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Unread 03-26-2022, 08:19 PM   #1
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Default 1918 Arty observation

I saw a 1918 Artillery posted for sale that had adjustable sights. The pistol had been refinished at some time in the distant past. I'm assuming the only way that a fine tune front sight could be possible would be with a barrel change correct? The numbers are advertised as matching with some parts force matched but didn't specify the barrel. The rear fine tune sight obviously is an easy swap. Just wondering if my assumption is right. Saw it on gunbroker today and thought it might be a decent shooter if not too expensive.
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Unread 03-27-2022, 08:23 AM   #2
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Gunbroker item number please
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Unread 03-27-2022, 11:05 AM   #3
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I suspect that it's this one: https://www.gunbroker.com/item/926260654

It's a put together FrankenLuger and totally bogus. By late 1917 the fine tune front and rear sights on the Artillery had disappeared, replaced by simpler and more easily manufactured sights.

The subject Luger has been refinished. The receiver is a 1918 Erfurt so the barrel is definitely a replacement. The frame is also Erfurt. The "matching numbers" were force matched during the refinish. If someone wants an Artillery shooter then this would give them the experience of an Artillery but it's certainly not a collectable.
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Unread 03-27-2022, 02:32 PM   #4
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Doubs that is the one i was referring to, I knew it was a parts pistol and just wanted to make sure the only way to add a fine tune front sight was to change the barrel. The refinish can be spotted a mile away. Like you said not a collectible maybe a decent shooter. I wasn't interested in it but it has a few bidders.
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Unread 03-27-2022, 07:13 PM   #5
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It's hard for me NOT to love an 'Arty' ... even parts guns need love ya ??

BUT wait a minute ... aren't parts guns/shooters supposed to be cheap ???
In our present day insane environment ... with 8 days to go ... this gun is at $1,825.99 already.
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Unread 03-27-2022, 07:43 PM   #6
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I agree but only for the right price!!!! Every luger deserves a value of its' own!
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Unread 03-27-2022, 08:07 PM   #7
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I sent a message to the seller explaining that it was a parts FrankenLuger and why. Any bets that he'll correct his description?
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Unread 03-28-2022, 09:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubs View Post
I sent a message to the seller explaining that it was a parts FrankenLuger and why. Any bets that he'll correct his description?
That would be interesting, I kind of follow that seller because he seems to have a big inventory of militaria. I even bought a box of ammo from him awhile back. We'll see if he makes the correction.

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Unread 03-28-2022, 10:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubs View Post
I sent a message to the seller explaining that it was a parts FrankenLuger and why. Any bets that he'll correct his description?
Well, this is part of the original description from the auction:

"Several of the serials look renumbered and unknown if done during a rebuild or by someone post German use. Bore is bright with strong rifling, markings and proofmarks are a little light. Metal finish is a full reblue. Checkered walnut grips have a tight fit with some handling wear, no numbers on the inside of each. "

I'm not sure what else needed to be said.

And just FYI,
even though most of the L P08 adjustable/fine tune sights were used up in 1917 as you state; a few genuine 1918 L P08s are known with:
- front fine tune sight- 4 reported, several more serial numbers observed by me
-rear fine tune sight- 1 reported, two more serial numbers observed by me
- none reported with both fine tune sights

Reported observations are in Jan Still's Central Powers Pistols book, Table 21 page 103.

I personally own three 1918 L P08s, one with fine tune front, and two with the most common configuration of no fine turn sights.


I am "desperately seeking" one of the elusive variants with the fine tune rear sight, or both! Of course they must be matching and un-modified to qualify.

I also "need" a "double date" DWM 1914 L P08, original 1914 with 1920 property stamp.

Should anyone have the elusive 1918 with fine tune rear, or a 1914/1920 please let me know!
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Unread 03-28-2022, 11:17 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonVoigt View Post
Well, this is part of the original description from the auction:

"Several of the serials look renumbered and unknown if done during a rebuild or by someone post German use. Bore is bright with strong rifling, markings and proofmarks are a little light. Metal finish is a full reblue. Checkered walnut grips have a tight fit with some handling wear, no numbers on the inside of each. "

I'm not sure what else needed to be said.
Don, I make a distinction between hinting that it may not be original and KNOWING it isn't but failing to disclose that fact. If I know and don't disclose it, that makes me dishonest. Maybe I'm too idealistic and expect too much?

Quote:
And just FYI,
even though most of the L P08 adjustable/fine tune sights were used up in 1917 as you state; a few genuine 1918 L P08s are known with:
- front fine tune sight- 4 reported, several more serial numbers observed by me
-rear fine tune sight- 1 reported, two more serial numbers observed by me
- none reported with both fine tune sights
Reported observations are in Jan Still's Central Powers Pistols book, Table 21 page 103.
I don't have a copy of "Central Powers Pistols". However, I seriously doubt that there are any reported DWM 1918 LP-08 Lugers with an Erfurt receiver and frame.

Quote:
I personally own three 1918 L P08s, one with fine tune front, and two with the most common configuration of no fine turn sights.


I am "desperately seeking" one of the elusive variants with the fine tune rear sight, or both! Of course they must be matching and un-modified to qualify.

I also "need" a "double date" DWM 1914 L P08, original 1914 with 1920 property stamp.

Should anyone have the elusive 1918 with fine tune rear, or a 1914/1920 please let me know!
I'll keep your "needs" in mind and should I ever run across any of them, I'll be sure to let you know.
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Unread 03-28-2022, 05:05 PM   #11
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I have restored a couple older bikes in my time.
Like Don stated, there are instances of left over or extra parts being used on subsequent models.
I'd have no problem believing that would occur in these pistols.
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Unread 03-28-2022, 06:27 PM   #12
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Some parts have to wear out and be replaced during many years of service and use! I only object to purposely concealing those changes in any manner or ill purpose!!!! I would question or examine carefully a luger claimed to be a near virgin no matter its' source because the seller might be honestly be not aware!
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Unread 03-29-2022, 01:05 PM   #13
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Doubs,
Not everyone "knows" everything as a fact- so I think the suggestions and observations as written serve to warn anyone that "it" is not original- the stated fact that "it is a full reblue" is sufficient to remove it from "original" in most anyone's assessment, JMHO.

I never said that the Erfurt receiver was correct for any 1918 L P08; I was correcting on your erroneous statement that there were "no" 1918 L P08s with a fine tune sight.

I'd forgive anyone for not recognizing that the receiver is Erfurt made- it takes someone deep in the weeds to recognize the proofing, since the Erfurt eagle on the barrel is correct even on a DWM L P08.

I can't explain the similar fonts on the barrel and frame either, or the police sear cut side plate; the receiver is obviously re-numbered- but the rest seems to match in font anyway.
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Unread 03-29-2022, 06:01 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonVoigt View Post
And just FYI,
even though most of the L P08 adjustable/fine tune sights were used up in 1917 as you state; a few genuine 1918 L P08s are known with:
- front fine tune sight- 4 reported, several more serial numbers observed by me
-rear fine tune sight- 1 reported, two more serial numbers observed by me
- none reported with both fine tune sightsl:
I have 2 1917 LP08's
One with zero fine tune sites
and one with BOTH front and rear fine tune sights.

There is a post regarding my 1917 LP08 with front and rear fine tune sights.
https://forum.lugerforum.com/showpos...14&postcount=1
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Unread 03-29-2022, 06:16 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonVoigt View Post
Doubs, Not everyone "knows" everything as a fact- so I think the suggestions and observations as written serve to warn anyone that "it" is not original- the stated fact that "it is a full reblue" is sufficient to remove it from "original" in most anyone's assessment, JMHO.
Your points are well taken. As always, it's "caveat emptor".

Quote:
I never said that the Erfurt receiver was correct for any 1918 L P08; I was correcting on your erroneous statement that there were "no" 1918 L P08s with a fine tune sight.
Nor did I say that you did. I pointed it out because it stuck out like a sore thumb... to me. WRT the fine tune sights, like everything Luger, there always seem to be anomalies that make blanket statements incorrect. Fine tune sights on a 1918 Artillery are clearly very rare but a few obviously exist. I've never seen one.

Quote:
I'd forgive anyone for not recognizing that the receiver is Erfurt made- it takes someone deep in the weeds to recognize the proofing, since the Erfurt eagle on the barrel is correct even on a DWM L P08.
I agree with that. I've always found it interesting that DWM seems to have gotten large numbers of Artillery barrels from Erfurt. I also sometimes see Erfurt breechblocks on DWM Lugers. I'm sure that wartime pressures for turning out Lugers as rapidly as possible caused DWM to use Erfurt parts when necessary.

Quote:
I can't explain the similar fonts on the barrel and frame either, or the police sear cut side plate; the receiver is obviously re-numbered- but the rest seems to match in font anyway.
Whoever ends up with it, I hope they are satisfied with their purchase. They will at least have the experience of shooting an Artillery Luger and that's a good thing.
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Unread 03-30-2022, 12:14 AM   #16
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I also have a 1917 Artillery with both front and rear fine tuning. Bill
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Unread 03-30-2022, 12:49 AM   #17
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I also have a 1917 Artillery with both front and rear fine tuning. Bill
I'm willing to bet that yours has a low serial number for that year. About 1990 I bought a 1917 Artillery Luger from Old South pawn shop in Macon, GA. It had both fine tune sights. It was pitted and really rough. It would fire one shot and the trigger stopped working. I found that the disconnector pin was frozen in the extended position and wouldn't retract into the sear bar. A 24 hour soak in Kroil loosened it again and it functioned perfectly. I sold it to a friend and have often wished I had kept it.

The early 1917 Artillery models did have both front and rear fine tune sights. Later in the year the fine tune front sight was dropped and even later in 1917 both were eliminated. Therefore it's possible to have three variations of the 1917 Artillery model.

Just as Don has pointed out, a few 1918 Artillery models have been recorded as having one or the other fine sight. Possibly a few late 1917 Artillery Lugers will have one or the other. I'm unaware of any but neither did I know of 1918 Lugers with them. After thinking about Don's post, I suspect that the 1918 Artillery Lugers with fine tune sights were made with barrels that were initially rejected for one reason or another and then used as the war put increasing pressure on production. Obviously I don't know that for sure but it makes sense.
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Unread 03-30-2022, 07:56 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doubs View Post

I suspect that the 1918 Artillery Lugers with fine tune sights were made with barrels that were initially rejected for one reason or another and then used as the war put increasing pressure on production. Obviously I don't know that for sure but it makes sense.
I'm pretty certain that the Artillery barrels that were made, and proofed, at the Erfurt plant were shipped to DWM without sights, the rear sight for certain. As you can see from the photo below, it's not possible to screw on an Artillery barrel with rear sight attached as it "overhangs" the receiver.
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Unread 03-30-2022, 11:36 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norme View Post
I'm pretty certain that the Artillery barrels that were made, and proofed, at the Erfurt plant were shipped to DWM without sights, the rear sight for certain. As you can see from the photo below, it's not possible to screw on an Artillery barrel with rear sight attached as it "overhangs" the receiver. Norm
Norm, that's an interesting observation. The rear sight assembly is dovetailed into the sight base and, as you say, would not have been on the barrel when the barrel was installed in the receiver. So the question becomes, who actually made the sight assemblies?

In reading G&S concerning development and testing of the LP.08, it's unclear whether Erfurt or DWM made the test pistols. What is clear is that plans were for Erfurt to be the primary manufacturer and, indeed, Erfurt made approximately 21,000 Artillery Lugers in 1914; DWM far less. Thus, if I had to guess, I'd say that Erfurt manufactured sights for the LP.08 and likely sent them with the barrels to DWM. Once the barrel had been installed, then the sight assembly could be mounted. It's also possible that DWM made sights as they were the only manufacturer of the LP.08 from 1915 to 1918. I can't find a reference for who actually made the sight assemblies but I suspect that both Erfurt and DWM made sights for the LP.08.
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Unread 03-30-2022, 02:37 PM   #20
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It takes less than a minute to take a rear sight off an arty barrel.
The leaf is held on by a single small pin, and it is easy to drift out.

My point is a complete barrel with sights would not be much of an impediment to attach to a receiver. JMHO.

Finish reaming the barrel for headspace after installation would take much more time.

Doubs,
I have all 4 variations of 1917 L P08 sight configurations myself; they are not tough to find;
just pay attention to the pictures of the many 1917s on auction.

I made it a goal to have an L P08 of each year, with each major external variation and also those with the 1920 PS.
As I noted before, I'm missing one 1918 sight variation and the DWM 1914/1920 PS; I have some "extras" : a commercial version, a Mauser made under French supervision, and a couple Navy marked Artys.
I have in total 17 of them.
I have excluded the "contract" pistols, so I have no Persian or Siamese.
I guess one could say I'm kind of deep in the weeds with the L P08s.
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