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Unread 07-02-2004, 12:56 AM   #1
Frank H.
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Post Luger books and references recommendations?

I am sure that in the archives this topic has come up a bit, and I have looked back by search and found some helpful guidelines re: great Luger books and reference resources.

But darn it, there was one post I skimmed through a month back or so that mentioned a fairly recently released book I think, with the comment "this book updates all the books that came before on these time periods of Luger info" or something to that effect.

I did a few searches trying to find that post again but couldn't find it... So I'd like to pose this question to you knowledgeable folks, and as always I very much appreciate your helping me make my "newbie advancements" in familiarity:

Starting with the best for overall knowledge and fundamental important things to know type books, proceeding into "must have" books that might be more specific or cover just specific models / eras, what sequence of reference book purchasing would you recommend?

Like top 3 vital books maybe, followed by if you were going to have maybe 8 what would they be, whatever you think is important. I'm looking forward to finding them (I know some aren't common or even in current print) and learning from them! Thanks!

Frank H. in L.A.
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Unread 07-02-2004, 10:03 AM   #2
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Hi Frank, this is Frank!! It's tough to name three books, until you decide what your interests are!! For instance, if you are a Krieghoff Guy, then Gibson's Book "Kreighoff Parabellum" would be a must. Otherwise, it wouldn't be among my top three!!

Some pretty good starter books that cover the "General" category are:
1) Kenyon's "Lugers at Random"
2) Walter's "The Luger Book"
3) Costanzo's "World of Lugers"

Not necessarily in that order!!

I also like Jan Still's books for period Lugers:
1) "Imperial Lugers"
2) "Weimar Lugers"
3) "Third Reich Lugers"

Then, you could get some ancillary books, like:

1) Bender's "Luger Holsters and Accessories"
2) Goetz's "German Small Arms Markings"

That would be my recommendation, but I'm sure other members will chip in with their thoughts!!

Good Luck!!
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Unread 07-02-2004, 10:52 AM   #3
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There are several E-books by Gerard Henrotin ( who did the fabulous Luger animation on our opening page) that I recommend for newbies...

They are inexpensive, have some great educational illustrations, and downloadable for about $9 each. Just be sure you download them and install them on the computer you want to read them on, since once installed they are locked to that computer. Make sure you keep the unlock code in case your hard drive fails and you have to re-install the books.

You will find the link to these books on the homepage.
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Unread 07-02-2004, 01:10 PM   #4
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Thanks for the tips, Frank and John!

All personal preferences, suggestions and guidance are welcome, I've got a lot of catching up to do on these captivating pistols...

Frank H. in L.A.
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Unread 07-02-2004, 01:12 PM   #5
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Hi Frank H.,

Although quite out-dated, Fred A. Datig's book, "The Luger Pistol", is a good read to know what luger collecting was about in the late 1950's.

Good history of the gun's development and lots of great reading on the George Luger and family...

I think his work is what the other, subsequent authors built upon...in the more recent books.

p.s. Watch out for those luger books...they can be as addictive as the pistols themselves...last count my luger book library after only 3 years of luger interest, at last count, went over 63 books...I am hopeless... ...think I could have purchased 1-2 nice lugers with that money...but the books are useful and most enjoyable to read...

Regards,

Pete... <img border="0" alt="[typing]" title="" src="graemlins/yltype.gif" />
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Unread 07-03-2004, 01:17 AM   #6
Dwight Gruber
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FrankH,

The answer to your question is slippery, depending on the experience and interests of the person asking, and the same goes for whomever is recommending.

For anyone more serious than just buying a Luger to have, the first indispensible book is Kenyon's "Lugers At Random". First published in 1969 it is not the most up-to-date source, but it remains the most comprehensive catalog of the most varieties of Lugers and their characterisitcs. Its photographs are large, perfunctory, and of moderate reproduction quality, its real value is in its comprehensiveness and text information.

The best current general history of the Luger is John Walters's "The Luger Story", √?¬©1995. Datig's 1955 (revised 1958) book is a sentimental favorite, but it requires careful and experienced reading to see just how much was -not- known about Lugers in those years, and how much of Datig's speculation has proved to be in error.

For an inexperienced but ambitious Luger buff I recommend Aaron Davis's "Luger Handbook". With one serious reservation. This pocket-sized booklet begins with an excellent Luger identification system. It is a great little resource to take to gun shows or Luger dealers to help one become familiar with the various Luger variations as they present themselves.

That having been said, anyone buying this book would be wise to rip out the pages following the identification section and throw them away. The book's text is full of factual errors, and the price guides are straight out of cloud-cuckoo-land.

Davis's book, and its usefulness, introduces something which does not seem to come up whenever the topic is Luger books. That is, the paper is adjunct to the steel. It is important to "read"--examine--as many Lugers as possible, in order that one has a frame of reference for the information in the books.

The next level of good Luger books is a broad spectrum of volumes which are more tightly focussed on specific topics. And here also I will diverge a bit from the "conventional wisdom" found in these Forums.

Most recommend that one read books and decide what special interests one has, and then buy Lugers along those interests. I suspect that most inexperienced Luger aficionados are fairly bewildered by the Luger variety, and do not begin to have the background to make such a decision. Rather, one might profitably consider what varieties of Luger one has little interest in, and then explore the others for the interest they might hold.

At this point an aspiring Luger collector might do well to buy both books and Lugers. At least one or two, examples which one can disassemble and examine with books at hand to act as practical study guides.

The next indispensible books are Jan Still's volumes on the major Luger eras. These books are full of details which answer many of the questions one automatically comes up with about one's Luger--where? when? how many? used by whom? The photographs in these books are noteworthy in their excellence. Buy the volumes which match the era of the Lugers you have, and also which meet the historic interests you may be developiing.

The truly specialized books will present themselves directly to your evolving interests--"The Dutch Luger", "The Navy Luger", "The Swiss Parabellum", "La Luger Artiglieria", "The Krieghoff Parabellum", and Bender's holster and accessories book, among others.

Pay attention to the Luger Forums. At some point you may find yourself wanting to answer other people's questions, as well as asking your own (or perhaps you want to start answering your more detailed questions yourself). This is an excellent method of learning about Lugers, the necessity to figure out answers and check your facts while doing so. This is when books such as "German Small Arms Markings", "The Imperial German Regimental Markings", John Walters's "The Luger Book" √?¬©1986, and Costanzo's proof marks magnum opus become worthwhile purchases.

I have not read Henrotin's e-books, but as a researcher I find printed pages much more satisfying and useful.

I hope this commentary has some value for you. I have gone rather farther afield than perhaps your question intended, but these things have been on my mind and I appreciate your providing the opportunity to express them.

--Dwight
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Unread 07-04-2004, 12:57 AM   #7
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In my opinion, Dwight Gruber has written a really on target recommendation. I say that with a bit of irony because I was in the process of putting together a reply that is virtually a carbon copy of Dwight's posting. I agree with him right down the line on his recommendations, and would encourage the beginning collector to seriously consider his advice. Good job Dwight.
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Unread 07-04-2004, 12:40 PM   #8
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Almost nothing to add, but to mention
Joachim Goertz's German language book on the P08, efffectively titled 'Die Pistole 08'. The recent reprint is an excellent read and contains lots of archive material.

All in all, reference material associated with Goertz, Walter & Still are worthwile.
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Unread 07-04-2004, 01:26 PM   #9
Dwight Gruber
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Gerben,

Do you know (or does anyone else reading this know) when--or if--the English translation of G√?¬∂rtz's book is going to be available?

--Dwight
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Unread 07-06-2004, 04:14 AM   #10
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Major thanks, Dwight, and to each of you!

Frank H.
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Unread 07-06-2004, 07:43 AM   #11
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My thoughts follow what direction I actually took here.

Bought Lugers at Random first to see general information about variations. Then after determining what ERA you are most interested in begin buying Jan Still's excellent books on Lugers. Imperial Lugers for WWI, Weimar Lugers for period between WWI and WWII, and finally Third Reich Lugers for WWII.

Speciality Luger books like The ones on Krieghoffs and Swiss Lugers are needed if you branch out in those areas or are just interested in them.

The other book that I find really facinating and interesting is Costanzos World of Lugers-Proof markings. That one is very expensive ($200-$300) but very intriguing to me.
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Unread 07-06-2004, 02:27 PM   #12
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Hi,

The English version of Goertz his book is not available (yet). I heard Mr. Sturgess was working on a translation.

I was informed that Mr. Goertz died last year.
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Unread 07-07-2004, 10:05 PM   #13
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The old adage

"Knowledge is Power"

Is rarely more important than in collecting Lugers.

Buy any books on lugers, carefully study them, compare to what you own. Use this forum for questions and comments. The rewards are many.

Ronnie
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Unread 07-08-2004, 06:00 PM   #14
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So where can one get one of Costanzo's "World of Lugers" books?? I've checked IDSA and Amazon without results.

Appreciate any help, and you all know I need all the help I can get!!!

Ronnie
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Unread 07-08-2004, 06:11 PM   #15
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Ralph is listing one on his latest list...$350. ouch...I once get get all I wanted for $35.00 each years ago, but no not me, one is all I could read at a time!
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Unread 07-08-2004, 10:52 PM   #16
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Thanks Howard, guess I'd better go ahead and "bite the bullet", as they say. Much obliged for the lead Sir.

Ronnie
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Unread 07-09-2004, 02:07 AM   #17
Dwight Gruber
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Ronnie,

Don't jump too quickly. Now that you know you want one keep your eye open on ebay and the like, it shows up on occasion and with a little patience you might be able to pick up one for $250-$300.

--Dwight
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Unread 07-09-2004, 07:15 PM   #18
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Hello Double, I'll sell you a copy of WOL for $300 plus US Mail . Best regards, Daniel
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Unread 07-09-2004, 10:45 PM   #19
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Daniel,
Please check your P/M's

Ronnie
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Unread 03-23-2005, 03:36 PM   #20
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To the best of my knowledge... there were only 500 copies of Sam Costanzo's "World of Lugers" ever printed... that is why they demand such a premium price...

The last copy sold on ebay went for well over $400.00...
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