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Unread 08-03-2023, 08:40 PM   #1
RobSki
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Hello All, I have acquired 4 guns and and looking to get some info on them. First of all I am not a collector and am not knowledgeable on these guns. If this is not the right place to ask for help, please let me know. I have been tasked by a family member to sell them for and elderly member of our family, and I just want to get an idea of fair value for the guns for him. I have 3 Lugers and 1 Walther P38. Two of the three Lugers are what you would call parts guns because of the non matching serial numbers. The other Luger seems to have all matching. I will post pictures of the all matching on this thread. Any help would be appreciated and thanks for your time.
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Unread 08-03-2023, 09:39 PM   #2
Edward Tinker
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What I see is a DWM WW1 luger, it was made in 1918 (or is it 1916), then it received the 1920 property marking (see the FAQ for further info), then at some point in the 1920's it went into police service, it has a sear safety.
Nice police luger
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Unread 08-03-2023, 10:30 PM   #3
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As Ed says, it is a 1918 DWM luger with the 1920 property stamp. A matching police magazine helps the value. If you go to Gunbroker.dot.com, you can click on the 'Advanced' search tab. Then click on the 'Completed Items' tab about a third of the way down the page. After you do that, type 'police luger' into the search bar. You'll see a number of police lugers (look at the final selling prices...not the asking prices). Most lugers, like the majority of other C&R guns on Gunbroker, sit for lengthy periods of time because people ask ridiculous money for them. Completed items will give you a rough idea of where your pistol sits. There are typically a number of police lugers on there with matching magazines.
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Unread 08-04-2023, 01:16 AM   #4
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It began life as an Artillery Luger with an 8 inch barrel and tangent rear sight. The original barrel has been replaced with a short barrel and the rear toggle link replaced by one with a rear sight as the Artillery Luger rear toggle link didn't have a sight. The new barrel and toggle link as well as the sear safety were likely done during a rebuild at a Police repair facility.
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Unread 08-04-2023, 08:59 AM   #5
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Wow, thank you all for the great responses. This is a very knowledgable community.
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Unread 08-04-2023, 11:08 AM   #6
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We publish a FAQ document with detailed information about the markings and history of Lugers. Just follow the FAQ link at the top of every page to find the post with the PDF. It's useful reference information.

Completed Online auction sales are a good way to determine current value, but Lugers have a huge number of variations and must be evaluated for quality and originality.

The most detailed analysis is likely done on Lugers, consequently with the greatest variability.

Minor issues, like replacement of parts, can considerably drop the Luger's value to collectors. Some parts on your Luger have markings that may indicate they were replaced, affecting it's value to collectors. (Side plate). Internal parts may also have been replaced, and need to be inspected.
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Unread 08-04-2023, 12:26 PM   #7
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For me, personally:
Luger prices start around $700 for a parts gun - broken, missing parts, ruined finish, etc.
The value goes up if it's a working gun ("Shooter") to $1,000 - $1,400 - mismatched parts, but in working condition.

After that, a luger needs to have all matching original parts and a good finish.

Bluebook for a 1918 DWM Luger in good condition is about $1,050 with 70% finish.
That's going to be the insurance value.


An accurate appraisal requires hands on inspection from a person familiar with lugers. There are several on-line dealers that will be happy to give you an appraisal if you send it in to them. (Legacy Collectibles and Simpson LTD).


So, as @Daniel76 suggested: do your research on-line. We can help you identify what you have, but not so much what it's worth. It's pretty hard to do if you don't know what condition the luger is in and without taking it apart (field stripping it).

In the best case, it's all matching 1918 converted to Police use around 1920. The full serial number is 3440a, with small parts numbered "40". Some of the small parts are supposed to be a straw (gold) color (takedown lever, trigger, thumb safety, springs) which wears off on lugers this old. The word GESICHERT on the safety area looks grey, it should be a yellowish white and the thumb safety lever should be straw colored, too. The barrel matches, but it may not have much rifling left.

Here are the last two Police lugers that sold on GB.
Neither one was a great pick:

A 1916 P.08 all matching, w/ chipped rear toggle pin, broken ejector and poor acceptance stamp markings sold for $1,225 6/11/2023 (wrong magazine with plastic bottom, after-market holster) – Not collectible

1920 P.08 DWM Police luger – originally commercial, mostly un-numbered small parts with C/N’s, a few mixed military parts (numbered toggle parts) and unit markings “S.M 407” sold for $2,250 on 8/2/2023 (Ohio Ordinance).


Being a Police luger can increase the value, particularly with a unit marking. It can explain why it originally an LP.08 (8" barrel) and converted to a P.08 style luger (4" barrel).
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