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Unread 05-10-2023, 12:17 PM   #1
Shobbs
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Default Black Widow Authentication

Hello all,

Iím brand new to this forum as I was looking for a place to read up and get some opinions. Iíve been collecting milsurps for a few years now, but Iím fairly new to Lugers. An opportunity for an all matching black widow came up for a fairly good price, but I would love some opinions and input. Thanks everyone for your time! Cheers!
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Unread 05-10-2023, 01:36 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum.
Thanks for sharing your luger.

Taking useful photos is quite a challenge on lugers. It's more helpful to post high resolution images and use strong lighting, like outdoors. Using a darker background will help get your camera to open up for more lighting. Then we can start looking at all the numbered parts and hopefully, the inside details, as well.


It looks like you have a 41 byf Mauser, but I can't tell for sure without seeing the top view, with the chamber and toggle stamps.
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Unread 05-10-2023, 07:05 PM   #3
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Welcome to the club!

Read the FAQ section as there is a wealth of info there for new owners.

Have heard of the hot pin test for the grips? Thats the way you can determine if the grips are original or repos. A hot pin will melt repop (plastic) grips. You test on the back side. Read about the procedure before testing yours.

I have a 1942 Byf with original black grips.
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Unread 05-10-2023, 07:54 PM   #4
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Hello, thanks a bunch for the tip on the FAQ’s. There’s some great information in it. With the pistol I posted I’m really trying to tell if it has been refinished or not. I’m leaning towards yes, but wish it had a bit better lighting.
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Unread 05-10-2023, 10:36 PM   #5
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Seth, welcome to the Forum, great and helpful collectors here.

I believe you are correct, it's refinished. I enlarged the first image and, to me, the sideplate is missing sharp corners around the raised part.

Please do the "hot pin test" to make sure the grips are original. "Black Widow" P.08's are bringing ridiculous amounts these days. As you probably know that term was given by an early collector to enhance values. The false story goes they were issued to the SS. Totally bogus analogy. Some will obtain the black grips and place them on properly era dated P.08's to obtain more $$$. So be careful.

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Unread 05-11-2023, 12:08 PM   #6
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The photos we are looking here at are just too dark to make out the condition of the finish. Even, so, it's hard to tell from a photography and there will often be a lot of disagreement.

I'm hardly an expert, but the tell tales include missing normal wear patterns, often caused by the leather holster. The sides of the barrel tip, the side plate, and the butt of the luger will usually show wear.

If you take off the receiver, the rails and internal parts should be in the white, as they were not blued. However, a lot of Lugers were refinished at arsenal depots, too.

The quality of the finish is what good photos will help illustrate. These Lugers did not have straw finish on the smaller parts, like earlier Lugers, so it's correct for them to be blued.

Photos in sunlight give the best results - not direct sunlight, but on an overcast day or away from direct sun light is best. Use a dark background and get a large format image. Also, since you camera will have to open up the aperture a lot, you need to pay attention to the focus. Most cameras will have a very short field of focus, so hold the camera very still and avoid auto-focus, if you can.

That's part of the luger challenge - getting good quality photos!

Cheers!
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Unread 05-11-2023, 04:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Cat View Post

If you take off the receiver, the rails and internal parts should be in the white, as they were not blued. However, a lot of Lugers were refinished at arsenal depots, too.
Russ, the rust blued guns went away after late 1937, remember? Salt blue was the deal from then on, to save production time over labor intensive rust blue. The rails would be blued along with the rest of it in the tank.
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Unread 05-11-2023, 06:41 PM   #8
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Good point !
I stand corrected.
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Unread 05-12-2023, 03:51 AM   #9
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Nonetheless, this is a reblue.
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Unread 05-14-2023, 02:24 PM   #10
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The "tells" on a reblue would be the rounded edges of the frame. I believe I see that on the frame ears at the rear of the pistol. The edges should be sharp, not rounded, as should those of all die markings.

Lighting can make a difference when judging a finish, but having the pistol in hand makes a big difference.

Take photographs with a good camera that can focus and do it in shaded natural sunlight.
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Unread 02-28-2024, 06:35 PM   #11
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Shobbs
Your byf 41 luger appears to be a refinished piece to my untrained eye. That's not to say it could have been refinished at some military facility during the war. You indicated you might be able to pick it up at a fairly good price. If that fairly good price is in the neighborhood of $1k to $1.1k I'd say pick it up. Anything over that pass it up as a collector's piece. It is most likely a shooter luger today and that would be top price these days for a shooter. If the price is anything under $1k, jump on it. Even a shooter, could be worth $1.2+ in a few years from now.
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