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Unread 09-22-2023, 04:19 PM   #1
Chuwee81
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Default 1939 42 P08 vet bring back

Good afternoon, new member here. Just acquired a very new to me Luger P08 from a co-worker. He got a buyer's remorse from buying this one (he is a young guy, mid 20's - prefer something he can shoot, than a collection - he bought my Sig MCX before). I told him if I can make payments on it then I'll take it off his hands. He asked for what he paid from the gun store, which was around $2,300 after tax.
Back story, 15 years ago this gun was brought in to that gun store and this lady's husband bought it. Then sadly the husband passed away and she brought it back to the store to re-sell it. After the store re-appraised it, it was put back on for sale and my co-worker bought it. I took it apart, cleaned and re-oiled it. It didn't seem to be shot much at all after the old man bought it.

Details:
* S/N: 1771u, parts seemed to be matching even the firing pin. barrel has 8.83 marking. Slide/ barrel extension seemed to develop patina as it is purplish color now. it is dated 1939, 42. It chambers a 9mm dummy round so I believe this is in 9mm caliber.

Magazine is not matching.

Holster is 1939 dated, Karl Bocker, Waldbrol and a Nazi eagle stamp on the back of it.
What is interesting about this holster is that it has 2 ink stamps with a name: Major Walter Musta O-373141.
At first I thought he was a German officer but after researching a bit, found out he was an American and served in the medical corps. I found the following article mentioning his name:

TROOPSHIPS EN ROUTE OVERSEAS
Psychiatric Breakdowns
Little data are available on psychiatric breakdowns occurring en route overseas. Major Flumerfelt personally studied a British soldier after a suicidal attempt aboard ship. The case seemed to be a reaction to frustration; the soldier involved had had long service in Africa and, just when he expected shipment to his home, had found that he had been reassigned to the Near East. Major Flumerfelt also quoted a personal communication from Maj. Walter Musta, MC, who found that the less stable troops were more subject to seasickness. Maj. Theodore P. Suratt, MC, who was the 44th Division psychiatrist, did not recall any outstanding problem with the division troops en route overseas. Lt. Peter J. Brdar, who, while in service, was an officer of the Medical Administrative Corps but later became a psychiatrist, reminisced about a passage overseas on a Liberty Ship, as follows:

Also his name showed up here:
http://accident-report.com/officers/...40/3540m5.html

It seemed he was involved in an aviation incident/ accident during the war. His Officer number matched the one from the holster. I believed he survived it because I also found out a Walter Musta from From Ancient faces.com. I located Walter Musta and his age range put him as 30 years old in 1939 and approximately 35-36 years old at the end of WW2 in 1945. Musta, W DOB is listed as Nov 22, 1909 out of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, Ohio – 44111 and he passed away in May 1978 at approximately 68 years old. From Ancestry.com, it seemed like Walter was born in Austria-Hungary and was naturalized.

Overall I am happy with what I have, it's impressive to see the tightness in the fittings compared to modern pistols. Hopefully I can just sit on this as future investment. My 12 year old daughter is into WW2 history and I showed her this thing. I told her this might be hers someday. Oh also if you find out more info on Major Musta, please share here. Thanks
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Unread 09-23-2023, 12:22 AM   #2
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Interesting research on the soldiers.

It's an Army P.08 and the proofs on the right receiver are probably two Stick Eagle/63 (SE/63).
The one on the third one is a TP-3 eagle over a tiny swastika - the test proof.
There is another one on the barrel.

When I saw your luger and it's purplish hue (also called "plum") the first thing I thought of was a 1939 Mauser. They were still working out the way they finished the guns and many of them have plum coloring on various parts. It probably has alway has the plum coloring - it's not from aging..

The 8.83 is the barrel gauge measurement.

It was produced late in the 1942.
(earlier 1939 Mauser P.08s still had the "S/42" toggle stamp)

What does the magazine look like ?

The only concern I see right now is on the right rear toggle there is some scraping.
That made me wonder if the right ear has been bent and is pressing on that rear toggle link.
I could be wrong about that, but look it over carefully.
See my photo, below:
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Unread 09-23-2023, 09:19 AM   #3
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Amazing eyes Mac Cat to notice that detail
Now if I can just find my white cane I am off to get a dog.
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Unread 09-25-2023, 09:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Cat View Post
It was produced late in the 1942.
(earlier 1939 Mauser P.08s still had the "S/42" toggle stamp)
It was manufactured by Mauser in the middle of 1939. Later 1939 produced P08 had E/655 markings not E/63. 1942 vintage were BYF 42 marked
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Unread 09-26-2023, 02:12 PM   #5
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Get some lanolin on that holster before it's too late.
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Unread 09-26-2023, 10:06 PM   #6
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ref holster, I use Connolys Hide Food - it will slightly darken your holster, but its the best as far as I am concerned. Other stuff, black rock, others are too thick for me.

I think the price paid is reasonable, its a nice 1939, just as the war started.

I'm not sure of the toggle making a scrape, not sure what caused that wear.
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Unread 09-27-2023, 06:25 PM   #7
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Connolly's Hide Food was changed to Connolly's Hide Care several years ago, forced by the FDA as idiots were eating it. And ut's not a food.
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Unread 10-02-2023, 07:53 AM   #8
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Thanks for all the reply. I just came back from an out of town trip. I'll look into the leather care products and the scrape marks.

I did look into it a little bit and the toggle seemed to be moving freely. Surprisingly, i noticed more wear marks on the left ear on the inside. the inside of the right ear is smooth. I don't know if there were debris trapped between the 2 pieces of metal from when the prev owner had it. I played with it a bit before field stripping and re-lube. I noticed there was barely lubrication overall.
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Unread 10-02-2023, 08:43 AM   #9
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I've got a couple with similar rubs. Sometimes they are just fitted up a little tight...
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Unread 10-02-2023, 09:22 PM   #10
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Check to see that the forks of the barrel extension are not ever so slightly bent or twisted.
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Unread 10-06-2023, 06:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ithacaartist View Post
Check to see that the forks of the barrel extension are not ever so slightly bent or twisted.
It seems with just human eye observation, everything is pretty much straight. Pics added.

Also the magazine has aluminum base
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Unread 10-06-2023, 11:48 PM   #12
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Just a light rub. I don't think anything is wrong with the gun.
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Unread 10-08-2023, 09:24 PM   #13
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Welcome to the forum. It's a nice luger. If all matching and in original finish it would be considered collectible.

The "42" on the toggle is Mauser's concealment code, not a date.

These were hand fit, and well crafted in 1939 when it was produced.

We publish a reference FAQ document on this site. Just follow the FAQ link at the top of pages to locate the post with the PDF files.

This pistol has been fired (it did serve in war) and that is what the rubbing likely reflects. If it cycles smoothly it's likely just tight fitting.
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Unread 03-10-2024, 07:40 PM   #14
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I have a 1939 luger that is all matching except for the extruded aluminum bottom magazine. It retains approx.90+ % of the original finish and it's bore is very bright. The wooden grip panels are in very good condition and appear original but are unnumbered. Are unnumbered grip panels correct for a 1939 dated luger? I have fired the luger but just enough to verify proper function. I've had the luger for more than 40 years and don't intend to shoot it again. My shooter luger (a 1938 dated S/42) has one mismatched numbered part and will do all my luger shooting activities.
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