lead "K" or the "F" overhang has been polished. If you look at Gibson's Photos in the Military Section - I believe his "1936" shows the same attribute. My 1937 also shows a die offset, but not as pronounced as yours.

Further - the digits/proofs as well as the underside of the toggle train are EXACTLY CORRECT! - And, I don't believe they have been touched. Note the center link pin and the heat discoloration? On "restored" HKs - you'll typically find these were "re-blued". Yours has NOT been messed with at all.....

While I'd want to personally inspect it to verify what I'm saying is correct based on your photos - I'm pretty convinced I'm right and that your HK still has it's original finish....



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Unread 12-21-2004, 12:56 PM   #14
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John,

Thanks again for your time. I sent you a Private message yesterday, when you get time get back to me and we will set up a personal inspection. In the meantime, this is great news, this is not the kind of thing that usually happens to me. It's the other guy who get's the terrific deal on a Luger someone just wants to get rid of and buy's if for a song. What's funny in this case is the seller almost had to force this down my throat because I didn't want to buy a refinished gun I would have trouble getting rid of latter.

Bob M.
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Unread 12-21-2004, 02:15 PM   #15
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But bob, you did some research, looked it over carefully, and then made the purchase.

Exactly what a true collector should do!
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Unread 12-21-2004, 06:36 PM   #16
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Re work or original. That is one nice Luger!
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Unread 12-21-2004, 08:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by maddog350gt
........Anyone on the Forum want to comment on the muzzle crown and if it is blued or not? Especially on 1937 dated Krieghoffâ??s.....
Hi Bob,

Sure - I'll comment.

The muzzle crown throughout production - including post-war - can be correct either way (either blued or polished, and the wear on the pistol itself as an indicator). I believe it says something to what order HKs were manufactured, rather then a definative conclusion as to whether an HK has been "restored" or boosted.

My guess?

Your 1937 shows a slightly different blue (almost transparent, with a "highlight" on the ridge above the crown) then the deep, uniform blue that would be found throughout the rest of the firearm.

Now - I haven't seen your HK to know for sure - but I suspect that's the case. As well - the "crown" is different then the end of the muzzle...

Best to you!

John D.
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Unread 12-21-2004, 10:07 PM   #18
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John,

I guess I am confused, I thought the muzzle crown was the end of the muzzle? This is the area that is blued that normally is not on other Luger manufacturers. Agin I don't know if this is correct for Krieghoff or not? I am not sure I am understanding your comments correctly.

Bob M.
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Unread 12-21-2004, 10:22 PM   #19
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Hi Bob,

The end of the barrel is usually called the end of the barrel.. The "crown", to be exact - is the chamfer degree from the end of the actual bore/rifling to the highest point on the end of the barrel. Many use these terms incorrectly and interchangeably - but they, indeed are different.

To be exact - the barrel crown is concentric to the bore, so that all points of the bullet exit the barrel at exactly the same time with the same degree of deflection at its exact moment of exit. If the crown, at its points, is "off" or "dinged", the bullet, at exit - is deflected inaccurately. For example - many 1911 barrels are re-cut and re-crowned at 45 degrees, based on the bore and rifling, and its expected use.

In short - the crown only has to encompass the end of the "bore" overall (including the rifling) diameter - and has nothing to do with the muzzle end (which is larger - and protects the "crown") and the crown ties into at it's highest point. That "end point" or the entire end of the barrel - isn't really the "crown", if you see what I mean???..

So - anyway, back on topic - the end of your barrel on your HK can be blued or polished (or shades, depending on the factory process) - and still be correct as noted.. The "crown" can be either as well, as still be correct. These two features do speak to how HKs were manufactured, again - IMHO....

Hope this helps....!

John D.
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Unread 12-21-2004, 10:30 PM   #20
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John,

Thanks for the clarification, now I understand the difference between the crown and the end of the muzzle. You learn something evey day if you pay attention.

Thanks,
Bob M.
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